Quitting my band...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by max_twang, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. max_twang

    max_twang Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been the lead guitarist in a cover band for the past 3 years. We do a lot of different stuff that runs the gamut from classic rock, '60's R&B, lots of reggae (the hits), way too much Jimmy Buffet...I'd say well over 100 songs in the repertoire. We don't really gig all that often as everyone has a day job. If we're busy, we'll do one gig a week during the summer.

    I've never been crazy about much of our material, but I've hung in there b/c we do many songs that I like to play, and I've compromised on the ones I don't.

    The final straw came last night when the singer/leader pulled out "Hey Soul Sister." Last week, I tried to teach them "SWLABR" (the Cream tune). The bass player knew it well, liked it and sang it, and the drummer never heard it before but he liked it. After the second run through (which didn't sound too bad), the singer looked at me like I took a c**p on the living room rug. Obviously, we have very different tastes!

    It was bad enough having to listen to the terrible sax player that joined a while back (he just noodles or blows whole notes throughout every part of any song that doesn't have a "sax part"). But the songs we've been doing lately (Taylor Swift, White T's) make me cringe and I just can't do it any more.

    I haven't given them the news yet, and I've been wondering about how to tell them.

    If you were in this position, would you be honest about why you were leaving, or would you tell a white lie to avoid hurting peoples' feelings?

    I should add that I hold no animosity toward these people -- they're genuinely nice. We're just not on the same musical page, and life is too short to play music I hate.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    Be honest and let them know what's going on. Others in the group might be feeling the same way about the direction the band is heading and just haven't said anything either. It might help to rectify the situation without you having to leave.
     
  3. YanceySpecial

    YanceySpecial Tele-Meister

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    +1

    And on the other hand, I was in an indie band a few years ago, and then I started listening to blues and eventually jazz and I made the difficult decision to quit that band with two of my best friends and now I'm playing jazz with some of the best guys in town. I'm so glad I quit that band, and my good friends from that band are still close to me and I go visit them at school every few months.

    Best of luck!
     
  4. vjf1968

    vjf1968 Poster Extraordinaire

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    What kind of places are you playing? The songs are everything. When doing Stones covers it is better to do "Jumping Jack Flash" than say "Gomper" same thing with Cream. People want to hear "Crossroads" or 'Sunshine Of Your Love", doing "SWLABR" although cool, not so much. Dot even bring up "Pressed Rat And Warthog".

    It is always a gamble when mixing the hits with the obscure.

    As far as what you should do? That is up to you but your going to have to deal with this stuff all over again in the next cover band you may end up in. Unless it is a Cream tribute band
     
  5. TC6969

    TC6969 Friend of Leo's

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    Heres the key to the whole thing.

    If its your band, then you're calling the shots!

    let someone else quit!
     
  6. detuned

    detuned Tele-Holic

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    That's a good start, although you may want to gussy it up a bit.
     
  7. FUMoney

    FUMoney Tele-Meister

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    It's always easier to give advice from afar so keep that in mind as far as my answer. I would like to think that I would just explain that I really wasn't into the music the band is currently playing. If you are good friends with the band members I would offer to play gigs until they find a suitable replacement or if they hassle you enough (you'll probably get some but I would shake off a little.) You can just leave. I think being upfront and honest would be the best way to go, especially when they find out you started playing with new people. (Who have similar tastes in music.) Just my take on it, I wish you well.


    Ed
     
  8. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Anything other than honesty and directness makes things unnecessarily complicated, and that almost always comes around to biting you in the butt.

    But being direct doesn't mean you need to be confrontational about it, though. You can simply say something like "I don't like the direction our setlist has been going. In the past there were enough songs that I really liked that I didn't mind compromising and playing some songs that I didn't like, but now there are a lot more of the kinds of songs I don't want to play and I'm just not happy."

    Avoid assigning blame to anyone, or even implying that anyone did something wrong. It will make them defensive and lead to counter-accusations and arguments, and this is the sort of situation where people are likely to feel hurt and want to lash out a little anyway.

