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how to tell bandmember he's going to be replaced


Dukey

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Bummer - our rhythmguitarplayer and co-founder of our coverband informed us 1 month ago that, after the last gig we had so far this year (Nov 20th), he would quit playing (we're all above 50). We tried to change his mind but he apparently made up his mind and won't budge, no matter what we tried. At least he stays connected to the band as he agreed to keep doing the bookings. Besides playing guitar he also did backingvocals and bluesharp. Last rehearsal we auditioned another guitarplayer, our lady singer knows him from previous bands she worked in. As it turns out he is quite a good player,can also do backingvocals and is even a better sologuitarplayer then our present sologuitarist. We already had the idea of replacing both guitarists with 1 guitarplayer only (where neccessary I can do guitar as well although I'm the keyboardplayer) but how do we tell our present sologuitarist that he's being replaced??? He's the oldest of us all and, although still quite good, he's getting deaf more and more (so stagevolume is rising to the point where your ears will start to hurt unless you wear hearos) and recently he missed a lot of his cues starting his solo 2 bars later then usual (or 2 bars earlier). he also insists on keep using his echo-unit (60-ties revisited) even on songs that have no echo in them at all - there's no discussion possible. In general he's a nice guy but as soon as you ask him to try something just to hear how it sounds all he can say is " I'm a musician for over 40 years and I've playing this song for decades already - why should I do it any different then I'm used to" (normally I'm the one re-arranging the songs (where neccessary) - on a rehearsal a few weeks ago I asked him to play an openG (where he played an inverted G) and he flatly refused - at that time I called it quits - he did phone me later that week to apologize though so no hard feelings anymore).

 

I'd like to thank him for his efforts over the last 2 years, keep him as a friend (and possible stand-in when neccesary) but we do like to downsize from a 6pers. band to a 5pers. band (so with 1 guitarplayer (the new guy) only)

 

Any advice please

Tks in advance

Greetz

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How about something like...

 

 


I'd like to thank him for his efforts over the last 2 years, keep him as a friend (and possible stand-in when neccesary) but we do like to downsize from a 6pers. band to a 5pers. band (so with 1 guitarplayer (the new guy) only)



Greetz

 

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Here's an example of how not to do it:

 

-One of the current members disappears, stops returning phone calls, etc. - finally sends an email and says it's just not working for him

 

-Other members feel that this guy a jackass for walking out and acting like a child, but ultimately decide to just break up the band rather than replace

 

-Go your separate ways

 

-Find out a couple months later that all of the former band members started a new band without you - including the guy who originally walked!

 

 

That was the weirdest way I've ever been fired from anything!

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I'd like to thank him for his efforts over the last 2 years, keep him as a friend (and possible stand-in when neccesary) but we do like to downsize from a 6pers. band to a 5pers. band

 

 

You really answered your own question, man. You've got your key reasons as to why you want to let him go:

1.) You want to downsize the band.

2.) The band is looking to change up things a bit more stylistically and he's not willing to go along with the changes

3.) His stage volume is affecting performances

 

So follow your own advice: be honest and friendly with him. Thank him for what he's done, and be sincere. Tell him you'd like to keep him as part of the family and he'll always be welcomed at shows or to sit in once in awhile, and there's no love lost.

 

As to PHYSICALLY how to do it, I'm a big fan of talking about it at the beginning of practice before anyone is set up. Everyone can meet and talk, have a beer or two, and then go from there. If he blows up and storms out, his gear is already packed. If it's okay and y'all want to jam, there you go.

 

My biggest advice is have TWO contingency plans for your band:

1.) Pick a date that would be his last show and aim for that.

2.) Be ready to accept that he may just bail and leave you not stage ready until the new guy is good to go.

 

Good luck!

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How about " The rest of the band has decided we're going to move on without you."


Why make it into something it isn't?


Tell him the truth as simply and straightforward as you can.

Done.

 

 

I feel pretty much you got to go with the truth. If this guy is not ready to hang it up though, then you will have to deal with hurt feelings and stuff.

 

When we let our female vocalist go we could have beat around the problems we had with her preformance and attitude but we didn't.

 

 

Little side story: Early on with the band I had a guitar player who was about 15 years older than me pull the whole "I've been a musician for X amount of years" crap with me. I don't really like it and I would never pull that on someone just to get my way.

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If this guy is not ready to hang it up though, then you will have to deal with hurt feelings and stuff.

 

 

Yes, and I suspect that's why someone would look for the 'best' way to let someone go...and completely overlook just telling the truth; don't want to take the bad that comes along with this kind of thing.

 

It's like a scab; pull it quick and it's done. And yes, you'll have a little pain along with it, but you'll also be done with it.

 

 

Accept the situation for what it is and you'll see you can't avoid the fact that yes, someone's feelings may end up hurt, and you'll have to live/deal with it.

 

If you're REALLY that worried about hurting the guy's feelings/not making him upset/etc., don't kick him out in the first place.

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The whole over 50 issue in a non-issue to me. Anybody who decides to lie down after 50 deserves to have their eyes opened by their team mates. He's got another whole half of a life to live if he wants but he's checking out now?

 

"I'm a musician for over 40 years and I've playing this song for decades already - why should I do it any different then I'm used to""

 

At that ^, I'd be tempted to say, "Why? Cause you're a {censored} if you don't." Do what you gotta do.

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The whole over 50 issue in a non-issue to me. Anybody who decides to lie down after 50 deserves to have their eyes opened by their team mates. He's got another whole half of a life to live if he wants but he's checking out now?

