#1
I'm a little annoyed with my band at the moment.

I understand people have lives and other things going on such as jobs and family. However, my band and I will plan practices days before the scheduled practice. Then a day or so before, I check with everyone to see if practices are still on. Then all of a sudden something comes up.

Also the guitarist can be really lazy when it comes to recording things or just completing tasks in general.

I'm really fed up and I've been as calm and understanding. But now I just feel like I'm wasting my breath and time. They all have great talents and at moments they seem like they like being in a band. Other times I feel differently.

Help?
#2
Do they have legitimate excuses or just bullcrap ones?

Good excuse: One of our guitarists could not make practice 2 weeks ago because he was previously scheduled to go to a music festival at a college for a few days.

Bad excuse: Our ex bassist said he was down for practice, then the day of practice he texted me saying he couldn't come because 'he had musical practice' that started at 6 and our practice was from 2:30 to 5. Another case, practice was at my house about 15 minutes from the town most of the rest of the band lives in, and he texted saying he couldn't come because he didn't have a ride, even though one of the bandmates could have got him, he didn't let us know until like 40 minutes into practice.
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#3
The only thing you can do is to have a serious talk with your bandmates. Are they commited to the band? Do they see it only as a hobby or would they do the effort to make something serious out of it?

I know it's not easy, specially when your bandmates are close friends, but you need them to start to be more responsible. If they won't commit to the band, move on, try to find someone else.
#4
Quote by thePTOD
Do they have legitimate excuses or just bullcrap ones?

Good excuse: One of our guitarists could not make practice 2 weeks ago because he was previously scheduled to go to a music festival at a college for a few days.

Bad excuse: Our ex bassist said he was down for practice, then the day of practice he texted me saying he couldn't come because 'he had musical practice' that started at 6 and our practice was from 2:30 to 5. Another case, practice was at my house about 15 minutes from the town most of the rest of the band lives in, and he texted saying he couldn't come because he didn't have a ride, even though one of the bandmates could have got him, he didn't let us know until like 40 minutes into practice.


Sometimes they have good excuses like Dr. appointments and whatnot. One of them used to give bullshit excuses like not having a ride even though he knew I could give him one. We're all pretty young. One guitarist and I are the oldest. The rest are in the middle of their high school career. I really don't know if I should wait and see if things get better or just get out or stop wasting my time.
#5
Quote by Lightning_Ray
The only thing you can do is to have a serious talk with your bandmates. Are they commited to the band? Do they see it only as a hobby or would they do the effort to make something serious out of it?

I know it's not easy, specially when your bandmates are close friends, but you need them to start to be more responsible. If they won't commit to the band, move on, try to find someone else.


In a way it seems like they feel like its a hobby but in other ways they're serious about it. We're not all that close and I feel like its hard for me to talk to them sometimes. I don't want to be egotistical and run the band like I own it.
#6
Quote by modernmyth21
Sometimes they have good excuses like Dr. appointments and whatnot. One of them used to give bullshit excuses like not having a ride even though he knew I could give him one.


I'd say whether the excuses are valid or not, the fact that they keep coming up is an indication that the people in question are incapable of committing to their band responsibilities, regardless of how much they say otherwise. You'd probably be better off simply finding bandmates who can make practice on a regular basis.
#7
I've had this problem before. It sounds like you don't have a set practice schedule. You need to set a certain day and time each week that is for band practice. This way everyone knows each week that this time is for band practice and they should hopefully be able to schedule things around it. If you do have a set day for practices the only excuse I would consider would be an emergency of some sort, or if they told me at least a few days in advance that they could not make practice. If they are still missing a practice more than once a month I don't think they are committed
#8
I feel the same sometimes with my drummer (we are just a duo drummer, guitarist band so he is a pretty important part) because he can never find time to practice the drums, except the one-two times a week we practice together. Unfortunately he is my best friend and I can't kick him out of the band because it will be near impossible to find another drummer I know who is into the same music as me. Also we can't practice because he needs to clean up his room and his garage and somehow he hasn't found time for that in three weeks.
#9
Quote by TNA
I've had this problem before. It sounds like you don't have a set practice schedule. You need to set a certain day and time each week that is for band practice. This way everyone knows each week that this time is for band practice and they should hopefully be able to schedule things around it. If you do have a set day for practices the only excuse I would consider would be an emergency of some sort, or if they told me at least a few days in advance that they could not make practice. If they are still missing a practice more than once a month I don't think they are committed


We're trying to set fridays as a practice schedule. one of them has a job, one has issues with his mom and seems like he can never make it to practice, and the other dosen't have a car and always some kind of issue with coming to practice. i feel like i should set more days now. another part of feels like its a rough start and things will get better.
#10
You know, I always feel that "calling someone the day or so before to check" is tacitly giving them permission to flake.

