I'm in a Band - And I Have a Problem

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
A couple of weeks ago I got in touch with a guitar player that's starting a new band. Last weekend I met and played with the two guys (guitar & bass) in the band. Both of these guys are great - musically and personally. We played for about 3 hours and it seemed simply magical. Two of the songs we played turned into 12 - 15 minute improvisational jams each and we were all just spot on. So, all this is really cool and I'm feeling really good!! So yesterday, I found out that I'm in - Yeah!!

I have one problem, however.

I had an informal audition with another band (the rhythm guitarist, actually) that I contacted about the same time as the previous one (this happened a week ago before I got together with the guys I am going to play with). Anyway, two days ago this guitar player asked if I'm available to come play with the rest of his band sometime next week (I am assuming for a formal audition). Of course, I agreed because I didn't know my exact status with the other two guys... but as of last night, I do.

So, what do I do here? What do I tell the other guy in the other band? I know this isn't exactly a first world problem here, but it's brand new to me.

I'm charting new territory and feel more alive than I have in a while.

Thanks in advance for all your advice and input!!
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Yay - well done, Mitch!

Bands are like buses. You wait forever for one, and then ...

I don't see why it's a problem unless you've signed some sort of exclusivity clause. My guitarists are in two other bands besides mine, and my bassist is in one. I'm on the lookout for another I could join. As long as everybody knows, there shouldn't be too much difficulty.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
Be honest and up front, with yourself and others, and everything will work out for the best.

Ask yourself, if you had to pick one or the other, who would you enjoy playing with more.

If your schedule allows, and all parties are cool knowing that you have other bands that you play with, great. I would give the rhythm guitarist in the 2nd band a call and explain the situation to him so everything is up front and on the table. They may want someone that can be more committed than what your new unknown band situation might call for. This way, down the road, when band line-ups change and you are looking for people to play with, you are not trying to cross any burnt bridges.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
All good advice that has gone before this. I would add my $.02 on being in two bands; it's great if your personal situation, the situation of both bands, and the local scene allow for it.

If you are working a 40-hour job, have a spouse and/or kids, or other commitments, overlay the implied commitment level of each band onto that schedule and be realistic with your timesharing. if you are in the clear there, the activity levels of the two bands might be incompatible -- i.e. both want to practice four nights a week, both want to book a gig every Saturday night, etc. If one is a hobby band and the other one is playing for pay, that's also a consideration. If both are playing for pay, the respective rates they command will also be relevant.

Also, how large and opportune is the local scene where you'll be playing in both bands? How often will there be conflict? Most bands in my area tend to focus their gigs in the warmer months in between April and October, and I have been in situations before where I have had major conflicts on Fridays and Saturdays. If the bands are similar or complimentary genres, this can actually be an advantage as potentially the two bands can double-bill a booking on multiple occasions. Not so much so if your two bands are death metal and bluegrass, but I suppose that might work too.

In the end, try to be practical and not emotional about the decision (difficult, I know, but always worth it in the long run). Communicate honestly with both bands. Even if you end up choosing one over the other, you don't want to be remembered as the "disloyal F%^$" later on, especially if your scene is small and everyone knows everyone.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Is it impossible to be in both bands?
Yay - well done, Mitch!

Bands are like buses. You wait forever for one, and then ...

I don't see why it's a problem unless you've signed some sort of exclusivity clause. My guitarists are in two other bands besides mine, and my bassist is in one. I'm on the lookout for another I could join. As long as everybody knows, there shouldn't be too much difficulty.
Be honest and up front, with yourself and others, and everything will work out for the best.

Ask yourself, if you had to pick one or the other, who would you enjoy playing with more.
I should have been clearer in my original post.

The guys that offered me the gig last night are the people I want to play with the most. Which is a good thing. Besides, I don't have time for two bands - you know, work, family, practice, etc.!!

What exactly should I tell the other guy? Thanks, but no thanks? I want to be diplomatic and not burn bridges as Road Bull said.

You're right, Madge. You wait and wait and then ... damned, too much!!
 

DrummerCA35

Senior Member
I should have been clearer in my original post.

The guys that offered me the gig last night are the people I want to play with the most. Which is a good thing. Besides, I don't have time for two bands - you know, work, family, practice, etc.!!

What exactly should I tell the other guy? Thanks, but no thanks? I want to be diplomatic and not burn bridges as Road Bull said.

