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A story of failure

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  • A story of failure

    Hey guys, been a while!

    I've been doing a lot of soul searching since a near-death experience last summer, and one of my realizations was that I often cited fault for my circumstance or problem and never really took responsibility of it. Will Smith did a brilliant video or podcast about the very subject recently (I think), that really summed it all up, but that's off topic already (but worth looking up!).

    So coming into the xmas season, I decided that on top of my two jobs, family, current cover band, bi-weekly jam sessions, and now taking care of a new house (first house, kinda!), that I would start up a Rush tribute band. Yeah, it's gonna be great, at least the idea was, in my head.

    A little background- Rush was my first influence on guitar, I learned most of their stuff by ear in my teens, which at that time was up to about their Signals album, maybe 8 years into their 40+ year catalog lol. And I was a rhythm guitarist back then, never really learned much on the solos, but I'm a solo god now, can do metallica, slash, evh perfectly.. piece of cake, right?

    So I put the ads out, and started talking to locals. I met up with a bass player who was damn good, and we then forged a drummer into the mix.

    Then I went and got a new puppy.. Lots of work.

    I started working off the rust.. discovering how difficult some of the songs really were, I didn't learn a good amount of the popular songs in the past, like Tom Sawyer.. the teenage me saw it as boring on guitar. Other songs, I came to realize my ear wasn't so refined then.. have to re-learn and also unlearn. And then the solos.. OMG many of those solos are extremely difficult, not only the precision and nuances that make Alex's signature style, but also that they simply don't follow any sort of anticipated structure. Freewill, Red Barchetta, even Tom Sawyer.. all were very trying to learn. I did learn them, with a little help here and there from youtube haha, but learn was all I could find the time for. I couldn't play 5 hours a night every night to master them, leading to all kinds of flubs and fumbles.

    So, long story short... I get contacted by a very good singer, who had demos and rush tribute experience, the real deal. I try to get him to come to an audition, put him in touch with the others, and then I got fired so those three could find a better rehearsed guitarist.

    Do I blame them? Nope. Bottom line is that I should have had the material, or at least the most common stuff, mastered before I put up the ad. I'm disappointed, but mostly in myself for not finding more time to bone up, but also that I didn't realize that I was biting off more than I could chew.

    I still plan to try again, but next time be prepared.
    Epihpone LP and Dot.
    Fender American Strat HSS
    (Loaner) Viking Pillager 60w combo (best amp in the friggin world!)
    Blackstar Stage-100 Head, 2x12 Blackstar Cab
    Marshall 4x10 Cab
    Pedals, pedals, and more pedals. Favs include Strymon Mobius, MXR Super Badass, Digitech Supernatural Reverb, Xotic BB, MXR Carbon Copy.-

  • #2
    Very positive outlook, and an excellent way to learn from your experience and move forward!


    • #3
      I've discovered that a person can only stretch so far and I now I frequently just say no.


      • #4
        No big deal.. the band went on and you had a happy landing. Bands are tough. I talked my way into a popular local band last fall and did the work to get it to the stage , and changed my mind and dropped out. They were playing gigs before me so I didn't feel like I left them stranded. A band is a big obligation... If its not working its best to just mark it up in the failure category and walk away with your sanity.
        "you mess with him and you mess with the whole trailer park"


        • #5
          You seem very stretched. I generally don't like playing in more than one band at a time because I find I simply don't have the time to give more than one band 100%. Especially one that is going to require the attention to detail that a good tribute band would require.

          I've turned down offers to play in a Steely Dan tribute band and a Genesis/Phil Collins tribute band. As much as I would love to play those songs in a band setting, the amount of rehearsal and dedication required to learn the material and perform it at the level I feel it would need to be performed at? Just don't have the time with everything else going on in my life. Nor would those bands likely work enough/get paid enough to make it worth all the extra effort required for such acts.

          I'd rather do a few things well than a bunch of things half-assed.


          • #6
            I admire your humility. Take your time to get things sorted out and move on. Good luck!
            "Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has." - Martin Luther


            • #7
              I like to take long naps.

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              • #8
                The older i get, the more i want to simplify, downsize and focus on just a few things that matter. We built a new smaller house, got rid of a bunch of crap, I quit playing in bands and just do my solo gigs with the occasional one-off band gig ( I'm playing in 10 days, along with my old drummer, in a college town 85 miles away backing this guy from Portland, OR.

                But mostly I just try to keep it simple and do a few things well than try to do a lot of things adequately. Some guys can do lots of things and do them well, but I ain't one of them.


                • #9
                  I think it depends on what you want. One of the forum members here (although he doesn’t post anymore) plays in multiple blues bands and a top 40 act also. He is a lot busier than me but he likes to play. Some things sound good on paper but until you start to do them and realize the work involved. It’s easier for me to run my own and band and sub here and there. Playing with bad drummers and other musicians is just not worth it. There has to be a vibe there. Now some guys don’t care about that and just want to make money but it’s not my style.
                  "Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"