Finding the right band...

dtk

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THis is a bit of a vent...
I know this is a situation being exasperated by Covid and my age (55)...I've got it better than many...but still...I want something better.

Technically I'm in 4 bands, I don't have my kit/drums in use at rehearsals but #2...and that's an odd little collection of stuff:
1 is an Italian Marching Band (I'm not, but my blood may well be marinara)...it pays...good exercise...I'm appreciated. Normally year 31 parades or events. 2020 zero.

2 is doing percussion in coffee houses w Sam. I've known him since the late 80s. We don't draw well, but Sam pays for recording and splits the $ w/me at gigs. His stuff is smart and funny.
This might be the best recording of my playing ever...even got to play talking drum on Crimes Against the Blues.


3 TSS-an original band80s style...female singer/guitar and her BF on lead guitar...think cure, cocteau twins. Its the singers band and she doesn't want any input for new tunes...lyrics or music (I mess around with both) but there are times when we play where I have to remind myself I'm not listening to some great record..but actually I'm there and part of the sound. Band draws a small crowd...mostly friends of the other musicians who are also in bands. The couple pays for rehearsal space and recording...they both have been frank, that they've done nothing with respect to creating new tunes for the band during Covid. Its a lil disappointing....I might be able to work in my Sample Pad into the material in the future. They (and the bass player) check out other bands...in their 40s i think.

4) RT-a 4 pc...I like the singer/guitarist and the bass player are good guys. The 2nd guitarist got us blackballed at one of the few places you can play live (insulted the soundman and bar owner...before we played). His social skills are lacking...the 'business plan' for the band was to be an adult party band (i'm the baby at 55)...but the singer uses it to give a voice to anything he's written that doesn't fit in his other bands...we don't draw well...I find myself getting frustrated when we play live...the one place we can get to has no parking anywhere close...and when we get on stage I'm ready to go long before the guitarists (a first). We've got some great songs but I don't think this band is going anywhere. The other 3 all have recording rigs and when we do record...its subpar sonicly... we did practice outside into November...now they want to practice online (Jamulus, using my Sample Pad Pro maybe with abelton). While I'd normally be excited about using Edrums I'm just not w/these guys...

I know many people have suggest going to blues jams...obviously I can't do that now (and I'm not really a blues drummer)...and I check CL at least weekly
I'd consider a cover band but original is what really gets me excited...

if you've made it this far...thanks for listening...

dtk
 

Squirrel Man

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The Italian marching band was kind of a surprise. I started off getting interested in drumming after marching in a band when I was 9 or 10 or so.
 

Tornado

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Life is too short to play in bands you don't enjoy, especially if you aren't making money doing it. #4 sounds awful. I don't even get the concept of a party band that isn't primarily a cover band.
 

swarfrat

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Definitely ditch 4 from the sound of it. It doesn't sound like it's going anywhere, and you're not enjoying it, and it don't pay.

Me...I want horns in a band that won't ever tour by design. My goal is to just give a bunch of homebody dads a chance to stay sharp on their instruments, and to give it some purpose, maybe play out a couple times a year. That's already a limited pool, but good luck getting caliber players in there. And if I managed to pull that off ... well, I'd hate to get kicked out of my own band.
 

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To a large extent, this is the reason I "retired" from drumming in my mid-20s. It was obvious to me that I was destined to be a perpetual sideman with little control or even influence over the bands I was in. They were going to do what they wanted. My job was to follow. That's not what I wanted to do with my life, and sometimes I even felt like a whore. I quit.

Since then I have come out of "retirement" many times, but never with either money or artistic ambition as a main motivator. This has been way more satisfying for me. I actually started having fun playing in bands again. Just getting together with others, having fun, and getting a few gigs from time to time was way better than the relentless grind of being a sideman to musicians I couldn't always respect.

Mind, there's a dignity of craft to those who persist as sidemen and earn their living (or part of their living) that way. I respect that, and over time many of them surely manage to find themselves in agreeable bands. It just wasn't for me.

I guess for me drumming had become a job, sometimes a job that embarrassed me, and a job that didn't seem to be leading anywhere beyond the same old thing. I found it better to make drumming a hobby, only do it when I wanted to, and lower my expectations.
 