 

 

We got 2 guys in the band that are in their 50s. To ME it is a non issue. age is just a number. One guy never slows down. He make ME tired watching him sometimes!

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We got 2 guys in the band that are in their 50s. To ME it is a non issue. age is just a number. One guy never slows down. He make ME tired watching him sometimes!

 

 

I saw Rush Wednesday night...they are 58, 57, and 57.

I don't see a whole lot of bands out there even half their age who rock like that.

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I saw Rush Wednesday night...they are 58, 57, and 57.

I don't see a whole lot of bands out there even
half
their age who rock like that.

 

:thu: I didn't catch them this time around but when I did on the R30 tour I went into full on RUSH mode for a month!

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I'm guessing this is a cover band. Theres a gazillion songs to play by other musicians. If you cant agree on how a songs played, find another that is new to all. This will remove all preconcieved notions of how a songs played and force everyone to learn it from scratch.

 

It also keeps the players and listeners inspired. If someone cant learn it right, or cant mimick the original style and even outdo it, then they just arent good enough musicians. You can try other songs and keep them within skill levels, but if you arent pushing the envelope on better music, then you never excel at your craft. The quality of the performance and sound replication vs loyalty and dedication is what matters.

 

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. I always utilize the strengths of musicians I work with and try to improve their weaknesses when possible. If their weakness are more then their strengths and you need to change to be successful, then its something you got to do. The prime playing years are limited. If you dont make wise decisions when they need to be made, they can be oppertunities lost.

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I would just use the too loud deal as the reason why you are letting them go especially if its been talke about before. that is a basic skillset flaw.

 

Agreed. You now have three guys playing changes and he's become the redundant rhythm guitar player. :) That could work from a loyalty standpoint if the $$ split isn't a big deal, but only if he's willing to turn down . . . a lot. Put it to him exactly that way and see what he says.

 

No one has mentioned that many would consider the new guy to still be on probation, in the sense that all new guys are. Keep that in mind. The worst case scenario is to have them both gone, for whatever reason.

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I would just use the too loud deal as the reason why you are letting them go especially if its been talke about before. that is a basic skillset flaw.

 

 

I wouldn't, because then you open up his ability to argue/fight by saying "I'm not loud", "I promise I'll turn down", etc.

 

That's potentially a waste of time and headache.

 

If you just say "We've decided we're moving on without you", there isn't really an obvious response he can use to argue with you about it.

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I got fired by a designated hatchet man who beat around the bush so much at first I thought he was nominating me for a Grammy or something because he built me up before getting to the obvious purpose of the call. They had pulled the fake canceled band practice on me that week so I knew the score before I got the call.

 

Just tell it quickly and straight to the point. You're gutting the guy and there is no way to make it pretty.

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I'd agree with the majority here. Just be straight up with what you're thinking. The only thing more insulting to someone being fired is playing any games while doing it.

 

Although I've never been on the other side, I have fired plenty of bandmates in the past. One as recently as a week ago. However, in every case, I've delivered the message as I would on my job. Some turned into real dicks as a result (which made my decision much easier), and some have maintained a friendship.

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Add another vote to the "quickly and cleanly" camp. Too many folks on the receiving end of a firing don't realize that the "talk" isn't a talk at all but rather an announcement. Say whatever you're going to say to him (I always find that something short and final - and as non-judgemental as I can come up with - usually works best) - give him a couple of minutes for it to sink in, wish him luck with his future - and then clear the area. If he wants to discuss it - a simple "I'm sorry - but we've decided to move on" is truly all you need to give him.

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If he wants to discuss it - a simple "I'm sorry - but we've decided to move on" is truly all you need to give him.

 

 

Disagree.

 

When I've initiated a "severance" (covers both quitting and firing), they get a thorough and honest explanation. If that can be done in person, fine, but sometimes it has to be done by phone or even email in order to avoid what could be an emotional confrontation. In the long run, it's the honesty and thoroughness that matters. "Moving on" is an evasive BS "reason".

 

Put yourself in their shoes. If it's a valid reason, I need to hear it and maybe fix it. If it's BS, then that helps with the pain of separation where you know there's nothing you could have done to fix things. Maybe you all are smart enough to remove yourselves from BS situations quickly. I tend to try to fix things that turn out to have been permanently broken.

 

I will concede that getting to the heart of the matter is sometimes quite difficult. But you gotta try, for your peace of mind and theirs. I can think of several long paragraphs and a couple of one-on-one conversations that were ultimately the most satisfying in hindsight . . . . hopefully for both parties.

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Do it like pulling off a band-aid: quickly and in one motion. Hurts like the dickens, but it's for the best.

 

Be up front with him: "Your hearing has been a noticeable problem for some time. It's forcing the overall volume band upward. We now have a guitarist that removes the need of having two guitars. We appreciate all you've done, but we've decided to downsize the band."

 

And like Fitch said, be sure you're ready to gig without him if he bails immediately. Because he almost certainly will.

 

A couple years back, I had to replace a band member. He was 62, with many health problems. He canceled 4 weeks of practice in a row (while we were trying to work in a new drummer). Another bass player was going to be available in three months and was interested in joining up with us. I talked to the current bass player and said his health was becoming a major concern. He agreed with me. I suggested replacing him with the other bass player in three months time. He took it well and was amenable.

 

The next day he told me he was done. We covered all our gigs, but we really had to do some scrambling.

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