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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Band Mortality rate/member turn-over

Previous 20 Messages  
Contributing Member


Apr 13th, 2016 12:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

"My" band is still together after about 3 years, but we're having a tough time scheduling practices and shows.

Contributing Member

Subtropical Florida

Apr 13th, 2016 12:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Whatever the reason, my band mates just seem more cranky than they need to be, and I have to wonder how long before one or the other walks off for good."

Based on some past threads I think you have some chemistry issues in your band, no?

The last band I was in was a 4 piece. The best dynamic, everyone on board with the same kind of life views, no type AAA personalities. But from past experience sometimes it does take one of these types to kick it up a notch, get gigs, etc. Unfortunately they're usually also the reason the band breaks up or loses members.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Apr 14th, 2016 07:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

My situation is, my band mates are either semi or completely retired. In a couple cases the band is all they have going on in life. And yes, one of them is a type A personality. When he perceives someone isn't giving it the same dedication he does, he rants, which causes tension. Then another member reacts by trying to deflect onto someone else.
The music is great, and the type A does push us to do better, but I see some toxic stuff going on. There may be a reason why I'm the first guitarist to stick around long enough to produce a marketable product. I guess I'm more tolerant than most.

Contributing Member

North Gnarlyington

Apr 14th, 2016 07:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

I figured as people got older their lives became more simplified, that with kids gone and jobs either established or over making time for music would be easier. Doesn't seem to be the case, and then throw creeping (or sudden) physical issues into the mix and things aren't at all predictable. The more members involved, the more likely things will go awry.

C'est la vie! I'm with you- if it's not fun, eff it.

Contributing Member

Subtropical Florida

Apr 14th, 2016 07:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

I think it's critical for the aged musicians (not delusional about still "making it") to all be in the same place. All wanna be weekend warriors? Great. All wanna gig their butts off like it's 1979? Great. All wanna make this bowling night out with the boys? Great.

From my experience it takes very little deviation between those three mindsets to cause trouble.

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

Apr 14th, 2016 08:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

Our 50/60's Oldies Band played 27 years. During that time we had a turnover of three members.

MID LIFE CRISIS was a 6 piece band (lead singer did not play an instrument). We had a change in drummer, bass, and lead guitarist (I played rhythm guitar all 27 years).

We fired the original drummer because he played too loud and couldn't throttle back. The original lead guitarist moved away and had to be replaced. Finally, we had to fire the bass player because he refused to turn down his volume.

We had a great run from 1985 to 2012. Pretty amazing since we thought we would only be playing one gig together!


Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Apr 14th, 2016 10:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’ve only been in two bands that really got off the ground; one in the late 70s that lasted about 2 years before imploding and the current band, which is in its 8th year, with 3 of 4 founding members still present.

In the first band, 3 of us lived in the same house, which was where we practiced and our friends hung out. We were trying to “make it” (never got close) and had either a job or a job length practice 6 nights a week. We also drank a lot, which wasn't a good combination with youthful ignorance. In the current band, things are more businesslike and expectations are lower. The party atmosphere of the first band was fun at the time but I think that less togetherness and inebriation, along with more realistic goals and maturity have much to do with the stability of the current band.

(This message was last edited by Rick Knight at 08:11 AM, Apr 20th, 2016)


Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Apr 15th, 2016 11:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

I think that when you get guys who have played for the last 20 plus years and guys who put it down for a while and then came back, you have different expectations.
At 40 or 50, rehearsals are not going to be the same kind of hang out and have a couple of beer situations that they might have been when you were 19 or 20. Maybe you have family waiting at home or have to get up at 5:30 for the day gig.
I know guys who want to play every song 15 - 20 times, while some of us are "this is in A. Follow me."" okay. It'll tighten up on the gig."

Contributing Member

Delco, PA

"I'll take a simple C to G
Apr 16th, 2016 10:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

My band is going on 27 years this summer. Back line positions have had the most turnover. The other guitar player has been with me for 25 years. Female vocalist is going on 15 years. Drummer and bassist have been around for 10 years.

We gig once a month, give or take, and rehearse another once or twice a month. While I'm the leader, everyone has a say and the primary purpose is to keep it fresh and fun. It's been a great release from the real life experience of working and raising a family.



Earn while you learn
Apr 17th, 2016 06:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm 57. I joined a band back in '81 that is still going. The band (that specializes in German music; polkas, yodeling, etc.) plays primarily at fall festivals (Octoberfests) within a fairly wide area (some gigs include hotel stays).

This was my main band back in the 80's to mid nineties as we played most weekends (spring, summer, fall festivals, ski areas in the winter) and did some touring, all the while having fun.

These days the band plays mostly during the fall festival season and is booked every weekend from September through The first weekend in November.

Yes, there have been personality issues, prima-donna issues, and all of the stuff that comes along with performers but we have managed to work things out as the band knows once it's over - it's over!

