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My Dilemma (rant)


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  • #16

    Quote Originally Posted by ski219
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    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.

    Yeah...I read it. Every word. And at least you are manning up and saying that your ego is part of the problem.

    I understand your problem as you state it. What you are missing is your responsibility in this problem. And that is a common misconception when egos are involved. So ask yourself this question: Is it a frequency of gigging problem or a nobody at the gig problem? If you had nice active crowds, would you be more willing to play more than once a month?

    If you'd play more gigs if the crowds are good, then it is your responsibility to build the audience. Don't lay blame anywhere but on yourself if crowds ain't happening.

    If you had packed houses but would still only do 1 gig a month, then just simply say to your bandmates that that is all you can do. All this blame posturing on the 'defacto band leader' and how you have all discussed solutions are all for naught. Just tell em that no matter how successful your crowds and gigs are, you just don't want to do more than 1 gig a month.

    "Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work" - Gustave Flaubert


    • #17
      You play live to try out new material...see how it floats...if you or the rest of the band don't understand that then you need to collectivelly all put the bongs down and rethink why you are playing original music to 'make it'.


      • #18
        Wow great subject! My .02. Lets start with the formula for success:

        1. Youth

        2. Marketing

        3. Have **************** together musically (talent & performance skills)

        4. Charisma

        It sounds like you have focused too much on #3 and become frustrated. Note that there is no number 5. Gig yourself to death.

        Now, you're failing at number 1 and there's nothing you can do about it. Sounds like you haven't even thought about number 2. I'm giving you a pass on number 3. You acknowledge number 4 ain't happening when you play live.

        Here is your get well plan:

        1. Do you look as good as possible for your age? If not - get fit and dress the part.

        2. Do you have someone outside the band working on getting you good gigs with an actual audience who would be receptive to your originals? Find & hire that manager.

        3. Keep up the good work here.

        4. On Charisma: Not everyone in the band needs to have it but someone in the band needs to have it and preferrably the person who does most of the singing. If you haven't got a front person who can work an audience you are dead in the water. It sounds like in your case the defacto band leader is lacking in this department. This is a tragic situation cuz its mostly counter productive to fire the boss and very hard to change the boss. However, since I get the feeling that you are among good musicians who are willing to work pretty hard (as evidenced by willingness to do these thankless gigs) you gotta give it a shot at improving #4. If you can improve here you will enjoy the gigs more and actually look forward to them. When the audience give you back something you just gain energy and can't wait for the next chance to play out.

        Unfortunatly I don't know much about charisma - not having any myself. I do know it when I see it though and I'll bet you do too.

        I thnk step 1 is to set a good example for your bandmates - is there an opportunity for you to introduce a song? Is there an opportunity for you to compliment a bandmember on their performance (that was so and so on the blah blah blah). Is there an opportunity to acknowledge an audience member in a positive way? Continue to ratchet this up until other band members start to get the idea or it comes up in a conversation. If they start to get it then you can all build on it and see where it leads. If the leader tells you to STFU and play your parts then you know its time to leave. But at least you will have made an effort to salvage the band AND they'll know why you left.

        This is a bit therapeutic for me as my band situation could be better with an improvement in the charisma department also. Fortunately, since i'm in a cover band the audience usually gets into it on their own which is extremely helpful as I feel we don't add as much as we could to the overall ambience. Unfortunately you don't have the luxury of a built in audience reaction to recognizable tunes that I do. You are on the absolute toughest path, and without youth will not get far at the originals game even if you come up with the other three aspects. If you're really into the originals thing then your best path would be to demo them and try to sell them to young and upcoming bands as far as making it goes. If you want to enjoy live performance then you might consider swicthing over to a cover band situation (and one with a great front person at that!)


        • #19
          You gotta figure out why you lose audiences. Its been my experience that ppl will stay if the band sounds good but lacks charisma. For the most part.

          IMO - if the crowd is there - and you lose them - its because they dont like what they're hearing.

          Edit: this isnt 100% solid tho. I mean - it can be frustrating if the band plays a good song - then takes 5 mins to go into the next one.

          It's about set momentum.
          Life is ours. We live it our way.

          Originally Posted by Rada

          ... I mean, I wouldn't mind getting on all fours every once in a while if it meant my tuition and rent was taken care of


          • #20
            You need to take a step back and re-assess: why are any of you doing this in the first place?

            Let's look at basics of where you are right now: a band of mid-40 to mid-50 guys playing originals to less than receptive audiences in small clubs as often as possible. I'm having a hard time seeing what goal this business plan would achieve. Unless your goal is to simply play originals in a live setting as often as you can, you're probably not on the right path for doing much of anything else.

            What's the long-term goal here? Let's establish that first and then talk about the steps to get there. As you said in the OP, your chances of "making it" are pretty much 0. Sorry to be harsh, but I don't know of ANY original bands that "make it" at your age. Let alone bands that have the other problems you've mentioned. So the goal of playing originals needs to be something other than "making it".

            Doing it as a creative outlet and for a bit of fun, as you also said in the OP? Cool. As long as the rest of the band has the same modest goals, then you should be able to probably agree on the best way to do that to everyones satisfaction.
            Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123


            • #21
              Do you have an album? If not, make that the priority. Make some kickass music. Let their ears judge you before the eyes give them a chance. Who will buy it without gigs is the question. If you are not having fun at gigs, the crowd will pick up on it. It's that crowd interaction that makes gigs productive. If the guy who wants to be there prefers to stare at his shoes, and the guy who wants to perform doesn't want to be there, those gigs aren't likely to gain you much traction. The small turnout isn't really a big deal. You can only really talk to someone many people in a night anyway, and the vast vast majority of people you don't talk to and can't contact aren't going to go out of their way for you. So much of this stuff isn't about the music.

              A friend of mine in a regionally successful band once told me that your goal should be to make one friend at each show. Since taking that mindset we've been way more successful in gaining a little something with each gig. Something to consider, if playing with these guys is important enough to you to put in this much energy. The odds aren't in your favor though. I'm 26 and feel like a grizzly old veteran. It's a kid's game.
              Free prog-related metal from Michigan.



              • #22
                No offense but the first 2 sentences: " I joined to have fun; I'm no longer having fun" stated all that need be said. Everything else were just examples of why you won't be having any more fun in the future than you are now.

                Time to move on.


                • #23
                  No offense but the first 2 sentences: " I joined to have fun; I'm no longer having fun" stated all that need be said. Everything else were just examples of why you won't be having any more fun in the future than you are now.

                  Time to move on.

                  You are right.


                  • #24

                    First of all, you're right about the charisma thing. There are a plenty of existence proofs for bands that manage to build a following based upon their stage show despite being musically challenged.

                    Secondly, you have regular gigs but they're all low-pay/no-pay. And you spend three hours driving to play to a near-empty house... Maybe what you need is a street team in NYC to get more people to show up. Then if your band can manage not to drive the patrons out of the venue, maybe you'll end up with a growing following that'll make the trip worthwhile. OTOH, if the band collectively intends to just keep showing up and going through the motions to the four walls, the bartender and a few locals who haven't yet gone elsewhere... well, it seems that you ought to be able to duplicate that situation a lot closer to home and save yourself some gas money.

                    I understand your frustration. The band has a couple of decent assets though (good music and a regular gig) that *could* be leveraged into something better. As a band, y'all need to be completely honest about how things aren't improving and come up with a plan to bring in more people.
                    "There is no best in music."
                    -- Neil Young, 1987

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