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  • My Dilemma (rant)

    I play lead guitar in an original band and I am thinking about quitting. Thing is, I joined to have a creative outlet and to have fun. I am no longer having fun because we gig way more than I ever thought we would and most of our gigs suck. When I say suck I mean most are for little or no money and little or no audience. I would be OK with that if it were once a month but not every week. The band is decent..all good players, good song writers... I love writing guitar parts and working on arrangements and dynamics but we are spending all our time lately rehearsing for these crappy shows.



    Now here's the thing, I am 55 and am the oldest in the band but not by all that much - most of the guys are mid 40's and one other is in his 50's. I have laid it on the line to these guys that 1) the chances of us actually "making it" are pretty much 0 and it will not happen by playing in every little place that will let us play for a half dozen people in the bar. 2) we suck as a live band. Our defacto band leader has become a persnickety perfectionist thinking that if we play everything perfectly it will help us. I hold out that we have no charisma and no interaction/connection with audiences...the times we have one we usually manage to lose them.



    And the thing is we do sound good and I do like playing with this band. Things are coming to a head because one of the places we play in NYC offered us a regular slot every other Friday night. We live in CT about an hour and twenty minutes in to the village where we mostly play in NYC. I am not chasing a dream of making it with this band and don;t see why I should chase down to the village every other Friday just to play a crappy gig. "To build an audience" my fellow band members say. I say we have not managed to even hold an audience so how are we supposed to build one?



    I have gigged plenty with both cover bands and original bands and this may be the best band musically I have ever been in. However, the gigs are becoming a drag. I have asks that we do fewer and try for things like festivals where there will be a built in audience but I seem to be on a different page...maybe chapter...than the rest of the band who will take whatever is booked no questions asked.



    Just ranting I think I will be giving my notice soon.

  • #2
    BUMR DOOD.

    i think ur suggestion is a good one; fewer gigs and festivals
    check out my stuff http://youtu.be/Buya2j06WwU<div class="signaturecontainer"><font color="red"><font size="1"><font face="Comic Sans MS"><b>Read your Bible, son. Genesis 6:6, Isiah 55:8, John 14:6<br><br></b></font></font></font></div>

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    • #3
      If your in it for fun and it's not fun it's better to walk away and try to not burn your bridges. I understand the working your butt off for 100.00 bucks to go play in some dive and lose 2 Fridays a month to do this is a total drag. However you could say you have medical family whatever issues vs the band sucks, or you could tell them the truth that you don't find it feasible to do these shows 1.5 hours away. Obviously your not in it for the money but as a hobby, I would have a sit down to discuss what's in the best interest of the band and each band member as well as goals and objectives. May be possible others in the bank feel the same as you but have not expressed themselves to the group.

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      • #4
        So, they're having a blast? And you're not? It doesn't sound like you guys are on the same page. I think the dream / delusion of "making it" is what makes being in a band fun for a lot of folks, and it seems like you don't have that feeling with this band, but, maybe they do. Your "finding common ground" idea is OK, but, it seems to me that there may be some more fundamental issues. Just my initial thoughts.
        Check my band: SoulPlay - > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TH9-e4FmaE
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        • #5
          I'd say to excuse yourself from the band, but just be honest with the guys. No excuses needed - based on this thread, you're just not on the same page, which completely happens at all times in all echelons of "being in a band."



          Belaboring it makes it worse; just talk to `em as friends and be honest that it's just not fun for you. Who knows? Maybe they'll pipe in and agree, or you just say "it's been real and fun, let's do one more and I'm out." High fives all around, right?
          Music, music, I hear music

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          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by ski219
            View Post

            I play lead guitar in an original band and I am thinking about quitting. Thing is, I joined to have a creative outlet and to have fun. I am no longer having fun because we gig way more than I ever thought we would and most of our gigs suck. When I say suck I mean most are for little or no money and little or no audience. I would be OK with that if it were once a month but not every week. The band is decent..all good players, good song writers... I love writing guitar parts and working on arrangements and dynamics but we are spending all our time lately rehearsing for these crappy shows.




            Have you addressed the idea of gigging less? I will agree that your chances of making it are far less than your chances of winning the powerball.. it's just a reality of the industry, as well as bias against older musicians, but still a reality. If your band leader believes this isn't true, well he's just wrong. Not to say you can't go the indie DIY route and make something of the band.. it's entirely possible to scratch out a living, assuming you are all willing to go on long tours and engage in solid branding, promotion, roster changes, etc.. it takes a well oiled machine to even start to make enough to live off of.









            Quote Originally Posted by ski219
            View Post

            Now here's the thing, I am 55 and am the oldest in the band but not by all that much - most of the guys are mid 40's and one other is in his 50's. I have laid it on the line to these guys that 1) the chances of us actually "making it" are pretty much 0 and it will not happen by playing in every little place that will let us play for a half dozen people in the bar. 2) we suck as a live band. Our defacto band leader has become a persnickety perfectionist thinking that if we play everything perfectly it will help us. I hold out that we have no charisma and no interaction/connection with audiences...the times we have one we usually manage to lose them.




