leave of absence from band..gettin ugly!!


Gold Member
This is much like another post but for way different reasons, so I started a new thread.
I'm taking a leave from my band...its a combo of mostly job and a summer move..my job is requirung me to be there on most Saturdays and extended hours thru the week for the next month or so.. plus my wife and I have moved for the summer (much closer to work) to the beach.. I found a sub, its the bassist son but he's not at my level so I'm getting a very bad response from the band which I have known my whole life (I'm 48).. I told them I have to finish this project at work, once its done I will do the 100 mile commute for "some" practices and all gigs..I told them I could do Sat. night gigs but very few if any rehersals..we play cover songs with no arrangement changes and have a list of 60 songs I'm very comfortable playing plus I have them all on ipod for my temp. apt.'s Roland set.. They are insistent on 2 practices per week..I cant do it now, even if I could make the time..almost 200 miles round trip..with current gas $$.. am I wrong here? I'm working 10-12 hour days and most of Sat. I feel they should be more flexible at least for a month or two..we only have 4 gigs the next 2 months, 1 is a Sat. afternoon, one a Fri. night and 2 Sat. nights.. Regardless of the outcome its gonna to put a strain on some lifelong friendships.. I think I am venting here more then asking for help but any ideas cant hurt..


Platinum Member
It sounds like the bandmates view rehearsals as "hang out" time, too, which is maybe why they insist on such a rigorous rehearsal schedule. Most professional gigs don't have so much camaraderie, which is both blessing and curse!

But if you have a Roland kit, why not record the tunes for their rehearsal, where they can play your drum tracks through the PA system at rehearsal, or at home by themselves? You could add the challenge of recording the songs to a click track, if you're in need of some metronome challenges. It would also be a challenge for them, if they are looking to you for visual cues to get through the tunes, or expecting you to push and pull with the collective sense of time. Heck, it could even be a good start to recording some demos for your FB page or whatnot. In a way, this is a good time to get everyone to invest more personal practice in their own parts and performances, which will probably make the band even tighter.


Gold Member
I don't know what level everyone is at, but 2 rehearsals a week for unchanged cover tunes is - far too much in my book. I personally wouldn't make the time and gas money for that.


Silver Member
Two rehearsals a week for a cover band with a 60 song book is too much. If they can play they would need a quarter that to keep the songs up to date. I'd tell them to get a hobby to get them out of the house two nights a week (I dunno, bowling? Synchronized swimming? Darts?) and you can do a brush-up rehearsal before the gigs you play.

Unless you are doing some tough stuff they and you should be fine.


Platinum Member
I've done similar things with my originals bands, which unfortunately do require rehearsals. I had some work related tests to take that I needed 6 weeks off to cram hard for. They were cool about it. Maybe it's the spin you put on it while you're making your pitch. For me, it was like, "Hey here's a good opportunity for you guys to get together for some relaxing writing time without a bored drummer in the room causing distractions." It seems to have worked because I got the time off, passed my tests, and the guys were able to be productive in my absence.

Maybe this would be a good opportunity for them to work on padding the set list a little bit?


Platinum Member
If there are no changes to the songs and they are all covers there should not be a need for any rehearsal. Practise and rehearsal are two very different things. You practice your parts at home, not at rehearsal. The only thing is if the song is a fade out you need to all be on the same page on how to end. Other than that you should not need to get together. It sounds like your job is very demanding right now, and you are right to focus on your career.


Senior Member
Damn you're going to drive 100 miles to practice? That is insane. I'm sorry but I think that move may have been the end of being with that band. I know they are friends but with the amount of time, energy, and money required just to get to practice, it's just ridiculous to think you can still make it there. Why do you even want to drive that far to practice, I know it's fun and they are your friends but you gotta be reasonable.

Here's what I would do. I would tell them that the move and job and whatever else has made it so you are no longer able to give a full commitment to the band. This means they will need to look for a permanent replacement. I'd probably offer to help find a new guy and get him started out. You can drive out there for the occasional jam, or to fill in a gig, but I would start looking for another band. Hopefully as your friends they can see that it would be much easier for you if you were not a full time member any longer. It sucks leaving a band with your friends, but sometimes you have to.


Platinum Member
200 mile, round trip commute ... that's just freakin' nuts.​
I'd do that "only" if someone was paying for my time and my gas. Rough estimate ... $30 bucks for gas ... time in the drivers seat 4 hours $10 bucks an hour ... they wanna pay you $70 for each rehearsal?​
Percussionist buddy of mine plays at a local church. They pay $150 a rehearsal, and $250 a performance/church service. So it's worth it, for him to be away from his wife and kids, for a few hours a week, when he's got a minimum of $400 a week coming in. With the "current" economy what it is ... ya'll need cash coming in, not going out.​
Sounds like you got your feet pretty well grounded ... and your "band mates", they need a reality check ... it's 2011 ... not 1975.​


Silver Member
We had a practice last night and the bass players been having some problems gettign to rehearsals recently and the guitarist vocalist has been working in London a lot recenly (similar round trip to yourself from where we rehearse ) and he's struggling for money at the mom with the economy so cost of petrol makes a huge indent for practices.
The band leader was really philisophical about it and just said unfortunately unless a band becomes your main source of income then work, money and family have to come 1st.
Granted you do need to get there for a reasonable number of rehearsals but it sounds as though it's a short term blip driven by a need to earn a living in which case they should just view it as a sabbatical !!


Platinum Member
[Percussionist buddy of mine plays at a local church. They pay $150 a rehearsal, and $250 a performance/church service. So it's worth it, for him to be away from his wife and kids, for a few hours a week, when he's got a minimum of $400 a week coming in.
WOW - I've been playing in churches for 20 years and have never been paid (nor would I ask to be paid, but that's a different story). I need to check out this church!


Senior Member
I'm in a 7-piece cover band and we get together about 1-2 times per month tops. We have well over 100 songs on the set list and learn about 5 new songs per year as needed. Practice is 30 min away and in the 3+ years I joined the band, not a single argument between any of us - super great guys. My point is - there's no need for 2 practices per week for 60 cover songs - no way - I'd say not even 1 practice per week while you are away - perhaps 1-2 times total until you return.