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OT: The person who started the band is the weakest link


EscapeRocks

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ANyone else been this this situation?

 

Here's the deal.....

 

After a couple year hiatus, a musician decided to put a band back together. he was baoe to recruit two of the founding members to do it again...me and another guy.

 

We then held auditions and filled in the rest of our 5 piece group.

 

Over the course of the last month of rehearsals, it is becoming clear that the musician who is responsible for getting this band back together and working again is the "weakest link" so to speak. In other words, the 4 others have passed this one in terms of musicianship and learning process.

 

I know it's a hard thing to callout someone else, but while this person is a good musician, he's not at our level. This wasn't apparent at first, but as we grow as a unit, you can really tell the difference.

 

As an aside, others who have come to our rehearsals have made the same comment. He's not bad...but we're slowly getting off the same page.

 

As you can imagine, it might be a sticky situation.

 

The guy is a good guy and basically started the latest iteration of this band, I think it will be awkward for the rest of us to try and find someone else to fill his role.

 

Arrggghhhhh..... why do these things always fall in my lap ?

David

Gig Rig:Casio Privia PX-5S | Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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It is fairly common that the same person who either started the band and/or finds the gigs, is the weakest link.

 

There are many musicians who may not be "on the same level" in terms of proficiency, yet, they serve a vital role in the band.

 

First, I would see if this shortcoming can be addressed in a band meeting. It does not make sense for you all to keep "playing" around the subject. ;)

 

The musician himself might already know that you cats have surpassed his skill level. After all, he is at the rehearsals too, right?

 

Find a happy medium to deal with it and keep moving forward. Since this cat did put the band back together, maybe he can be the manager or something. Good luck. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Yes - been there, done several flavors of that. :cry:

 

On the off chance you're looking for some advice - I've always found the best way to handle these sorts of situation is to decide whether I can live with it - and if so, through my energy into doing just that. (Hey, you may have an opportunity to mentor him into growing as a musician).

 

If you decide you can't live with it - figure out how to live without it. Inform him of your decision as tactfully and respectfully as possibble - and move on.

 

Life is way too short to be in a situation you're not happy with. I'd rather be without a band than to be in a band divided about another member's artistry and/or ability.

The SpaceNorman :freak:
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You are not alone, I have a band in limbo as we speaks because of this issue. The one who is most responsible for getting me back into this area's music scene, by starting this band and BOOKING this band is that weak link. He has recently moved about 2 1/2 hrs a way. So the rest of us have found his replacement already and the guitar player who was the co-founder and front man has "disolved the band." Now the co-founder needs to step up and tell our bud he is out. Tough spot for sure.

 

No real advice just a wish of good luck in the outcome. I sure hate to see feelings get hurt but it is invitable sometimes.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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thanks all. I appreciate you all being a sounding board. I think we're going to move into a "mentoring" role with this person, as he does seem willing to give it 110%

David

Gig Rig:Casio Privia PX-5S | Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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Originally posted by EscapeRocks:

thanks all. I appreciate you all being a sounding board. I think we're going to move into a "mentoring" role with this person, as he does seem willing to give it 110%

I think that is an honorable thing to do.. My first keyboard job ,they knew I was new to it. But with the help of a mentoring guitarist/music director of the band I learned a lot. We put in some extra work because we where both willing to do it. I didn't form the band though, and they knew I was green when they hired me.

 

I hope it works out for all of you EscapeRocks

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yes you must at least give him a chance to catch up if he offers to improve the situation.

 

but in most situations there is always a lessor achiever....sometimes one can afford to carry someone if they are still proficient,and not actually making clangers.

 

if he didnt step up to the plate you would not be in this position.

 

one day you may be in a similar situation...your a good player but somehow the rest seem to walk rings around you....?

 

you offer to catch up.....you hope they give you the chance.But instead you turn up to a gig to see a new player onstage or new potentials in the audience eyeing your every move.

 

But one chance I think is all thats needed though as hopefully he will feel after that,that he is the dead weight and will feel awkward in the situation.

 

If you dont give him the chance then you will rot in hell...

whoops I mean get bad Karma...tee hee. :rolleyes:

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This is something on the forefront of my mind, as I've usually always been the one behind the curve on playing skill in the bands I've been involved with. ;) In the end, I just decided I want to be a basement composer in my cute little home studio. That way, if I meet with success as a writer and I need to put a band together, they'll be a bunch of hired minions there to do my bidding, and I'll be UNSTOPPABLE! MUAHAHAHA-

 

Umm, sorry. ;)

Darren Landrum
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We once formed a hot band around a front man who was comically lame. Why? Because his dad was the booking agent who got us a crapload of work.

 

After a couple years we eased the singer out of the band by talking to his dad. He asked us to let him handle it (we were his top band at the time). He told his son he was pulling him out of the band for better things. Problem solved.

Moe

---

 

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I know what you are talking about. I left a succesful group with which I had played for nearly ten years, for similar reasons.