            I'm curious about this- you say you suck as a live band, but what do you attribute that to? As far as the leader proclaiming that playing a song better will help you with gaining an audience, I'd say he's an idiot. My band is living proof, as we generally suck live from an audio standpoint, to the point that I'm going over a years worth of footage and still having trouble finding a good audio clip, BUT, we are a party band and we take that job seriously, and party your face off. We sell ourselves, banter with the crowd, engage in social lubrication in every way, and most importantly we have a buttload of fun, and it shows at every gig- We have become one of the better bookings in the area for it. If your leader can't discriminate between a good show/performance and playing a song well, I'd say he failed as a leader and the band has no hope.









            Quote Originally Posted by ski219
            View Post

            And the thing is we do sound good and I do like playing with this band. Things are coming to a head because one of the places we play in NYC offered us a regular slot every other Friday night. We live in CT about an hour and twenty minutes in to the village where we mostly play in NYC. I am not chasing a dream of making it with this band and don;t see why I should chase down to the village every other Friday just to play a crappy gig. "To build an audience" my fellow band members say. I say we have not managed to even hold an audience so how are we supposed to build one?




            How to build an audience is perhaps the biggest question and hurdle bands face. There is no single answer. Most bands have found that branding, or having a niche` is the answer, others have found that the music speaks to the right people and just does well. Targeting the correct demographic is a good start. Branding yourselves towards that demographic is also important. Promotion, visibility (physical and social-media wise), a solid "plan"- are all good things to any band.









            Quote Originally Posted by ski219
            View Post

            I have gigged plenty with both cover bands and original bands and this may be the best band musically I have ever been in. However, the gigs are becoming a drag. I have asks that we do fewer and try for things like festivals where there will be a built in audience but I seem to be on a different page...maybe chapter...than the rest of the band who will take whatever is booked no questions asked.



            Just ranting I think I will be giving my notice soon.




            I'd take a pause, and discuss this first with the leader, then with other members and find out where everyone stands.. it sounds like the problems also revolve around others being willing to take unpaid gigs, which in my book is a huge problem on several levels. You can do unpaid gigs time to time, but no way should they be more than 10% of the time, much less most of the time.
            Sig Fail

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            • #7
              Well I think I have made up my mind to leave in the spring. All the points you guys say we should discuss we have already discussed. One of the good things about this band is we do have frank discussions. I have made no secret about my reluctance to gig and how I feel about out whet the kind of gigs we are playing are doing for us, nothing.



              2 of the guys are adamant about gigging and said they are not sure if they want to be in a band with someone who is not 100% committed (that would be me). The others just go with the flow and, while they don't seem to love the gigs we play, would rather play them than not.



              Kramer Guy you kind of answered your own question about connecting with audiences. We don't. We take too long between songs. Our frontman is over 300lbs and is kind of awkward in his attempts at communicating with the audience. We play every show like it is a showcase not a concert. My last band was classic rock cover band and we did a good job of keeping things moving and engaging the crowd...I realize that can be harder playing originals but I think it is far more important than playing perfectly.

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              • #8
                I think you'll be most happy if you start up your own band with people who like to get the same things out of playing in bands as yourself.
                Do you need live drum tracks? <a href="http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/" target="_blank">http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/</a>

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                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by ski219
                  View Post

                  I play lead guitar in an original band and I am thinking about quitting. Thing is, I joined to have a creative outlet and to have fun. I am no longer having fun because we gig way more than I ever thought we would and most of our gigs suck. When I say suck I mean most are for little or no money and little or no audience. I would be OK with that if it were once a month but not every week. The band is decent..all good players, good song writers... I love writing guitar parts and working on arrangements and dynamics but we are spending all our time lately rehearsing for these crappy shows.



                  Now here's the thing, I am 55 and am the oldest in the band but not by all that much - most of the guys are mid 40's and one other is in his 50's. I have laid it on the line to these guys that 1) the chances of us actually "making it" are pretty much 0 and it will not happen by playing in every little place that will let us play for a half dozen people in the bar. 2) we suck as a live band. Our defacto band leader has become a persnickety perfectionist thinking that if we play everything perfectly it will help us. I hold out that we have no charisma and no interaction/connection with audiences...the times we have one we usually manage to lose them.



                  And the thing is we do sound good and I do like playing with this band. Things are coming to a head because one of the places we play in NYC offered us a regular slot every other Friday night. We live in CT about an hour and twenty minutes in to the village where we mostly play in NYC. I am not chasing a dream of making it with this band and don;t see why I should chase down to the village every other Friday just to play a crappy gig. "To build an audience" my fellow band members say. I say we have not managed to even hold an audience so how are we supposed to build one?



