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  #1  
Old 03-07-2011, 08:02 PM
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Mighty_Joker Mighty_Joker is offline
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Default Kicking out our bassist

It's never easy, but sometimes, it's just necessary.

Our bass player's a young lad of 19, and plays a lot of guitar as well. We're not even sure he considers himself a bassist; he hadn't heard of many of the greats, and doesn't practice very much. He certainly can't read music, and two weeks in a row we had to take time out of our rehearsal to teach him a bass part for which he's had the material for weeks. He didn't even know what a triplet was. Not really something you want from a bassist.

Anyway, for the second time in a row he's pulled out of our regular rehearsal slot to record with his other band which, to sound utterly harsh, is a kiddy outfit with absolutely no future. Now, I don't have any problem with people pursuing all the projects they want, good and bad, but he knows we regularly rehearse on Sundays, and committed to this recording session anyway. On top of that, he used Facebook to "let us know", and didn't bother to e-mail the whole band, even when asked to.

The fact that he's not actually very good just takes away our tolerance really. The rest of the band are on a much higher level, and we shouldn't have to put up with shoddy commitment from new members (he's only been with us a few months).

It's a shame because he's a nice enough lad, but when the pieces don't fit....

Does anyone else have any "wasn't meant to be" member stories?
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

I have a "wasn't meant to be" story.

It was actually myself. Last summer I played with some folks that I just ended up not gelling with.

They all were content to play tiny churches in the middle of nowhere. I knew the context of the music when I joined; I had no problem with that. They just wanted to do cheesy covers instead of their pretty decent originals. The setlists had about 2 or 3 originals in it. They also were trying to appeal mostly to kids. I wanted to play something a little more mature.

I also tried several times to tell the other members about places around town that would have us, but they never pursued it. Also, I was the only person in the band that could read music. Do you know what it's like to be the drummer and try to explain time signatures and such to 2 guitarists? One of whom claimed to be a drummer.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

Funnily enough,. yes.

Now, not that I condone slagging off ex-band members but sit down kiddies and I shall regale you with the tale of Vertiis' ex-four stringer.


Things he did:

* Went AWOL for three weeks prior to his first audition.
* "Forgot" to pay his part of our 24/7 room rent.
* Didn't learn songs
* Couldn't tune his bass.


We got another guy auditioning on Thursday by all accounts hes a lot better then the afrementioned.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:01 PM
chaymus chaymus is offline
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

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Originally Posted by Hellwyck View Post
Funnily enough,. yes.

Now, not that I condone slagging off ex-band members but sit down kiddies and I shall regale you with the tale of Vertiis' ex-four stringer.


Things he did:

* Went AWOL for three weeks prior to his first audition.
* "Forgot" to pay his part of our 24/7 room rent.
* Didn't learn songs
* Couldn't tune his bass.


We got another guy auditioning on Thursday by all accounts hes a lot better then the afrementioned.
I'm confident I could hit 3 of those 4 and never play an instrument.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

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I'm confident I could hit 3 of those 4 and never play an instrument.
So was he, hence he's not in the band.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

Since my first band, I've been a lot less tolerant of players who just... can't play. I'm not getting any younger, actually turning 27 this weekend. If there's such a serious lack of musicality (aka, not knowing what a triplet is), then it's the boot, no questions asked.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

We're auditioning two bass players. Our soon to be former bass player, I don't know why he even bothers. He doesn't even try to play. What makes the whole thing difficult is this our church band, so we can't be too mean.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

my last band had really great music, but the lead singer was just... well, extremely odd.

he's a big boy, too, and i mean big. probably goes six foot four and weighs 260? and none of it fat. he has a lot of issues, and he began to literally scare the guys and i, and so we kinda just faded out and made our own project.

guy's a great song writer, but relatively scary human being.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

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Originally Posted by Mighty_Joker View Post
It's never easy, but sometimes, it's just necessary.

Does anyone else have any "wasn't meant to be" member stories?
Oh yes - and I wish I could tell it all, but this bit might suffice......

I used to play with a person (let's call them "X") who was actually a very good musician, but after I while I got sick of hearing (from X) how good X was and how X should be playing with various jazz greats etc..... one day during a practice session X said that "if he had the money" he'd get a top class jazz drummer and bass player to play on his album.... (Oh now I've given away that "X" is male - o dear).....