You're right, Madge. You wait and wait and then ... damned, too much!!
Yeah I've been where you are. I'd tell them how great they are, how nice it was playing with them, but that something that matches your goals came along, and you just gotta go with your gut and what you want to do. I've found there's no easy way to do this kind of thing, personally, but once you get it over with and do it, you'll feel so much better.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Ask yourself, if you had to pick one or the other, who would you enjoy playing with more.
This might change over time, or the personnel in either band could change at any moment. You have no idea, presently, what either band's commitment is to you. Both bands could have a drummer on hold, or come across one who is better than you tomorrow. Be upfront, and enjoy both situations, if you have the time and energy. Bands are tough to keep together -- one may fizzle out soon, or both may not want to gig very often. You just don't know how it's going to play out right now, so don't make a decision until you must.

And be wary of the band that demands a 100% commitment -- they may not extend the same to you.

EDIT: So you don't have time for both bands. Explain to the band you're leaving that you only have time for one band, but that you obviously really enjoyed jamming with them, and that you'd like to stay in touch, and will pass along the names of other drummers if you happen to know any. DO NOT say that your preferred band is better, or nicer! Just say it's a better fit, schedule-wise, music-wise, gig-wise, whatever. Tell them you've been looking for a band for a while, and now two bands suddenly came along at the same time, and both bands have great people and great players, and that it wasn't an easy decision. Who knows? In a year everything could be different.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Tell them what happened: that the other band offered you the gig and you committed to them, and while you'd like to play with the first band, you don't have time for another but you'd like to keep in touch in case things don't work out.

If they aren't ok with this, they clearly don't have enough experience of how Life tends to work and you're better off without them!

ETA This is the best news I've had all day. Chuffed to bits for you, my dear.

AETA I got first and second mixed up, but I know what I mean.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I should have been clearer in my original post.

The guys that offered me the gig last night are the people I want to play with the most. Which is a good thing. Besides, I don't have time for two bands - you know, work, family, practice, etc.!!
I had an informal audition with another band (the rhythm guitarist, actually) that I contacted about the same time as the previous one (this happened a week ago before I got together with the guys I am going to play with). Anyway, two days ago this guitar player asked if I'm available to come play with the rest of his band sometime next week (I am assuming for a formal audition).
So ..... are you in this band (the one you want most), or are you just auditioning? Auditioning for a band is not the same as being offered a gig. Don't quit the band you just joined, unless you know for a fact, you've passed your audition and are in. Otherwise, you might wind up saying good-bye to one gig, and then not stepping into the other. Then you wind up being in no band.​
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I'd still go check out the second one.

You haven't been in the 1st band long enough to know if it will last.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
So ..... are you in this band (the one you want most), or are you just auditioning? Auditioning for a band is not the same as being offered a gig. Don't quit the band you just joined, unless you know for a fact, you've passed your audition and are in. Otherwise, you might wind up saying good-bye to one gig, and then not stepping into the other. Then you wind up being in no band.​
Yes, I'm in the one I want the most. We're working on song/set lists and setting up calendar events (all practice) at the current time. The Bass player and I are looking for times to get together and work exclusively on the rhythm parts so the two of us are tight. The other two members and I are very motivated - it's the type of situation I was looking for.

I'd still go check out the second one.

You haven't been in the 1st band long enough to know if it will last.
Regardless of this (good point, by the way), I simply do not have the time for more than one band. So, I'll have to take a leap of faith and hope the one I'm in lasts. And if it falls apart, I'll regroup at that point.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I'd still go check out the second one.

You haven't been in the 1st band long enough to know if it will last.
Exactly what I would do.

However if you decide not to, then just be upfront and tell the second band you've secured a gig you're happy with. Let 'em know as early as possible so as not to waste their time.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Definitely do the audition of Band #2 that you committed to. It could turn out equally great, or not. They might not take you either. Its early days and you know not how Band#1 works out.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Definitely do the audition that you committed to. It could turn out equally great, or not.
This whole thing is crazy. Let's call the band I am now a part of Band #2 - I played with them after I casually jammed with the first guy - Band #1.

When I first jammed with #1 I thought that this was totally the way to go and I was ready for whatever they wanted to throw my way. I kept the audition open with #2 (with the thought of just saying at the end: "Thanks, Guys. Talk to you later." because I thought that I could always use the experience which would make me a better drummer in the long run.

However:
Band #2, right from the get-go was more of a perfect fit for me than I would have ever imagined - like when you try on a pair of shoes and they're just right! It was like I have known these two guys for years. Everything was casual and at ease. Ideas and concepts were being tossed around and then tried out. Communication was at a peak level. Everything felt "right."

I'm willing to commit myself to Band #2 because of the experience I had with the other members.

Since I have decided that Band #1 is not for me, I need to cancel the audition for next week.

Any other words of wisdom?
 
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