So I got (pre)invited to an originals band

I’ve been playing bass on and off for the last 12/13 years, mostly on my own. I started taking it more seriously in the last 2-3 years, but even then I’m mostly doing my own thing without a “greater purpose”.

I do have some friends I jam with occasionally and an office “band” with whom I’m creating a fun/satire EP with stuff related to the company. Almost a pity, because there are good songs that would fit perfectly with a ‘normal’ band and which I can’t wait to share with you guys (I’m pretty proud with some of the basslines I wrote), although you most likely won’t understand the lyrics :laughing: . But anyway, it’s pretty casual. We mostly work online and gather once a month or so.

Apart from that little intro, feeling the need for a bit more formal education, I decided to bite the bullet and started having some lessons with a private tutor. I wouldn’t say these configure as regular lessons as we mostly just practice some licks and jam together. After the 1st lesson he admitted that he didn’t know what to do with me as he’s more used to a juvenile audience and “less educated” bassists (theory and tecnique wise).

Anyway, yesterday he sent me a message asking if he was allowed to share my soundcloud with some people he knew. I didn’t think too much of it, as I only have a few ‘novelty’ tracks there (mostly bass only and therefore bass driven songs), but said “of course”.

Today I got a message from him telling me: “Hi Gonçalo, I have this band of originals looking for a bassist and they loved what you did on your soundcloud. They are really eager to meet you and want you to be part of the band”.

So far, so good, right? That’s what every bassist wants to hear. Well… I have a full time job and side projects that require what’s left of my attention outside of the job, plus a relationship to maintain :stuck_out_tongue: . On the other hand… I have a “serious” band that plays live and wants to do a new EP\Album. I’m kind of afraid to commit to it, because I guess it will demand a lot of my (scarce) time and demand stuff from me that I never did before (playing live for instance). So while I want to say yes, I start to overthink it and start thinking maybe it’s not the best idea. And I’m not even considering my huge stage fright issue…

How do you guys with full time jobs deal with these kind of situations? Do you struggle?

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YES!

But… it is probably worth to find that time and you will likely regret not giving it a go if you decide against it.

Also (and do I really have to tell this to a “Southerner” :wink: (sorry about the stereotypes!)??): there is more to life than work!!!

Go for it and have fun :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I’m looking forward to the replies from folks with experience.

(I’m in a not-quite-similar situation: Band on BandMix.com asked about me joining as a bassist - they have two albums out - self recorded stuff but it’s on Spotify - description of their music sounds like one of my areas of interest (lots of punk). All good until they sent links to recordings - more like 90% metal - 10% punk and the lead singer is using that death metal growl as his voicing. I’d say no, but the dilemma is that the newer their stuff is the more I like it. So maybe they’re headed my direction musically and I could help steer even more?)

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I’m a bit hesitant to comment here, because I don’t want to negatively influence you, but anyway… The reason I personally have zero interest in joining a band is that I want bass to remain a hobby. I don’t want it to turn into a second job. I want to play bass when I feel like it, not when others want me to play. I want to learn and play the songs that I want to learn and play, not the ones that others want me to. I don’t want deadlines. And I also don’t want the stress of playing in front of a live audience.

But as I said I don’t want to discourage you. This is just my personal opinion, which may or may not change in the future…

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I’m retired so I can’t address this question first hand, but off hand I would say go for it. I know if I was still working, I would.

I know a few people here who play in local bands, yet still maintain full time jobs: two of them work in music stores and one works in construction. I tend to think this is probably more common than not for local bands.

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I got a lot of german blood. That must be why :rofl:.

It’s actually nice to read that other perspective. I understand perfectly where you’re coming from. I do like the prospect of having my basslines being published though (even if it’s a small band) and having a role in composing songs, it would make my bass journey “palpable”.

This strikes a chord though. But I’m not really sure if I just don’t want it or if I’m afraid of doing it.

Hopefully they’ll chip in :crossed_fingers:

Thank you all for the replies

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Sorry for the confusion @gcancella … when I said “I know a few people here who play in local bands”, I meant here where I live, not on the forum. My bad for a poorly constructed sentence. :astonished:

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Ask them about the expected time commitment, but do it such that it doesn’t sound like you are counting hours :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Perhaps ask how many recording sessions or concerts they envision in the future. If it is one gig per week, I would be cautious, but if they are going for 6 times a year or so, then that could work out fine.

So, yes, this could be a way to gauge/estimate from your side how much time you’d need to commit.

Of course, as you seem to join an already established band, there is likely going to be a steep initial learning curve (= lots of time committed). That is potentially also an important consideration!

Still, don’t let everything end up in a risk/reward or return-on-investment type of calculation, as playing in a band and making music with others offers many non-tangible advantages as well (but you know that already)!

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I haven’t been in this situation so I can’t say anything from experience. But I think I’d try and make it work, then if it turns out to be too much you can see how it stacks up against your other commitments. For example, this might end up being more fulfilling than the other side projects you mentioned.

