So, a few weeks ago I was contacted by a guy asking me if I had any interest in jamming with his band he recently put together. It's all 90's alternative covers pretty much. Apparently him and the other 2 guys all work/go to church together and they needed a drummer. So I agreed to meet up one evening at a rehearsal studio and play some songs. He had gave me a list of about 8 songs they were working on, I knew a couple, and worked on the other 6 for a few days and went to their jam session. Even though all of this will sound like a bunch of bashing on the other guys, Its not, I am just trying to explain what I am hearing from sitting in the middle and getting to hear all sides.
Everyone got plugged in and within the first 3 minutes of the first song, I was under the impression that they had never practiced the song while listening to the actual song. I suppose everyone has their different ways, but when I try to learn music, I listen to whatever I am learning through headphones and play along until I get it. Maybe they used different versions of the songs than I did, I don't know, but it seemed like everyone was on different pages of how the songs actually went, so it got confusing quick. The bass player however, we could lock in together and stay on track. I really feel like the guitar player was following the singer. I am almost certain the singer is a little tone deaf and he has problems hitting certain notes. I was going through this song list with someone I work with before hand, he plays guitar. His first words for the whole list was " this guy better be able to sing if he wants to pull those off".
I honestly feel like if the singer would use his own natural singing voice, he would be a lot better than trying to emulate the original singer of the song and since his timing is off, that in turn throws off the guitar player. Along to the guitar player, he is still having trouble switching from chord to chord in songs. I can play guitar a little and I completely get it , I know how hard some chords can be and trying to quickly change to and from takes practice. Which is ok, we are all learning. I think he mentioned he hasn't really been playing all that long and again, I have no problem with that we all start somewhere. The bass player has been at it a while and there is no issues with him. Even for songs he don't know, he can read music and play along no problem. So that evening we jammed for a couple hours, packed it up and went home.
At that point, I felt like I would definitely play with these guys again, with some practice, it could potentially all come together if we start off with easy songs. The next day the singer texted me and asked if I would continue to jam with them and I said yea. I just want to play music with people and have fun, that's why I agreed. I am not looking to jam with professionals, they usually expect a reincarnation of Bonham to show up, and that's not me. We schedule another evening at the studio for a few days later and he had sprung on me " Oh by the way, we have a gig lined up in the end of April, it's my company party" and it's at a classy bar on the beach that's open to the public that evening as well. I told him they need to start practicing and we will all need to be on the same page as far as how the songs go. I told him I am practicing to the album versions and that's a good place for them to start. He agreed.
So we met up again, and I would guarantee that no ones instrument cases had been opened since the last time. It was the same deal again for over 2 hours. we did get through a few songs, but when I say they were rough, they were rough. I feel like I put my time in learning these songs, at least a couple hours at home each day I would be practicing to get them down. Them, not so much.
I want to be in a band, and starting with these guys is ok. Like I said I think it could come together over time, and at that point I would have no problem playing out with them. Gigging or not, I just want to play music with people. It is way more enjoyable than by myself with headphones on. I just am 100% sure this isn't going to happen by the end of April.
Here is where I need advice. These guys all know each other, probably have for a long time. I have a hard time being the one that has to say, we suck right now and I think it's a very bad idea to go and try to play in front of a crowd. Especially when they have to go into work the next morning and face their co-workers. They have me involved in a group text between everyone, and from what I see/read daily, they are determined to do this gig and believe it all sounds great so far. They are all recommending new songs to each other, maybe we should do this one, or that one. I really want to say, why don't we learn what we have so far and get them rock solid before throwing other stuff in. I just don't want to come off as a jerk big headed new guy. How can I nicely put it that this gig doesn't need to happen, and if it does I don't really want to be part of it, because we are into April now, the singer is out of the country for a week. Just not enough time.
Thanks for any advice, I really hope I didn't come off as being arrogant or big headed, none of this is meant to be harsh on anyone. I am just trying to be realistic about expectations.