7 Ways to Know that you Should Leave your Band

As a musician, you constantly hunt to reach your full potential and keep an eye open for new opportunities. Once you join a band and you commit to a project you are convinced about, when is it the right time to say goodbye and move on?

Let’s look at the 7 signs for when you are ready to move on and find a new challenge.

Always try to find solutions before leaving your established band.

You Found a New Opportunity

Let’s start with the most obvious reason that members might quit, and that is when a new opportunity arises. This happens to us all, also in our professional careers. I think it’s fair to say that that’s a great reason to move on.

Most musicians have multiple bands that try to keep up. This becomes more challenging once all these bands gig and tour simultaneously.

The case of the matter stays constant: Don’t burn down bridges once you decide to take on a new band. You can discuss this with your current band and check if they would be fine with you having a second band. Share any info regarding practice commitments gigs.

It might also offer advantages for your current band in the sense of extra bookings and your talent development. Sometimes, there might be an opportunity behind something that might feel like bad news at first.

Experiencing Aimlessness in Your Current Band

It feels frustrating being stuck in a project that you feel is not going further than the current state. You are stuck in this routine of practice once a week, and gig twice a month, but there’s no real progress other than performing to the regulars of the pub.

In this case, you have 3 choices:

  1. You quit immediately and start to search for a new position, which can take a few months.
  2. You explore greener pastures but keep the current gig above water since it has stability.
  3. You do something yourself to inject new passion into the band. This might be organising shows yourself, motivating the members to try a different genre of music to get unstuck.

There are different points of view. I can honestly say that quitting is an easy solution for yourself, but not a productive one.

Conflict Within your Band

There’s a massive range of issues that band members experience conflict over. As soon as the same issues pop up, people feel sad and emotional about dealing with it. Before you decide to quit, don’t miss the post I wrote about Dealing With Conflict in Your Band to find a path to solutions.

Once you have tried to solve the issues and keep the boat straight up without success, it might be time for you to move on and find a new musical project with new contacts and a clean slate.

If you are currently ready to take this step, I wrote an article about Finding Committed Bandmembers, which is currently totally applicable to you. Perhaps it could guide you to some ideas on how to go about your new journey.

When you Feel Undervalued

This means that your ideas and contributions are being ignored by the rest of your bandmates. If you honestly don’t know what you’ve done to deserve such treatment, I would say it’s a really good time to speak up and ask. Get clarity about it before you hit the road and find something new.

This post was written and published by De Wet from startingmyband.com on 25.06.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere else.

Breaking away for the right reason can bring massive relief.

Practices are Not Productive and Time Wasting

Your time should be respected, just like you are respecting the time of others. If you feel that your precious time is going down the drain, it’s a good time now to do something about it.

Have a look at the post I wrote about Productive Band Rehearsal if this is the situation you are currently in. There is a decent framework and tactics for you to follow to optimize the time that you spend in the band rehearsal room.

Once you’ve tried to find a solution and intervention without success, I would say that it’s a good idea to move on.

Toxic Members in the Band

When you join a band, not quite knowing all the band members as well yet, you might be in for a surprise. People have different habits and you can not be prepared for the way how others behave during certain situations.

Oil and water don’t mix, and there will be people who feel like the space between you and them can’t be big enough. Once you come across someone like this, it might be time to move on. It could even be that the other members feel the same, so reach out and make sure about your feelings.

If other members feel like you do then maybe they would like to let the specific member go instead of you leaving. If this is the case for you, then you might be interested in the article I wrote about Asking a Bandmember to Leave which describes exactly what you will need for this job.

Feeling Underqualified for the Job

Do you find yourself in a situation where the music pieces and expectations are above your level of expertise? Then that’s very reasonable ground to discuss your leave from the band. Usually, a trial period is in order when you join a band to make sure you feel comfortable and at ease with the job to prevent members and bands from being in the tough position of having to split paths.

Discuss the matter with the rest of the band and let them know that it’s above your level. It’s alright to not be a champion lead guitarist, and many people need more time to practice and get updated. We all have strengths and weaknesses in different areas, and you need to listen to your inner self once you feel overwhelmed by the material.

There’s a different band waiting for you to join them 🙂

To close off, I would like you to always try to make things work before giving up. Have open communication with the members and let them know how you feel. Only then changes can happen.

Until next time, keep grinding!

De Wet

The dream started during a school tour at the age of 15 years old. One that might take a long time to reach. De Wet was 16 years old when he got his first bass guitar as a gift from his dad. The guitar was found, hidden under boxes. As if it was waiting for its owner to come by and pick him up. He practiced every day to improve and to teach his fingers to dance to the music. After finishing high school, he played in various bands where he collected valuable experience, before being signed by a record label as an upcoming band. He reached success at age 22 when he released two albums with his band, which also included televised music videos for publicity. By age 24, he co-started management, artist promotion, and booking agency for successful and upcoming musical acts.

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