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Rejections - part 2....


Jakester
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Some of you may have seen my post Rejection Dejection, where I detail how I may have talked myself out of a great gig. 

 

Well, round two has arrived - this time, where I didn't even get to meet any of the band before not getting the gig! 

 

As the kindly souls in my first thread noted, often the first time rejections come back to you if their first choice doesn't work out. 

 

And so that has proved - there was an ad up a while back which was a swing band looking for a bassist. (I know that's totally different to the other band - what can I say? I love playing different styles of music). I dropped them a line but I was told that they'd found someone. 

 

However, it seems that person didn't work out so they dropped me a line to see if I was still interested? I said yes - I don't think their standard was particularly high, which suited me as I was looking to improve my EUB playing without much pressure. I knew I could play the parts on electric bass at worst. 

 

Anyway, I'd managed to build up a bit of rapport over email with the person doing the recruiting (the singer, I think), when matters came rather swiftly to a head. 

 

I'd already told them I play in another band. She said they rehearse on Wednesday nights, did that work. I said possibly, though the other band I play with also do Weds eves when we're rehearsing so I may have to do alternates. 

 

That put the cat right amongst the pigeons. The singer had to go and check with the band leader whether that would be okay, and the response came back "no - wouldn't work due to split loyalties". 

 

I was quite surprised at that - I've managed to successfully play in multiple ensembles for many many years, and IME it's better to actually have a player there than none at all. I'd have been happy to rock up and work out with them when they needed a bassist and when not.

 

In all honesty, having listened to their recordings I do think I have dodged a fairly big bullet - anyone who can't really crack 'In The Mood' was probably not going to be much fun anyway! 

 

I get that they want someone committed but I find this "commit 100% only to our band" thing really odd. Variety is the spice of life - I'd go mad if I could only ever play one style of music. 

 

At this rate, I will getting bands I've never heard of get in touch to reject me before they even put up a 'bassist wanted' ad! 

 

Edited by Jakester
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Bullet well dodged. They're not very good and they want absolute blind loyalty and total commitment from you. Sounds like a cult. Avoid!!! 

 

I replied to an ad last week. Guitarist and drummer need bassist for a big gig they've landed in December. Hold on to that bit of info, it's important. They had some rehearsal videos and I thought they sounded alright so I dropped them a line. They're a bit younger than me so I highlighted my age and family circumstances. I got a nice reply, thanks for reaching out glad you like the sound... "but we are looking for someone prepared to move away with us next year, I. E. No kids, so it won't work out" I think they should be advertising on the Roommate wanted section of Gumtree, not bassist wanted section of a musicians website! None of that was in the ad. 

 

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I think they are within their rights to ask that a player can attend regular rehearsals. Their level of musical competence is irrelevant.

 

Also "commit 100% only to our band" are your words not theirs as far as I can tell from the OP. The BL just said it wouldn't work due to split loyalties... maybe he was just referring the Wednesday night clash rather than multiple bands in general.

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I'm currently involved with five (yes, 5) bands. Two are frontline commercial gigging bands (I have eight consecutive double-header weekends coming up, starting this Friday), two are active side projects which would be interested in gigging maybe 1/2 times a month, and one is a new side project in formation which would never get weekend gigs because it will be insufficiently commercial.

 

Over the last five years I have been rejected by at least 20 bands - it wouldn't surprise me to find that it was actually twice as many! By far the most common reason given has been that they're unhappy with me playing in other bands, and that's really not an issue for me ... much of the time they're probably right, and it would turn out to be a problem for the band.

 

I'm able to make five bands work because:

  1. ALL gigs for the two busy commercial bands are brought in by @Silvia Bluejay and myself, which rules out any chance of diary clashes on Fri/Sat nights.
  2. Neither frontline band wants to play more than 3/4 gigs a month, whereas I'm happy to play a dozen if they're available.
  3. I'm always scrupulously honest with side projects, from first response onwards. I make it absolutely clear that their band will be a side project for me - most immediately say 'YUK' but occasionally the response is "Great, that's exactly how we feel too".
  4. I choose side projects that play music I'd really love to be playing, but which I don't get to play in my commercial bands. There have been times when playing with my Classic Soul side project has been like juggling with soup, but I'm compensated for that by the opportunity to play some of my favourite songs with a decent bunch of musicians.

