I'll start off with a bit of a backstory.
The band(cover band, play bars and dances and stuff) had been together for awhile before I had been asked to replace the leaving guitarist. A year after that roughly the singer/rhythm guitarist left to pursue her solo thing. We brought in just a singer to replace her.

We had been playing with this lineup for a year and a half roughly. We all get along great, and have fun playing.
But here is where my overwhelming frustration comes in. The bassist and occasionally the drummer fail to learn the songs. Mostly it's the bassist that's frustrating. She does not learn her parts even though we usually have 1-2 weeks to learn them between practices. She will have to listen to the songs during practice to try to learn them, and then basically back to square one next practice when she forgets it.

Sometimes it's not just limited to new tunes, it happens to songs we have been playin for 1 year.
It's also hypocritical when she gets mad at us for making the odd mistakes.

Also, they would want to learn a new few songs, so songs would get chosen. She would fail to learn them, or learn them well enough to have a solid result at the end of the night, and sometimes that would be the last time we play it, or it would get "forgotten" after a couple weeks. And then it's like Dory on finding nemo, let's learn new songs!!

So I had been thinking about leaving for 6 months I would say, but living in rural Saskatchewan, the amount of musicians to play with isn't high and I love playing music.

So, due to some personal issues going on in my life, I finally decided it was a good time, but all I had said was that I needed a break from the band, and left it at that. Unfortunately I've never aired my grievances to them, only to the singer.

TLR frustrated that band members don't come to practice prepared.

So my question to you guys, is if I was to return to the fold, is it (un)reasonable to demand that for me to come back, that they need make changed and to start coming prepared and all that?
How frequently does the band perform a show?
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
It used to be half a dozen times a yearish, but it's slowed down as two members have young kids which take up some time, as well as myself pushing away from the band slowly I suppose.
With so few gigs, it's not surprising that band members lose enthusiasm, or forget to learn their parts between rehearsals. That's especially the case when a band has been together a while, and longstanding members are used to taking it easy and waiting till practice sessions to get things together.
It's also not altogether surprising that your bassist can see nothing wrong with her attitude when other people are making mistakes too. If you were all 100% on top of your game, that might embarrass her into doing more work beforehand.

But also, with no gigs on the near horizon, what's the problem? (would be her view, I guess). A practice session would be as much a social get together, a bit of recreation, as serious musical work.

I understand your frustration, of course. "Hey, let's learn a new song!" (but let's not bother to learn it properly... )
It's a difficult situation, and I'd only suggest (between rehearsals) trying to get other band members on your side, one by one - if you think they might feel the same as you. Who do you think is the most valuable (most skilled, most enthusiastic) member? Other than you I mean! Share your frustration, get creative.

Then again, the best attitude might be to learn to be as relaxed and unfocused as the bass player, and just treat the whole thing as a chance to jam, with no pressure. Whatever happens happens. If you don't learn any new songs, who cares?
Maybe you'll hit a critical point where - at some moment - everyone realises they DO care: enough to get THIS song right, THIS time! (The music is worth it for its own sake, even if there are no gigs.)
But til then: yeah - chill, man.
Last edited by jongtr at Feb 27, 2017,
Quote by esky15
It used to be half a dozen times a yearish, but it's slowed down...

Alright, that's kind of what I was expecting to hear.

In my experience and observation I find that a band that does not perform frequently enough will develop various issues - lack of focus, lack of preparation, lack of new songs, people unavailable or missing practices, etc...

If you go back, my suggestion would be to encourage more performances, even if they are minor events, poorly paying events, or charitable events. Upcoming performance has a natural tendency to get people focused on what needs to be done - coordination on songs, set lists, equipment, rehearsals, transportation, schedule, and communication. These habits get stronger with a fuller performance calendar. If you have a mailing list, maybe see about playing for birthday parties either at their home or at a club. Check park service events, civic events, legion halls, etc.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
Then again, the best attitude might be to learn to be as relaxed and unfocused as the bass player, and just treat the whole thing as a chance to jam, with no pressure.

I wish she was relaxed, but that's not really the case.

Also with a practice schedule, even though we weren't gigging regularly, we still get together once a month minimum, up to weekly at some points.

