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  #1  
Old 09-19-2013, 01:12 AM
jcole18 jcole18 is offline
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Default Leaving a Band-Advice!

Hello drummers/musicians! I have encountered a situation that is somewhat difficult to deal with...any input would help me out. Thanks.

I have been playing drums with a band consistently for over a year now. We have recorded a cd, played several gigs, practiced a bunch. The band is on the larger side (3 piece horn section, guitar, bass, drums, and a female vocalist) and we do mostly originals. The music is okay--very rehearsed, non-improvisational pop/rock tunes--but not really the genres I dig which are more along the lines of funk, jazz, r&b, latin, etc. This band rehearses every week, yet the gigs we get about once a month are always on the bill with one or two other bands and never pay anything. So in over a year's work, I have received no money in return. I am 23 years old and music is essentially my livelihood, while most of the musicians in this band are in their early 30s, young professionals with decently paying jobs.
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The bandleader in this band booked a show next month on the 18th that I said I would do. However, an r&b band I'm playing in just booked a show that same night that pays me $75 that I feel much more inclined to play for the money and for the music. I consider myself a nice individual and don't want to reject a group and leave with hostile feelings, but I feel my time to move on has arrived especially if more favorable, better-paying gigs are coming my way.

So knowing this gig is about a month away, how should I approach speaking to my bandleader? Any advice? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2013, 01:22 AM
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eclipseownzu eclipseownzu is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

I think you just need to be honest and have an adult conversation with the guy. Nobody likes somebody who wont be honest with them. Whatever you do, do it quick. A month is plenty of time to find a replacement. If you wait a couple of weeks you are screwing over the band, then they will have a right to be pissed at you.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:37 AM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole18 View Post
The bandleader in this band booked a show next month on the 18th that I said I would do. However, an r&b band I'm playing in just booked a show that same night that pays me $75 that I feel much more inclined to play for the money and for the music. I consider myself a nice individual and don't want to reject a group and leave with hostile feelings, but I feel my time to move on has arrived especially if more favorable, better-paying gigs are coming my way.

So knowing this gig is about a month away, how should I approach speaking to my bandleader? Any advice? Thanks.
Unfortunately, since you said you'd do it, I think you'd better do the gig. Last thing you want is for it to get out that you ditch gigs for any reason.

Having said that, I would make it my last gig with these guys unless you start seeing some money.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:54 AM
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opentune opentune is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

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Originally Posted by jcole18 View Post
I consider myself a nice individual and don't want to reject a group and leave with hostile feelings, but I feel my time to move on has arrived especially if more favorable, better-paying gigs are coming my way.
Says it all. Al said it. You committed to the 18th and should carry it out. Nobody likes a flake and they don't get good referrals. Then part ways for green-back pastures.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:17 AM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

If you enjoy the current situation, even if not the most challenging or artistic/improvisational gig, you could inform them that in the future the gigs that pay will be priority. Leave the ball in their court. If you don't necessarily want to leave permanently.
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2013, 04:17 AM
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FoolInTheRain FoolInTheRain is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

While I certainly don't advocate a cut-and-run approach, I also feel as though life is too short to waste your time. And, likewise, waste other peoples' time. Being upfront and honest about your intentions benefits everybody.

Of course, the timing is important as well. If the show you committed to is just another show like all the rest, I don't think it's going to completely kill any and all momentum the group has going for it. However, if this was an album release or some other special kind of gig that the group had invested more than the usual amount of time and energy into, that changes things a little.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:24 AM
Razbo Razbo is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

IMHO, integrity is everything. Your reputation is a bit at stake. I would say do the gig you committed to, and after that, let them know you'd like to move on (no sense creating drama before a gig).
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  #8  
Old 09-19-2013, 04:59 AM
Bobrush Bobrush is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

Honor the commitment you already made to play the next show. After that, however, you have several viable options which other posters have mentioned. I'll add one more: Have a conversation with the bandleader and tell him in a friendly, mature, professional, and respectful manner that you need money even if the rest of the guys don't. Therefore, they could pay you if they want to keep you, or otherwise you have to look for another job, a musical job that pays, and you know such jobs are waiting for you. It's all in how you say it. Also, note that you don't actually have to wait until after the show, you could have this conversation tomorrow.
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2013, 05:29 AM
sam13 sam13 is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

Play the gig you agreed to play. Be a man of his word. Quit after.
Plus, other than a little gas in the car, will $75 really make or break you?
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2013, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

In your situation, unless I really wanted the money I would play the gig that I'd agreed to.

If I really needed the money I would basically ask the band re-organize and if they said no I would just have to gracefully accept.