A further side benefit of playing in all these outfits, many of them short-term, is that when the next project comes along and it turns out they're missing a guitarist or a drummer or whatever, I always have a pool (or at least a puddle) of musos who I've actually played with that I can trawl to make up any gaps.

 

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1 hour ago, Jakester said:

 

I'd already told them I play in another band. She said they rehearse on Wednesday nights, did that work. I said possibly, though the other band I play with also do Weds eves when we're rehearsing so I may have to do alternates. 

 

 If you start talking about alternating weeks with other bands, then a lot of people aren't going to go for it because they want weekly rehearsals.

Personally, I'd have either said "Yes" then spoken to your current band about possibly moving your rehearsals, or mentioned to the new band that Wednesday is awkward and is another rehearsal day viable.  

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These threads always make for interesting reading.

A swing band wanting a bass player at all their rehearsals. Doesn't sound that unreasonable to me. Hardly a cult.

 

And setting out expectations from start. I'd say they sound like a straight up, decent lot. 

Edited by EBS_freak
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When I joined my old punk covers band I was already in a band, a band which didn’t gig much (hardly at all). The punk band asked how this would affect them, I said it wouldn’t as as they were a regular gigging band (pretty much every week) I would give them priority and fit the other band in where I could. They were straight with me, they didn’t want someone who couldn’t rehearse/gig every week and if I wanted in I had to be able to do both. Nothing wrong in being clear about what is wanted from band members, especially if a band is replacing someone.

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9 hours ago, Jakester said:

Some of you may have seen my post Rejection Dejection, where I detail how I may have talked myself out of a great gig. 

 

Well, round two has arrived - this time, where I didn't even get to meet any of the band before not getting the gig! 

 

As the kindly souls in my first thread noted, often the first time rejections come back to you if their first choice doesn't work out. 

 

And so that has proved - there was an ad up a while back which was a swing band looking for a bassist. (I know that's totally different to the other band - what can I say? I love playing different styles of music). I dropped them a line but I was told that they'd found someone. 

 

However, it seems that person didn't work out so they dropped me a line to see if I was still interested? I said yes - I don't think their standard was particularly high, which suited me as I was looking to improve my EUB playing without much pressure. I knew I could play the parts on electric bass at worst. 

 

Anyway, I'd managed to build up a bit of rapport over email with the person doing the recruiting (the singer, I think), when matters came rather swiftly to a head. 

 

I'd already told them I play in another band. She said they rehearse on Wednesday nights, did that work. I said possibly, though the other band I play with also do Weds eves when we're rehearsing so I may have to do alternates. 

 

That put the cat right amongst the pigeons. The singer had to go and check with the band leader whether that would be okay, and the response came back "no - wouldn't work due to split loyalties". 

 

I was quite surprised at that - I've managed to successfully play in multiple ensembles for many many years, and IME it's better to actually have a player there than none at all. I'd have been happy to rock up and work out with them when they needed a bassist and when not.

 

In all honesty, having listened to their recordings I do think I have dodged a fairly big bullet - anyone who can't really crack 'In The Mood' was probably not going to be much fun anyway! 

 

I get that they want someone committed but I find this "commit 100% only to our band" thing really odd. Variety is the spice of life - I'd go mad if I could only ever play one style of music. 

 

At this rate, I will getting bands I've never heard of get in touch to reject me before they even put up a 'bassist wanted' ad! 

 

I cant really blame them if you already rehearse on their chosen night, look at it from their perspective. And what about gigs on the same night, who would you choose to disappoint?

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8 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

Hardly a cult.