In my case, the person in question was not only a mediocre musician when compared to all the other members; he was also rather unpleasant to deal with. But he was the one who put the group together, and he did handle most of the booking stuff. He also wrote a fair amount of the tunes.

He was told many times that he needed to improve as a musician or leave, but he was always deaf to our remarks. The other guys chose to bear this situation for many years in order not to throw away all the work we did to build some success - but as you can imagine, the atmosphere among group members wasn't good.

After many years of suffering, I decided to leave, and I don't regret it, except that I'm quite poorer now.

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Its hard to comment without having heard the band. But let me tell you not to undervalue to work done booking a band, getting the publicity and the demos together, etc. If you have not done this yourself I recommend giving it a go. You can present it as freeing up his time to work on material.

 

Mind you, I hope this isn't the rest of my band asking this question! I know I'm the weakest link in my current band!

 

One other thing to watch out for. There are some band leaders who are mediocre musicians but they have such charisma they pull in audiences. If you have a person like that hang on to them and if you possibly can, and can stand it, shape the band around their capabilities.

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For me, the thing I had to do is to GET STRAIGHT WITH MYSELF. By that I mean knowing exactly what I wanted and where I wanted to be. I moved to Austin, Texas 13 months ago to PLAY MUSIC. I was playing in a blues band here in town since last spring. We hit a plateau at the end of summer that we couldn't bust through. Boiled down to the bass player and drummer being unwilling to practice their instruments/parts between rehearsals/gigs. I talked to them about it for a couple of months and finally resigned. Tried out for a couple of different groups that were pro, but their songlist put me to sleep.

 

I know now that I want:

1)To play music that turns me on (rock/blues/funk)

2)To play with musicians who are willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to be able to make a quality, persuasive show (if that means that someone's got to practice parts 2-3 hrs a day on their own time, then do it).

 

Whatever you do, be HONEST with the guy.

Never try to play anything live.
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Quote Hardway:

Practice does NOT make perfect,

practice makes habit.

Perfect practice makes perfect.

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

Reminds me of this:

"When you ernestly believe you can compensate for lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you cannot do."

:D

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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In my case, I'm the one who started the band, and I do feel like I'm the weakest link! :eek:

 

Actually, in our case, the weakest link is the attitude of one of the members. We've all come to realize that when we get together without him, the worst the jam is is "okay," but when he's with us, the jam can range from very good to "I don't ever want to do THAT again!"

 

I have the joy of having to tell him he's out this week. :cry:

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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What does this guy play? If he plays the triangle, I say he's out!

 

Otherwise, nurse him along. I've been both the weakest link in a band and the strongest, and I sure appreciate how those guys helped me early on when I was easily the weakest.

 

If you've got a group of good guys then you're lucky. My last band was that way (just finished up with them on Friday). Good guys, so that was never an issue. Nice situation to have.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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One of the things I love about my current band situation - we all have weaknesses, and we're each very aware of them. Keeps us all humble, and working together.

 

Ironically, I've been the founding member/weak link combination before. My last serious band effort, I was fired as frontman because I had no stamina onstage - consistently blew my throat midway through the second set.

 

As much as it sucked getting fired, I got the last laugh - I took my (copywritten) songs with me (70% of the band's material) and the band fell apart shortly after a dismal failure of an EP release and several ridiculously bad shows.

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Originally posted by BluesKeys:

Reminds me of this:

"When you ernestly believe you can compensate for lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you cannot do."

I actually like the new TV commercial quote on this.

 

Amateurs practice to learn how to get it right.

Professionals practice to never get it wrong.

Steve

A Lifetime of Peace, Love and Protest Music

www.rock-xtreme.com

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It's been my experience that the bandleader is the weakest link 9 times out of 10. The rest of the guys are usually too busy gigging and practicing to bother booking gigs, so the guy who wouldn't get a call from anyone else for a gig has to go out and find them.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Originally posted by kanker, apparently:

It's been my experience that the bandleader is the weakest link 9 times out of 10. The rest of the guys are usually too busy gigging and practicing to bother booking gigs, so the guy who wouldn't get a call from anyone else for a gig has to go out and find them.

That's been my experience as well. They compensate for lack of chops by providing the rehearsal space, PA, lights, truck, etc and handling the booking and band business. Every band needs somebody like that. So, unless he sticks out like a sore thumb on every gig, find a way to work around him if you like the guy.
Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. W. C. Fields
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The converse effect is ,a lot of talented guys get involved with multiple bands and somewhere down the line it takes its toll on one or two of the bands he's in. Even though they can go with little rehearsal,they miss things ( solos, structure,new songs)they shouldn't have because you allow them to miss a rehearsal or two because of there commitments and your willing to put up with it. Or you have to pass up a gig because two of your guys are in another band and booked that night. I've seen this happen in a band I'm in. They make the guy who books the gigs jobs nearly impossible.
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Originally posted by Trill:

The converse effect is ,a lot of talented guys get involved with multiple bands and somewhere down the line it takes its toll on one or two of the bands he's in. Even though they can go with little rehearsal,they miss things ( solos, structure,new songs)they shouldn't have because you allow them to miss a rehearsal or two because of there commitments and your willing to put up with it. Or you have to pass up a gig because two of your guys are in another band and booked that night. I've seen this happen in a band I'm in. They make the guy who books the gigs jobs nearly impossible.