So many people out there with zero integrity, don't be one of them.
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2013, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

The best thing to do is usually the hardest. Do the gig you committed to. I know, I know, it sucks. Suck it up and get it over with. Tell the new guys that it's killing you to have to turn them down, and that you want to play with them really badly, but you must honor your commitment, because it's the right thing to do. It's your reputation you're tampering with. Meanwhile, give your notice. Who knows, they may let you off the hook for the gig on their own.
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2013, 08:20 AM
jcole18 jcole18 is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

Hi guys,

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I spoke with my bandmate briefly tonight and discussed the situation, with the understanding that we'd talk again tomorrow.

I'm going to play the gig to uphold the integrity I've committed to the band. Breaking a commitment is not worth $75. The bandleader however did offer to match me on the bread by delving into the 'band fund', but this would mean that I'd be receiving special treatment in the group which I'm not comfortable with.

That said, I'm going to talk to my bandleader tomorrow and tell him my time has come to move on. Sticking with the group while telling them 'priority will be given to paying gigs' will inevitably lead to another situation like this--the band books, a better gig comes along and I'm forced to make a tough decision. I can't continue to pass up opportunities that are stylistically more suitable and actually pay.

Thanks again for all your input. I really appreciate it. If there's any other advice you'd like to throw at me or anything you'd like to add to the conversation, don't hesitate to do so!

Last edited by jcole18; 09-19-2013 at 08:32 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2013, 09:09 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole18 View Post
.
The bandleader in this band booked a show next month on the 18th that I said I would do. However, an r&b band I'm playing in just booked a show that same night that pays me $75 .

This isn't a drumming question, it's a life question.

Is the value of your word $75?

You can certainly ask the band if they could find a replacement but, since you said you would do the gig, you gotta do the gig if you have any integrity.

edit: I just read the last post and it looks like you didn't need my advice :)
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  #14  
Old 09-19-2013, 10:43 AM
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SquadLeader SquadLeader is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole18 View Post
Hi guys,

The bandleader however did offer to match me on the bread by delving into the 'band fund', but this would mean that I'd be receiving special treatment in the group which I'm not comfortable with.
Yeah. That's just wrong.
Good call you made there.
Band fund in an amateur band isn't for paying guys to play out of.
Honourable move you made there.

Can you not do both gigs? Stupid question probably for all manner of reasons. But I know most drummers just simply 'no can do' the idea of two gigs in an evening/day when there's practically no reason for it, if the two gigs can both be got to in time to perform. Most guys feel that 'the event' is hanging around pre-gig, post gig, eating a meal with the band, drinking, chatting about the gig, etc. etc.

My band tend to do a rehearsal on the same day as a gig....no different than doing two gigs in reality.

Just a thought.
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  #15  
Old 09-19-2013, 04:57 PM
jcole18 jcole18 is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

I looked into doing both gigs--it won't work. The first is from 11-12 and the other is from 9-1!
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  #16  
Old 09-19-2013, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

This one is pretty simple.

When playing in multiple bands, gig that is booked first is the one you honor. No two ways about it. Doesn't matter which one pays more, which one is the genre you prefer, which one is in the nicer venue.....................on and on.

None of that matters.
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  #17  
Old 09-19-2013, 05:09 PM
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DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam13 View Post
Play the gig you agreed to play. Be a man of his word. Quit after.
Plus, other than a little gas in the car, will $75 really make or break you?
I realize the OP has already reached a decision, but yes to this.

What used to drive me crazy about the bar/casual scene was watching guys say "oh, I booked a $50 for Friday. On wait, I got a $75 gig for Friday, I need to find a sub for my $50 gig. Oh, now a $100 gig came up, I need to find another sub for the $75 gig..." With zero regard to the bigger picture.

It was like watching a dog chaise it's own tail. What are you really accomplishing?
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  #18  
Old 09-19-2013, 05:17 PM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Push View Post
This one is pretty simple.

When playing in multiple bands, gig that is booked first is the one you honor. No two ways about it. Doesn't matter which one pays more, which one is the genre you prefer, which one is in the nicer venue.....................on and on.

None of that matters.
Correct, as long as both bands know you are in two bands !!!
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  #19  
Old 09-19-2013, 07:30 PM
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ineedaclutch ineedaclutch is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
The best thing to do is usually the hardest. Do the gig you committed to. I know, I know, it sucks. Suck it up and get it over with. Tell the new guys that it's killing you to have to turn them down, and that you want to play with them really badly, but you must honor your commitment, because it's the right thing to do. It's your reputation you're tampering with. Meanwhile, give your notice. Who knows, they may let you off the hook for the gig on their own.
There is your answer.
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  #20  
Old 09-20-2013, 11:55 PM
eamesuser eamesuser is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

I think the OP did the right thing,It was nice the bandleader offered to pay him.He could still offer to sub,and be paid,they may have a tough time finding a competent replacement that will rehearse one a week and not get paid.
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  #21  
Old 09-22-2013, 05:09 AM
vxla vxla is offline
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Default Re: Leaving a Band-Advice!

Something that struck me was "band fund"? How about paying the musicians? Don't play for free.
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