 

And setting out expectations from start. I'd say they sound like a straight up, decent lot. 

I was jesting on the cult bit. 

 

I appreciate when people set their expectations out clearly at the start. We all have different interpretations of what "commitment" means so it's good to get it all out there in a first conversation. I'd just find it difficult for someone to demand loyalty before anything, especially if they're not very good. 

Edited by uk_lefty
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Just now, EBS_freak said:

Why does ability come into it?

 

This is just about being decent and setting expectations.

Because if the band isn't very good ability-wise I wouldn't be dropping any other projects or opportunities to dedicate myself to them, I'd find that frustrating. I'd also not be certain of them being able to get enough gigs to justify having a monopoly over my time. Not gigging with other outfits because they might get one once a blue moon would annoy me. Overall I just wouldn't think its worth it. Just my view, hypothetically, and of course setting aside the issue of a clash of rehearsal nights. 

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Theres a lot of me me me in that response.

 

If the band was stinky poo hot, why would you expect any different response? Asking for commitment is a simple ask.

 

How you manage your time is up to you - if you can make it work whilst adhering to their requirements that’s fine. It’s their perogative to not have to compromise. But if you are going to cause problems for them - whether that be through lack of rehearsals, or double booking on gigs, I fully understand why they wouldn’t be bothered with the headache. What’s wrong with that?

 

I think these threads are an interesting insight into how self centred musicians can be. Most of the time, all this can be avoided with a straight forward, cards on the table conversation.

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1 minute ago, EBS_freak said:

Theres a lot of me me me in that response

There is indeed. My time is precious, to me at least, and I was putting myself in the shoes of the OP. 

 

2 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Most of the time, all this can be avoided with a straight forward, cards on the table conversation.

Absolutely agree 100%. In this case I wouldn't like their cards and they wouldn't like mine, so we would go our separate ways and both be happier for it. 

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13 hours ago, Nail Soup said:

Also "commit 100% only to our band" are your words not theirs as far as I can tell from the OP. 

 

Above that though is the response came back "no - wouldn't work due to split loyalties". 

That's pretty much the same thing, but either way it seems a bit shortsighted by the band leader as far as I'm concerned.

They want a bass player that can only rehearse on a Wednesday. Good luck with that.

 

I'm in a similar position to @Happy Jack where I currently find myself part of five bands and I'm fully committed to all of them.

The band described in the OP seems inflexible and I have to ask, are they really that busy that they require the bass player to be in only one band? I suspect not.

 

Across all the bands I'm in, I don't think there is one other person who doesn't have another project running alongside the band we share.

I think you're best well out of it Jake. Something better will come along I'm sure.

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7 hours ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

They want a bass player that can only rehearse on a Wednesday. Good luck with that.

It's a big band, so has a lot of members - they need a fixed rehearsal night because a) a Whatsapp group to arrange a flexi-night won't work and b) rehearsal space requirements probably mean they need to block-book somewhere.

They should be able to find a bass player who can rehearse Wednesdays. After all they already found 2 or 3 trombonists players who can. And 2 or 3 trumpet players. ..... and so on.

 

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1 hour ago, Nail Soup said:

It's a big band, so has a lot of members - they need a fixed rehearsal night because a) a Whatsapp group to arrange a flexi-night won't work and b) rehearsal space requirements probably mean they need to block-book somewhere.

They should be able to find a bass player who can rehearse Wednesdays. After all they already found 2 or 3 trombonists players who can. And 2 or 3 trumpet players. ..... and so on.

 

Sorry, but I don't buy that at all. The drummer in one of my bands is also in a big band/swing band (18 members), as well as being in a few others, and he easily manages to navigate the rehearsal minefield that comes with being in multiple outfits.

From being in a reasonably large band (10) myself for nearly 20 years and various other bands with brass sections, I can give you a very good idea where at least 50% of rehearsal time was wasted - waiting for brass players to get their sh!t together - and they had the flippin' dots in front of them!

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