Venting - Rehearsal is now becoming a hassle

Macarina

Silver Member
I need to vent. Band rehearsal is now becoming a hassle. I joined this band about 13 months ago and we have only 21 songs under our belt. I’ve been patient but I am finding myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the (lack of) progress of the band. We seem to be stuck in Basement Hell. Some issues are giving us hiccups that are severely holding the band back from gigging.

Every weekend, I pack/unpack the kit, drive 30 miles, going on 50+ rehearsals thus far with no end in sight.

The two leaders, a female singer and male ‘organizer’, who does not play an instrument , have a vision for a ‘show’ band. From my beginnings, we have the guitarist, bass, sax, the female singer and myself. What has been the struggle is to find a good dedicated male singer and keyboards. We did find a singer who is very good, but has issues showing up for practice, and in fact just told us he will be absent for 3 solid months for officer training. When… is unknown, but he will be absent for 3 months in 2016. Half our songs will be centered around him. Really? What’s plan ‘B’ when he’s gone?

The keyboard situation has become a real problem for me. I would loooooove to have keyboards, but not necessary. Our leaders wants keyboards because of the songs they have pre-chosen. We have auditioned probably 8 keyboardist over the last 6 months. Either they are not good enough or the two we liked said we are too immature in our readiness. They were ready to get out and gig. And I get that. What’s that tell us? Our audition for a keyboard was fine last night, but I didn’t think added much value to the band. We have 4 more auditions in the next two weekends, and from the leader describing them, IMO, already will not make it. Two are professional and music is their job. #3 plays clarinet and sax, but can play keyboards possibly? #4 is classically trained. Don’t know if she does anything beyond straight keys. UGH…. Wasting my time.

The song selections are giving me heartburn. They want a wide variety of songs to cover all ages. First, I’ve never heard of about a 1/3 our songs before. I’m told they are hits. Second I know some songs will just fall flat because I don’t think our audience will know it or appreciate them. Trying to incorporate songs that will appeal from 18 to 80 is ridiculous.

The guitarist and I have started to introduce ideas on level setting the band and expectations. We both suggested we need just need to get out and play. That will motivate everybody to up their game, and provide feedback to the band what works and what doesn’t. I pretty much demanded a date when our first gig will be. A goal if you will. IMO, without a date, there is no drive. Just an open canvas to tweak the crap out of things.

Minimize the high expectation of getting the song 100%... and sounding like the recording. Because of our puzzle piece of finding a keyboardist for those keyboard songs, I’m suggesting we turn it around. Find songs that work with our present band. Forgo keyboards. For instance we were given KT Tunstall’s song ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’ and nailed it in two tries. Vs. spending hours on Weeknd’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. This is very typical of our rehearsals.

I haven’t even addressed the high expectations of the gigs he envisions we’ll get once we do gig. He thinks our first gig will be the opening band for the outdoor amphitheater in our town. What?

Frustration is taking hold. I’m 57 and don’t have time to be playing in a basement.

Sorry for the long post. I just needed to vent.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
I need to vent. Band rehearsal is now becoming a hassle. I joined this band about 13 months ago and we have only 21 songs under our belt. I’ve been patient but I am finding myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the (lack of) progress of the band. We seem to be stuck in Basement Hell. Some issues are giving us hiccups that are severely holding the band back from gigging.

Every weekend, I pack/unpack the kit, drive 30 miles, going on 50+ rehearsals thus far with no end in sight.

The two leaders, a female singer and male ‘organizer’, who does not play an instrument , have a vision for a ‘show’ band. From my beginnings, we have the guitarist, bass, sax, the female singer and myself. What has been the struggle is to find a good dedicated male singer and keyboards. We did find a singer who is very good, but has issues showing up for practice, and in fact just told us he will be absent for 3 solid months for officer training. When… is unknown, but he will be absent for 3 months in 2016. Half our songs will be centered around him. Really? What’s plan ‘B’ when he’s gone?

The keyboard situation has become a real problem for me. I would loooooove to have keyboards, but not necessary. Our leaders wants keyboards because of the songs they have pre-chosen. We have auditioned probably 8 keyboardist over the last 6 months. Either they are not good enough or the two we liked said we are too immature in our readiness. They were ready to get out and gig. And I get that. What’s that tell us? Our audition for a keyboard was fine last night, but I didn’t think added much value to the band. We have 4 more auditions in the next two weekends, and from the leader describing them, IMO, already will not make it. Two are professional and music is their job. #3 plays clarinet and sax, but can play keyboards possibly? #4 is classically trained. Don’t know if she does anything beyond straight keys. UGH…. Wasting my time.

