Post Number: 1711
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 3:15 am: |
Forget the money side of it because I don't play music for a living and we aren't talking big money anyway.
Without mentioning any names, I've recently been asked to join a band of a well known UK artiste whom I have played with many years back. However the backing band used to do their own set as support band for the gigs. The backing band although very capable musicians, (still), aren't well known at all, never done anything commercial or even worked as a separate unit, and if I'm honest, I felt the audience didn't really get off on their stuff. I thought they would have been better off doing covers which would have warmed the crowd up much better. ( but what did I know hahah)
In addition to that I never really had a good experience playing their stuff at all for far too many reasons to cite here. But at the time I was with the unit I was younger and enjoying the touring and playing main artiste's music so I kind of went along for the ride so to speak.
This time round, although I would enjoy playing the main artiste's music again I would not be interested in playing the music of the backing band unless they were doing covers and not their own music.
My thoughts are to say yes to do the project but no if it means playing the backing bands tired old stuff as well. I know I can't dictate what the outfit does, but I can certainly choose to be a part of it or not. Currently the set-list only includes the main artist songs but that may change by the time we hit the road.
Rehearsals are planned to start next week with a view to start playing at the end of the month on a few high profile gigs which would be good to do.
What would you do?
Post Number: 1113
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 3:46 am: |
jazzyvee..I played crap in a 70's band earlier this year..I did it for the money..never again but as you say the money option doesn't come into it.
It is nice to do the high profile gigs, the buzz of an appreciative large audience is indeed great but I can see what you mean..playing the same old songs which have been done to death is very tiresome.
Why not try one rehearsal with them and if it doesn't work out then politely say 'thanks but no thanks'..at least they can look for someone else straight away.
Post Number: 1411
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 4:47 am: |
I think you need to determine what they will be playing. Even if they do not play the old stuff they might have new stuff you won't be happy with. I would think you should be able to find out the show format so you could make a decision before having to commit.
In answer to your question I would probably say "No" to playing. While I always expect to play some material I do not like your description would be too much music I don't like. If I can't enjoy it why play?
Post Number: 2431
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 4:57 am: |
There's a difference between "not liking" and "not loving" the material. Even within a band context, you may not love all the tunes, but you play the ones you like less in order to have the opportunity to play the ones you love.
Any chance the backing band has changed over the years since you last played with them? Is there an opportunity to insert your style into the music and maybe make it a little more fun for you, or are their tunes beyond redemption?
Post Number: 1712
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 6:01 am: |
Sometimes I agree you do have to play some stuff you don't like in order to get the good stuff. In fact I've done sessions in the past where some songs I wouldn't really listen to, turn out great to play. But with this stuff...... hmm I have to be careful what I say here because there is more to this than just the music.
Ok I've calmed down and deleted shed loads of stuff hahaha.
Do i think the they will have changed in the passing years. No, but I'm prepared to consider the possibility and see what happens at rehearsals and decide after that.
Post Number: 447
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 6:54 am: |
It depends on a few variables such as the rate of compensation and
convenience issues such as logistics and location. Having to play anything as it is written is a daily fact for many studio musicians. I know an excellent studio Guitarist in Los Angeles who has 3 kids who does nothing but play studio and live gigs of all types of material. I like jamming with him because of his awesome intuitive versatility. He can play anything from Bach to Dark Star to James Brown and make it sound right. He makes his living locally in Los Angeles as a Guitar player.
Post Number: 878
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 7:21 am: |
I think that is a wise decision to wait and see what rehearsals hold. You are fortunate in being able to do so. Time has passed and I hope that you are pleasantly surprised.
Post Number: 1713
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 7:36 am: |
I hear you sonicus, and appreciate your input , however like I said in my original posting, I wanted to leave money out of the equation as I'm sure many of us would play most things if the we were able to make a decent living from it.
Post Number: 448
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 8:01 am: |
Sorry , I must have still had sleep in my eyes and did not read your original posting correctly. In that case as per your original inquiry my answer would have to be no. If I do not care for the material and I was seeking just a musical collaboration for fun and enjoyment if I did not like the material I would not be a participant . I must add however that I have a very eclectic interest in many genres of music , a wide spectrum .
Post Number: 4119
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 8:08 am: |
Of course if I were single and the band attracted lots of groupies .... hehehehe
Post Number: 1768
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 8:16 am: |
Even though I usually convince myself otherwise at the beginning of an engagement, there seldom is nearly enough money to compensate for playing stuff I do not connect with. A miserable gig is worse than no gig at all.
