SHOULD I QUIT MY BAND?

pippoman

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I don’t have any animosity toward any of my band mates, we have the best rehearsal space I could hope for, and I enjoy playing, but my enthusiasm is at an all time low. Our last gig was an outdoor thing last November and 2 guys caught the thing despite all of us getting jabbed. I still play every day and enjoy it. But for some reason, we’ve locked ourselves in a self imposed corral of playing only 60s & 70s soft rock. It’s okay, meh actually, but after 6 years I’m ready to burn that corral and branch out. At my age, I’m not looking to start another project, although a Texas swing band would tempt to me. There’s other issues, like feeling I don’t have much of a voice in decision making, or anything for that matter. Case in point: Twice I mentioned I was going on vacation this past December, even holding up my hands with the ‘time out’ gesture so I could speak. They acknowledged. I still got a phone call while I was in the mountains asking where I was because they were at rehearsal, waiting on me. I graciously reminded them that just 2 weeks earlier at rehearsal I had told them I wouldn’t be there. And my input as to song selection? Phhht. I could go on, but…..

So here is where everything stands: we have no gigs because of ‘the thing,’ as nice as the rehearsal room is, it’s still an hour round trip, but I like the guys and I’m sure they get a little irritated with me too. That’s typical.

Have any of you ever been in this dilemma? I’ve always enjoyed playing, but without gigs because of the ‘thing’ and waning interest in our cover songs, I’m having a hard time convincing myself I’m on a good path and I’ve been in a funk about it for quite a while. Challenge: Convince me I’m wrong.
 

Resojazznblues

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Sounds like a touch of mid winter blues. It is a tough time of year for many. Maybe the blah weather is influencing your outlook a bit. You should bring in some tunes you want to do and think they will like also. See how receptive they are with new material. Let them know the set is getting dull. Also, jam with other people, get new perspectives. If the other band members balk at any of this, claim "creative differences" and walk.
 

boxocrap

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I don’t have any animosity toward any of my band mates, we have the best rehearsal space I could hope for, and I enjoy playing, but my enthusiasm is at an all time low. Our last gig was an outdoor thing last November and 2 guys caught the thing despite all of us getting jabbed. I still play every day and enjoy it. But for some reason, we’ve locked ourselves in a self imposed corral of playing only 60s & 70s soft rock. It’s okay, meh actually, but after 6 years I’m ready to burn that corral and branch out. At my age, I’m not looking to start another project, although a Texas swing band would tempt to me. There’s other issues, like feeling I don’t have much of a voice in decision making, or anything for that matter. Case in point: Twice I mentioned I was going on vacation this past December, even holding up my hands with the ‘time out’ gesture so I could speak. They acknowledged. I still got a phone call while I was in the mountains asking where I was because they were at rehearsal, waiting on me. I graciously reminded them that just 2 weeks earlier at rehearsal I had told them I wouldn’t be there. And my input as to song selection? Phhht. I could go on, but…..

So here is where everything stands: we have no gigs because of ‘the thing,’ as nice as the rehearsal room is, it’s still an hour round trip, but I like the guys and I’m sure they get a little irritated with me too. That’s typical.

Have any of you ever been in this dilemma? I’ve always enjoyed playing, but without gigs because of the ‘thing’ and waning interest in our cover songs, I’m having a hard time convincing myself I’m on a good path and I’ve been in a funk about it for quite a while. Challenge: Convince me I’m wrong.
you have a choice..put up..and hope for a change..or engineer a change..and hope it works..or get out..it happens a lot with players.. you get kinda tired of the "same old thing" and you want something new and different..if they don't respect you ( it kinda sounds a bit that way..with they don't listen to me) then your already leaving and at some point coming up you will..besides if there is lost respect now..it will probably grow into something more damaging in awhile so...? your call
 

burtonfan

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You're NOT wrong... it's normal.

In my 40+ year career as a guitarist, I have taken occasional breaks from gigging (one as long as a decade... still did a lot of studio work tho). I have experienced some of the same issues you speak of, sometime a break will refill the tank or at least adjust your perspective.

I am currently contemplating another hiatus from gigging myself, despite a recent offer to play a circuit of desirable gigs.

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to stand around backstage when the fish are biting!

... or more accurately stated, they will be soon!
 

Togman

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It sounds like the OP is in the same position as I found myself about 6 years ago. I told the band I would honour all gigs that were already booked, but after that I was off. It turned out that the following week the Sax player did exactly the same thing!