Another way to think about it is, "Plans to make plans are not plans." If you say to me, "I'd love to play music with you on saturday, maybe around two, I'll call you later int he week to lock it down" we don't have plans.

So when you set a practice, set it. "We're meeting Friday at 4 at my place. If you're going to have any problems with that, let us know as soon as possible. You're responsible for getting yourself there but talk to each other if you need a ride."

And then if/when somebody flakes, read them the riot act. Stop playing with them if it happens regularly and/or they don't have really good excuses. Be understanding of legiitimate excuses but don't give people a lot of rope about bs ones. If they are consistently giving you lame excuses just move on and start playing without them.

Setting "more days" is rarely the solution. Instead, talk to them about their ability to create space in their schedules. If someone works, he works - find a time when he isn't working, etc.

Good luck.
#11
Quote by modernmyth21
We're trying to set fridays as a practice schedule. one of them has a job, one has issues with his mom and seems like he can never make it to practice, and the other dosen't have a car and always some kind of issue with coming to practice. i feel like i should set more days now. another part of feels like its a rough start and things will get better.


I wouldn't bother trying to fix this situation. Once you ignore all the crap surrounding issues you can apply straight line reasoning to find the answers. Occam's Razor will help you here.

Fact: If people want to do something, they'll do it. If they don't, they won't.

Question: Why don't my bandmates come to practice?

Answer: Because they don't want to come to band practice.

So basically you have a band full of people who couldn't be bothered putting in time to the band anymore. As it's only a matter of time until you break up anyway I'd just take the initiative now and break it up. I highly doubt you'll have an emotional reaction from anyone.
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#12
What Hotspur and Alan said is spot on. You shouldn't have to call to check, you shouldn't have to remind them. They know that practice is the exact same time each week. Alan makes a great point. If they really want to come they will find a way to come. If they are not making the effort to work their schedule around the few set hours each week for band practice then they don't really want to be in a band. You need to stop making excuses for them. Everyone has a job, everyone has some family issue, these excuses just magically stop.

You need to be blunt with them. Tell them practice is Fridays from 4-7, if you cannot make it to at least 3 a month then you are not ready to be in a band. If they cannot commit to at the very minimum 3 hours a week then you need to find some other musicians who actually want to come to practice.
#13
I disagree with not calling/texting on the day of practice. People do have lives outside of a band wheteher or not it is a serious endeavor or a hobby. In my band, we practice at my house, I setup the room (we move everything aside cause its my living room), the drums, the P.A, all that, I NEED to know whether or not the band is coming over and at what time on the day of so I can know whether or not to do those things or to continue with my life OUTSIDE of the band. When you get older and people have more responsiblilities than going to school or working at walmart for 4 hours a day,scheduling becomes difficult and you practice when you all (or at least most) can. Obviously practice is detrimental to producing a tight sound, and non-serious members should be let go in favor of serious one, but a rigid "do or die" practice schedule is unrealistic unless the band is full time or plans to be full time. just my two cents.
my band has a weird scheduling situation; I'm off all day after noon or so, maybe a little later. our guitarist leaves work as soon as the bassist goes to work on weekdays. our drummer has a generally ****ed schedule, but is off early on weekends, so is the bassist and so is the guitarist, however the guitarist has a little girl that will either stay with his parents or will COME TO PRACTICE WITH US!!!!!! we practice either saturday or sunday....which we decide on after each practice. If someone misses a practice we either email what we did or me and the drummer get together with him on another day in the week. if we didn't confirm when on the day of, it might not get done. if you can't find members willing to dedicate any time to practicing, GET ANOTHER BAND!
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Last edited by sonny bb at Mar 31, 2012,
#14
Quote by sonny bb
I disagree with not calling/texting on the day of practice. People do have lives outside of a band wheteher or not it is a serious endeavor or a hobby. In my band, we practice at my house, I setup the room (we move everything aside cause its my living room), the drums, the P.A, all that, I NEED to know whether or not the band is coming over and at what time on the day of so I can know whether or not to do those things or to continue with my life OUTSIDE of the band. When you get older and people have more responsiblilities than going to school or working at walmart for 4 hours a day,scheduling becomes difficult and you practice when you all (or at least most) can. Obviously practice is detrimental to producing a tight sound, and non-serious members should be let go in favor of serious one, but a rigid "do or die" practice schedule is unrealistic unless the band is full time or plans to be full time. just my two cents.
my band has a weird scheduling situation; I'm off all day after noon or so, maybe a little later. our guitarist leaves work as soon as the bassist goes to work on weekdays. our drummer has a generally ****ed schedule, but is off early on weekends, so is the bassist and so is the guitarist, however the guitarist has a little girl that will either stay with his parents or will COME TO PRACTICE WITH US!!!!!! we practice either saturday or sunday....which we decide on after each practice. If someone misses a practice we either email what we did or me and the drummer get together with him on another day in the week. if we didn't confirm when on the day of, it might not get done. if you can't find members willing to dedicate any time to practicing, GET ANOTHER BAND!

