Trad jazz Monday :( ...

MegiMegi Posts: 6,774Member
edited September 2016 in Guitar Chat
I'm now somehow involved in a couple of "trad jazz" bands - one that plays Monday evenings, and one every other Monday afternoon at a local (now independent) library. I wish I could say I'm really keen on the music, but I'm just not is the honest truth. The one in the evening pays a bit of useful dosh, the afternoon library thing (to which I'm about to head off now) very little in the dosh department. The people who play in both bands are lovely, and I won't say I've not had any benefit from doing the gigs, but I'm really thinking it's getting to the time when the downside is overshadowing the upside, and I should leave one, or maybe both. I don't find it an easy thing to do, but... Has anyone else here had to leave a band for similar reasons, and how did you handle it? Did you regret the decision later?

Comments

  • LesterLester Posts: 1,513Member, Moderator
    edited September 2016
    From the money angle it sounds as though the evening gig is giving you more contentment than the library gig but you will have other pros and cons for each band.

    Once you have decided which band you want to leave, the challenge is how to announce in such a way that it causes minimum disruption to upcoming work.

    In these two situations where both bands have a regular booking I might say that here is one month's notice to leave (ie. the end of October) but if they haven't found a replacement then I will honour bookings until the end of the year (including New Year's Eve). That's just one possibility.

    I left a band earlier this year after playing bass in it for 4 years. In the first couple of months after leaving, especially when I saw its name on a poster for an upcoming gig, there was naturally a tinge of 'that should be me playing' but really, I left because it wasn't working out for me and so I have no regrets.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,774Member
    Appreciate your thoughts, thank you for that Lester. And sensible ideas re how to handle things they are too. I need to do a bit of thinking really - the afternoon library one is only every couple of weeks, and you'd think ought to be no bother to do, but after a while, it starts to be an irritant.

    I may keep the evening one going, just for the money, but I feel a bit mercenary if I do that, which doesn't seem right somehow. In musical terms, both bands are capable of playing well (but often don't), and although sometimes good music does happen, I think the overall picture might be that I would benefit more in terms of my own musical/mental well-being if I leave. There is somehow a bad effect from playing music that isn't really one's thing, week after week, or at least that's how I find it - I struggle to go through the motions with good grace.
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,635Member
    I've never been good at playing in bands where I haven't liked the music. Though being in a band is great fun and being out with the boys is always fun it's still a lot of effort and if one doesn't like the music it simply isn't worth it. Most of the time I've been able to extricate myself from such situations before getting in too deep. One band, where I did enjoy the music, was getting too serious and there was talk of giving up jobs and whatnot. So I handed in my notice and did all the gigs until they found a replacement (and even a few more after the replacement headed off to Australia). Like Lester said, it wasn't always easy to watch when that band went onwards and upwards - but it was the right decision.

    If you need the ££s then stick with the evening gig. But if you don't need the money I suspect that in the long term you be better off knocking that one on the head, too, and spending the time on playing the style you really love.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,214Member
    It's very difficult once a problem area starts niggling away in your mind to ignore it long term without it building up into a major issue and causing major stress.

    I know nothing about playing in a band I hasten to add, but I it's bad enough doing something you dislike to keep a roof over the heads and food on the table - if it's not for those essentials and you're not getting that pleasure then knocking it on the head becomes a more and more attractive option.

    The fact that the people you are playing with are lovely makes it more difficult of course - much easier to leave when you are irritated with people.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,774Member
    Thank you Derek - I think you sum up the situation pretty well. As it happens, both bands had good gigs yesterday, and were playing better than their average, which does sway me a little. But I know from experience that this does not generally last, and even though I kind of enjoy the better sessions, it's really still not my "thing". I reckon serving my notice for the afternoon library one, and seeing how I feel in a week or two re the evening gig, is probably the way forward - I do have to admit the ££s are handy at the moment.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,774Member
    edited September 2016
    Mark P said:

    It's very difficult once a problem area starts niggling away in your mind to ignore it long term without it building up into a major issue and causing major stress.

    I know nothing about playing in a band I hasten to add, but I it's bad enough doing something you dislike to keep a roof over the heads and food on the table - if it's not for those essentials and you're not getting that pleasure then knocking it on the head becomes a more and more attractive option.

    The fact that the people you are playing with are lovely makes it more difficult of course - much easier to leave when you are irritated with people.

    Cheers Mark - just saw you'd posted while I was replying to Derek. You're right about the people, and another thought there is that in my neck of the woods, the jazz music scene tends to be a limited pool of musicians, and also a limited but loyal audience. So if I leave one or both bands, the word gets around fairly quickly, and I might get a bit of a "reputation". I'm not sure everyone would understand why I'd done it, and I might seem a bit stuck up to some. But probably thinking about this sort of thing is worrying a step too far...
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,513Member, Moderator
    You are making the jazz scene sound like Hotel California: you can check out but you can never leave!

    Reputations are built regardless of whether you leave a band or not; in the end it will come down to how amicable is the departure and how helpful you were at not leaving in the lurch.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,774Member
    Lester said:

    You are making the jazz scene sound like Hotel California: you can check out but you can never leave!

    Reputations are built regardless of whether you leave a band or not; in the end it will come down to how amicable is the departure and how helpful you were at not leaving in the lurch.

    Good advice there I'm sure Lester, much appreciate that bit of level-headed wisdom, thank you. Of course you're right, and I know it would be possible to leave the bands in that amicable and helpful way. I suppose part of my worrying is down to my own insecurities - there was a time not so long ago, when I was grateful to be asked to play in any band at all, so it feels a bit funny now to think that I could be leaving a couple.
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