Remember, rural Canada, so that means zero clubs, no nightly music venues, generally the only time you can potentially get a gig is when one of the bars who get a band in every few months gets you, or an organization holds an event.

I appreciate your input guys, some solid points, but there are things said I should have included but I figured my opener was long enough that do touch base with your recommendations and such.

But let's go back to my original question.
Is it reasonable for me to say "hey, I'm ready to come back, IF these stipulations are met." Or is it cunty and am I out of bounds since it wasn't my band in the first place?
^^^ It depends on how it was expressed in the first place dude. If you said that to me, I'd ask if you were quitting or not. You'd say yes, I'd find a replacement.

Honestly if they haven't found a replacement, they don't care enough about the band to make it work, so I wouldn't join back.

Otherwise I'm with the other guys. No gigs = no reason to practice. All these symptoms in your band are a result of no gigs. For any band, especially a cover band, 6 gigs a year is appalling.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
. For any band, especially a cover band, 6 gigs a year is appalling.

Each to their own I suppose. Unfortunately the demographic just isn't here to gig more frequently.

I do play in another band though...
Last edited by esky15 at Feb 27, 2017,
I agree that without the gigs it all seems hopeless. Bands can just fade away when there is no reason to rehearse. Many cover bands hit dry spells. Where I live I think there is more clubs and opportunities than many areas so when that happens I have to step back and re-examine why we are not getting the work when we see other bands similar to us are.

As a cover band are we all on the same page as far as what kind of material we want to do?
Are we charging more than the other bands in our area?
What about the songs we choose to play? Are they boring and overplayed or too obscure for an average audience?
Is the band too big (number of musicians) to play clubs that have limited room for bands? (This was a big one for me.)
Are we too loud for the places we play? (This is a major factor.)
Is the band constantly adding additional material to the sets or is it always the same songs night after night?
Does the band sound better than the local competition? Why not?
Who is handling business and out constantly looking for gigs?
Does the band have simple promotional material like business cards, flyers/posters, quality (short) demo CD's etc. that you can hand a prospective club owner, agent etc.?
Is the band treating the situation as professionals or amateur's?

Good luck. It's tough being in any band. You have to deal with everyone's personalities and the personal issues that they bring to the band. It isn't easy holding it all together. If your options are limited in your area, I'd stay in the band and try to fix the reasons why you aren't getting gigs. A band that is constantly working will have the incentive to rehearse, learn new material and want to get better. If there are no gigs on a regular basis it might as well be a jam session with no direction or purpose.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Feb 28, 2017,
On the one hand, that's some super amateur bullshit and nobody should have stand for it. If there's one thing a band does, it's learn music, so any member who fails in that is essentially useless.

On the other hand, it's important to have realistic expectations and put some thought into what your goals are and what must be done to achieve them. If music isn't something you want to do on a serious/professional level, then maybe you can come to terms with this band being something you do just for fun.

If you want to play with higher quality musicians, at some point you have to take steps to do that, whatever that entails. Or you bite the bullet and work on material you can perform by yourself or with minimal accompaniment (unfortunately probably requiring a bass, if you're playing guitar).

And I agree with posters above: 6 gigs a year is an extraordinarily small amount. If I had only six gigs a year, I'd expect to have maybe a dozen rehearsals, just to refresh or add a new song. Of course anyone who can't pull their shit together for a whopping 18 commitments all year is clearly not focused on music. The motivation to learn and practice music has to come from both inside and out, and in the absence of gig pressure, it sounds like your bassist is only interested in weekend jamming.

If music is something that you're serious about as a career, or even something you just need in your life, you'll probably have to find a decent sized city before you find players with real dedication and ability. If moving isn't an option, well, you just gotta find other ways of keeping your passion alive that don't depend on flaky players.
Last edited by cdgraves at Feb 28, 2017,
You said that it's not your band. Who's is it? That is the person to talk to.

If you don't have a band leader that might be part of the problem. With only a bunch of friends getting together to play I don't think what you describe is unusual. But if there is a person who will lead rehearsals and put pressure on people (bassists) to learn their parts it usually works better.

I hope you can return to a fully functional and efficient band - but to be honest I doubt that these guys will change much.