New bass player fired after 2 rehearsals

teleforumnoob

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I going this Afternoon to audition for a singer songwriter who wants to do a recording date in about a month. Problem is there is no drummer right now. Drummer will be an old friend of the guy who’s supposed to fly in for the session.

This thread reminds me to get clear instructions so I know what’s expected, so neither of us waste our time.
 

RCinMempho

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I've been through so many versions of what you're experiencing it's just not funny. A number of years ago, I even got so frustrated in a band with another guitarist and my drummer, that I said "forget this".....and I played bass. I had dabbled for years, and had very definite opinions on what bass should be, (keep it simple, stupid) and it worked well for a few years. I wasn't able to sing as much lead while on bass, and then we had trouble finding an adequate singer.....so the whole thing eventually collapsed.....but the BASS parts were great while it lasted. (tooting my own horn)
I've been spoiled over time by getting to play with a couple of great bassists......so I know what it CAN and SHOULD be like. There's NOTHING like having to deal with a bad bass player. :(
For me it's drummers. Having played with a couple of true professionals every one since then is never quite as good. I shudder to think what they say about me. Some guys are just in another league.
 

oregomike

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I play in an alt country band. About half original music and half covers. There are 3 core members and we all get along pretty well (lead singer, lap steel player and me on guitar) . We all have day jobs of course but take it pretty seriously, and try to play decent paying gigs but not all that frequently. We have got into the habit of working with a roster of different bass players and drummers from time to time who like working with us but without committing to any one - they always get paid and it’s just easier that way.

Recently we tried out a new bass player - friend of the lap player- who is more of a casual bass player. As a sub for some of our more low paying pwyc casual gigs (we always take equal shares) if he learned the material it might be good to have a good back up. We were told he was really excited about working with us and looking forward to it etc. has been a friend of the band for years and always said if we had an opportunity he would love to play with us. It was clear that he thought he was auditioning as a full band member which was weird as that was never discussed and he knows we work with lots of other people.

Anyways 2 rehearsals in and it’s clear it’s not going to work. He doesn’t use charts, doesn’t take any notes during practice, hasn’t “had time” to listen to any of the material (he has copies of our 2 cds plus YouTube links and charts i sent on Dropbox), keeps talking about how busy he is and says he will try to find time to learn the material. He watches my left hand and plays about half a beat behind. My response is WTF!!!We have a gig coming up in a few weeks and are running out of time and patience to work on it with him. After the last rehearsal, our drummer came up to me after and pleaded with me to get someone else and sent a follow up email. That clinched it. I was able to convince our lap player that personal relationship aside this was NOT going to work.

So the message was delivered that it just wasn’t working out and he reacted very badly and said all sorts of fairly juvenile and nasty stuff. But he still seems to think we owe him more of an explanation. My view is that if he doesn’t know why, that is part of the problem. I really liked him as a person but talking about this further is pointless. Anyways I am frustratedly and just ranting here. Anyone had similar experiences and is there a different approach or is it better to just rip off the bandaid in one pull and move on?
Sounds like you gave him a fair shot. If he thought it was an audition, then there's no "I'm too busy too [X]" You do what you need to get dialed in and on the same page. Was he aware through out the process that he needed to step up more? Sounds more like his ego was bruised and and was embarrassed. People act out of character when that happens unfortunately. Good luck.

Edit: Also, good on your steel player for not letting friendship drag on a bad situation. Could have been worse.
 

vjf1968

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I play in an alt country band. About half original music and half covers. There are 3 core members and we all get along pretty well (lead singer, lap steel player and me on guitar) . We all have day jobs of course but take it pretty seriously, and try to play decent paying gigs but not all that frequently. We have got into the habit of working with a roster of different bass players and drummers from time to time who like working with us but without committing to any one - they always get paid and it’s just easier that way.

Recently we tried out a new bass player - friend of the lap player- who is more of a casual bass player. As a sub for some of our more low paying pwyc casual gigs (we always take equal shares) if he learned the material it might be good to have a good back up. We were told he was really excited about working with us and looking forward to it etc. has been a friend of the band for years and always said if we had an opportunity he would love to play with us. It was clear that he thought he was auditioning as a full band member which was weird as that was never discussed and he knows we work with lots of other people.

Anyways 2 rehearsals in and it’s clear it’s not going to work. He doesn’t use charts, doesn’t take any notes during practice, hasn’t “had time” to listen to any of the material (he has copies of our 2 cds plus YouTube links and charts i sent on Dropbox), keeps talking about how busy he is and says he will try to find time to learn the material. He watches my left hand and plays about half a beat behind. My response is WTF!!!We have a gig coming up in a few weeks and are running out of time and patience to work on it with him. After the last rehearsal, our drummer came up to me after and pleaded with me to get someone else and sent a follow up email. That clinched it. I was able to convince our lap player that personal relationship aside this was NOT going to work.