I guess my thinking is try it out so you can weigh the pros and cons accurately, rather than comparing just the idea of joining a band. Does that make sense? I’m also assuming a low barrier to entry since they approached you they clearly already like what you’re doing/can do.

Remember, you don’t have to commit to anything up front. You’d be giving them a tryout as much as they are you.

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I would talk to them at the very least and see where they are at.
Whenever I look around for a band on BandMix etc everyone is looking for highly committed people. I have all the same issues as you and cannot be highly committed that does not pay the rent, feed the kids, or keep the wife happy first.

Finding the right low chill thing seems to be a unicorn out there (but its funny as there are so many here looking for the same thing,…if only a band of 14 bassists was a thing!).

So to answer your question, I don’t deal with these situations, I keep looking for the right fit.
Again, you can always go chat and meet etc, doesnt have to come to anything and you may meet some cool new people in the mix and make other connections.

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@gcancella

I would definitely get more info before making any decisions. Get an idea of how much time is involved. How often are rehearsals (and how long), how many gigs per month, approx. how many songs to learn? Also- is everything local, close by or any traveling required? How soon is the first scheduled gig?

Regarding stage fright: I know everyone of us is different. I have yet to play live with my new band yet- and the idea of that inevitability, both excites me and also fills me with some anxiety as well. But I will say, the more I am becoming familiar with learning the material, the more confident I am becoming. (And looking forward to getting on stage at some point depending on pandemic)

But I certainly realize that the idea of playing on stage can affect people in a wide variety of ways, some of which are not positive!

I would just say if this offer at all sounds fun, you should jump in and least get that important info, maybe agree to a first rehearsal and see how things go.

Good luck and let us know what happens!

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I can give you three upright bassists with some piano and drums: https://www.amazon.com/SuperBass-Recorded-Live-At-Scullers/dp/B002DRVVO2?ref_=nav_custrec_signin&

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On the surface, this seems like a great idea…upon listening…meh.

First off, Congrats @gcancella for getting such a great reference and invite to play with a group!!

Like @PamPurrs - Pam, I to am retired and have more time to do the things that I love to do - not just playing bass, bit many more other hobbies and interests that keep me occupied and moving in my “old age”!…

Do question the group and “be honest” with your situation and “PRIORITIES”!! The band leader/manager will appreciate that honesty…. For me, I only committed to one gig per month… We practice together only twice a month, but the members are all seasoned players and commit practice time at home so that when we do get together to rehearse, we’re all prepared and only have to work out the fine details in songs in the set…

Don’t feel obligated…. I’ve passed on a couple other groups who wanted to practice twice a week and gig at least 2-3 times per month…. Not my thing…. You can be selective…. One thing I HAVE realized, is that bass players ARE a commodity….

If worse comes to worse, you may ask the band leader/manager if you could just be used as a “sit in” for times when the full time bass player cannot make gigs. This way you can still practice with the band, learn the sets, learn the styles of the other players, and always be ready for a gig when needed….

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Man, that is cool. Even if you decide not to do it, it is pretty cool that somebody listened to your playing and said, “We want you.”

Pretty dang cool, @gcancella !

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Please do not consider this as me trying to put a damper on your offer but I have been there done that and the one thing nobody has said that you MUST consider is -
How does your wife/girlfriend/partner/significant other feel about this?

My wife loved it and actually was a roadie and did the cooking for us, and helped set up, when we did shows and went on road trips. Others I know were not so lucky and their marriages suffered. Next year will be my 50th wedding anniversary and I do not regret anything. And before anybody asks -Yes to the same woman, :slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face: :slightly_smiling_face:

You also have to consider that If this band takes off big time how do you feel about switching careers and doing it full time? This is not as far fetched as it sounds.

It sounds like a great opportunity and you appear to be aware of some of the potential pitfalls.
It sounds like they are a serious group so if I were you I would talk to them, meet with them and go to a few of their rehearsals to see how it feels to you.

I believe @JoshFossgreen played on some cruise ship venues. If this is a serious group I would also talk to him and get his thoughts on the matter.
Playing on a cruise ship, and getting paid for it, sounds glamorous but I’ll bet you he has some horror stories he could tell you.

I offer you congratulations and wish you the best of luck. :+1: :+1: :+1:

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He did a series of videos on this subject:

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He did, and that’s where he met Mark Smith who has also worked on cruises. Mark tells some really good stories about it on TalkingBass in a special vlog devoted to his time on the ships. He says it’s very hard work, and the living conditions are way less than glamourous.

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I had a friend that did 2 year-long stints on the QE2 in their printing department.
He said there were only two good things about working on a cruise ship…travel and girls, everything else was horrible. But he literally saw the world.

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I just checked with my wife and she says the girls perk you mentioned was not an option for me. :joy: :joy: :joy:

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