#1
This might be a long post but I need some advice on how to deal with this situation.

My friend (guitar/keys) and I (guitarist/vocalist) were recently asked to start a new band by some guys we went to high school with; a drummer and a bassist, and we agreed since our previous band had just broken up. They told us want to bring in another guy (who we also went to school with) who is also a guitar player, but he’s really good so that isn’t the problem. The problem is now they decided to bring a new drummer in (who we don’t know), with the guy who was originally playing drums moving onto vocals. This new drummer is honestly the worst drummer I’ve heard and the worst I've played with (sloppy, out of time, shitty cheap kit, etc.) Our original drummer, who is now singing, was significantly better and I would much rather have him on drums, as I know a drummer can make or break a band. They are also now talking about bringing in another friend of theirs who plays keys. This would make our lineup a vocalist, bassist, terrible drummer, keyboard player and 3 guitarists for a total of 7 members. I was hoping to keep it to a maximum of 5, and although I’ve taken somewhat of a “leadership” role (which everyone is fine with), I have a problem where I sometimes can sound like a dick even when I’m not trying to and as they made these decisions without consulting me or the other guitarist/keyboardist, I'm afraid I'll sound like some dictator who wants to kick their friends out. The bassist and the original drummer/new singer are both great, and I know the guy they want to bring in on 3rd guitar is really talented as well, but I don’t know how to nicely convince them to get rid of their friend who is now the drummer and to scrap the idea of bringing in a keyboard player, since one of our guitarists could play keys instead. Basically, I don’t want them to think I’m some controlling asshole and get rid of me just cause I may have said something the wrong way, but I don't want them just bringing all of their friends into the band, cause I take playing and writing music seriously and it's already getting to be unmanageable.

TLDR: Band is expanding to 7 members, need to get rid of 2 without being a dick
#2
I'd meet with the core members of the group and explain your position.

The truth is that you signed up to make a band on the assumption that it was just going to be four people. You wouldn't have joined if it was 7.

I'd suggest just keeping it to the original 4. After you write some songs, decide whether you need/want more people to add to the sound.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
Good advice above. Years ago I encountered the same situation. As a favor to a friend who had a shot at appearing on a syndicated TV show I agreed to be part of his backup band and brought in a bass player friend who I had worked with previously. The bass player and I were both in different bands but I was a little dissatisfied with my band and he was a little dissatisfied with the band he was in. Both our bands were working steadily and doing well but we wanted to work together and we thought this situation might be a good start at a new band. We rehearsed with the drummer (who also sang lead) and he brought in a keyboard player. We jelled fairly well and did the taping for the TV show. We talked about maybe staying together as a band. A week later we were to meet to discuss this and also practice. When we arrived there was another drummer and another guitar player. The drummer had decided to become the lead singer and wanted to bring in the new drummer and another guitarist.

Both my friend and I very diplomatically told him that we were interested in a simple four piece band that worked steadily or at least as much as we both were already working and we knew from our experience that there wasn't enough work or money to maintain a 6 piece band. We left on positive terms and I'm still friends with the drummer who often reminds me what a stupid thing he did so many years ago. We could have had a nice band but at least we kept it professional and left on a good note so we remained friends.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Feb 21, 2016,
#5
I think you should first have a chat with the drummer. Ask him if he wants to take this seriously. If he does, invite him to take practice seriously and in a while he won't be sloppy anymore. If he doesn't want to practice, explain to him it's not a good idea remaining in the group or joining another one because he will only make a fool out of himself and those around him when playing in front of an audience.

Another discussion would be on the 3 guitarists. Very few bands need 3 guitarists. Ideally you should decide on the best two. However "best" doesn't really mean the best player. If a guitarist who is less good but practices regularly, always comes on time, takes initiative, gets along well with others etc, he may be a better option than a better guitarist who comes late, is always drunk and is an arrogant person. (I'm not saying your friend is like that, just making the point)
#6
Deal with one problem at a time.

If you have taken a leadership role, even an informal one, you should be able to explain to the drummer that his skill level is not yet up to the required standard. You could give him a deadline to improve.
#7
I agree with Robert Callus. The best technical player is not always the best choice for a band. Personality, dedication and a professional attitude are more important if you are serious about keeping a band together for a long period of time. A flashy player with a bad attitude and rotten personality will kill your band in the long run.

I also agree with Jehannum that sometimes it's just good to sit down and have a private discussion with someone who you feel is not holding up their position in the band. Don't do it in front of anyone else because then it just becomes an battle of ego's (no one wants to be told they are not playing well especially in front of fellow musicians). Offer to help. Maybe you and the drummer can arrange to have a private rehearsal just to work on these issues. If he reuses your offers at least he can't say you didn't try to help down the road when he gets replaced.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 3, 2016,
#8
Old thread is old, but here I am reading it anyway. So I might as well chip in.

If band members are added without your say-so you do not have a "leadership role". But seriously, all advice above is very sound, especially finding talking to the core members.