Need some band advice...

sirshackleton

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Posts
78
Location
Western MD
Hello!

Welp, I'm in need of some advice/a non-personal perspective on a situation I've got brewing. Basically, I need to pick one group out of the two I'm currently working with, but I'm having hard time figuring out what step to take. Not going to bury everyone in details and don't expect y'all to solve my problem, just going outline the "big picture" stuff and see what everyone thinks. I've been in several groups over the past twenty years and feel like I understand this sort of thing well, but I'm struggling with this one. FYI, these are not professional groups, just weekend warrior/amateur things with potential for shows.

Group 1:
Been playing with these guys a couple of months. Pretty good original tunes and good players overall with lots of band experience. Music is in a style that is relatively new to me, but I enjoy playing it and challenges me in good ways. Definitely looking to gig soon, which is a big plus for me as well. That said, I feel like one guy (one of the "main guys" if you will) and I don't mesh very well. I'm still trying to figure him out and allow that maybe I just need to get to know him better. Maybe I'm a little keyed up and oversensitive because this is a new thing, but every practice and on some text chats I've felt moderately put off by his manner and how he interacts with me and other members of the group. He's not a total jerk or anything (funny guy, actually), but given his "shot-caller" status in the group I wonder how this plays out long-term. The other guys and I get along fine.

Group 2:
Have only played with these guys a couple of weeks. Very different kind of style than Group 1 and more of a "nostalgia/feel like a teenager again" thing for me, if that makes sense. More "comfort zone" for me than challenging, but the tunes/sound are interesting in all the right ways for me. Good guys on first impression, but I don't know them quite as well. Probably going to be all originals with this one, which I somewhat prefer (the covers suggested for Group 1 are not my cup of tea, but I'd play them). This situation is a bit looser than Group 1; we've canceled two practices in the past four weeks. Gigs are definitely a goal, but how quickly we get there (if we get there) seem to be a big question mark. Also not entirely sure how committed the other guys are at this stage (the other two play in other groups as well), but again I don't this group as well as the other.

I've got to make a decision because both groups practice on the same night each week :D But even if they didn't, I've really only got the bandwidth (no pun intended) for one at this point.

Appreciate everyone's time on this one! Thanks!
 

KokoTele

Doctor of Teleocity
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You have to decide what you want to get out of playing music. Do you want to play lots of gigs and maybe make a little money? Group #1 seems like a better bet, but you have to think of it more like a job than a personal project, and every job has a couple of people you could do without. As long as they aren't over the top, they're probably worth putting up with. The extra exposure in the music scene will probably help you pick up other gigs.

Would you rather that your band be more like a hobby? Mostly for fun, not necessarily profit, when work and life allow... that seems more like the situation happening with #2.

There's always door #3: keep looking.
 

Chiogtr4x

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Manassas Park, VA
Just to put into shorthand ( from previous bad and good band situations I've been in - all just small potatoes/ local but 35 years steady gigs) a few items:

- play music you really like to play, don't 'bite the bullet' and play a bunch of music you don't like ( I know this refers more to cover music, as this is what I do)

- don't play with people you don't like, or people who dont like you- life really is short, and you just dont need to be miserable

- communicate with whomever else in the band if you have issues with above points. I understand bands have leaders and it's good to have someone who doesn't mind the responsibility of being in charge moving forward.
But you are more than just hired hand; your input and opinions should be respected

** you can always form your own group too, new slate, find common ground with others
 

wulfenganck

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Seligenstadt, Germany
Tough, but I'd say Group 1.
You already practice for a while with them and now that they are into it.
Group 2 only exists for a couple of weeks and already canceled rehearsals? Sound like they are not as dedicated as Group 1.
Considering the personal issues: well, you're a grown-up, you should know how to adress personal issues in a decent manner (wow, sorry, that sounds way more patronising as I intended). Sometimes people simply don't notice that they cross boundaries and they may step back if pointed out, what irks you.
You should adress the issue now. Even if the whole thing then escalates - well, then you definitely know how the group handles conflicts. Which may lead to say thank you, but no, thank you.
 

sirshackleton

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Posts
78
Location
Western MD
Wow, thanks everybody! I really appreciate the assist and everyone brought up important points I hadn't honestly thought of (including just striking out on my own with some new folks).

In addition to all this genuinely excellent insight, I'm sure I'll get some more info to work with this week on both groups.

You already picked. I will wait until the end of the thread, but we both know which one you picked.

