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Old June 14th, 2013, 05:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Not sure why some people do this.

I debated whether to put this in the Band Wagon forum, but didn't because of the generality of this topic. Starting with the band I am in. We are doing pretty well, in terms of learning songs and keeping them interesting. I really enjoy play with these guys. The drummer, however, has a weird quirk that keeps popping up. Tonight, I mentioned that a local coffee shop is interested in having us play a set some night. It is a small place, and definitely not a place to rock out. I asked if the others guys would be interested, and the drummer says that we would have to play quietly. OK, duh. Should we tell them we are interested? The answer was yes. A couple of months ago, I told them that one particular gig we were interested in playing was going to be in a converted church. The other guy said, it's pretty reverberant in there. Outside of the band context, I had met with a prospect student for our program where I teach, and emailed the area head about how much I liked his music and would like to see him admitted. The other guy replied, "I just wonder who would teach him?" (This is because we generally have a grad student teach undergrad comp lessons.

Well, the one thing I have learned in life, if everybody has a problem but me, then I am really the one with the problem. I like a more direct yes/no answer, then mull over who will teach, how we will have to be softly, etc. To my mind, these are side issues. If we decide we want to play the gig, then we talk about how we will have to manage to turn it down. For me, anything can be turned down and played quietly to fit the venue. What is to discuss? If a hall is reverberant, does this mean we shouldn't play in it? The only option is not to play the gig.

I'm not expressing this well, as part of my problem is that, in the band, one of the guys does this all the time. He is decision-averse. "Nah, I don't think we should do it, as we would have to play to softly, it wouldn't be worth it." The kicker, though, is that all of these guys actually do want to do the thing, even though they raise concerns. Why raise the concern if you are not going to act on it? I like decisiveness and not wasting time mulling over things that have an obvious solution. It's kind of like b****ing for b****ing's sake, with no real purpose other than to vent. Surely things like this come up all the time with bands and in the workplace. I remember a few years ago, we got into some weird mood in our area meetings where two guys would just b**ch and moan, without being able to make a decision. It's like if there is a potential problem, discussion and decision-making cannot advance. Some guys that I work with seem to use these decisions as a venue to air old, dirty laundry, about how someone in an unrelated developed experienced a bad thing in the past. What seems to be important is not in making the decision, but just sort of wallowing in the bad things that have happened in the past, and, therefore, might well happen again.

I just want to know, do you want to play the gig, and figure out how to handle any difficulty that arises, or do you just want to sit there and point out the different bad actions that have happened in the past? Why did we waste the last few minutes griping about something that we will eventually manage to sort out after accepting the offer of a gig? I'm happy to be the leader and steer us to a decision.

Why do I keep thinking about the film. Withnail and I (hope I spelled it right). Talk about an exercise in futility. Sorry to be the spoilsport of the party, but I just want to move forward. Anyone else with me on this?

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Old June 14th, 2013, 06:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You'd think a drummer would relish a gig where he didn't have to drag a full kit in...

some snare, brushes.. a foot stomp box maybe.. a nice cymbal... what more do you need?...

a cardboard beer box even... ;)
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Old June 14th, 2013, 06:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It sounds like your band need to be led, by a leader - and that means you. I find this with the 2 bands I'm involved with at the moment. I'm very much a deicision-taker who wants to be in charge. Once they accepted that that was the case they are happy to have someone else make the decisions for them. Until I mess up, I suppose.

I should lend you one of my drummers - he is the world's most enthusiastic man and is up for anything, any time. It's actually quite spooky.

Steve, try playing it this way.

YEEES!! AWESOME!!!
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Old June 14th, 2013, 06:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A clearly defined leader might help. I think it may be some form of procrastination, they might be comfortable practicing but the idea of a gig sounds kinda "hard", or additional work, so that's what they're vocalizing. I've experienced this a lot with bands, especially as I and the other players get a bit older, the procrastination level seems to rise.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 06:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My opinion is that the cafe scenario, and the reverberant hall are pointed out aloud as a sort of reassurance that everyone is aware that the gig venue will require a modified approach to playing/sound settings, and that everyone is in agreement to this. Without being too blunt some personality types like this reaffirmed to give themselves a sense of security about an environment that is a little bit different than what they may be used to.
I have experienced this in different areas such as camping with some friends, where one has pointed out that we need to make sure that we bring suitable clothing, and that can be seen as a "Duh" moment, it would be to me but I have been camping since an early age and it is second nature, but the guy that mentioned the clothing might not of known this, and I do not know of his experience, he could only have been camping a few times and needs me to affirm with him that yes it is a good idea to bring suitable clothing, or it could be that the guy thinks that we are on the same par and I may need reminding just in case I forget or even he just needs affirmation that his idea is sound.

This does suggest people do it to feel secure on some level, or they think that they better point out the fact of the unique circumstance and then feel happy and secure that they have pointed it out.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 07:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Most drummers are quirky, that is part of their mold. We recently had a 'soft' gig,
and I didn't think he could pull it off without brushes...but, he actually came
through ok...begrudginly, but he did... I actually wanted him to bring a 1/2 kit,
but, he wined to the other band members..
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