Post Number: 449
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 8:22 am: |
In that case Bill , if I were still single , I might even appear with green stripes on my face ! lol _______
Post Number: 1714
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 8:39 am: |
Hahaha you guys....
Post Number: 206
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 9:04 am: |
Jazzyvee, I think I would just approach the situation with an open mind, but with your open mind! I would express your concerns of the material that has been played in the past and maybe the audiences response to it. Then I would see if the chaps felt the same way about the material and if they don't and you know that it really sucks then you are in the wrong league of musicians and prepare yourself for a musical slide downward in playing and in spirit.
Even when it is for just money the same rule applies, if your not into it, then neither is your playing and people see that on your face, so you lower your standards and the public that has seen you perform say once again another year, look at that Bass player he is too good to be in that Band, but he is still is in it this year, then they think you have other issues. Remember if you want to shine as a player you got to stand out in the sunshine, not try to squeeze rays of light through the clouds hanging over you. Talk to the guys about some fresh idea's maybe and make your choice and if you feel the obligation to do it again this year then do it and start planning now not to do it ever again.
I feel your pain, a while back I stopped doing session work at one of the studio's because of the crap I was having to clean up, someone else's messy work, the money was good but enough was enough
(Message edited by john judge on October 13, 2009)
Post Number: 125
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 11:19 am: |
Hi Jazzyvee! I feel your pain, man. I do play for a living, mostly. I play for some friends when I'm in town, and they get on my nerves with the same old tired stuff. But at the end of the night I am happy I brought some professionalism to their gig, and I am happy they are my friends. My biggest problem is spacing out on tunes I don't like. For me it is very hard to concentrate on those tunes. Just my 2 cents, I think J.Judge hit the nail on the head. I got to say I respect you for throwing this out for input. Most guys would just do it for the money(Iknow you don't care)or the exposure. Good luck!
Post Number: 376
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 12:48 pm: |
If you're not doing it for the money - why bother? Meaning if you don't need to play to earn a living you can pick and chose to your heart's content. Life is too short to play a gig you aren't into.
Post Number: 27
|Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 7:17 pm: |
Jazzyvee, I'm sure many (if not most) of us have faced this quandary at some point. There is no universal answer. Yeah, I'd be more likely to play crap with cherished friends of 30 years than with total strangers, for instance.
At the same time, the caliber of musicians I'm playing with is just as important if not more so than whether or not I like the music. We should be able to come away with something unique from each other. Sometimes (usually?) I'm the weak link and the others are patient enough to help me. But on rare occasions the tables are turned and I bring something new and unique. In like fashion, others could potentially be moved by your musicallity to re-evaluate what they're doing and where they are and decide to elevate their whole approach.
Then again, maybe not! My 1 1/2 cents...Good Luck!!!!
Post Number: 1716
|Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 6:55 am: |
Well thanks guys there is certainly food for thought in the thread. In the past I was very much living my dream by touring etc whilst still holding down a full time job which paid my bills, so I became thick skinned and just did the gigs and rehearsals but nothing else. However this time round I've got a lot more experience as a band leader under my belt and am a lot more savvy and confident in discussing what I hear from the musicians around me in order to improve or add variety to the band output.
So I will take up the invitation to work with the band if it is going to be a positive experience overall. Yes we can all learn from any musical situation good or bad but If it looks like things are going to be as negative as before then there is no point in me going there.
I certainly will let you know what happens when we start rehearsals.
But I'm confident there are more opportunities to be taken.
Post Number: 882
|Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 7:13 am: |
Best of everything while you venture this path!
Post Number: 675
|Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 11:11 am: |
If it is a choice between playing something I dislike, and not playing, I would bite the bullet.
Post Number: 1117
|Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 3:15 pm: |
jazzyvee..you will have to let us know the outcome and your views..it is valuable info for everyone here who will no doubt come across a situation like that.
Right now I am on cloud 9 as the Salsa/Jazz outfit I am in are great guys and rehearsals are a joy..we have a big gig coming in Durham where it is a salsa evening(lots of very fit women!!).
The tunes have loads of great rhythms and the trumpet player doubles up on trombone.
Then there is the blues rock band in which we are diversing but not losing the plot. we did 'Politician' by Cream which I have never played but in our style.
Keep us posted mate, interesting thread you started here
Post Number: 8892
|Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009 - 7:56 pm: |
One of my bands once did the Robben Ford version of Politician; fun tune to play!
