For the most part bands are laid back operations.  Band members are giving a lot of leeway and often the benefit of doubt.  When a player does somehow mess up, there’s usually there no reprimand.


Forget about second chances.  There’s third, four and fifth chances.


So, you really have to want it to get fired.  It takes determination.  It takes work.


Here we have listed the Top 10 Ways to Get Fired from Your Band.


#10 Play Loud.


This might be hard to do if your band is already loud; but if it’s worth doing, it’s worth over-doing.  You don’t need to limit yourself to playing loud to just gigs: you can do it at rehearsal, too. 


Be sure to bring your biggest amp.  Hell, bring two.


Remember: Tone is not a factor.  Neither is technique, really, when you get down to it.


If (who are we kidding? I mean “when”) you’re asked to turn down, you earn extra points if you answer, “What? I can’t hear you!”


#9 Show up late.


Yes, your time is more valuable than anyone else in the band, and there’s no better way to show it than to have them wait for you.


In order to show your true contempt, don’t use a lame excuse such as being stuck in traffic.  Come up with something that reflects just how nonchalant you are about the band.


Personally, I like, “Sorry I’m late, man, but I was playing Grand Theft Auto and I was working on a personal best.”


You can accent this technique by asking (you know, since the band is running late) for someone to help you carry in your amp.  Also, be sure to let everyone know that you’re also going to need to cut out early: you have another gig and you don’t want to be late for that.


#8 General malaise.


Gosh, this one is so easy and is so inclusive of just about everything:  not answering your phone, not returning calls, not responding to texts or emails, not listening to conversations, not learning songs, not helping with band gear, not showing up on time.


That’s a lot of nots!


But what can you do!


You can noodle between songs.  You can extend the solo section.  You can play over the vocals. You can pepper you sentences with profanity.


Okay, I’ll stop here because continuing on will just ruin this list: practical all of it falls under general malaise. 


It should be noted that general malaise is not just a phrase.  Back during the American Revolution one of Britian’s infamous leaders was General Malaise. 


He was known for taking the troops south to Florida during the colder months, and only returning to battle after the weather warmed up north.  He’s also famous for inventing the hammock.  It is largely attributed to his lackluster attitude that allowed the revolting colonies to win the war.


#7 Don’t prepare for rehearsal.


Rehearsal is not for learning songs.  That is something you’re supposed to do on your own.  You listen to the song; you chart the song, you learn the song, and then…at some point everyone gets together and you work up your band’s version of the song.


But inevitably at least one person in the band will have not taken the effort to learn the song.  There are easy to pick out at a rehearsal: they are the ones who insist on listening to the song before the first run through…and…while “listening” to the play through, they are frantically noodling on their instrument trying to figure out their part.


Do they have a chart?




Do they want a copy of yours?


You think?


Every musician, by nature of just being a musician, has been this guy at some point; so usually at least one free pass is given. 


But make it habitual, and it is a recipe for getting canned.  So, this could be your out. 


Showing up unprepared is more effective if you premise it with a “we don’t need to rehearse” when the time is being scheduled.


Maybe the only thing more un-professional than being unprepared for a rehearsal is being unprepared for a gig.


Related: how to fake it when youre unprepared for rehearsal.



#6 Drink/Do Drugs.


This one is perfect because it’s so fun: if it doesn’t kill you.


I’m sure the 99% of you (you know, because you’re musicians) have experienced the bullet-proof, non-restrained, exhilaration of playing while intoxicated.  There’s no lick you couldn’t (or wouldn’t) play.




no girl beyond reproach.


Nor, challenge not worth accepting.


No one who wouldn’t want to hear your opinion.


And, I’m fairly certain that 100% of you have seen this action first hand with either a band member or some band you went to see.  With that in mind, you know that the intoxicated player is not bullet-proof, and the free-style playing is less than optimum in a professional band setting.


So, if you want to get fired and have fun doing it, get yourself a bottle of Jack and a designated driver and let her rip!


bonus link: cures for hangovers.



#5 Talk.


Talking is a good way to get fired.  Just make sure you’re talking a lot, inappropriately, to the wrong people, and include profanity.


You don’t need to feel like you need to bring everyone aboard with what you’re saying.  In fact, if your goal is to get fired, the less people that are swayed by your diatribes and rants, the better.


If you’re the keeper of any secrets of band members…awesome…then you can really make something happen.  However, the flip side of using such leverage, if they may give up some secrets you might have entrusted with them.


Therefore, it might be better to just tantalize and finesse that you’re gonna let the cat out of the bag without really doing it.  That way, they’ll just hate you without resenting you.


(This actua
lly isn’t true.  They will still resent you.)


You can also talk behind band member’s back.  If you’re not just satisfied with getting kicked out of the band, doing this might tear the band apart as it might start pitting some against the others.



This isn’t a band member video talking behind someone’s back, but it is pretty good.  It also gets points not keeping it classy with the drinks:


#4 Talk inappropriately over the Microphone.


Quite possible the best place to blow off some stream is on stage, and the best way to get everyone to listen to you is to say it over the microphone.


If done properly, not only will you get canned…but quite possible the band will never work with the promoter or play that venue ever again.


Remember to use plenty of profanity…the more offensive the better.

This video isn’t ranting over a microphone, but it is a pretty awesome quitting on stage.


#3 Don’t show up.


This is almost the king daddy of how of how to get fired, and it really could be the number 1 of this list (but we saved a really fun one for that). 


Anyway, not showing up not only works at gigs, but also works at rehearsal and bus call as well. 


I suppose if you want to mess with their heads (I mean mess with their heads a little more), you could send texts like “en route” or “around the corner” to add that little something.


With the internet, email, smart phones and shared calendar on gmail theirs really no excuse not to know when there’s a gig, so this shows you really mean it.


#2 Date a band member.


If you’re not sure this will work, ask Michael Derosier or Roger Fisher.  Who are they?  They were both band members of the band Heart, and, not-so-coincidently, dated singer/guitarist Nancy Wilson…and, apparently, at the same time!


When respective relations soured the countdown clock was sent in motion.  The only question was who was going to go, and who was going to stay?


And the answer is: both of them, eventually.  First it was one, then the other.  Brilliant!


So, if you really want to get fired, don’t just date a bandmember: go for the talent that’s the foundation of the group.


#1 Date a band member’s girlfriend.


Yeah, thought this would make you smile.  Not only do you get to torpedo the band, you also get to mess up someone’s personal relationship…


…Unless, that person wanted out of that relationship, in which case you had actually done them a favor.


If any of these top ten ways to get fired from your band doesn’t work (and we can’t see how they wouldn’t), you can mix n’ match two or more.  Best of luck in your career.


– Jake Kelly

Originally posted 2014-01-19 20:11:24.