Inspired by a thread I've just seen in the Pit, and also something I've been thinking about recently.
The following is a list of things that I feel have contributed to my lack of success either getting into bands or why they've failed when they've been up and running.
1. 'Non-musicians'- this is something which baffles me and at the same time annoys me. Particularly for the worship bands I've played in, many of the people in this band don't consider themselves to be the same as gigging musicians, or that their performances each week aren't the same thing as a gig (OK, there's usually no pay in worship bands, unless you're lucky, but in terms of what was expected of us was the same- to play songs in front of an audience). Which leads me onto my next point...
2. Volunteer musicians. Now I know that in some way nearly all musicians who play in bands are volunteers, but many of the bands I played in relied on people volunteering and with little auditioning or checking of people's ability to play, it seemed that some entire bands were just full of bedroom players with little idea of how to play alongside other musicians in a band setting. This was a sentiment shared by other musicians in these bands who, like me, were wanting to or were gigging and so it became very frustrating.
It also meant that some years there were famines of musicians and others huge gluts. Like my first year of bands where we had a band of 10 guitarists. Or the next year where there were 5 bassists. Auditoning people, or at least operating some sort of weeding-out system would have helped.
3. Crappy bandleading. Seriously, if you call yourself a bandleader, then act like one. I had one bandleader who point-blank refused to make any sort of band schedule so people knew in advance when they were playing (it being a uni band it was always in the same place luckily). Then this same person wondered why he didn't keep musicians for very long and why the ones that he DID manage to keep hold of eventually left.
4. Elitism- this something that ran through every band I was in. From stupid chauvinistic attitudes from joining a band with no other girls in it, to stupid gear elitism (I was fired from a band for wanting to play fretless bass and not my 5er bass all the time).
5. Bad organisation/practicing- one of the reasons my only really 'successful' gigging-worthy band (not my actual band as such but one I joined, and when I say successful, I mean one who actually played anything I was happy with) collapsed was simply because no-one knew what on earth we were to do at practices. At $40 a time, it was an expensive way to just do something I could have done at home. I requested the chord sheets when i joined so that I could write my own basslines....and I didn't get them, and ended up being fired from that band.
Eh, I'll think of any more and do a follow-up blog. Good to get this off my chest though.