Hmmm I thought.... as I was drumming and engineering (at the same time) and providing the studio to mix/master the album that didn't go down real well with me.......

When "X" said that he should be invited to play at the local jazz festival and wouldn't even go to audition (in fact, he wouldn't even go to watch!!) that was enough for me. "X" was politely advised that he should find another drummer.

- and it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.... ;-)
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:50 AM
AtomicFlapjack AtomicFlapjack is offline
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

It must be something about bassists.....

I've been with my band for less than a year, and we have the three original members including myself, and have had 4 bassists. This last one however, is by far the best, the friendliest, and the most committed, so hopefully, it will all be good for now.
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  #11  
Old 03-08-2011, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

This is how I got to be drummer in my current band a couple years ago. Their drummer was a head case, and was always getting injured. The band had difficulty booking gigs because they didn't know if he was going to show up. In the month leading up to one of their gigs, he injured his shoulder falling out of a tree on a hunting trip. Two of the guys in that band played with me at church, so asked if I wanted to fill in for the one gig, and I said yes. I had less than a week to get ready for the gig, and to top it all off, their drummer showed up at the gig and sat at a table right in front of the band. I so impressed the guitarist that he told the drummer he was out and I was in. It was really awkward because he was the brother-in-law of the bass player, but the bass player didn't like him either.

Not to toot my own horn, but I helped to revitalize the band with my playing and ability to sing (old drummer did no singing). We were able to expand the band's repetoir significantly and make the music more palatable to the viewing audience.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:32 AM
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Coldhardsteel Coldhardsteel is offline
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

Not a bassist story, but a "not meant to be" story nonetheless.

Three or four weeks ago, my three-piece band decided to upgrade to a four or five-piece band, becoming a larger instrumental or a full band respectively. We still have the guitarist (grew up in the Nashville area playing Deathmetal and other regional music), but the guitarist/vocalist we also invited to play wasn't cut out to be in the group.

He couldn't tune his guitar, and he never actually sang. He inadvertently took over rehearsals (inadvertently meaning that he's more of a leader, and we already had a sort of order to things), and continually suggested music that none of us had heard of nor enjoyed. He had very little, if any, understanding of musical terminology and theory, so having him 'jam' with us was more of a time-consuming burden than anything else.

And the problem was, he was a great guy and a good friend of mine. Obviously I wasn't the one who called him to kick him out.

So, now we're an instrumental four-piece, and I'm pretty sure we're all enjoying it thoroughly.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:30 AM
Jim Mattingly Jim Mattingly is offline
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

Too many similar incidences to even begin talking about. I will say though that the majority of the drama/divaness issues were with the bass players. They are a different breed or at least appear to be where I reside right now. And it was not they could not play, it mostly was just the drama issues, refusal to play certain covers/originals or just not showing up or constantly bailing on rehearsals. You are certainly not alone. Good luck, gotta keep the faith..
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

Wow, good stories everyone. It is strange that many seem to involve bassists. Where are all the Victor Wootens and Avishai Cohens?

I'm not sure our current position at the moment. Our band leader e-mailed the bassist in question an ultimatum: our band 100%, or out. The bassist had tried to protest that he wasn't non-committal, Sunday was the "only day" he could record with this other band. But he has known for months that Sunday is our regular slot and booked the recording session anyway, knowing full well he'd have to cancel the practice.

It must have been hard for him to be fair, since the four "core" members have been friends for years and he is trying to come in from the outside, but you'd think people in that situation would try harder to impress. No offence to the younger guys on here, but maybe 19 is too young for many people to understand what commitment is. I'm only 24, and only just beginning to understand what is needed.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

If you want to succeed then you've got to do what you got to do. There is no choice. It's a relentless business and you have to make tough decisions.
My first band started off OK. We had lead and rhythm guitars and a bass player/singer who had been in quite a popular band.

As time went on he came to tick just about all the boxes above, including turning up late and drunk for gigs, not remembering the words; he had to read from crib cards and he had no idea of the meaning of the word "key". Also he didn't like being counted in.

