Being in more than one band

Hey guys,

Just thought I'd open up a discussion about what people think of being in more than one band. I'm in two at the minute, with a possible third coming up. Personally I find it easy to do, as I just plan ahead and manage my time so that I'm not letting people down. I've seen it cause friction for other people though. Your views?
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Hey guys,

Just thought I'd open up a discussion about what people think of being in more than one band. I'm in two at the minute, with a possible third coming up. Personally I find it easy to do, as I just plan ahead and manage my time so that I'm not letting people down. I've seen it cause friction for other people though. Your views?
Allow me to point out a couple of threads on this subject - here and here.

Short answer - if more than one band is "busy" - and most often, bands are busy on Friday and Saturday nights - you will find yourself with a scheduling conflict. How this affects your membership in more than one band is between you and the members of each band. Some bands are fine with subs, others not so much.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Back in the old days (single with no kids) I had all the time in the world and every night was open for me so it was never a problem to be in two or three bands. But these were all originals bands so it wasn't like we were playing out more than once a month or so. Being in more than one band made it so that I could play out more, and play a wider variety of music. Plus, all the people in the bands I was in were mostly doing the same thing, so it was never an issue.

Fast forward to the now with the wife, kids, and career and I consider myself very lucky to get twice a week for band time. For the past several years I've been content to practice twice a week with the same band, doing monthly shows, and hitting the studio to capture our "hits" as they come along (every year or so).

But at the moment, I'm not feeling like that's what I want to do anymore. I've been playing in an electronic band which is really cool for all that it is (great singing / songwriting, playing to sequences / clicks), but it lacks the real time interaction of other musicians - bass player / guitar player stuff.

So I've decided to split my time between two bands. I can jump in and play shows with the electronic band and learn new songs emailed to me on my own time, so that doesn't require a full-time effort. I'm starting up in another band atm which is a more traditional guitar/bass/drums setup and we're working up enough material to start playing out soon.

I don't think anyone has any serious heartburn with this arrangement and I don't expect any insurmountable scheduling conflicts. Maybe getting both bands on the same bill would be a nice way to go!

Bottom line is that I only have 2 nights a week to play, so I need to be scratching all my itches in whatever way makes that happen.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
Currently in two bands which occupies me on Tuesday and Thursday nights, as well as some Saturdays and Sundays for gigs. I can usually make it work, and my wife is very accommodating.

Up until when our kids were born, I was playing softball 4 times a week! That ended in a hurry......
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
that's a big issue in my band. not because of me. i'm in no other band. the problem is with our guitar player, who is in three bands. for a while it was ok because we weren't gigging very much, but we've gotten popular and now we're constantly being asked to play shows. our guitarist is a big wet blanket though. every time we get offered a show, he complains that he's too busy or has a gig with another band that night. because of him we've had to turn down a lot of gig offers, which is something i hate doing. so yeah, multiple bands are fine as long as none of them are gigging very much, but as soon as one or more of them starts seriously gigging, then there's a problem!
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
that's a big issue in my band. not because of me. i'm in no other band. the problem is with our guitar player, who is in three bands. for a while it was ok because we weren't gigging very much, but we've gotten popular and now we're constantly being asked to play shows. our guitarist is a big wet blanket though. every time we get offered a show, he complains that he's too busy or has a gig with another band that night. because of him we've had to turn down a lot of gig offers, which is something i hate doing. so yeah, multiple bands are fine as long as none of them are gigging very much, but as soon as one or more of them starts seriously gigging, then there's a problem!
Turning down shows for one guy because he's in too many bands sounds like a terrible time. If you guys are getting so popular, he might want to take notice and either let you guys find someone else, or commit enough so that you don't lose shows.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I have almost always been in several bands at once. Currently two active ones plus one that is on standby ready to record an album and maybe do some festivals at some point. I find it helps give me new ideas as a musician, things can get stale otherwise.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I'm sure I contributed to one or both of the other threads, but I'll mention here as well.

Besides my primary artist affiliation, I play regularly in 4 other bands. Fortunately (maybe unfortunately?) none of them work so much that there's any real interference with each other. And because I do tour regularly, each band has at least one sub drummer in place, so they get the call in case I can't make a gig. Again, it doesn't happen often, so none of the groups has felt they need a more 'permanent' drummer, and I manage to remain first call in each.

But, if there were more frequent conflicts, I would be the first to suggest that one/some of the other groups start relying on someone else, and I guess I'd assume a sub position. It hasn't happened yet though, and I'm thankful that I can keep busy enough and play with different people on a regular basis.

Bermuda
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
For those that have jobs outside of music, that is where the conflict can arise often. I travel a lot for work, so sometimes I have to miss practice. But I do my best to schedule my trips around gigs.
 

JT1

Silver Member
Yeah man

I'm in 3 myself.

2 original bands that gig quite regularly and a Tribute band that is just practicing once a week and not gigging yet. I practice Tuesday, Thursday nights and Saturday day time.

I was made part-time at work recently so I have a lot more free time on my hands plus I'm single with no commitments, right now life is good =)

It can cause problems though so you need to lay down the groundwork so the members know what to expect when you join especially if you don't know them very well or at all.

When I joined one of my original bands I told them from the start it was a bit of fun on my part and my other band came first. They understood and no one has any problem with that at all, we are all good mates and have a good time, if someone can't do a practice or a gig everyone's cool with that.
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
I'm in two bands at the moment, an original and a cover band, right now it's working out fine cause the original is recording and not playing gigs but the cover band is aware that my main priority is with original music.

As long as you're honest with yourself and with all the bandmembers and keep a good handle on time, you can do it.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I'm only in one band, and we play virtually every weekend. I also play hand drums for a belly dance troupe. I do some sub work, but it ends up being very limited because of my other commitments. I get up at 5:45 each morning for work, so I can't be up to late during the workweek, at least not often! Too damn old for that. Plus I have family commitments.

So in my situation, I couldn't see being in another regular working band. I just don't have time!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I agree with some of the other posters, if you are gigging hard in one band it can lead to issues with the other(s), especially if possessiveness takes hold. This happened to me recently.

I was just getting started with a covers band, not particularly playing music I wanted to play, but I figured once we got out playing gigs it would be at least steady money. Then two weeks later I got the call to audition for one of the more successful and critically acclaimed acts in the area and got the job. At the time I was deciding to go for that job, I made no secret of it to the covers band, who at the time seemed to have no issues. I really worked hard and got the second gig.

A few months later, when my calendar started filling up, the covers band realized that I was going to be much busier with the originals band and reversed their position. They wanted me to commit to them exclusively, despite the fact that they hadn't even got a name yet, let alone a presskit or one committed gig. But please, give up a paying gig so you can practice with us twice a week for three more months?

That sort of choice is usually easy.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
The more band members that are in more than one band, the more scheduling conflicts arise. Yes, you can get subs. But imagine if everyone in the band X had someone more important to play with on a certain night. You could, conceivably, have The Subs playing that night!
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
Yeah.. I feel related to this.. as the sub. I've played as a sub in way more bands than I've been the main drummer, lol.

I like to see myself as a developing session drummer though. LOL. :p

Yes, you can get subs. But imagine if everyone in the band X had someone more important to play with on a certain night. You could, conceivably, have The Subs playing that night!
Hahahaha that would be awesome LOL. :D
 

Fishbones

Silver Member
Playing with a variety of people is the only way I've managed to stay in the biz. If I had stuck with my first band and played exclusively with them I'd probably be on the streets right now.
 
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