The song selections are giving me heartburn. They want a wide variety of songs to cover all ages. First, I’ve never heard of about a 1/3 our songs before. I’m told they are hits. Second I know some songs will just fall flat because I don’t think our audience will know it or appreciate them. Trying to incorporate songs that will appeal from 18 to 80 is ridiculous.

The guitarist and I have started to introduce ideas on level setting the band and expectations. We both suggested we need just need to get out and play. That will motivate everybody to up their game, and provide feedback to the band what works and what doesn’t. I pretty much demanded a date when our first gig will be. A goal if you will. IMO, without a date, there is no drive. Just an open canvas to tweak the crap out of things.

Minimize the high expectation of getting the song 100%... and sounding like the recording. Because of our puzzle piece of finding a keyboardist for those keyboard songs, I’m suggesting we turn it around. Find songs that work with our present band. Forgo keyboards. For instance we were given KT Tunstall’s song ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’ and nailed it in two tries. Vs. spending hours on Weeknd’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. This is very typical of our rehearsals.

I haven’t even addressed the high expectations of the gigs he envisions we’ll get once we do gig. He thinks our first gig will be the opening band for the outdoor amphitheater in our town. What?

Frustration is taking hold. I’m 57 and don’t have time to be playing in a basement.

Sorry for the long post. I just needed to vent.
Seriously, not being remotely funny, or nasty, but if you can't make a covers band work out then I'd jack it in right now if I were you and join any of a zillion other covers bands looking for a drummer local to you. Or start one of your own playing the songs you want to play.
 

greenstar323

Senior Member
You and the guitarist seem to be on the same page so why don't you two leave and just start your own thing? Drop the "organizer" and anyone else holding you back. If it's not enjoyable, then I agree with SquadLeader that there are plenty of other cover bands to join.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Similar situation for me a few months back. Over a year, problems with singers. Changed the song list a little for each singer. Last singer wanted to run the band, ie tell everyone else what to play and when to play it. Wouldnt mind if he had been a great singer but he was only competent. Too many changes to the songs, too many long discussions about song structure during rehearsals.

Rehearsals are about putting it all in place not learning a song, song learning is done at home in your own time. Over a year wasted. I booked the practice space, got there early to set up every week so as not to waste practice time and last to leave due to kit tear down. After one abysmal practice night I packed it in. Its only covers for gods sake, why cant people put a bit of effort into learning an agreed set list and song structure? Nurse.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Too much rehearsing with no gigs is not healthy for a band IMO.

Since you have not whole lot to lose, I'd look to join an already established unit. I mean there are zero gigs booked, and you just don't like this band.

If you stay, I'm pretty sure things are going to keep going how they already are.

Life's short, join a working band. You're playing with the wrong people.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I have to give bad news to a band like that this week.

I'm in too many good projects that are doing things to hang around with guys who are going to take forever to do anything other than garage jam.

In my case though, it's a bit of a bummer. I'd rather hang out with these guys than the dudes from the more well-put-together stuff.
 

Macarina

Silver Member
Similar situation for me a few months back. Over a year, problems with singers. Changed the song list a little for each singer.

Rehearsals are about putting it all in place not learning a song, song learning is done at home in your own time. Over a year wasted. I booked the practice space, got there early to set up every week so as not to waste practice time and last to leave due to kit tear down. After one abysmal practice night I packed it in. Its only covers for gods sake, why cant people put a bit of effort into learning an agreed set list and song structure? Nurse.
Exactly what I'm thinking.

Nurse... dayum that made me do a spit take. Thanks for making me laugh.

You and the guitarist seem to be on the same page so why don't you two leave and just start your own thing? Drop the "organizer" and anyone else holding you back. If it's not enjoyable, then I agree with SquadLeader that there are plenty of other cover bands to join.
We've been talking.
 

double_G

Silver Member
13 months ago ? yup -- you should have been gigging by now. either bail or find a local club that needs 1 set of music before 1-2 other bands. book it. there is the motivation for these basement noobies.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The big red flag is that in 13 months, you only have 21 songs. Cover songs, for which there's already a road map on how to play them! There's no reason that the members couldn't individually study the songs, then hash out the specifics over 2 or 3 or possibly 4 rehearsals in one month's time. That's not to say that simply learning the songs more efficiently will guarantee gigs... that's another level of perseverance.