CC Cirillo

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When playing covers, for me, since there is a goodly chance there will be a song or two on each of the set lists that I do not like at all, it’s very important to be in a band with people whose company I genuinely enjoy.

Rehearsals become a party and time on stage is more memorable.
 

dtk

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Wanna feel even worse, and get really depressed? Try forming your own band from scratch.
The 4th band was my attempt at that...having tried this previously I've learned that any band you start has to start with a good to great singer...otherwise you've got a great engine and no wheels.
 

Rockin' Billy

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I left a band I was in after 23 years last year. No input was ever really considered, the leader/owner took 2 of the songs I sang right after first debut, was told by others it seemed he was always in competition with me. I had custom western shirts made then he started getting them. Clothes, mannerisms etc. The reason I stayed so long was I loved to play and there was a lot of work. The bass player and I became great friends and really enjoyed the connection musically as well. Shortly after I left he was let go. I was in 3 other bands and it was fun and enjoyed the company. (the bass player started one of the bands).
CC Cirillo pretty much nails it in his post/reply.
 

Mcjnic

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The last "band" I was in was up in Buffalo, NY. I answered an ad.
Great experience.
I don't like "bands" per se. Too much space for bad internals to blossom.
I'd rather just "sit in" with some very talented individuals and create something cool here and there.
So, I'm with pretty much everyone here ... ditch 4.
 

Stickclick

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If COVID restrictions become reduced then you could experience a surge of gigs. There might not be time for all of the bands.

Your videos sound good.
 
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TPC

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I feel ya, dtk. I played in a ton of bands and gigged constantly "back in the day", but eventually tired of it. With certain bands it was the repetition, others the dogmatic hierarchy of the band organization (ahem ... narcissistic singers), etc.

What I decided to do was to hire guys to play my own stuff in my own studio. I went through CL for years looking for an acoustic "jazz" group; certain guys would stick around, others would come and go - some were absolute tools, others became lifelong friends. We're now 11 years in, about 8 of those with the same core group. We've made 10 DIY records. We play jazz/weird jazz/horror movie soundtrack/improvisational music mostly of my making. We only play a few times a year (I write for a few months, organize a couple rehearsal/recording sessions, ... repeat). We gig about once or twice a year outside of the studio (there's not a huge public demand for original music that is decidedly "ugly".) Despite the relatively sparse playing regime, it is BY FAR the most satisfied I've been, musically, in my life.

Good luck finding your best situation.
 
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bassanddrum84

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If there’s any jam nights in your area hit them up. It’s a great place to find out her musicians. Even blues ones. Just because it’s a blues jam doesn’t mean you might not find someone like minded. I use to frequent them all the time. You will be much happier playing in a band you thoroughly enjoy oppose to going through the motions.
 

DanRH

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I hear you as well. I'm in two real solid bands but sub in others when called (probably up to five gigs in other bands a year). I just got an offer to try out for a Heart/Benatar trib band. I passed as I'm normally real busy (in a normal year).
 

Ian S

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Huge egos, unpleasant personalities and unreliable flakes create "hard work" out of thin air.

I desperately want to be making music, but I'll hold out for finding people I actually want to work with. A better chance it will be meaningful and rewarding, and I'll want to keep doing it.
 

Pat A Flafla

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1 and 3 sound great, but I don't give a hoot about originals, so...
 

Houndog

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I took lessons and practiced my ass off waiting to find the right band .

I absolutely refused to join a cover only band
and insisted on holding out for a great singer.

I’d put ads in musician groups , and geez people don’t read ..

But I finally hit the jackpot ...took my 2.5 years ....
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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How about writing your own stuff and generate some kind of "If you build it they will come" type of deal? Even if you don't know how to play any other instruments, there are things like Maschine that make it ridiculously easy to put together melodies, chord changes and grooves with virtually any conceivable instruments. It'd give you something to get excited to play on your own and you later might attract solid players who are into what you do and wana hop onboard. Plus it'd give you some creative freedom and control.

Just my two cents, I'm a songwriter so maybe I'm just preaching, but hey, sometimes when you're at an impasse, or want to get out of the same old-same old, bold moves need to be done.
 
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