Post Number: 2432
|Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 2:31 am: |
I really agree with what John had to say about being into the music and having it show in your performance. You might get away with recording something you aren't into, but it's hard to have any stage presence playing something that bores you or, worse, sickens you. You have to put yourself in the moment when performing live. Enthusiasm and positive vibes are contagious, but so are the negative emotions.
Post Number: 405
|Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 5:06 pm: |
"Of course if I were single and the band attracted lots of groupies .... hehehehe
LOL! Bill, you haven't changed ;)
To the original post: No, I would not play with a band if I didn't like what they play. I don't like just going through the motions playing. I need to feel it, groove to it and just generally get into it.
Post Number: 35
|Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 12:33 pm: |
I knew there was a reason I earlier only added 1 1/2 cents to this discussion. I had intended to include this but inexplicably left it out. I’ve been hooked on jazz fusion since I first heard Mahavishnu in the early 70’s. But sometime between 1978 and 1982, at the behest of a friend I played bass in a gospel group backed up with some other young musicians with progressive leanings. As a rhythm section we brought a super intense, hard-edged funky swagger to the music that provided a unique counterpoint to our 15-piece choir as the members swayed and moaned in the background and while our charismatic singer crooned on top of everything. This jazz-gospel-funk fusion of primarily original material was novel at the time - at least in Oakland/Richmond - and we were gradually creating a buzz playing churches and even at a huge gospel festival in Las Vegas.
A local entrepreneur had the clever idea to open a "religious nightclub" in Richmond featuring non-alcoholic drinks, among other things. As part of their grand opening celebration they presented a bevy of gospel bands, including us. Our singer/leader, suddenly fearful that the audience might not be open to our progressive style of music, got cold feet and insisted we drop most of our trademark stuff and instead concentrate on older, slower and more traditional gospel songs like the other bands on the bill would presumably be playing. Some of us thought we shouldn’t be downplaying the very things that made our group unique in the first place. Also for the gig, to augment our sound he unilaterally brought in a bunch of his older gospel buddies who were more aligned with the traditional stuff and their presence further polarized the situation.
For the big night, we were slated to perform second. Our singer and I took a seat at a front table to take in the opening act, expecting to hear something tradition-steeped like “Precious Lord” – similar to what we were going to play. Instead, the very first band’s very first number was a smokin’ breakneck tempo version of Birdland – complete with Jaco-isms! The rest of their set had the same take-no-prisoners style that was really us, too. Only the audience would never know it. Fortunately, there was no tableware handy or I mighta’ stabbed our singer (just kidding)...but rest assured I DID give him a big piece of my mind!
I struggled through our set, barely able to control myself. It was the last time I played in that band. Though I’m not a gospel fan (no offense; none taken!), it had been worthwhile for the experience of fellowship and camaraderie within the band and the energy behind the music for me to stay on. But no longer.
The moral, for me, is that no matter what type of music you play, be true to it and never pander to your own fears and assumptions regarding the audience. Do what you do best and at least you’ll know you put your best foot forward. Let those other chips fall where they may.
Post Number: 320
|Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 1:52 pm: |
Flat out -- No!
Being a musician for me, was never a choice of consequence of life or making music. Nor was it necessary to build a musical career perpetuating a mind set of sounds, that perpetuates a environment which I find displeasing and totally un-healthy. What a paradoxical life I would have, if I ignored such ironies and continue a pattern of hypocrisy.
Fearing poverty is no excuse for me. My faith help me pass this test question with flying colors. This is not even a battle for me. There are other musical challenges placed be for me to resolve.
I believe one should never compromise their core values. In fact the more important your values are, the more you should compete against those things that prevent your values from shining. Get that Monkey off your back... and out of your closet.
If I went against my standards, you would see me supporting Fenders.
(Message edited by toma_hawk01 on November 15, 2009)
Post Number: 215
|Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 2:45 pm: |
very nicely put Sam, along the path of musical righteousness the road always seems to split at the intersection of life , commercial, the audience, making a living and what you really want to play, sadly most of the time, what we all really want to play is captivating only to an audience of one....ourself's...but I really dig playing original's and when you find the right audience the payoff is awesome!
Post Number: 1764
|Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 3:14 pm: |
It certainly has been an interesting thread. However, things still haven't started, no rehearsals or dates for any forthcoming gigs/tours. But if things change I should get another call.
Thanks for sharing your views & experience.
Post Number: 121
|Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 5:55 pm: |
Some time ago I was playing in a Billy Joel tribute band. The band had to be note perfect.