    Like the other guys said, good might come of it. If everyone but the singer was into it, you wouldn't be the first band to break up and re-form without one of the members.
     
  9. clayfeat

    clayfeat Tele-Afflicted

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    Power play time.

    Boot the sax player and the singer and start a power trio!
     
  10. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

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    It's never easy but sometimes changes are needed. Talk to the bassist and drummer about all your concerns, see if they're on the same page. If you're all in agreement then cut the players that aren't working and either find new ones or go as a trio. I know it sounds harsh, it's not an easy decision or process, but staying in a situation that isn't working is not healthy for you or the band.

    It also sounds like you need one person as leader who can make the tough decisions, be the last word on song selection, etc., someone who's willing to have a vision for the band's growth and success. That doesn't mean that input from everyone else isn't needed, but that you need a voice of reason so you don't get "too many cooks in the kitchen" ruining the possibility of smooth progress.
     
  11. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

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    Big +1!!
     
  12. Tele-Monster

    Tele-Monster Friend of Leo's

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    Why not tell them you are no longer enjoying yourself. There's no need to make it personal or let them know you can't stand their music. People change, dont worry what they think. In the end its what makes YOU happy that counts.
     
  13. mlove3

    mlove3 Tele-Afflicted

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    "I should add that I hold no animosity toward these people -- they're genuinely nice. We're just not on the same musical page, and life is too short to play music I hate."

    That sums it up nicely, tell them that. maybe you can do something with a coupel of the guys on the side that's more classic oriented.

    BTW, our frontman guitarist/singer whipped out 'soul sister' at a gig a couple months back. I'm not crazy about the tune (and others we do) but I value the total band package far too much to make a big stink about it. This is the only band I have right now they're GREAT guys and really solid players and totally pro, on time, on key, on the $$. For me, that's almost more important than what we're playing.
     
  14. yangounet

    yangounet Friend of Leo's

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    In this case, I always said thing as they are. In a way: "I dont fell it any more, it doesnt suits me now... " But not in the way: "you are doing too much this or that". Then they should understand.
     
  15. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

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    My 2c is that music is to be played....ie, it should be fun.

    Tell them that. No point you being there if you aren't liking what you're playing. A band is a relationship, and relationships only work if both (or all) sides get something positive out of it in one way or another. You obviously aren't so either a change has to happen within the band or the relationship has to end.

    Lay it straight and perhaps give them a chance to try to find some different and mutually acceptable songs. Some sort of compromise. But you might have to lay down the law and refuse to continue doing what you don't want to, even if it means quitting. I'm thinking of my own experience where people will try to manipulate and cajole you into doing what they want using empty promises. Even if you are willing to compromise you still have to set some sort of boundary and stick to it.

    Plus, consider the possibility of a splinter group if a few of them want to do 'your' sort of music as another project.
     
  16. Grit

    Grit Tele-Holic

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    I'd be honest. As others have said, you never know what will come out of it. Talk to them individually, they could be feeling the same. I've been in my share of bands where the singer thinks that just because he is the one delivering the vocals, he is the most important member.
     
  17. electricjay

    electricjay TDPRI Member

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    The biggest question is...how much of your income comes from this band? If it's a significant amount...do your job and form another band on the side doing stuff you like.
     
  18. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1

    There's never a need to hurt feelings over leaving a band, and simply saying you 're not enjoying yourself or don't feel you're a good fit anymore is one way to do that.

    A few years ago the guitar player in my current band and I were in th esame position and decided to leave. Problem was, the singer was, at the time, my brother-in-law. It was a little thorny, but I was honset and just told him we wanted to play different types of music and make a clean break. In the end everything worked out for the best. he still has his band, and me and guitar player put together a new outfit - including a fellow TDPRI member - and all of us are enjoying music again.

    Good luck. Quit5ting a band is tough, but sometimes it's the right thing to do.

    Justin
     
  19. Sharp5

    Sharp5 Tele-Holic

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    + 1 on the truth.
     
  20. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds like the singer is the odd man out here. Maybe he needs an attitude check. If everyone else liked the Cream song and only the singer didn't, then he needs to compromise a little.
     
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