So the message was delivered that it just wasn’t working out and he reacted very badly and said all sorts of fairly juvenile and nasty stuff. But he still seems to think we owe him more of an explanation. My view is that if he doesn’t know why, that is part of the problem. I really liked him as a person but talking about this further is pointless. Anyways I am frustratedly and just ranting here. Anyone had similar experiences and is there a different approach or is it better to just rip off the bandaid in one pull and move on?
The guy is a slacker. If he doesn't have time to learn the material, how is it he can find time to rehearse or do gigs? Move on.
 

Alex_C

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A bassist needs to be solid. The bass and drums also need to be tight, as they are the foundation.
I was in a band where we had a questionable bassist. He was watching my hand and like you said, was always a bit behind the beat. After about 4 months of playing the same tunes, I started turning my back to him to see what would happen. It was like he was deaf and never heard the song.
If your recently canned bassist needs a better explanation, tell him the truth. He didn't dedicate enough time to the band and admitted it.
 

Mindthebull

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Not to give a pass to the bass player, but your intent is a sub for lower paying gigs and a possible backup option in a pinch...unless you're in an ultra competative market (Nashville, NYC - maybe you are?)...you're not going to get filet mignon for ground chuck prices.
True nuff. On the other hand…. the songs have to hang together. But you’re right maybe it was too much to ask.
 

Mindthebull

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I find it interesting that he really wanted to do it, yet did none of the work necessary to make that happen.
It's rather shocking that his ear wasn't even good enough to play along without having to study your hand. I always wait until the song's
over, go over the bridge, stops, key changes, and then WRITE THAT **** DOWN!. But then I'd have been pretty prepared before I showed up. 🤷‍♂️
This is kind of what I thought. I was watching him move through the changes and kept yelling out 4, 5 or whatever and tried to lead the bass line with my guitar so it would be clear where it was going but it didn’t seem to sink in. And the not writing anything down really got to me. If this was a weekly jam and we had a year to get ready maybe that sort of thing works. It’s funny he plays with a couple of rock pick up bands for over 10 years and seems to think he can pick up the new stuff but it just wasn’t there.
 

Killing Floor

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Could be any instrument/member. Play with people at your level. Nothing wrong with trying, you never know if they would work out. But at least you found out about the work ethic early.

Should also fire the drummer for laughs.
 

Blazer

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Yeah, I had something like that going on with my old band "Rote sau"

Our bass player could only play using tabs and spend most of the song catching up to what the rest of us were doing. And if that didn't work, he'd just started chugging along on a single note, figuring that the song would get to that note eventually.

In addition, he'd turn his amp down to such a degree that he was barely audible, but audible enough that we could still hear him. He said that he did so because he had tinnitus and needed to preserve his ears.

That became a problem when we played our first shows, he actually showed up with the tabs on stage. I went, "Dude, we have been rehearsing those songs for a YEAR!"

Last year, we did a couple of rehearsals where he couldn't be there, and I took my own bass with me, I played with MUCH louder volume and I played the parts right. Our drummer straight away went, "Why do we sound so much tighter?"

Nothing more frustrating trying to play with people who can NOT play.
 

nojazzhere

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Yeah, I had something like that going on with my old band "Rote sau"

Our bass player could only play using tabs and spend most of the song catching up to what the rest of us were doing. And if that didn't work, he'd just started chugging along on a single note, figuring that the song would get to that note eventually.

In addition, he'd turn his amp down to such a degree that he was barely audible, but audible enough that we could still hear him. He said that he did so because he had tinnitus and needed to preserve his ears.

That became a problem when we played our first shows, he actually showed up with the tabs on stage. I went, "Dude, we have been rehearsing those songs for a YEAR!"

Last year, we did a couple of rehearsals where he couldn't be there, and I took my own bass with me, I played with MUCH louder volume and I played the parts right. Our drummer straight away went, "Why do we sound so much tighter?"

Nothing more frustrating trying to play with people who can NOT play.
Actually, my experience with bad bassists is they try to compensate by playing TOO LOUD.
I'm grateful any time a bass player turns down the volume. ;)
 

johnny k

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I would try to keep it friendly if that is not your job. Plus fun factor. Of course if the guy is messing up 30 songs / 30, well... I am reading a book about the ramones, and boy... What a funny bunch of individuals. Funny as in you don't want to be stuck with johnny ramone for any period of time.
 

Blazer

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Actually, my experience with bad bassists is they try to compensate by playing TOO LOUD.
I'm grateful any time a bass player turns down the volume. ;)
This is one of the songs we played, as you can tell, the bass should be very prominent.
 

johnny k

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It is absolutely beyond me to get to a rehearsal and not be prepared. I know that bassists and drummers are difficult to find, but still: you want to play? Learn the songs before rehearsal! Geez, what an ego......
I don't think that is an ego thing, more something like huh, i will wing it and the band won't notice a thing.
 




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