So we unanimously decided that if we were going to get anywhere he had to go or else we might as well pack the band up. We tackled him about it one night at rehearsal. He turned up late and we'd already been going for half an hour!
There was a lot of shouting and bad language, there was almost a fight. But he went!
We did better after that, the rhythm guy took over bass and singing and we settled down well.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

You had to teach him the part after having the material for weeks...sounds like he cant be in 2 bands at once... bands are like 3 or 4 or more piece marriages and very hard to keep together... Sounds like he is wasting your time coming to practice not prepared.. There is something exciting about all the members learning there parts at home and coming into practice and play a complex song together for the first time and nail it.. what a rush it can give.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:29 PM
ddrumman2004 ddrumman2004 is offline
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

The bass player and myself in our band have been together for over 14 years so we "click" when it comes to playing. I know his licks and he knows mine and couldn't ask for a better combo.

I could tell you stories about lead guitar players, keyboard players as well as lead singers who's egos were as big as all outdoors. Guys who though they were going to make it "big" one day.

But where are they now? Driving trucks, taking care of kids or getting high and/or drunk.

Sad really as making music is supposed to be fun, not a job!
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:38 PM
lqwa221 lqwa221 is offline
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

I'm happy to be here and I'm glad to know more regarding on your site.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

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Originally Posted by ddrumman2004 View Post
The bass player and myself in our band have been together for over 14 years so we "click" when it comes to playing. I know his licks and he knows mine and couldn't ask for a better combo.

I could tell you stories about lead guitar players, keyboard players as well as lead singers who's egos were as big as all outdoors. Guys who though they were going to make it "big" one day.

But where are they now? Driving trucks, taking care of kids or getting high and/or drunk.

Sad really as making music is supposed to be fun, not a job!
That's why I think age makes a big difference. In my band, we are all between 45-55 years old, and we have no superegos because we think we are going to make it big. We all have our day jobs and careers, and the band is a way to have fun and earn some supplemental cash. All but one of us are in more than one band too. That does not mean we take it lightly - we practice long and hard. And we are all on the same page as far as direction for the band. But we realize the limitiation of what we are doing, and that we aren't going to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or going on tour across the world playing to sold out arenas. However, we can rock a couple hundred people at a time!
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

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Originally Posted by Coldhardsteel View Post
He had very little, if any, understanding of musical terminology and theory, so having him 'jam' with us was more of a time-consuming burden than anything else.
This is what gets me in these stories...

I must be the only drummer here who

a) can only just read drum music
b) doesn't know that much music terminology.

Yet I'm a f**king good drummer in my own right...

My band play a cross between thrash metal (Anthrax / Megadeth / Slayer) and groove-oriented stuff (Pantera, White Zombie, Anihilator), our guitarists can read tab, I can just read drum music but don't care to.

Jamming is 100% the reason we write songs.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:20 PM
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BradGunnerSGT BradGunnerSGT is offline
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

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Originally Posted by Hercules View Post
Oh yes - and I wish I could tell it all, but this bit might suffice......

I used to play with a person (let's call them "X") who was actually a very good musician, but after I while I got sick of hearing (from X) how good X was and how X should be playing with various jazz greats etc..... one day during a practice session X said that "if he had the money" he'd get a top class jazz drummer and bass player to play on his album.... (Oh now I've given away that "X" is male - o dear).....

Hmmm I thought.... as I was drumming and engineering (at the same time) and providing the studio to mix/master the album that didn't go down real well with me.......

When "X" said that he should be invited to play at the local jazz festival and wouldn't even go to audition (in fact, he wouldn't even go to watch!!) that was enough for me. "X" was politely advised that he should find another drummer.

- and it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.... ;-)

Yes, I have met a few people like "X" in my time. There always going on about how great "X" is, but then they repeatedly screw up a solo for weeks at a time and then "X is just having a bad day" or "X is really more of a rhythm guitarist than a soloist", even though that's the reason "X" was brought into the band in the first place.

Don't get me wrong: I make mistakes all the time, but I at least I own up to them and try not to repeat them. It's never "X's" fault.

Oh, and "X" has played with all these different bands over the years and could play with anyone in town right now, so you should feel privileged that "X" is playing with you. Hey "X", show don't tell....mmkay?
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:21 PM
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BradGunnerSGT BradGunnerSGT is offline
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

Can you tell that I'm going through this same situation with our lead guitar player right now? ;-)

Too bad he's actually a nice guy. It's easy to fire a jerk.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

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Originally Posted by BradGunnerSGT View Post
Can you tell that I'm going through this same situation with our lead guitar player right now? ;-)

Too bad he's actually a nice guy. It's easy to fire a jerk.
It's always hard giving someone the push - we drummers are just nice people who don't want conflict......

