Shifting gears - adding a THIRD band (and a personal challenge)

alparrott

Platinum Member
There was a time, not long ago, when I thought to myself, "How could anyone be in more than one band at a time? Who can possibly make that work?"

I'm kind of ironically laughing at myself here. It was two summers ago that I was called back into a band I'd left a few years prior, and it was if I'd never left. This band plays mostly originals (indie rock with some Latin thrown in) with a few covers, led by a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist. I'd stayed friends with the guy, and it's a very tight little unit now, although there's occasional bits of drama.

The next spring, two guys I'd played around with several times separately asked me to join their classic rock covers gig. The first gig went well enough that I was invited to join on the spot. There is zero drama in this band - it's completely chill and fun, two of the sweetest guys I know, a joy to work with. We don't get everything 100% right all the time, but we have fun 100% of the time.

Now a really good friend who's a Berklee-trained jazz vocalist has called me up for drum duties to complete a piano-bass-drums trio with her fronting it. Talk about a left turn stylistically! Something I've always wanted to do.

Of everything I've been asked to do in the last few years, I'm simultaneously more nervous and more excited about this gig than any other. I love jazz, but I haven't "soaked myself in it" as much as the other styles I've been called on to play. There will be charts to study and I'm very confident in my ability to listen on stage, but this is definitely off the deep end. Most of all, I'm concerned with sounding "authentic" enough in this setting.

I've put away my big Ludwig tubs for a while in favor of my smaller Yamaha kit. Everything is properly tuned and I'm practicing my brushes. My listening playlists (for practice and pleasure) are all piano trio stuff. I'm open for advice and eager to tell you how things go.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I've been a member of multiple bands for over 35 years, and enjoy the (relative) diversity of each: rock/blues, country/rockabilly, oldies & classic covers, eclectic jazz/pop, and with Weird Al, I get a much wider palette of styles including dance, rap, alt rock, ballads, blues, pop, a little Latin, etc.

While it's nice to keep busy with different groups of players, I've been especially fortunate that there are almost no scheduling conflicts. Somehow, I'm able to do just about every gig offered. :)

Bermuda
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
"Most of all, I'm concerned with sounding "authentic" enough in this setting."

I totally get this. I've started playing with a jazz trio once a month, with a female vocalist joining for some songs. I know a few jazz styles and licks, but I do feel a bit of a fraud, especially since I studied jazz trombone at university, and have heard how good the actual jazz drummers are.

But each month I get lots of compliments, and the singer even asked if I could teach her teenage son how to play jazz drums. (which I won't be able to do). It's inspired me to practise, and it is a definite change of pace from the cover band and the 50's band I'm in. Enjoying it immensely.
 

BruceW

Senior Member
I'm currently in two bands... I'm in a band that is more rock based, and does originals as well. Three of us from that band are in a second band with two friends from yet another band, playing more country and country-rock.

It becomes a bit of a challenge from a booking standpoint, but we have the Google calendar thing on our phones, and when one of the three bands books a gig, we shoot a message and it updates our calendars so that everyone knows what's available.

I really enjoy the diversity, and working on two set lists that are mostly separate. On most weeks we rehearse one night with each band.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I'm currently in two bands... I'm in a band that is more rock based, and does originals as well. Three of us from that band are in a second band with two friends from yet another band, playing more country and country-rock.

It becomes a bit of a challenge from a booking standpoint, but we have the Google calendar thing on our phones, and when one of the three bands books a gig, we shoot a message and it updates our calendars so that everyone knows what's available.

I really enjoy the diversity, and working on two set lists that are mostly separate. On most weeks we rehearse one night with each band.
I use Google Calendar as well, and so does one of the bands. I suppose it's germane to the conversation that the originals band is somewhat on hiatus from performing while we finish a recording, and if the jazz gigs work out they can supplant some of that activity at least for this year.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
I'm in four bands right now.....jazz/funk/lounge, pop rock, garage hard rock, and a Lady Gaga tribute band. PLUS I just got hired for my first musical, haven't had a gig where I read charts since college (10+ years ago for me). The musical has rock, disco, jazz, and even reggae (which I'm passable at, but need to work on my chops there so I don't sound too white).

Its a lot of fun to play different styles. Playing all hard rock would get old after awhile.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I play at church every other week, and I'm in one band that gigs (see signature).

Having a day job and a commute, I'm not sure I would want to be in another band right now. If I was in another band, it would REALLY have to be something special, as in the music was great and it paid well.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
You get known, people ask you to jam or call when their regular drummer can't make the gig. After a few years you are in a few bands.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
So the jazz gig happened last night. And by all accounts, it was a success, with only two real rehearsals before we went live.

In my other thread, I had been agonizing about using my K Custom as the ride in this setting. I needn't have worried. Most of the night I used rods on it anyway, and with the venue reconfigured and sold out (!), the volume was perfect against the rest of the band.

I feel like we really chunked on one Latin tune early on in the set, but I am proud of the way we collectively shook it off and went for it for the rest of the night. We pulled through a number of old standards and swung our arses off. The gig culminated with a pretty quick take on "Four", and the entire band shone as we traded fours. We stopped on a dime and the place blew up.

Moral of the story: Stretch yourself and get out of the comfort zone. It will definitely do you some good!
 

Attachments

Top