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  #1  
Old 12-24-2014, 08:11 AM
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Default Is it wrong to ask...

If the guys it the band you are currently playing with want to back up someone else on the side? That is, be the backing band for when a solo artist needs a band for some gigs already on the books? Nothing permanent or full time, just on an "as needed" basis.

I ask this because this came up in the past few days. Let me add some background: One of the more well known singer/songwriters in our area is a fellow named Sam. Great guitar player. A mutual friend told me Sam needed a band because he had about 10 gigs on the books and needed a backing band since the venue wanted him to have a full band. And he knew I was in a band and asked if we would be interested in backing Sam. I told our mutual friend I would ask the other guys in my band if they were interested.

I sent an email that day to my 3 band mates. Oh boy! Bad mistake. I received a rather kurt email back from our guitar player. To start off my email, I prefaced it by saying I've had a rather challenging 2 weeks off practice due to work and family issues (one daughter was in the hospital. She's fine now), but that I'd be ready to practice our band's last 12 songs we need to work on and get them polished.

Below is the email I received from our lead guitarist:

Lead player: "Mind you, this is just my humble opinion. But, it takes a lot of work to put a band together, and we don't have one yet. If Sam needs a band he needs to get with it and put his own together. Not just step in to ours. A paying gig is just not that important to me with another guy. Unless of course it pays $1500 or better, then I'm in. We haven't learned all of our songs yet! Theres no way I'm gonna work hard enough to learn his stuff to play once or twice. And, we've proven, we can't learn them fast enough to do that. I might add, we all have family and work problems! "

I sent back an email later on that said, "Hey that's fine. No biggie.... A possible opportunity came around to get out and play more so I felt compelled to ask. I'm trying to follow up on every lead I hear about. I'm off all next week so I'll be dropping off a few more CDs at some places. Sam's gigs came about because a mutual friend asked me if we might be interested in backing him, so I said I'd ask. Let me know when ya'll want to get together. I'm ready to work out the kinks to get the "dirty dozen" smoother.

My question to the forum is: was this an inappropriate question to ask fellow band mates? I've been told these guys just want to get out and play...even someone's birthday party or charity event. So I heard of a paying opportunity and passed it on. Felt like I was fried for it.

I haven't heard back from these guys yet....
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2014, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Nothing wrong with asking.

Bands have done just as you have described in the past.

Actually, it was the original concept behind the band that became Journey.
And the Eagles started out as Linda Ronstadt's backing band.

I've heard of many all original bands doing covers under a different name to fund their original's band.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

My take on it is that hey, you're offering them work. I'm guessing that your bandmates aren't under contract with anyone, so not only is it NOT wrong, it is one of the best things you can ask a musician. Every musician I know is a gig whore and if they are off, will do gigs. It's OK to be musically promiscuous. They don't sound like they are confident enough to just jump in on a moments notice, so maybe they aren't the best choice for the gig.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Time. It's about the time investment. People give money more freely than time. Doesn't hurt to ask though. Good luck!
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue_drummer View Post
If the guys it the band you are currently playing with want to back up someone else on the side? That is, be the backing band for when a solo artist needs a band for some gigs already on the books? Nothing permanent or full time, just on an "as needed" basis.

I ask this because this came up in the past few days. Let me add some background: One of the more well known singer/songwriters in our area is a fellow named Sam. Great guitar player. A mutual friend told me Sam needed a band because he had about 10 gigs on the books and needed a backing band since the venue wanted him to have a full band. And he knew I was in a band and asked if we would be interested in backing Sam. I told our mutual friend I would ask the other guys in my band if they were interested.

I sent an email that day to my 3 band mates. Oh boy! Bad mistake. I received a rather kurt email back from our guitar player. To start off my email, I prefaced it by saying I've had a rather challenging 2 weeks off practice due to work and family issues (one daughter was in the hospital. She's fine now), but that I'd be ready to practice our band's last 12 songs we need to work on and get them polished.

Below is the email I received from our lead guitarist:

Lead player: "Mind you, this is just my humble opinion. But, it takes a lot of work to put a band together, and we don't have one yet. If Sam needs a band he needs to get with it and put his own together. Not just step in to ours. A paying gig is just not that important to me with another guy. Unless of course it pays $1500 or better, then I'm in. We haven't learned all of our songs yet! Theres no way I'm gonna work hard enough to learn his stuff to play once or twice. And, we've proven, we can't learn them fast enough to do that. I might add, we all have family and work problems! "

I sent back an email later on that said, "Hey that's fine. No biggie.... A possible opportunity came around to get out and play more so I felt compelled to ask. I'm trying to follow up on every lead I hear about. I'm off all next week so I'll be dropping off a few more CDs at some places. Sam's gigs came about because a mutual friend asked me if we might be interested in backing him, so I said I'd ask. Let me know when ya'll want to get together. I'm ready to work out the kinks to get the "dirty dozen" smoother.

My question to the forum is: was this an inappropriate question to ask fellow band mates? I've been told these guys just want to get out and play...even someone's birthday party or charity event. So I heard of a paying opportunity and passed it on. Felt like I was fried for it.

I haven't heard back from these guys yet....
You asked, he answered. Seemed fair enough to me.

As a band, we wouldn't do this, regardless of pay. We're all very good friends. It would feel like a betrayal of our singer. But we don't do music for money, it's pleasure and general cameraderie/friendship.

Different ball game if your music is paying your bills
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Old 12-24-2014, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Nothing wrong with that.

