10 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Band

I Quit
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Last week we went through reasons why you might want to fire a band member. This week I want to look at reasons why you might just want to quit the band instead. After all, sometimes you just don’t have a better option than moving on to something else.

The Band Is Unproductive

Playing as part of a band is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. If it’s not, then it is more like a regular job assuming you are making money doing it. But if you are rehearsing three times a week for six months and still aren’t ready, or have certain members who aren’t ready, then unless you’re learning or writing an epic three hour song list then you’re wasting time. Maybe you show up to band rehearsal ready to play 40 songs and the rest of the group only knows 10 of them. What if the band is ready to play shows but no one is booking any? Or you have a show and nobody bothers promoting it? The band will only go as far as the weakest link will allow.

There Is Recurring Conflict Between Two or More Band Members

In last week’s post, I talked about firing a member who is always causing conflict with the rest of the band. But what if it’s not one member but two? And what if they just fight with each other? You could try firing both or the one who seems like the worst fit for the group, but maybe leaving the group is the better option. After all, even if you remove one of the problem members, that doesn’t mean the remaining one won’t start this up again with someone else. Maybe you’re the odd man out. Everyone else in the group is always fighting and you tend to stay neutral. In that case, there’s too much disharmony within the group for it to truly move forward. Better to find a new group that actually can get along.

Creativity Has Stopped

All creative people get writer’s block at times, and if you feel that is the case then check out my previous post Music & Lyrics – Overcoming Writer’s Block. If the band seems to be in a somewhat permanent stalling point however, that is not writer’s block. Sometimes the creativity just stops within a group. Usually this will stem from other issues affecting the cohesion of the group.

You Feel That You As An Individual Don’t Matter To The Group

The band is having a big meeting about the new shirt designs and every idea you offer up gets ignored. Or maybe you are getting told about new decisions before you even hear there is a discussion. Perhaps you are the last one to join the group, or certain members “own” the band as far as it being a business entity. For whatever reason, feeling unimportant is a significant damper on your enjoyment of being in the band.

You Want A Different Direction Than The Rest Of The Band

All it takes is time for people to have a change of heart. Maybe as you’ve grown older, or been through some new experiences, your outlook has changed, and you now want something completely different than you use to. The band got a new bassist, and the rest of the group has slowly taken on more of his/her style and personality. It could be the singer just had a child and now only wants to play local. For whatever reason, you’re now at odds with the direction the majority of the band wants to take, which will make it more like working a job you don’t like.

One or More Members Has Personal/Alchohol/Drug Problems Affecting The Group

This is another one I mentioned in last week’s post about firing a band member. If one or more members of the group use illegal substances, then you have to worry about their potential legal issues that may occur. Do you really want to be part of a group whose singer was just arrested for drugs? Even alcohol can be a big issue. Drinking in moderation and acting legally responsible when doing so are fine, but once someone lets alcohol inhibit their performances or efforts with the band in general, it becomes a major issue. If it’s just one member doing these things, then I suggest speaking with the rest of the group about it before you just up and quit. But should the rest of the group refuse to say or do anything about it, or more than one member are doing these things, then it may be a good indication you should get out.

You Care More About Being Successful Than The Rest Of The Group

Do you aspire to be on the big stages with millions of fans but the rest of the group just wants to play house parties and bars where their friends will come? Then get out and find others who are as driven as you are. Staying with a group that doesn’t match your aspirations is just holding yourself back. If you stay with a group like that, then you will end up with nothing but regret for not having done more.

You No Longer Enjoy Working With The Band

For whatever reason(s), the band is doing great and everyone gets along but you have lost all enjoyment in it. There is nothing wrong with losing your interest in being part of the group. Staying with the group despite that is wrong. If the group is doing well, then you will be the weakest link and hold the group back. If the group isn’t doing well, then you will stop wasting time as it is.

You Don’t Have Time To Contribute Your Fair Share

Until you are making a decent living with your music and can afford to focus strictly on it, you are bound to whatever you do for your main income. Maybe your shift has changed at work, and you can’t make rehearsals anymore. Or you could be getting ready to welcome a child into your life, and with family duties you won’t have enough time anymore. Rather than limiting the band because of your limited availability, take your leave and let the rest of the group know it’s better for them.

You Have Better Options

Sometimes you just have to make your exit from a band like you would a job when you get a better offer. It’s no different than interviewing for a new job. You get a job offer that pays better or offers better benefits, and you choose to take it. The same thing applies for bands. If things aren’t going so well, and you get a better option then it would be time to take that offer and move on.

Additional Resources:

James Higgins (295 Posts)

Professional guitarist and instructor based in Alabama; performance, songwriting, and recording. Atlanta Institute of Music graduate. Part-time blogger.


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