I think you've invested way too much time in this, and it doesn't sound like you can motivate everyone to get going on it. It's great that the leaders have a vision, but they clearly have no follow-through if they can't get a band to learn more than 2 sets of material in a year!

FWIW, I don't know either of the songs you mentioned. Find a band that wants to play popular songs. Hit songs. There are a thousand top-20 songs from the last 50+ years of the pop-rock-r&b era to choose from. Those are the kind of songs that bars and event planners will pay a band to play.

Bermuda
 

tcspears

Gold Member
Wow, that's certainly taking it slow! Most of us freelancers will charge for rehearsals, so they usually go pretty quickly. Often times we'll play the intro and outro, then move on. Unless the song get complicated in the middle, there's no reason to practice it. Play the intro, get a couple bars in, stop, then take it a couple bars from the end.

Especially cover songs, everyone should be studying these on their own and showing up ready to play. I can't stand rehearsals that are like a social event or where no one is prepared, that's part of the reason I charge for rehearsals, it keeps everything on track.

13 months is way to long to not have a gig; if I were you I'd start picking up gigs with another group, or work something out with the guitarist and start gigging.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
In the few cover bands I have worked in, the gigs existed prior to the band's formation. We had two set lists... An "old audience" set list and a "young audience" set list, each of 20 songs. We would mix it up depending on audience response.

The main point is that gig=band. No gig = a bunch of musicians hanging out. If a tree falls in the forrest and nobody is around to hear it............
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
I hear where you're coming from. In the band I'm in, the guitar player and myself have been together for 9 months - no gigs. In that time, we've had our bassist and lead guitar player bail. We replaced the bassist (with a better player), but we're moving at a snail's pace. All of the music rehearse is what the guitar player (our fearless leader) wants to play. I submitted a song list with 20 songs to him a few weeks ago with nada, zilch, zero feedback.

It's becoming frustrating.

Last week, when we were practicing, he would say, "Huh" after each song. I didn't know what the hell was going on.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread. :)
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hello Macarina. I think deep down you know what you have to do and it will be the correct choice for you and everyone involved. Best of luck on the out come.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
while i will never have to deal with a band dynamic, from a personal standpoint. How much of your life are you willing to give while being unhappy with the situation? 13 months is a long time.. just something to think bout..
 
The two leaders, a female singer and male ‘organizer’, who does not play an instrument ...

For instance we were given KT Tunstall’s song ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’ and nailed it in two tries. Vs. spending hours on Weeknd’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. This is very typical of our rehearsals.
I have to ask ... is this near Seattle? I think I played with that same group.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I joined my covers band and started playing with zero rehearsal (and a very sketchy pop knowledge)... we are not the most polished covers band but there you go, it can be done. They expected me to learn on the job, under pressure, and I did.

If you can write such a big long frustrated post about your scenario I think some part of you wants to salvage it, I didn't actually read all of it before but I'm sure we all encounter the same problems in bands... give them an ultimatum and see what happens.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
The two leaders, a female singer and male ‘organizer’, who does not play an instrument , have a vision for a ‘show’ band.
From my beginnings, we have the guitarist, bass, sax, the female singer and myself.
So why not work just with that? Plenty can be done with these instruments. That is a band. Forget about songs one wants to do (with keyboards or show) and focus on what songs *this* band can do. Our band has a female singer and we do plenty of 'male' songs.

Working with what you have is simpler. The other components can come later. If nobody wants to do that then maybe its time to move on.

(ps. I am guessing male 'organizer' and female singer are a pair?)
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
I joined my covers band and started playing with zero rehearsal (and a very sketchy pop knowledge)... we are not the most polished covers band but there you go, it can be done. They expected me to learn on the job, under pressure, and I did.
This. Two of the last three bands I've been in have consisted of walking straight into an active gig with zero rehearsals and playing music that I'd never heard before. This is no reflection on how good a drummer I am, 'cause I'm not that good. But I can grab cover songs pretty fast, and the other people in the groups were experienced pros who knew how to ease me into the groups.

To the OP - the situation you are in is unworkable. The others have no intention of getting serious - they just enjoy fantasy and dreaming. Get out.

GeeDeeEmm
 
Top