                  I have gigged plenty with both cover bands and original bands and this may be the best band musically I have ever been in. However, the gigs are becoming a drag. I have asks that we do fewer and try for things like festivals where there will be a built in audience but I seem to be on a different page...maybe chapter...than the rest of the band who will take whatever is booked no questions asked.



                  Just ranting I think I will be giving my notice soon.




                  Always remember it could be worse, and somebody has it way worse then you do.



                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjeMD...&feature=share

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                  • #10
                    Hmmmm.....first you say this:









                    Quote Originally Posted by ski219
                    View Post

                    2) we suck as a live band. Our defacto band leader has become a persnickety perfectionist thinking that if we play everything perfectly it will help us. I hold out that we have no charisma and no interaction/connection with audiences...the times we have one we usually manage to lose them.




                    ....and then you say this:








                    And the thing is we do sound good and I do like playing with this band.



                    I have gigged plenty with both cover bands and original bands and this may be the best band musically I have ever been in.



                    So lemme see...your bandleader thinks that being good will help, but you think it is to no avail since you have no 'charisma' as a band?



                    And yet this is one of the best bands you've ever been in musically?



                    Then fix the charisma **************** dude. You are bitching about gigs where no one gives a **************** cuz no one is selling it onstage. Well, you know the problem, and the solution. Fix it or leave....but don't lay blame for lame turnout or response on anyone else but yourself.



                    Of course, there are details I'm not aware of, but I hope this lends a little perspective.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="Arial">&quot;Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be </font><font face="Arial Black"><font size="2">violent and original</font></font> <font face="Arial">in your work&quot; - Gustave Flaubert</font></div>

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                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by 3shiftgtr
                      View Post

                      Hmmmm.....first you say this:







                      ....and then you say this:







                      So lemme see...your bandleader thinks that being good will help, but you think it is to no avail since you have no 'charisma' as a band?



                      And yet this is one of the best bands you've ever been in musically?



                      Then fix the charisma **************** dude. You are bitching about gigs where no one gives a **************** cuz no one is selling it onstage. Well, you know the problem, and the solution. Fix it or leave....but don't lay blame for lame turnout or response on anyone else but yourself.



                      Of course, there are details I'm not aware of, but I hope this lends a little perspective.




                      The details you are not aware of are due to your less than careful reading of my rant. You are forgiven it is a rant after all. My problem with the band is our focus on gigging not our playing. I would be happy in this band gigging once a month or even less but we are gigging all the time at crappy little places with no crowd and it is punishing my poor little ego.

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                      • #12






                        Quote Originally Posted by ski219
                        View Post

                        Kramer Guy you kind of answered your own question about connecting with audiences. We don't. We take too long between songs. Our frontman is over 300lbs and is kind of awkward in his attempts at communicating with the audience. We play every show like it is a showcase not a concert. My last band was classic rock cover band and we did a good job of keeping things moving and engaging the crowd...I realize that can be harder playing originals but I think it is far more important than playing perfectly.




                        Seems you also answered your own concerns there, but as you said, it's a rant.. I know how that is and will probably be posting my own today :P
                        Sig Fail

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                        • #13






                          Quote Originally Posted by beatpoet
                          View Post

                          I think you'll be most happy if you start up your own band with people who like to get the same things out of playing in bands as yourself.




                          this was my take on my future musical experiences - dump the idiots i was playing with (i know - i'm harsh) and get some people who would be on the same page as i want to be musically and get along and have fun. after a month of interviewing and getting what i thought was the right group together - they changed their mind as a copllective about what they wanted to play and asked ME to leave.



                          moral of the story - some bands aren;t meant to be, even before they start. get over it and have some fun.
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                          • #14






                            Quote Originally Posted by ski219
                            View Post

                            I play lead guitar in an original band.....I have gigged plenty with both cover bands and original bands and this may be the best band musically I have ever been in. However, the gigs are becoming a drag......Just ranting I think I will be giving my notice soon.










                            Quote Originally Posted by ski219
                            View Post

                            ......2 of the guys are adamant about gigging....My last band was classic rock cover band and we did a good job of keeping things moving and engaging the crowd...I realize that can be harder playing originals but I think it is far more important than playing perfectly.




                            Is this a covers vs. originals thing? Are other originals only bands in your area gigging to good crowds?









                            Quote Originally Posted by beatpoet
                            View Post

                            I think you'll be most happy if you start up your own band with people who like to get the same things out of playing in bands as yourself.




                            I think it is supremely important for all members of the band to be on the same page about type of music to play, how many gigs per month, how much to charge, etc., etc., etc., etc.

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                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by New Trail
                              View Post

                              I think it is supremely important for all members of the band to be on the same page about type of music to play, how many gigs per month, how much to charge, etc., etc., etc., etc.




                              Yeah, unless the money is so good that the members can afford to put their differences on the back burner!
                              Do you need live drum tracks? <a href="http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/" target="_blank">http://www.drumtracksdirect.co.uk/</a>

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