Want To Come Tryout For The Band?

I have some guys I know who have been in various bands through the years. Back when I used to play for hours at night when everybody was asleep, I played one song with them onstage during an outing at a bar to surprise my wife. It was basic electric guitar work, and it was among the other players, but I felt like a rock star. I’m sure they even mixed me low. My wife was shocked, as were the other family members that were there. That was long ago, and as far as two of the guys in the band were concerned, I’ve been playing ever since. Jokes on them! I got a call yesterday, and my main friend in their current band said they were looking for someone to play acoustic primarily, but when the song didn’t call for it, hold down an additional electric rhythm guitar part. I had to disappoint him and let him know that I’ve been on and off for the past 20 years, but I am on a good path, and I don’t think it would be good for their band to have me try and hold down all the acoustic parts of “Wish You Were Here” and things like it. In a year, yes, but not now. I told him if he sent me all the songs that he wanted to have acoustic on, I’d start to work up progressively more accurate versions of them, but I had to decline the invitation to jam with them. It was heartbreaking to think of how much guitar progress I’d thrown away over the years, though I know the things I traded for it still hold up in the decision-making process. Still, I could have kept playing to some degree.

I love performing and entertaining. Playing out at a certain pace is one of my goals. Not lead, but the tasty rhythm is where I would exist. Heck, I’d even take the second rhythm as unpaid; I wouldn’t be in it for the money. That’s one of my goals.


Only you know the circumstances and your current ability Michael.
If it was me, I’d at least go along to a practice jam with them to find out whether or not you’re up to what they are asking you to do. You may be too late in a years time. They may have found someone else by then. You never know, you might well fit in, even if only in a small way for now, and build up your role over time.
Jamming with experienced players will, surely, accelerate your learning and show you what you need to do.

Just my thoughts - it’s your gig!


@BurnsRhythm that is very true, all of what you said. My main fear is that I would not be what they need but they are now stuck in a feeling of guilt and I’m “in the band”. I would do all I can to make sure they know “it’s ok” to tell me no, but you never know. However, I may take your advice and just go play with them in a non-tryout atmosphere, but of course, it would be sortof a tryout.

Maybe tonight I’ll post a recording of the song they heard me do and then had me guest-play and do on stage to surprise my wife. Backstory and all.


Sounds like you kinda want to play in the band but you don’t want to take any risk. Not for yourself or the band. It’s noble but on the other hand you might be wasting a good chance.

Yes, it NEEDs expectation Management.
Would it have been different if you said :
“I want to be in the band and I’m willing to put in the work. I do have the competence and the idea excites me but I have the feeling my playing is a bit rusty and I need to work on some things. Can I come to the jam and play 3 songs with you and see how that goes?”

As a band leader, I take ‘showing up and playing and fitting well in the group’ over skill every day of the week. Showing some passion and commitment in combo with a basic level of playing goes a LONG way.

I’ve got the feeling there was more in this; …why other than that would you be posting it here like this? :wink:

@LievenDV good thinking on this, and tremendous insight honed from being there and doing that on your part. However, THEIR needs and THEIR performance in front of a crowd are what is driving my hesitancy. As for my risk, I don’t mind that. I could play watered-down versions of songs at the beginning and add complexity as time passed, but what my band friend was asking for wasn’t that. The band is looking for someone to take a short time to get the songs down, as any band member would need. Generally, someone else’s needs drive what I give them or what I agree to do for them. My thought of them accepting me out of friendship when I’m not what they need is probably overblown. I have zero hesitancy in learning easy versions and jumping on stage with them.

But going to the fact you are a band leader and my friend is also. I should count on them having enough care for their band to say “yes” or “no.” I was making the decision for him. I recently retired from coaching. I’ve had friends bring their kid to a tryout, and that player did not make the team, and it strained the relationship from their point of view. I’ve also seen other coaches accept a player because of that and at times it did not turn out well.
That happened here and there. I personally would not be insulted if they said “Thanks, but no thanks”, but my thought was about them saying “Yes” due to us knowing each other. If he is any band leader at all, he would take care of the band’s business and make the right decision.

Based on what @BurnsRhythm posted, I did give thought and reached back out to get a few songs and show up and jam with them. We will see where that goes.

As for why I would be posting it here like this, it was more of me being irritated at myself for putting the guitar down when life got in the way, and I am now missing an opportunity because of it. The last part of one of my paragraphs says this:

So, to sum up. I should let the band leader make the decision instead of me protecting the band. Hopefully, they will accept my call back to hang out with them, and they make the right choice for their band.

I appreciate you challenging the situation. By doing that, I challenge my own thinking.


Hi Michael
Good to hear you’ve had second thoughts about it. Hopefully the band will give you that chance. Good luck!