This kind of insight was also welcome ;) And yeah, I think I kind of already know...and yet, I'll wake up tomorrow and then I will end up picking the other one :D
 

Call Me Al

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Dec 10, 2020
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367
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Ithaca, NY
My band for the last 4 years reminds me a bit of your group 1. The bandleader rubs me the wrong way on occasion. He’s a terrible communicator, I think he’s a bit on the spectrum honestly. But He’s a fantastic player and he’s pushed me to grow as a musician. The music is great and the group is pretty driven, I’m as busy as I could possibly handle. (Weekend warrior as well.)

So if you’re really driven to gig, push yourself with the more challenging music- 1. If you want more casual, easy going- 2.

good luck!
 

Peegoo

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Beast of Bourbon
Unless you've had a "run in" with the problematic person in group 1, I would stick with group 1.

It sounds like you're interested in gigging, and their level of commitment is higher than group 2.

Remember that most people relate to other people A-ok, but there are some that are mildly dysfunctional in that regard. It doesn't make them bad per se...perhaps a little more difficult to deal with. If the problem child in group 1 has not demonstrated meanness and/or hasn't taken advantage of your goodwill, I'm guessing he's simply one of those types that has a more difficult time relating to others.
 

boxocrap

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Joined
Aug 26, 2021
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1,291
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north delta british columbia canada
Hello!

Welp, I'm in need of some advice/a non-personal perspective on a situation I've got brewing. Basically, I need to pick one group out of the two I'm currently working with, but I'm having hard time figuring out what step to take. Not going to bury everyone in details and don't expect y'all to solve my problem, just going outline the "big picture" stuff and see what everyone thinks. I've been in several groups over the past twenty years and feel like I understand this sort of thing well, but I'm struggling with this one. FYI, these are not professional groups, just weekend warrior/amateur things with potential for shows.

Group 1:
Been playing with these guys a couple of months. Pretty good original tunes and good players overall with lots of band experience. Music is in a style that is relatively new to me, but I enjoy playing it and challenges me in good ways. Definitely looking to gig soon, which is a big plus for me as well. That said, I feel like one guy (one of the "main guys" if you will) and I don't mesh very well. I'm still trying to figure him out and allow that maybe I just need to get to know him better. Maybe I'm a little keyed up and oversensitive because this is a new thing, but every practice and on some text chats I've felt moderately put off by his manner and how he interacts with me and other members of the group. He's not a total jerk or anything (funny guy, actually), but given his "shot-caller" status in the group I wonder how this plays out long-term. The other guys and I get along fine.

Group 2:
Have only played with these guys a couple of weeks. Very different kind of style than Group 1 and more of a "nostalgia/feel like a teenager again" thing for me, if that makes sense. More "comfort zone" for me than challenging, but the tunes/sound are interesting in all the right ways for me. Good guys on first impression, but I don't know them quite as well. Probably going to be all originals with this one, which I somewhat prefer (the covers suggested for Group 1 are not my cup of tea, but I'd play them). This situation is a bit looser than Group 1; we've canceled two practices in the past four weeks. Gigs are definitely a goal, but how quickly we get there (if we get there) seem to be a big question mark. Also not entirely sure how committed the other guys are at this stage (the other two play in other groups as well), but again I don't this group as well as the other.

I've got to make a decision because both groups practice on the same night each week :D But even if they didn't, I've really only got the bandwidth (no pun intended) for one at this point.

Appreciate everyone's time on this one! Thanks!
hmmm..for me i would stop thinking a go with my gut..if it's not a money thing..then it's a joy thing..are you free to do the playing you want with good people who are at or near your level? do you have fun with little or no worries?..i just want to add this..if someone in a band dosen't respect you or you them..then it won't be long if your gonna be working with them..b4 you begin to hate each other..that's been my personal experience
 
Last edited:

getbent

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47,606
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San Benito County, California
Wow, thanks everybody! I really appreciate the assist and everyone brought up important points I hadn't honestly thought of (including just striking out on my own with some new folks).

In addition to all this genuinely excellent insight, I'm sure I'll get some more info to work with this week on both groups.



This kind of insight was also welcome ;) And yeah, I think I kind of already know...and yet, I'll wake up tomorrow and then I will end up picking the other one :D

The key is you will pick right... be glad, you have options!
 

StephenDeBoard

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Nov 15, 2021
Posts
49
Age
54
Location
Venice, CA
One of the best singers I've every played with, so much so that when I started playing with him I wondered why he wasn't a well known, famous singer already, managed to alienate our booking agent and our guitar player to the point where neither will work with him anymore. If you sense that the guy in Band #1 may have social issues beware that it may implode if he causes any problems.

Band #2 sounds like more fun. Originals are more rewarding creatively too as long as you like the songs.

Really if you can play in both for a while life has a way of sorting these things out. Playing covers is a great way to get out and play music in public. When I see people having a good time and enjoying the band I feel like I'm providing a boost to their lives. That can be very rewarding.
 




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