That sounds very confusing. Even if people have other stuff going on in their lives they should be able to know that whatever time each week is for band practice and schedule their other stuff so it does not interfere. I understand that people have lives, but if you can't find 3 hours each week to dedicate to band practice then I think you are too busy to be in a band at this time. Don't you all decide on a time you are meeting before you practice next? And can't you assume, we decided on this time, if they can't make it they will be a responsible adult and let me know in a timely manner? Why are you the one constantly checking on them? I'm not trying to bash on the way your band handles practice, whatever works for you guys. But that's usually not the way most bands handle practices.

You obviously sound a bit older than the OP and your band members sound like they are good enough and mature enough to get by even if they cannot come to a practice. But I'm sure they all want to try to come right? Which is what it sounds like is the OP's problem, none of his band members are committed enough to have a flexible schedule and still come to practice.
#15
Even if you're in school it shouldn't be too difficult to schedule a set practice. In my band we have practice at least once a week- Fridays after school. We open up weekends when shows come up. If someone can't make a practice they let us know in advance and we bring them up to speed another time.
#16
Quote by TNA
That sounds very confusing. Even if people have other stuff going on in their lives they should be able to know that whatever time each week is for band practice and schedule their other stuff so it does not interfere. I understand that people have lives, but if you can't find 3 hours each week to dedicate to band practice then I think you are too busy to be in a band at this time. Don't you all decide on a time you are meeting before you practice next? And can't you assume, we decided on this time, if they can't make it they will be a responsible adult and let me know in a timely manner? Why are you the one constantly checking on them? I'm not trying to bash on the way your band handles practice, whatever works for you guys. But that's usually not the way most bands handle practices.

You obviously sound a bit older than the OP and your band members sound like they are good enough and mature enough to get by even if they cannot come to a practice. But I'm sure they all want to try to come right? Which is what it sounds like is the OP's problem, none of his band members are committed enough to have a flexible schedule and still come to practice.

I think I might be JUST a little bit older than OP, but yeah I thought they we're having scheduling issues, not lack of interest issues my bad. BTW, I only text them on the day that we setup previously to confirm, but we text each other too, it's not just me but I'm just saying, some things do come up and you might not always be able to sound the alarm to every band member every time.
But my thing is that setting a specific day and time from the get go isn't very realistic unless you're in high school.
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Last edited by sonny bb at Apr 1, 2012,
#17
Quote by sonny bb

But my thing is that setting a specific day and time from the get go isn't very realistic unless you're in high school.

No offense but I disagree. I don't see how having a set day and time each week is very hard for people to commit to. I think it may even be easier when you are older because you'll have a more set work schedule, and no school to go to. I understand you may have family issues but that's another story if you cannot find a few hours each week for yourself. But as I said before whatever works for you.
#18
To each his own but even in the adult world, everyone doesn't have a work schedule that's set. Our drummer's is different almost every week and we work around it, but I'm off topic again.
If OP's band refuses to even setup a practice on a day that they are all free, then they might just not want to do it. It can be tough to find another band while still in high school, but if you're serious about it then try for that instead.
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#19
Thanks for all the tips guys. My band is just having a hard time finding set days to practice since all of us have things going on in our lives.

At the moment I'm trying to work on a sched and see where everyone is on the same level. I think most of the problem is that I'm having troubles as a band leader as well. I think that I'm too easy going and I need to start laying down the rules.