I like the fact that we can "put it away" in November and concentrate on other musical endeavors and then ramp it up in September...

We're already booked for a solid schedule of (annual) festivals for Sept/Oct 2016.

Mike M


Look at my hair ...

Apr 17th, 2016 08:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

Two bands- 15 years with one and five years with the other. Wife plays bass in the latter and subs in the former.

Drive 'em 'til they drop ...

Roger Ball
Contributing Member


More Mel Bay...less eBay
Apr 17th, 2016 02:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

The band I'm in started about 1985 and I joined in 1990. There have been a few changes over the years but we still have two original members and the same lineup since 2000 so no personality issues to deal with.

We're all pretty much on the same page as far as music and number of gigs per year. All in all, a good situation. I'm sure we'll go on as long as it's still fun and health permits.


Omaha, USA

Apr 18th, 2016 01:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

The country band I co-founded in 1993 is still going with two originals remaining from the start. At least 10 people have been full-time members with other short-term guys along the way. Being in our mid-60's now, we have lost four people over the years who've passed on, due to accidents or health issues, to a bigger gig in the sky. Gotta keep playin' while we're still young. You just never know.

Contributing Member


Hoarder of instruments
Apr 29th, 2016 08:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm in a band that has been going for over seventeen years--I've been in it for twelve.

There is eighteen or nineteen of us--depending what musicians are available. We had three members die last year and had to use a few subs, some of them are now almost semipermanent members.

Years ago I was in a successful band that started as a club band. I spent four years full time and a while after leaving the band it became more of a weekend-warrior band. I spent another five years with them. We added a couple of musicians during that time and went up to six musicians at some gigs.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
May 2nd, 2016 08:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

Since we've been playing in my old home town, I've had a bunch of my old classmates come out to hear us. One of them was a guy I used to jam with back in high school. He said he's been playing in a band for about 10 years now, with a couple guys from high school. From the sounds of it, they're "bowling nite out" type of guys. They play the occasional jam night or benefit party type thing. I kind of envy that laid back situation.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Jun 2nd, 2016 10:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

Well, it happened.

The drummer has seemed a bit detached lately, and last week he walked into practice late, sat down, listened to the song we were learning, played through it and then said, "I'm not interested in this anymore. I quit", and left.
He promised to play the next 2 gigs we have scheduled but after that he was done.

He played the one last night but it's awkward, so we have a replacement drummer lined up for the next gig, and thereafter.

It's sort of a self-solving problem since he always sped up and never took the time to learn the actual drumbeats, but just jammed through the songs.

Contributing Member

North Gnarlyington

Jun 2nd, 2016 10:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

So what was the issue or combination of issues? I can see:

-not liking the material, because if you don't like it you don't feel it, IMO

-stressful band leader (as you have mentioned)

-personality issues with other band members ("He won't shut up!" etc)

- and there's always The Grand Ennui- "What's the point?"

-age issues- pain, hearing, fatigue, etc

-spouse issues ("What, you're out again?")

(This message was last edited by professor at 12:18 PM, Jun 2nd, 2016)

super mario
Contributing Member


tone to the bone no other way
Jun 2nd, 2016 10:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

The best band I was in was a Christian Rock band that did covers, originals and rewrites. Over the years, I played bass, drums and rhythm guitar. I was the third bass player the band had as the original lineup formed in early 80's lasted until '98 to which another guy played bass for a year. Then I came on board late 99 and remained in the band until we disbanded in 2012. The lineup was a rotation of drummers and lead guitar players. I miss playing with those guys, but we knew the road was over in the end. Since that time, some are in other bands while others like me spend a lot of time working on tunes in the music room. I still get a playing fix with the worship music ministry at our church....rotating still on bass, drums and electric guitar.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Jun 2nd, 2016 12:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

Professor -
Yeah, maybe all of the above. I think he wanted to play more hard rock stuff, and we were trying to fill out an oldies repertoir with some simpler, novelty tunes.
Plus the fact that the leader can be a stickler for details, although the 3 of us were in agreement that he wasn't putting the effort in, and he might've sensed the collective frustration.
But the guy was getting older and he seemed to be exhausted at the end of some gigs. Not to mention, he had a large kit to pack up at the end. Being the "youngest" in the group, I always tried to help him load up, but he still had the majority of the work.

Contributing Member

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jun 8th, 2016 05:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

The band I started in NJ lasted for almost 12 years. We did go through a few bassists and drummers. We were primarily a "hobby band". Playing out was not the top priority.

Here in Florida, it's taking awhile to get the right situation. A couple of projects fizzled. I just quit a band whose leader was to hard to please - no fun there.

Just got together with 3 other geezers like myself. We do have common interests in that we like 50's-60's stuff primarily. What needs to be clarified is what the expectations are as to how much we want to gig. But I can't imagine that any of us would want to get out more than a couple times a month.

We'll see how long this one lasts!

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Band Mortality rate/member turn-over

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