Left a decent band to join a (somewhat) crappier band...

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by jimdandy, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. jimdandy

    jimdandy Tele-Meister

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    Just want y'all's input on this situation.

    The four-piece outfit I've been playing with for three years is pretty good. We like to play tunes I like (chili peppers, black keys, goo goo dolls, etc.) and are relatively tight musically. The downside: drummer is a control freak and has the personality of a piece of dried-out toast -- very anti-social. I do the majority of the marketing/booking/legwork. We've reached our pinnacle and have been playing the same local bar circuit for a couple years now -- no street dances, private gigs, etc. largely on account that the group is wound too tight (worried about equipment, travel, money, etc.) :rolleyes:.

    It was gettiing old, so, I jumped ship -- gave my notice couple months ago and we have one gig left. I also do some acoustic stuff so was just going to be content with that for awhile.

    In the meantime, another band asked me to fill in with them for a couple fun, higher profile gigs (state fair, alumni dance etc.) They then asked me to join them, which I thought about, and ultimately accepted.

    The benefit to this group: I do very little work other than show up, play and tear down. They do better gigs such as street dances and private events. The downfall to this group: they play the tired-out crappy cover tunes (mustang sally, brown-eyed girl, etc.) and musically probably not as good.

    I've already made my decision and will not go back on my word. But a part of me wonders if I made the right call. Guess this goes to prove no band situation is ever perfect.

    Can anyone relate?
     
  2. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    My personality is I want the fun. In every situation my job is to be the best player I can be, which in most bands is lower on the totem pole, but in a couple bands I'm highest on the musicianship ladder. Either way I still should push myself to bring my best. So it's easy for me to choose, I don't spend my time where I don't enjoy myself just to be near some great musician.
     
  3. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

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    A band is more than gigs and talent. It's about how you gel with one another. I'd take a crappy gig with my best dudes over main stage at SXSW with fellas I couldn't stand.
     
  4. Stefanovich

    Stefanovich Tele-Holic

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    I'm also about the fun, but I am not a pro musician so it is easy to make that decision. If you are relying on gigs to pay the bills, then deciding which band(s) to be a part of becomes a complex judgment based upon amount of money per gig, regularity of gigs, likelihood of it morphing into something bigger, fit with teaching and other commitments you may have etc...
     
  5. ADinNYC

    ADinNYC Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Tough call man. I think playing with the easy-going folks is probably the better way to go but it stinks that the musicality isn't there. Maybe you could be in a second band on the side with better players.??

    I recently left a band because I just couldn't stand the lack of talent. Great people and they're still friends but I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I played the bass and the drummer was just horrible. Felt like I was always wrestling with the kick.
     
  6. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great point. I've never gone pro, so it was always an easy decision.
     
  7. Slickster

    Slickster Tele-Holic

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    The gigs are more fun, and the guys are more fun ... I guess you just need to sneak in a couple songs you want to play. Maybe the same bands they're used to playing, but a different song or something. They may be quietly itching to find some new material.

    Come to them with new song ideas ... not a "these songs all suck" speech

    It's worth a shot
     
  8. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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    I don't care for the hours most bar gigs require, so I'd opt for playing Mustang Sally at the better gigs. I do enjoy playing in bars, but getting home at 3am, unloading, etc., then having to be up again at 7am just is not ideal...for me. And I actually LOVE Wilson Pickett, so Mustang Sally is no problemo for me in my bands.
     
  9. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    Heard of the 3 M rule?

    Money, Mates, Music.

    Any gig needs two of them or you will tire of it very quickly.
     
  10. Skub

    Skub Friend of Leo's

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    This would be my approach too. You are bringing something fresh to the band,build on that and make it into the band you want. Well worth a try if you don't go in all guns blazing,but massage things to be how you prefer.
     
  11. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it depends on what your goals are - the old "where do you want to be in five years" thing.

    I've played those cover tunes (and far "crappier" ones) in bands where the goal was to make money. It was still fun, and it was a great learning experience. Playing the "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" and "YMCA" for money still beats the heck out of almost any other form of gainful legal employment that I can think of.

    These days I don't need the money and I am blessed to be in a basement band that plays whatever we want to play - I think there's some Iggy Pop and Motorhead on the menu this week. My goal now is to hang out, have fun and make a joyous noise - no drama, no b.s.

    All that being said, life is too short to spend time with miserable people if you have any choice at all. Ditching that drummer was certainly the right move.
     
  12. FreddyS

    FreddyS Tele-Meister

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    Spot on!, An old friend wanted to reunite our first band, for the memories and all... good memories were fun but 2 meetings were enough to bring back the bad memories 20 years after, thanks but no thanks! and back to building guitars:D
     
  13. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Here's hoping the "crappier" band guys aren't into teles.... :lol:
     
  14. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Been in a few bands that I felt tied to despite wanting to leave for personal reasosns. In retrospect, I should have left the minute I started getting the yen to bail. If you can't have fun playing, don't play.
     
  15. Earth

    Earth Tele-Meister

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    The most important thing in a band I've found is that people are cohesive. It's slightly more important than playing to your best ability. You can be very tight, but end up hating each other, and killing your enthusiasm to even be in a band.
     
  16. jimdandy

    jimdandy Tele-Meister

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    Nope -- strats lol
     
  17. jimdandy

    jimdandy Tele-Meister

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    Tons of wisdom and good advice in your replies gentlemen -- I thank you.
     
  18. Special Tom

    Special Tom Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Practice, Practice, Pract.... I think most bands start out rough. Those that get better are the ones that commit to getting better, individually and as a group. If everyone is on the same page it will happen. The best musicians know when and how to make the sound, group, show, etc... better. Stick with what you committed to.....
     
  19. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah I can relate crappy set lists and all. Sometimes we forget that our job as musicians is to entertain those whom we are playing for the benefit of and in most cases they don't consider some of what we feel is "crap" to actually be "crap" or if it is that's what they prefer.

    My hats off to the guys who can pull it off with successful originals bands or set lists full of "one off" AOR material. Been there and done that too but never made much money doing it when the only people who were satisfied was the band and handful of people who "got it".

    Since I hate playing for next to nothing I'll gladly play the mainstream club material people want to hear. It's their party and if they're having a good time then so am I.
     
  20. hshight

    hshight Tele-Meister

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    I just left a band filled with great guys, formidable bass and drums, because we don't rehearse and have played the same songs for years. I simply burned out. Even though we could play them very tightly, and the crowds always love us, I think I'll puke if I have to play them again any time soon. Maybe after a cooling off I'll reconsider, and I did say I'd be interested if we'd learn 20 new songs, new being different and not necessarily hits of today. They don't want to rehearse.

    I got to where the beer was a crutch to make the gig fun. Instead, I should've chosen to throw musical oddities into the songs instead, like a two-step version of Do You Feel Like We Do or something, but they wouldn't do it.

    As for the 3 M Rule, if the music isn't there, I'm not interested. Not trying to sound snobby, and I'm not the best, but poor playing sucks all the fun out of it for me. I think I'm playing worse now as a result of the fun I've been having, and not just from drinking - played many gigs straight because I had to drive long distance. This last band was music and mates, the money seems to be the same as it was when I was gigging in the 1980s. Sad. Content now to write/record at home, and sing in the church choir. May buy a bass amp and play bass for the praise band, who knows.
     
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