First time quitting a band

DrumDoug

Senior Member
Right now I am in three bands: Modern country, classic rock and blues. The last year or so I have been able to make it work because none of the bands played more than once or twice a month and I rarely had any conflicting dates. The rule has been that whoever books the gig first gets the date. The country band recently hired a booking agent and now we have 6 or 7 gigs booked a month. So far the country band has had to arrange a sub for 4 of the upcoming gigs. The rock band has had to get a sub twice. That's not really fair to either band. With a sub, you really aren't putting on your best show. The rock band doesn't gig as much, pay as much, and is not as good, so I've decided that after this Saturday's show, I'm going to talk to the leader of the rock band and tell him that I'm leaving and they need to look for another drummer. I'll play any gigs already on the books until they find someone else. I've never had to quit a band before. They have aways just broken up after a few years. I'm not looking forward to the conversation. Anyone have any advice to help make it a little easier?
 

Daisy

Senior Member
I've used the phrase "I don't think this is working out for either of us any more". If the rock band has had to get subs twice, they might be rather relieved that you made the decision instead of them having to.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Given your scheduling conflicts, I'd say just focus on that with them. Tell them you just can't juggle all of the bands, and you need to stick with the ones that are working more. No need to even bring money into it, unless they ask. Then, you can tell them that, too. If they're still arguing about you leaving, mention the quality of musicianship.

Shouldn't be too tough, leaving amicably is always a good idea. You never know when one member might hook-up with another better, busier, better paying band, and recommend you join or sub when you're free.

Bermuda
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
Anyone have any advice to help make it a little easier?
How about something like , Right now I am in three bands. The last year or so I have been able to make it work because none of the bands played more than once or twice a month and I rarely had any conflicting dates. The rule has been that whoever books the gig first gets the date. The country band recently hired a booking agent and now we have 6 or 7 gigs booked a month. So far the country band has had to arrange a sub for 4 of the upcoming gigs. The rock band has had to get a sub twice. That's not really fair to either band. With a sub, you really aren't putting on your best show.


(except I think you got your country and blues band mixed up somewhere)
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
I've used the phrase "I don't think this is working out for either of us any more". If the rock band has had to get subs twice, they might be rather relieved that you made the decision instead of them having to.
And if that fails there's always "It's not you...it's me".

Also, "We can still be friends..."

And "Of course we'll still hang out..."
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Just be honest, in this instance the best policy.

You are committing to another band that will take up your time so they need to find a drummer that is committed to them. You will fulfill outstanding gigs or, if earlier, until they find a full time replacement. Nothing nasty in that and nothing for anyone to fall out over. You part as friends and no one suffers.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Have you considered being guilt free about them getting a sub whenever your country gig is on?

I'd work as much as I can and take advantage of gigs as long as the rock band would have me.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I'm going to talk to the leader of the rock band and tell him that I'm leaving and they need to look for another drummer. I'll play any gigs already on the books until they find someone else. I've never had to quit a band before. They have aways just broken up after a few years. I'm not looking forward to the conversation. Anyone have any advice to help make it a little easier?
I had to do this exact thing last week, sent them all a message informing them of it and then spoke in person at our gig a few days later. Didn't want to do it without warning at the gig as that could have meant a difficult show. I'm with them now until they find a replacement. We're now making a big deal of a show in April where we'll also get some people in to film it/record it to document this line up as our Bassist is also moving to Cananda over the coming months.

I've only quit two bands in my life. One I was in for 10 years and the latest a member for the past 4 and a half. the rest have just fizzled out. Never easy but if your set on doing it then you might be surprised by a massive weight being lifted from your shoulders, I swear I've actually felt lighter after each time, ha!

My advice? Just be honest and open and tell them your feelings. Be straight with it and try and end it on good terms too. They may appreciate your honesty and you may feel a lot better afterwards, you can only bottle up feelings for so long which people most times do pick up on anyway. May not be a good thing keeping onto to that longer than you have to.

Hope it goes well for you.
 
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danshadow

Junior Member
As long as you are giving them notice, and play out the gigs already lined up, that's the gentlemanly way to go about things and they should be happy with that. I did that with my last long term band as the music wasn't really my thing anymore, and we still remain friends today.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Do what our last lead singer did that quit the last rock band I was in:

Move to a different state, don't tell anybody you moved, and then quit the night of your biggest venue just an hour or two before the show...from your home...in a different state.

Or,

You could just be honest and tell them that you aren't going to be able to continue because your other bands are simply busier, and that it's nothing personal. Also, you could tell them that once they find a new drummer that you would be able to fill in every once in a while if their drummer can't make it for whatever reason.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I quit a band for the first time 18 months ago, for essentially the same reason. I found them a sub for a gig I couldn't do, then gave notice before that gig, knowing I hadn't left them in the lurch.

It felt great! So relieved, a burden lifted, something that hadn't felt right for sone time was solved! Do it. You'll feel so much better, as long as you're honest and up front about it.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
I think it's worth discussing, but it might not even be an issue. I'm a freelance drummer, but I play with 2 groups that gig a fair amount (at least once a week each). Everyone knows that I have a "First Come, First Serve" policy for booking, but I tend to give these two groups a little more priority.

There are times when I can't make gigs with either of them and they have to hire a sub. Other than that, the groups I play with all understand that I'm freelance, and busy, so they have me as their first call, then have other players for when I can't make it.

You might want to check with the group, maybe they'd rather have you when they can, but understand that you can't always be there.

Definitely have the conversation, and just let him know what you're concerned about, but it may be that you are feeling guilty when there is no reason to!
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Be honest, be friendly. If you're giving them some time to line up the next one then what more could they ask?
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Fake your own death?
That's always tricky, 'cause you have to lay low for a while.

Rather fake everybody else's death, which is much more convenient for you.

Here's how not to do it...

At one point my band was experiencing guitarist totem pole issues. Guitarist 1 had been lead guitarist, but didn't want to play lead. I fired original rhythm guitarist (he wasn't cutting the mustard), and we got a lead guitarist who is very good, and is still with the band. Guitarist 1 and Guitarist 2 didn't really get on, so guitarist 1 decided to leave. We had a gig coming up, and guitarist 1 told me that he would leave after the gig. No problem there.

But he went and sent out a "to all" email announcing his impending departure 3 days before our gig. Way to wreck the mood!

As others have said, be honest, be fair and treat the band(s) the way you'd like to be treated, and all will be well.
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
My intention last night was to let the leader know I was leaving after the gig. I arrived early to set up and when the leader arrived, he told me he almost cancelled the gig. His dad is dying and he had been sitting with him all day in hospice. He wasn't sure his dad was going to make it through the night. I didn't think, "sorry about your dad, by the way, I'm quitting the band" was appropriate so I guess I'll wait a little while longer to let him know.
 
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