A hard thing to do

AZslim

Senior Member
All,

I recently went on an audition. The good news is they wanted me on the spot. The bad news is I didn't want to be in their band.

How the heck do you tell people this without coming off like a jerk? I don't like the idea of leaving and then telling them by email.

They said they played funk and blues. It turned out to be another blues guitar masturbation band playing one shuffle after another for 7 or 8 minutes while the guitar played endless solos. No funk except one tune with sort of a funk feel over yet another 1 4 5 form. They were also essentially a startup because not all of the band had ever played the sets. They making them up the fly.

I politely told them that I wasn't interested in a straight blues band nor a startup. It went pretty well, but I feel I could do better.

I think telling people no is in some ways harder than failing the audition.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
There are a number of ways to say "it's just not for me." In fact, that's one of them.

Anything along the lines of "this band isn't what I'm looking for" is a good way beg off, without them feeling like they did something wrong or that you don't (necessarily) like them. By making it a "sorry guys, it's not you... it's me" kind of excuse, you also close the door for further discussion about your decision. You basically get to say "no thanks" and make a clean getaway.

Obviously the best way to avoid having to say no, is to pre-screen groups better before agreeing to audition. Don't be afraid to ask specific questions to find out where everyone is at commitment-wise, ability-wise, goal-wise, and to make sure you're on the same page musically. Auditioning is an interview process for both parties. The more that each side knows about the other, the better each can decide if the audition is a good idea at all. Sometimes it's not, and it's much easier for either party to say "it just doesn't sound like a good fit" without blindly investing time and feelings into an audition.

Bermuda
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Everyone goes through this. No one I've jammed with has ever said they didn't want to be involved until they were out of sight. They always wait until they can text or email, so I don't ask them on the spot. I've had people still maintain that they're interested but when I go to line up a jam they're busy or they just don't reply. I'm a bit more honest but so far I've been lucky, no one's really pressured me to commit on the spot.

I had to knock back a guitarist last week.. It was hard because he had a bit of an ego. The reality was he was he played some nice chords but he was a bad listener and couldn't stay in time.

I just said 'you're a great player but I don't think we're suited'. He didn't write back. Problem solved, guilty feeling fading.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
About 3 years ago I should have said, "It's just not for me". Would have saved me a few headaches. You did the right thing.

Happy with my current projects though.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Joining a band, is like trying on a new set of clothes. Some just don't fit. No is a great word. Guilt over something like this is useless and detrimental to you. Being a straight shooter, while being kind and respectful to people....is a great skill, and makes you feel good about yourself. If you said yes, you would have regretted it and felt bad that you didn't take your own feelings into consideration. So you did the right thing. Try and shed any guilt, that does you no good at all. You don't want to be a pushover. I'd feel good about it as long as you maintained respect for the guys. No is an empowering word.
 

AZslim

Senior Member
There are a number of ways to say "it's just not for me." In fact, that's one of them.

Anything along the lines of "this band isn't what I'm looking for" is a good way beg off, without them feeling like they did something wrong or that you don't (necessarily) like them. By making it a "sorry guys, it's not you... it's me" kind of excuse, you also close the door for further discussion about your decision. You basically get to say "no thanks" and make a clean getaway.

Obviously the best way to avoid having to say no, is to pre-screen groups better before agreeing to audition. Don't be afraid to ask specific questions to find out where everyone is at commitment-wise, ability-wise, goal-wise, and to make sure you're on the same page musically. Auditioning is an interview process for both parties. The more that each side knows about the other, the better each can decide if the audition is a good idea at all. Sometimes it's not, and it's much easier for either party to say "it just doesn't sound like a good fit" without blindly investing time and feelings into an audition.

Bermuda
Thanks. Great advice as usual. The longer I go without a gig, the more tempting it is to play with just about anybody hoping I get lucky and find the right people.
 

AZslim

Senior Member
Joining a band, is like trying on a new set of clothes. Some just don't fit. No is a great word. Guilt over something like this is useless and detrimental to you. Being a straight shooter, while being kind and respectful to people....is a great skill, and makes you feel good about yourself. If you said yes, you would have regretted it and felt bad that you didn't take your own feelings into consideration. So you did the right thing. Try and shed any guilt, that does you no good at all. You don't want to be a pushover. I'd feel good about it as long as you maintained respect for the guys. No is an empowering word.
I really tried to be respectful, but I always worry about burning bridges. The music community is a small one.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I really tried to be respectful, but I always worry about burning bridges. The music community is a small one.
Just the fact that burning bridges concerns you, I'm sure you handled it fine. It is a valid concern, but I don't think declining a band offer can be considered burning a bridge by any mature person.
 
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