In my area bands act as backing bands sometimes for visiting musicians and people making recordings.
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

The only thing I saw wrong was his nasty response.
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  #8  
Old 12-24-2014, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

The only thing I can say is you might have waited to talk to them in person. It is very difficult to judge intent or tone through text and email. talking face to face you get a much better reaction. His response seems curt but he may just have poor texting skills and it came off worse than he meant it too. He actually brings up some good points that sound legitimate to me.

I also wonder how well you guys know each other. the minute I got that offer I would know exactly how each member would respond. I would know who to ask first and who would go along with everybody else. I also know who I have to call and who I can just text.

Having been in many bands throughout the years I will offer this; if you are surprised by the guitarists reaction at all, he is right, you don't have a band yet.
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2014, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superman View Post
The only thing I saw wrong was his nasty response.
^^This. Your lead guitar guy sounds like a jerk.
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  #10  
Old 12-24-2014, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Lead player is a douche nozzle,and need to come down a peg or two.There's nothing wrong with side progects,as long as the don't conflict with a prior comittment to your primary band.

Plenty of guys have side projects.Our own Bermuda has irons in different fires.It keeps you fresh and sharp,and keeps the creative juices flowing..You grow, by playing with as many people as you can.Have at it....:)

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  #11  
Old 12-24-2014, 11:11 PM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

You certainly weren't wrong to ask. The response from the guitar player ..... he's kinda proven himself to be a tool. And nothing wrong with you and/or any of your band mates working for Sam. Plenty of music scenes have been and are made up of lots of musicians jamming with each other. And if your guitarist doesn't wanna join in, well then ..... I guess that means he doesn't wanna work.
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Is Sam's stuff any good? Would you prefer to be up there on stage with him than rehearsing with the band you're in? If Sam were to "get with it and put his own together", would you do it?
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

I like how he won't do it because of this and that......but if it pays 1500 then he's in lol.

It seems he took it...almost as an insult, which is backwards from what you'd expect. I mean in a sense, you're saying to him, hey, I think you're good enough to do this so what do you think?

Another possible reason for his response could be perhaps it wasn't his idea and he would never allow himself to be "led" by a drummer, if you get my drift. Like a hierarchy, pecking order imbalance thing...from his POV.

Like you insulted his majesty lol.

I'm sorry, I've seen it enough. I'm doing a sort of racial profiling thing I fear, lol.

Hey, if it quacks like a duck....

It's a possibility.
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Rogue, you mention that Sam is a great guitar player.

And your band's guitar gets all "dog in a manger".

I think we have the answer - your guitarist is feeling threatened.

(I'm hoping everybody noticed my Yuletide appropriate use of the word "manger" back there, and a merry solstice to all!)
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Old 12-25-2014, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Is it to wrong to ask musicians if they want to play more gigs? Not in my book!
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  #16  
Old 12-26-2014, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Is Sam's stuff any good? Would you prefer to be up there on stage with him than rehearsing with the band you're in? If Sam were to "get with it and put his own together", would you do it?

I've noticed Sam is more of an acoustic player specializing in either solo or duo work, primarily a lot of ballads and coffee house fair. A lot of covers he puts his own twist on, making the cover uniquely his for the moment. Even with a backing band I'm suspecting I'd have to use a minimalistic kit. Still I believe it would be interesting to back him.

I found out a few days ago he couldn't get a band together in time and had to cancel those gigs.

But it's good this happened as now I can get a feel for where our guitar player stands. Never heard back from the other fellows about this topic. Each band member sent around an email wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, so at least that was cordial and thoughtful.
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Old 12-26-2014, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

I've found music is a lot of things to a lot of people. Where I come from, musically, it is a compliment at worst to get offered a gig. Never had any issues from people in side projects, except when they leave me high and dry at the last minute on a high paying gig to cover the other project. (Always singers!! #smh >.< )

Aside from the networking/earning more dough side that is important to a hired gun like myself, I really enjoy new music and new people and new situations. I enjoy gigs where I don't know the musicians or the material and play well by ear.

Not everyone is like this. A lot of people really prefer a core group of musicians and music that they know and are already very comfortable with.

I suspect this is the main reason for the response, because of the line about not knowing your own songs yet. The extra work is probably why the other guys remained completely silent. It could also be out of deference to the guitarist.

However, the douchnozzle-radar is also pinging... I'd like to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, but it feels like there might be politics going on. The guitarist probably does feel threatened ... (he is, after all, a guitarist :P ) and if you sense ANY weirdness over the email, my advice would be to find a different band. Maybe Sam.
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

I think that email from the guitarist is being over-analysed. I don't see anything wrong with what he said, especially if he's the band leader in your current project. It makes sense to want commitment to the current project, especially since you haven't practiced for a couple of weeks, so perhaps he had some issues with that, no fault of yours and no fault of his either. I know, because I've been a guitarist pleading with drummers to show up for practice. He wasn't rude in my opinion, just brutally honest. Since Sam has cancelled his gigs, I think you should take that as a sign to persist with your current act, no need in getting into a tizzy over a simple email exchange like this one.
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Is it wrong to ask...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reggae_Mangle View Post
I think that email from the guitarist is being over-analysed. I don't see anything wrong with what he said, especially if he's the band leader in your current project. It makes sense to want commitment to the current project, especially since you haven't practiced for a couple of weeks, so perhaps he had some issues with that, no fault of yours and no fault of his either. I know, because I've been a guitarist pleading with drummers to show up for practice. He wasn't rude in my opinion, just brutally honest. Since Sam has cancelled his gigs, I think you should take that as a sign to persist with your current act, no need in getting into a tizzy over a simple email exchange like this one.
I totally agree.

Have to say I can't see anything particularly wrong with the response either.

Jeez....should see some of the exchanges we have in our band. People here would draw the conclusion that we're all mortal enemies
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