Trill, you are right it can be hard to pull off multiple bands. I play in 4 different bands and I have to brush up on material before a gig for the bands that do not play as much. But with a professional touch it can be done.

 

As far as booking goes that can be a nightmare unless you do what women everywhere want men to do... Comunicate. Every time I get another booking with a band I make sure the folks booking the other bands know I am unavailable. I am looking for someone that would take my overbookings as a part time gig.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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I've always wondered if the trumpet player was the founder of the band Cake...

 

I have some experience with this, and want to raise one more issue to think about, via a personal narrative. A band that started as a one-off "let's get drunk and rock playing the entirety of famous albums" thing started getting serous, and I would have aboslutely gone with the flow had it not been for the drummer, the founder, who, despite being a terrific man, set a real ceiling, a low ceiling, on how good the band was ever going to sound/feel, in my opinion. I was on bass in this band, not my usual guitar/singer-songwriter position, and that made the competence of the drum seat all the more important to my gratification.

 

The things was this. During the rehearsal process--whether we were learning Rubber Soul, My Aim is True, or Doolittle--I always felt sure in my bones that I could not go a day further with the guy. Then on gig night, he would ALWAYS exceed my expectations and acquit himself passably well.

 

And that almost deceived me into thinking it was a viable long term situation. My better sense prevailed. I did not want to be invested in the prospect of his musical growth, of his getting "good enough" rather than geunuinely good. I didn't want my eggs in that basket. Oh, I never had to be the one to "tell" him anything. The project just disappated "on its own."

 

Moral: if you're really rooting for the guy to get better, be careful with that.

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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Originally posted by Trill:

Or you have to pass up a gig because two of your guys are in another band and booked that night. I've seen this happen in a band I'm in. They make the guy who books the gigs jobs nearly impossible.

This is one reason why I try to avoid 'bands'. I would much rather freelance 5-6 nights a week than have to deal with the band concept - all for one and one for all just seems like an odd concept to me, and there are never enough gigs to pay the bills. It's too constraining in terms of options for my tastes.

 

Band is a four letter word, hehe.

A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Originally posted by kanker, apparently:

Originally posted by Trill:

Or you have to pass up a gig because two of your guys are in another band and booked that night. I've seen this happen in a band I'm in. They make the guy who books the gigs jobs nearly impossible.

This is one reason why I try to avoid 'bands'. I would much rather freelance 5-6 nights a week than have to deal with the band concept - all for one and one for all just seems like an odd concept to me, and there are never enough gigs to pay the bills. It's too constraining in terms of options for my tastes.

 

Band is a four letter word, hehe.

Yes, I've looking into Free Agency/Hired Gun myself,

already have a few offers. "Power Single" looks better all the time also. ;)

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Originally posted by Trill:

Yes, I've looking into Free Agency/Hired Gun myself,

already have a few offers. "Power Single" looks better all the time also. ;)

The key is to wrap one's mind around the concept of a 'group' Very different from a band. A band is a marriage. A group is like friends with benefits.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Reminds me of this:

"When you ernestly believe you can compensate for lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you cannot do."

:D

Exactly! We had some players at various times in my group that had really just started on their instrument (bass coming from guitar) but kept at it and really blossommed into excellent players! The one bassist I play with now after 20-odd years and he's incredible.

 

So my feeling, Escape, is that a band if patient enough can "nurture" the individual who is really dedicated to working hard and help him/her grow musically. :)

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

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Aethellis

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Originally posted by Joe Muscara:

Actually, in our case, the weakest link is the attitude of one of the members. We've all come to realize that when we get together without him, the worst the jam is is "okay," but when he's with us, the jam can range from very good to "I don't ever want to do THAT again!"

 

I have the joy of having to tell him he's out this week. :cry:

In case anyone cares, here's what happened.

 

On Tuesday I called him and got a hold of him as he was getting ready to rehearse with his other band. We talked for a bit, first about generic stuff and then a bit about the band. I asked him how he felt, and how he felt the last jam went. He thought it was fine, but after I mentioned some problems, he did ask if it was him. He admitted getting frustrated because he thought things weren't going well/right. We talked a little about his approach and wanting to get it right (he'll stop a song because "something is not right" which doesn't suit the way the rest of the band wants to approach things as well as sometimes seem to play with some frustration that pushes the music in a direction it shouldn't go). He admits being like that about music. Which was about where we were when he had to go. He was late for his other band's rehearsal. Argh!

 

So, I got a hold of him the next evening, and after a bit more talking on the subject, he began volunteering to leave without me even asking! My wife heard my part of the conversation and asked me afterwards, "how did you do that? One minute you were just talking and the next I hear, 'so when do you want to pick your stuff up?'"

 

He came to get his stuff yesterday and all went well. So, we seem to still be friends. Whew!

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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