I'm surprised there aren't more "sack the lead git player" stories - aren't they the primadonnas of the music world?

;-)
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:13 AM
ddrumman2004 ddrumman2004 is offline
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

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Originally Posted by inneedofgrace View Post
That's why I think age makes a big difference. In my band, we are all between 45-55 years old, and we have no superegos because we think we are going to make it big. We all have our day jobs and careers, and the band is a way to have fun and earn some supplemental cash. All but one of us are in more than one band too. That does not mean we take it lightly - we practice long and hard. And we are all on the same page as far as direction for the band. But we realize the limitiation of what we are doing, and that we aren't going to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or going on tour across the world playing to sold out arenas. However, we can rock a couple hundred people at a time!
The youngest player in our band is 49. I'm 58 and the bass player is 59. The guys I speak of are in their 50s as well and still have ego problems.

Only one of those with the ego problem is still playing but he has to smoke his pot and drink his gin and by the end of the night, he can barely stand up, much less sing and play guitar. Sad really as he is as good as Eric Clapton or any other guitar player...when sober!

We play local VFW and country bar and grill, once a month, every month and for now I'm enjoying it. When the enjoyment stops, I'll quit and retire from it.

I tell folks that a band is only as good as the worst player in group. No matter what, you can't make a bad player sound good.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

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Originally Posted by Hercules View Post
I'm surprised there aren't more "sack the lead git player" stories - aren't they the primadonnas of the music world?
you asked for it, you got it!

i had to fire our former lead guitarist a few months ago. what an idiot! when we first brought him in he was telling us all these stories about how he was a "pro" and knew every song ever written. i was thinking great, that's just what we need! but after a couple rehearsals it became clear that he was an idiot. i took him up on his claim to know all these songs, but it turned out that he didn't really know much of anything. his definition of knowing a song was more like he could play a few of the chords. he really didn't know the structure of any song. i'd tell him we all need to agree on a structure for a song, even a loose structure, and stick to it, but he wanted to wing everything. apparently that's what he did when he played his solo gigs, which in that situation doesn't matter that much, but in a band everyone has to agree on how the songs go. half the time he couldn't play the songs he suggested. for example, he suggested we play "dream on" and "sweet child of mine" because he "knew" those songs, but he couldn't play the intro to either of those songs to save his life, and he couldn't be bothered to learn them either. he never worked on anything at home. what finally pissed me off beyond the point of no return was the day he told me he couldn't come to practice unless we paid him because he was a "pro" and for him "time is money". i said ok, great, don't bother coming to practice. in fact, don't ever come again, you're fired! he got really mad and called me a bunch of names, but it was worth it! what an idiot!
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Kicking out our bassist

Since you asked, here goes:

I have no trouble calling these guys hicks or hillbillies or whatever. Trying to put something back in the community by playing with some musicians at two nursing homes, I was invited to sit in with three guitar players, a bassist, and a piano player. The piano player I was - up until last week - a member of. her group More about that later.

After playing two weekend gigs with these guys, one of the guitar players - who was very good, and his obnoxious buddy a - AGAIN - bass player invited me over jam. Ok, sure. I'll jam with these two older guys and hope I can pick something up along the way. To make a very long story short, after about an hour with these guys I knew I wasn't going to jell at all. The guitar player was very good and very nice and accomodating. His short, fat obnoxious buddy who claimed to have toured with (insert any international C and W star here) was a complete jerk who did everything short of telling me how to hold the drum sticks.

I politely left after about an hour making the excuse I had to pick up my kids. The obnoxious jerk called the next day and said they were really exicted about the band and wanted to know when I can start gigging. I told him politely I wasn't interested and he rambled on for 30 minutes trying to convince me to join up and "make a lot of money".

And another story with the piano player...I spent two years in the band and after putting up with playing in nursing homes, shit houses, coffee bars and church venues and not so much as making or even being offered gas money, have decided to call it quits. They ain't goin' nowhere! So, it's in my own best interest to leave on good terms and take back 4 hours of my weekends I spent on rehearsals.
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