By the way, I hope some of you know that I'm a girl. XD
#20
If you have a member/s who are actually unable to make a set time every week due to other commitments, they most likely shouldn't be in a band anyway.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#21
Quote by AlanHB
If you have a member/s who are actually unable to make a set time every week due to other commitments, they most likely shouldn't be in a band anyway.


yeah you're right and it may be for the best if it dosen't work out. I'm going to college hopefully in the fall and i could find people there if all else fails. it would be a learning experience.
#22
Quote by modernmyth21
Thanks for all the tips guys. My band is just having a hard time finding set days to practice since all of us have things going on in our lives.

At the moment I'm trying to work on a sched and see where everyone is on the same level. I think most of the problem is that I'm having troubles as a band leader as well. I think that I'm too easy going and I need to start laying down the rules.

By the way, I hope some of you know that I'm a girl. XD

It doesn't matter that you are a girl. If you are going to assume the role of the leader then you need to really embrace that role. You don't have to be a dictator, but you need to be the decision maker most of the time, even if sometimes your band members get upset at you sometimes because they think you are making too many rules.
#23
Quote by modernmyth21
yeah you're right and it may be for the best if it dosen't work out. I'm going to college hopefully in the fall and i could find people there if all else fails. it would be a learning experience.


Yeah that's probably a better bet. Even on the logistics side, what about gigs? Will they be cancelled at last minute too because someone's schedule moved to conflict?

I personally think it's more a case of being lazy than busy, but if you don't have the time, or don't make the time, there's just no time (for them) to be in a band.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#24
Quote by modernmyth21
By the way, I hope some of you know that I'm a girl. XD

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#25
Quote by AlanHB
Yeah that's probably a better bet. Even on the logistics side, what about gigs? Will they be cancelled at last minute too because someone's schedule moved to conflict?

I personally think it's more a case of being lazy than busy, but if you don't have the time, or don't make the time, there's just no time (for them) to be in a band.


You know that is likely to happen. And you're right. The thing is I do have the time to be in a band and make the time. Its just they don't put in enough effort. And you're right. Its a matter of them being lazy and I've had enough.

I sent them a message over Facebook about possible set band practice days. Its been two days now and I've haven't heard a peep from the lead guitarist or the bassist.
#26
then now is the time to ask if they are serious about the band/even want to be in the band, and to get ready to kick them out and find new members.....
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#28
Quote by modernmyth21
You know that is likely to happen. And you're right. The thing is I do have the time to be in a band and make the time. Its just they don't put in enough effort. And you're right. Its a matter of them being lazy and I've had enough.

I sent them a message over Facebook about possible set band practice days. Its been two days now and I've haven't heard a peep from the lead guitarist or the bassist.


I'd just quit then. Situation is going nowhere.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#29
Excuses always plague the band I am in. We have a scheduled practice on Fridays and every second week Saturdays. Usually we are all able to make it on the Fridays but then the excuses come when it hits Saturday. We are a four piece band (I do lead and vocals) and I am always there,if I'm not there because of a doctors arrangement I let the band know prior and we make a plan. We all live in close Proximity of eachother. Sad thing is, when I sh## someone out for letting the band down (because three of us pitch up and then the drummer doesn't show) I end up being the bad guy. What makes it worse is that we are all friends. Excuses range from girlfriends to transport problems (but then later I find out they go and party - nothing wrong with transport). Any advice on what to do?
#30
I've already fired a drummer for not showing up to practice, he was replaced by the end of the week. Now my bass player (childhood friend, we're 27 now) is getting flaky and not even bothering with excuses anymore, just calls maybe an hour beforehand. I'm going to lay down the law to everyone next time we meet, but I guarantee bass-dude will be gone by the end of May. Hope this helps.
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#31
Quote by ragnarr023
Excuses always plague the band I am in. We have a scheduled practice on Fridays and every second week Saturdays. Usually we are all able to make it on the Fridays but then the excuses come when it hits Saturday. We are a four piece band (I do lead and vocals) and I am always there,if I'm not there because of a doctors arrangement I let the band know prior and we make a plan. We all live in close Proximity of eachother. Sad thing is, when I sh## someone out for letting the band down (because three of us pitch up and then the drummer doesn't show) I end up being the bad guy. What makes it worse is that we are all friends. Excuses range from girlfriends to transport problems (but then later I find out they go and party - nothing wrong with transport). Any advice on what to do?


It's the same situation dude. They would rather party or hang with their girlfriends than go to band practice. No worries, they won't have to worry about band practice anymore (kick them).
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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