It was the most boring, uninspiring, restrictive and downright frustrating experience I have ever
had the displeasure to participate in.
I left when the lead singer asked us to call him "Billy"
I think for me at least there has to be the option of cutting loose at a gig, dependent upon
how the punters are reacting and the groove that gets laid down on any particular evening or tune.
I also disliked playing out of the real book.
I am not saying that I am some sort of inspired player who crafts his way around a melody through the bassline.
I do like having the option.
I believe I am more than a human sequencer and relish the times where instant and spontaneous creativity is allowed to reach the audience.
My 2cents worth anyhow.
Post Number: 354
|Posted on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 1:04 am: |
Very interesting thread. My 2 cents is if the money isn't important perhaps you should follow your heart. For me ... I'm 100% into prog-rock and fusion jazz BUTTTTTTTT I've played GB (general business - like weddings) and classic rock in cover bands most of my life because in my neck of New England that's what the accomplished musicians play. I know very few GOOD musicians within a reasonable driving distance (Outside of the city of Boston) who play for their soul, they play to make a living so they don't have to work day jobs, and they want and NEED to play for a crowd, not alone in the basement. And I know few if any clubs within a reasonable driving distance that will hire and pay a band to play progressive original music, they want tried and true cover rock music that will attract people so they can sell BEER. Writing and recording is nice but sometimes you just need to PLAY for PEOPLE and if the only opprotunities that are available are of a style that isn't totally in your heart you need to decide if it's worth it for you. For ME it was worth it for a long time because 1. I made good steady money and 2. although the style wasn't totally representative of me I was proud of how polished and professional the bands I played in were. So it was a compromise, life is full of them. Right NOW I'm enjoying NOT working every single weekend in bands and spending time writing and recording original PROG-ROCK but the truth is I do miss the fun and challange of putting on a GOOD SHOW in a good live band and getting all that attention. Soooooo I guess the questions I would ask is what will you get out of doing it and what will you give up? (And we're not talking about money) Sometimes a musician just needs to gig and sometimes that means swallowing ones pride a little ... it's that simple.
Post Number: 1067
|Posted on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 8:02 pm: |
For a year in the late '70s I played full time. I did not like the music. The audience was not my kind of people. I had a difficult time getting along with some of the band members. The money was better than I had ever made up until that point. It didn't take very long before I was very miserable. I stuck it out for a year only because I wasn't ready to give up on my dream of making a career of music.
When I quit I sold all my stuff because I didn't want to play music anymore, even as a hobby. That's how sick of it I was. I didn't own an instrument for probably 5 years.
I have been in a band for about 9 months. We play music I like. The other band members are very good and cool to hang with. The audience really likes us. The money is pretty good but is really beside the point. I'm happy with what is going on and where it seems to be going.
As 88persuader said, "what will you get out of doing it and what will you give up? " I guess it's very different for someone who is making a living playing. I don't think very many of us like every aspect of our main jobs.
Jazzy, I hope your decision about a gig makes you happy as well as pays the bills.
Oh, by the way, I saw a Smart car last week. Very cool.
Post Number: 462
|Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009 - 10:21 am: |
This is a great thread, and there are so many tangents, that it would be easy for me to digress.... My rule of thumb is if the bandleaders ego is bigger than the size of the crowd, then forget it.
I've had bad experiences in all original bands (ie~ yoko syndrome)
I've had bad experiences in 50/50 bands (ie~ every player has a different threshold for the material/rehearsals/pay)
I've had bad experiences in cover/GB bands (ie~ months of rehearsals & high hopes only to fall apart after the second/third gig)
The one common factor is that I approached every one of these gigs with an open mind. My bad, so be it.
But if this is round two for you Jazzy, I'd lay down your piece of mind with the other guys... You've been there done that, it was tried and failed, now it's time for something different.
Post Number: 74
|Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 9:19 pm: |
I get faced with that all the time. The guidelines I go by:
Are they good people. Are they good at what they do. You don't have to like it, but will others? Of course money comes into play. If it's crap money and they people aren't any fun to be around, then don't do it. If it's crap money but that part doesn't hurt your feelings and you appreciate the environment, it may be something you can do... as long as you feel you won't put a bad attitude behind your playing if you don't totally believe in the tunes. Of course you want to be fair to the band as well.
In the end, if you aren't falling in the love with the music at some point, no matter how good the gig is.. there's always an expiration date.
Best of luck!