Dealing with (too) many bands

Hey dear BassBuzz-Family :hugs:

so I’ve just ended up playing Bass in 6 bands. As this is the first time I am coping with this lot of music (really, Bass has become my life), I wanna know if anyone’s here who can help me with his/her own experience; if you have several bands you’re in: How do you manage your time practicing bass for each band? How do you manage your time for meeting up with each band? How do you manage your time not to get in conflict with concert plans of each band? How do you manage your time for still having a life (:joy:) else than Bass? I’m quite overwhelmed right now, and a bit desperate too about how fast you can get from one band to many more. :see_no_evil:
Thank you very much in advance for your replies and your help. :pray::pray::pray:

Wish y’all the Bass :heart:


Seems like a home-made problem, dude :joy: You have to learn to say “no” - trust me, it’s a life saver :wink:


Agree completely. Sanity is a much nicer path than FOMO, trust me. Learning to say no is a critical survival skill :rofl:


6 bands? that’s just too much unless they play similar kind of music then it just doesn’t make sense, lol. I’d put them on a list and prioritize it by how much you like each band and your role in it as well as your bandmate and pay.

I don’t do gigs for the money but more for social gathering and network as how much can they really pay you, lol. I’m often invited to play a few times a month I go when I could as each band has their backup bass player and every once in a while I’m asked to play in a studio session, since I don’t do this for a living it’s still fun.

It’s great to be in many bands and it’s even greater to be needed by everyone, but at the end of the day, if you are spreading yourself too thin you’d suffer and your music will as well, unless of course you are a professional then this is just the way it is.


Yep, pick the best and ditch the rest. when your hobby becomes too aggravating and stressful, it’s not worth it.


You don’t have to limit yourself to one but may be 2-3 is enjoyable. I’m in a different bands because I like the bandmates one band has a really strong Guitar player and drummer another has a phenomenon Keys and drummer they play slightly different genres of music so it fits me best both are 4 piece band and the second guitar is also play bass so when I gig with them I’m the main bass player. Both have great array of singers so it’s like a front row seat for me.

It’s not as easy to find the right bass player for many bands that play in the right genres.


Been there and done that - not 6 but at one stage I was juggling 4 bands. It just got too much for me and I’d usually let bands down by only practising the day of our rehearsals. I also needed to use an ipad which personally I don’t like bringing to a gig or a studio. In the end I culled down to 2 bands. One band is a just for fun get together once a fortnight because a. I love the set list we have and b. they are a great bunch of easy going people. My 2nd band also gets together once a fortnight to rehearse and this band is the one that gigs probably once a month. This now gives me plenty more time to practise and learn songs.


Oh man, for the past year I’ve been trying to find just one band to join :man_shrugging:


I feel your pain bro!


Yep, I have asked my wife to start playing guitar again and my son is learning drums and I’m trying to get him into playing rock music and not just his “school band” music/homework.


Yep. I’ve been playing along with my daughter’s piano practice :rofl:


I agree with everyone else that this is a problem you (the OP) have needlessly created, and the obvious and only real solution is to admit — first to yourself and then to the members of at least a couple of these groups — that you’ve simply overextended yourself and can’t realistically commit to so much (at least not happily or healthily — and probably not very well, unless you’re a musical genius with flawless chops and perfect recall of songs and arrangements).

I don’t know if this is a case of over enthusiasm (you wanted to do it all), under thinking (you didn’t count the costs), people pleasing (you just couldn’t say no), or plain hubris (you somehow thought the limitations of mere mortals no longer applied to you), but it’s certainly an extreme example and should perhaps be taken as an opportunity for self-examination.

Reflect. Be honest. Learn from this. That’s the way forward.


Some tough love from Arkansas this evening :wink:


I totally get this.
Music is fun, so you want to have lots of fun, and no one band can satisfy all the music you want to play.

Usually there’s a split - a moment where a player becomes a real gun-for-hire, vs being a band member. You may have hit that point.

There are significant differences when you make the change.

If you’re in each of the bands, it’s too much. Bands often have weird ideas and jealousies around shared members, they want commitment and loyalty, they want rehearsal times, they want everyone to have their first commitment be to the band.
This is not often realistic, and certainly not if you’re in so many groups.

When you’re gun-for-hire, you aren’t necessarily in a band, or if you are, you have clear boundaries over when/why/and how-much you’ll practice.
When you’re more of a bassist-for-hire, people can ask you to play their gigs (often accompanied by one to two rehearsals before hand) but that’s it.
It is often more mercenary, as there has to be a reason to do the gig and do all the prep work so that you can show up to the rehearsals ready to perform.

That’s the difference I remember.
There’s still room for 1, maaayyyyybe 2 bands… but the rest have to be purely on a “if you pay me and don’t make me rehearse too much” basis.

That’s my professional experience.

Good luck. You may have a few hearts to break.


I play in a contemporary worship music band here in California and right now also practice for my high school reunion (class of 81) gig with my teenage punk band in Germany. I admit, this is already really challenging for me although it is so much fun playing some Blitzkrieg Bop in between raising a Hallelujah lol. I can’t give you any advice as playing in six bands at the same time is beyond what I can concentrate on. If you have fun with it, go do it and enjoy.


Hi y’all,

thank you so much for your replies :hugs::heart::pray:

As most of you wrote here, setting a focus has become crucial to me. I got SOOO overwhelmed by the “friggin’” hilarious enthusiasm :heart_eyes: playing Bass that I was over-enthusiastic about every band’s request to play with them. What was hyping me was that each of them has a different style: One Funk, one Metal, one Indie, one Jazz, one with own compositions only, and one damn good professional Rock band. It was just like an invitation from life itself to meet all different styles personally and choose the ones I like most.

I finally set my focus on the professionals and the own-compositions-only band and the one that is doing Jazz, because they challenge me the most.
Just as some of you recommended me, I told the others to play as a 2nd choice bassist if their bassist is sick.

Gosh, it was an unexplainable Hype I had, and so adventurous, too. :fire::heart_eyes: Bass has become the sunshine part of my life since I’ve met my Bass Luna in January. :guitar:
@JoshFossgreen thank you so much for being such an inspiring teacher you’ve helped me achieve all of this! :hugs::hugs::hugs:

Thank you so, so much again for your replies, everyone. I love y’all! :heart::heart::heart:

I wish you all the Bass :heart:


I’m impressed @DLiqacy ! And so happy for you that you’re having fun and learning so much from this experience! Like @Barney said, I came on a bit strong (besides being a dad, I’m also a high school teacher and have been a preacher/minister in the past, so tough love is definitely part of my m.o.) for which I apologize if any offense was taken, but you really seem to have taken to heart the spirit of my and others’ advise. That takes a lot of humility and maturity and shows strength of character.

I do agree with @Gio who makes some really good points about being a committed band member vs. playing for various bands. If you’re good enough to switch genres, master new material, etc. and can work as basically a “studio” musician for various groups or projects, that could be a fun and potentially lucrative approach. But most of us aren’t quite that good :wink: (or simply don’t have the time or desire) and have to focus our energies on what we’re most passionate about. It sounds like that’s the path you’ve chosen—at least for now.

I understand the drive, though, to soak up everything life has to offer; that’s a healthy desire and reflects a genuine joke de vivre.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!