I'm now a hired gun for various Musical Theatre pit bands and I have developed a solo act that I take around local care homes. I'm very happy with how things have turned out.
 
Last edited:

nojazzhere

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I don’t have any animosity toward any of my band mates, we have the best rehearsal space I could hope for, and I enjoy playing, but my enthusiasm is at an all time low. Our last gig was an outdoor thing last November and 2 guys caught the thing despite all of us getting jabbed. I still play every day and enjoy it. But for some reason, we’ve locked ourselves in a self imposed corral of playing only 60s & 70s soft rock. It’s okay, meh actually, but after 6 years I’m ready to burn that corral and branch out. At my age, I’m not looking to start another project, although a Texas swing band would tempt to me. There’s other issues, like feeling I don’t have much of a voice in decision making, or anything for that matter. Case in point: Twice I mentioned I was going on vacation this past December, even holding up my hands with the ‘time out’ gesture so I could speak. They acknowledged. I still got a phone call while I was in the mountains asking where I was because they were at rehearsal, waiting on me. I graciously reminded them that just 2 weeks earlier at rehearsal I had told them I wouldn’t be there. And my input as to song selection? Phhht. I could go on, but…..

So here is where everything stands: we have no gigs because of ‘the thing,’ as nice as the rehearsal room is, it’s still an hour round trip, but I like the guys and I’m sure they get a little irritated with me too. That’s typical.

Have any of you ever been in this dilemma? I’ve always enjoyed playing, but without gigs because of the ‘thing’ and waning interest in our cover songs, I’m having a hard time convincing myself I’m on a good path and I’ve been in a funk about it for quite a while. Challenge: Convince me I’m wrong.
I was in a similar yet different position a few months ago.....or actually a few years ago. I love playing and performing, and was coerced into playing in a band that was fun at first, but gradually became "less fun". I was initially kind of a side-man, simply learning and playing THEIR choices of material, and actually enjoyed it. The songs were often ones I would NOT have chosen, and so were a challenge and expanded my "horizons". But as it went on, the guys wanted me to take a greater role, not only choosing material, but in "fronting" the band. With audience response, it became too successful, and the other guitarist/singer/frontman became obviously threatened and envious. He was also very passive/aggressive, and the whole thing became a pain. I diplomatically bowed out.....and then the bassist/other leader and drummer asked me to return without the other guitarist. I did so for a year or so, but then the bassist started being unreliable and reluctant to learn or practice anything, even his own song choices. All of that, coupled with last year's dearth of gigs, made me realize that I was simply burned out, at least with this project. I'm now attempting to go in a different direction.....lower volume, reduced "energy", and "gentler" material.
So....I'm NOT going to say you're wrong.....in fact, I think you need to get out of the box or rut you're in now. Learn some songs as far from your former wheelhouse that you can. Maybe find different people to play with, (although that is still risky) and just change everything up. Watch Tin Cup, and see how Cheech Marin shakes up things for Kevin Costner when he can't do anything right. Good luck........
 

getbent

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I think you DO have some animosity toward the rest of the band. I think you know the die is cast, your role is gonna be your role in that band. I think graciously bow out and leave plenty of room for playing with them some other time. Heck, you can just use the 'mental health' thing as your avenue out. I think you feel disrespected and kind of how George felt at the end of the Beatles....

Go do your thing somewhere else for awhile and see if it is different.
 

String Tree

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I don’t have any animosity toward any of my band mates, we have the best rehearsal space I could hope for, and I enjoy playing, but my enthusiasm is at an all time low. Our last gig was an outdoor thing last November and 2 guys caught the thing despite all of us getting jabbed. I still play every day and enjoy it. But for some reason, we’ve locked ourselves in a self imposed corral of playing only 60s & 70s soft rock. It’s okay, meh actually, but after 6 years I’m ready to burn that corral and branch out. At my age, I’m not looking to start another project, although a Texas swing band would tempt to me. There’s other issues, like feeling I don’t have much of a voice in decision making, or anything for that matter. Case in point: Twice I mentioned I was going on vacation this past December, even holding up my hands with the ‘time out’ gesture so I could speak. They acknowledged. I still got a phone call while I was in the mountains asking where I was because they were at rehearsal, waiting on me. I graciously reminded them that just 2 weeks earlier at rehearsal I had told them I wouldn’t be there. And my input as to song selection? Phhht. I could go on, but…..

