Every band has had to take a hard look at their situation and decide if it’s time for a bandmate to be let go.
This can be a very tough situation. If this person has worked really hard or is a good friend, it can be especially difficult.
Sometimes, though, in order for the band to move forward you have to make the decision of firing them or trying to work it out.
Here are some situations and hopefully some solutions:
They Just Aren’t Good Enough
Every member of the band has to be good at their roll in order for the band to be tight. If you’ve got a player that just can’t seem to keep up, it will be noticeable most of the time. I say most of the time because I have talked to people who don’t know the difference between a good band and a bad band (and it always blows me away).
If that member is working really hard and taking lessons and you feel that he/she is almost there, then give them a little more time.
If they are not doing anything to better themselves, then it may be time to have the talk.
They Are Causing Problems
This can be any number of things. There is the one member who is sick all the time and always wants to cancel. Or the other who is always late to practice or unprepared, not knowing the songs.
These guys are a little easier to let go because they don’t take it serious enough. Every band should be fun, but there’s a point where you actually have to do the work and if that one person is causing the preventing the work from being done, you gotta let them go.
They Don’t “Get It”
Every band starts with a vision; “Hey, let’s do all metal versions of Justin Timberlake songs”. Everyone’s excited except for Chad. Chad will go along because he wants to be in a band an you’re the best band in town. But he doesn’t play the songs as enthusiastically as everyone else.
At the gigs he’s rolling his eyes and noodling on other songs in-between numbers.
Chad’s making everyone else look bad. Way to go, Chad.
It’s time to talk to Chad and find out if he really wants to be in the band. You might get him to come around and see the bigger picture. If so, great! If not, Chad should understand that everyone needs to on the same page.
Maybe You Should Quit
It’s quite possible that you are the one that is the odd man out. I’ve been in this situation. The band just doesn’t excite you or maybe the personalities are too different.
You could be out of your league, being the best or worst player in the band.
Or maybe you’re the guy that is always late or just have too much going on to learn the songs.
Make sure it’s not you before you talk to the others about getting rid of Chad.
Break Up The Band
One final option is just to disband. Take a good hard look at the band and gauge all of the things above. If you don’t have 75% of the members trying hard and all on the same page, then the project will likely fail sooner rather than later.
Breaking up the band might be the best way to keep friendships in tact.
Always discuss this decision with other bandmates before you do anything. Find out if everyone is feeling the same way, then decide how to approach the problem person. It might be best to have a one-on-one with him so he doesn’t feel ganged up on.
Whatever you do, be cool about it. The guy that’s about to get fired is in the band for the same reasons you are. Put yourself in their shoes and approach it with some diplomacy.