Time to part ways?

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Since my little garage band broke up last July, I've played w/ several people but the most regularly, with one guitar player in particular. He's a fantastic guy, super cool, and we get along great. He plays really well, his skill level is several years beyond my own - I've been grateful that he puts up with my inexperience.

However...

Since last July we've produced nothing. We don't have a single original tune arranged and worked out and this guitarist doesn't like doing covers (haven't figured out why...it's not clear). He cancels nearly as much as he shows up and never has any new ideas of his own (which I'd expect, since he won't learn covers). A typical "practice" is an extended jam session. While quite fun and inspiring - these jam sessions really aren't enough for me anymore. I've sent him simple drum tracks and ideas upon request, and I've never gotten a response or something in return.

We've talked about goals time and time again and he always seems genuinely motivated to do this-or-that ("Yeah, let's find a bassist! Let's get some originals put together! Let's do some recording!", etc.)

We've tried several bassists and he never seems terribly excited about them, one way or another.

Now it's spring, going on summer...and I'm left wondering if I'm just a weekly jam session for the guy and if this "band" will ever be taken seriously by anyone but me. It's actually been a bit of a drag and has been affecting my motivation to practice as hard...feeling like I have no goals or anything to aspire to.

What would you do? I'm ready to just call him up and tell him I'm going to actively look for new people to play with but I don't want to burn any bridges or lose a friend.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I have played with hundreds of people and this happens more often than you think. In these situations, after months like this, I wouldn't even express my dissatisfactions with him. Just find new people to play with. I probably won't even notice that you stopped contacting him.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I have played with hundreds of people and this happens more often than you think. In these situations, after months like this, I wouldn't even express my dissatisfactions with him. Just find new people to play with. I probably won't even notice that you stopped contacting him.
Agreed.

You don't have to "break up" with him, just find yourself a new situation.

I was once in a similar situation with a guitar player. I just found a new band. I didn't hear from the guy for six months! The funny thing is, when he did finally call, he was shocked that I had moved on without him. LOL.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
I'm ready to just call him up and tell him I'm going to actively look for new people to play with but I don't want to burn any bridges or lose a friend.
Hi zambizzi, I would do exactly that. The responsibility to keep music alive is on you. I've only quit one band in my career, and it was a fairly "big" one, and the reason I quit was because the guitar player, who was a brilliant musician, was drinking himself to the point of not being able to play at all. It was sad, and when we played gigs it could be an embarassing train-wreck. The music was challenging and a gas to play but the band was going nowhere but down.
One gets used to things, feels at home, but it's important to recognize when you're in a failed relationship. So I quit. I told him that I'd decided to pursue my dream of having my own band, which was true, but I didn't say anything derogatory about him or his band. I just left. And we remained friends until he died from the bottle several years later.
By all means leave this band, follow your own vision, keep working and view all this as an opportunity to move forward.
 
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baz

Silver Member
...I'm sorry but if you change a few words around this could be a letter to Dear Abby.

These band break up posts always sound like jilted lover stories, and I guess in a way, they are. Bands are relationships, Some good, some bad. Making music is a collaboration , and the effort involved can take an emotional toll. It is worse when you see the potential, build your hopes, then have them come crashing down when it becomes so painfully obvious that you do not all share the same commitment. Telling a person to move on, and find others who are more like minded is the easy, sympathetic, there there standard thing to say, but bands, like girlfriends don't just fall out of the sky, unless you are Rod Stewart.

You may go through a lot of flakes, fruits, and nuts in your bowl of musical granola, thinking you may never find the right mix. However, every person that you play with, jam with, or connect with could lead to the right mix finding you.

Good luck Zam. You are a good guy and good things will happen for you.

Barry

.
 

zambizzi

Platinum Member
Haha! Dear Abbey...my guitarist is dissin' me.

Sorry guys...didn't want it to sound like a pity party. It's tough to find people around here who can count to four while playing, nevermind someone who has fairly amazing chops and puts up w/ a noob like myself. That's what we all want but can't always find, right - people who play better than we do?

Dealing with people in a band setting is unique and complicated - you don't have the professional expectations that you do in a work environment (aside form the "musician for hire" setting) and there are more expectations than if it were a bunch of guys hanging out, drinking beer.

It may just be time to head back to regular lessons to stay inspired until something new comes along.

Thanks for the tips, guys!
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I agree with DMC, Vin. Why say anything..

Getting all the pieces to fall in place is a bit of a crap shoot.

I mean to get guys who are good musicians, and are serious and committed about putting something together, AND pull it off without problems, hang ups, egos, attitudes etc..

I'd say its good that he comes over and you guys at least get to jam. It might not be the ultimate solution but why not keep this going and keep looking for holy grail as well?
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I agree with DMC, Vin. Why say anything..

Getting all the pieces to fall in place is a bit of a crap shoot.

I mean to get guys who are good musicians, and are serious and committed about putting something together, AND pull it off without problems, hang ups, egos, attitudes etc..

I'd say its good that he comes over and you guys at least get to jam. It might not be the ultimate solution but why not keep this going and keep looking for holy grail as well?
Yes, you really have to play with a lot of people to find that magic combination of talent, organization, ego containment, attitude and drive. I can count on one hand the people I have played with that I would like to really, really be in a band with. Nevertheless, I learned something positively or negatively from each and every person I have played with and the experience has done me good.

That's how you should view this fellow. You made some good music, learned some stuff and grew. In fact, you grew more than he did and now you want what he can't provide. I say go for it. He won't even miss you.
 
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