So here is where everything stands: we have no gigs because of ‘the thing,’ as nice as the rehearsal room is, it’s still an hour round trip, but I like the guys and I’m sure they get a little irritated with me too. That’s typical.

Have any of you ever been in this dilemma? I’ve always enjoyed playing, but without gigs because of the ‘thing’ and waning interest in our cover songs, I’m having a hard time convincing myself I’m on a good path and I’ve been in a funk about it for quite a while. Challenge: Convince me I’m wrong.
Do or, do not.
There is no try.

This is all about You.
If it is affecting you in a bad way, time to go.

One solution, take a couple of months off from them.
Tell them that you will meet back up at an appointed time.
If not, be ready to see them 'round the Pubs.
 

pippoman

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I would say that "my band" is a minomer since you have no say in anything... No fun,no say, no play,! Just say you want to go in a different direction and call it good.
It’s just a term, like my school, my doctor, my wife … oh wait!
I’ve fronted a couple of bands, but never referred to them as “my band” in a derogatory or controlling sense. It’s easier than saying “the band I’m currently in.” Word economy I guess.
 

ravindave_3600

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Bands aren't like pizzas, where we can choose exactly the toppings we want. Many times we have to decide whether a band's pepperonis are worth the anchovies. You might need to think about what you're getting out of this.
* Are you in a 60s pop band - the Cowsills - when you want to be in the Stones?
* Do you want to be Lennon and they think of you as Harrison?
* Are you simply stuck in January '22 when you long for June of '67?

I'd take a breath, sit back, consider my position, and decide with a proper balance of head/heart.

I was in a similar yet different position a few months ago.....or actually a few years ago. I love playing and performing, and was coerced into playing in a band that was fun at first, but gradually became "less fun". I was initially kind of a side-man, simply learning and playing THEIR choices of material, and actually enjoyed it. The songs were often ones I would NOT have chosen, and so were a challenge and expanded my "horizons". But as it went on, the guys wanted me to take a greater role, not only choosing material, but in "fronting" the band. With audience response, it became too successful, and the other guitarist/singer/frontman became obviously threatened and envious. He was also very passive/aggressive, and the whole thing became a pain. I diplomatically bowed out.....
i had a very similar experience. Except, instead of diplomatically bowing out when the former leader started sniping I called him out for passive-aggressively sabotaging gigs, complete with multiple examples. The drummer (who was the real glue of the band) thought being so blunt was uncool and we agreed I'd leave. I'm not sure they ever played another show.
 

pippoman

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I think you DO have some animosity toward the rest of the band. I think you know the die is cast, your role is gonna be your role in that band. I think graciously bow out and leave plenty of room for playing with them some other time. Heck, you can just use the 'mental health' thing as your avenue out. I think you feel disrespected and kind of how George felt at the end of the Beatles....

Go do your thing somewhere else for awhile and see if it is different.
I agree with everything except the “animosity” part. I like the guys, but I guess you’d say I’m frustrated, disappointed, but not angry.
 

pippoman

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I’m not gonna call anyone out because I’m a misfit. I joined before we even had a name, and I was aware that it was a 60s & 70s thing, which was cool up to a point. We do some Beatles and Tom Petty, but nothing more current than Ticket to Ride or Listen to Her Heart. Great songs, at what point do we become irrelevant? Younger people aren’t really too keen on us, and the older crowd leaves us hanging on the last set and I don’t blame them. I wish I could skip that last set! When we were gigging a lot and the younger crowd stuck around, they were in the next room shooting pool.
 

DavidP

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..."without gigs because of the ‘thing" --you are not unique in the current situation! Lots of band drama and dynamics are unfolding all around me after these last two years.
Do you want to cut the gigging cord completely or something new? If the former, pull the plug now; otherwise, keep your eyes (and ears) open for new options to explore as things hopefully return to some kind of new normal that includes live music again and then make an informed decision.
 

pippoman

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..."without gigs because of the ‘thing" --you are not unique in the current situation! Lots of band drama and dynamics are unfolding all around me after these last two years.
Do you want to cut the gigging cord completely or something new? If the former, pull the plug now; otherwise, keep your eyes (and ears) open for new options to explore as things hopefully return to some kind of new normal that includes live music again and then make an informed decision.
Thanks. Sage advice David.
 




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