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Music is my life, but I hate being in a band with these guys

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Question - (21 June 2013) 6 Answers - (Newest, 23 June 2013)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Dear aunts,

This isn't a romantic relationship question, but I hope you can help me. I'm really torn up and upset about this.

well, it's that I play the guitar in a band. Music has been my absolute life for a long time and I always LONGED to play in a band, and that dream came to fruition about two years ago.

I'm having some trouble with my band mates. Part of the problem is that I always thought they were my friends and cared about me.

I didn't join a band to hook up with guys or to form friendships... it was out of a longing to play music.

I'm a lead guitarist and also sing a little.

However I joined the band at a very dark place in my life when I was very lonely because I had just broken up with a boyfriend and felt deserted and alone. I'm living in another country and my family is far away and I was so lonely.

I thought these guys were also my friends and it was like the sun started shining again in my life.

But lately I've been feeling let down.

In the past, they used to invite me out socially or we would do stuff after rehearsals or shows. Lately they have been partying and going to concerts, and I am the ONLY MEMBER that gets left out. They say they don't have plans, and then I find out that they lied and they went to a concert or party at someone's house and IT'S ALL OVER FACEBOOK.

They don't seem to give a crap/care about how this is affecting me and that I'm out in the cold.

The problem is, there is a band wife (the drummer's), a band ex wife (the harmnonica player), and a band husband that have very unjustified jealousy of me.

The harmonica player is separated from his ex wife, who is crazy. She has phsycially attacked me.

We were always close but ever since this attack he has practically thrown me in the trash can. I became profoundly sad about this... I told him I needed him to be there for me, to talk to and he said we'd talk... PROMISED we'd talk... but when I sweetly reminded him of his promise and spoke to him very sweetly, he responded coldly that he didn't want to talk. In the past he always told me he cared about me. I feel like he's just used me and thrown me away like garbage.

The other guitarist was also one of my closest friends.

I just came to the band to play music but it's such a drag playing it with people who are having a go at me and always leaving me out when they said they were my friends!

It makes me angry to see all these things that they left me out of, plastered all over Facebook, of them having a good time and not caring about me, my well being, if I'm alone or in my room alone crying. It's rude, it's heartless, it's cruel.

Ever since this crazy ex wife attacked me physically (it was unprovoked. Trust me. She's crazy! She hated me for a long time because she was jealous of our friendship), that was the climax. But I have a feeling this was a long time coming.

I'm not sure what has changed, or why, but I'm upset. I feel like I'm alone in the world and like no one truly cares about me. Last Saturday a friend invited me out somewhere else... thank God... but the guys in the band ALL went out to a concert (they SAID that they were staying at home to tend to visitors!!) and it was all over Face the next day. I'm furious.

Anyway, they have a horrible attitude and I hate working with them. Honestly? I've made mistakes. But they do it all the time! And when someone else makes a mistake, they never say a word.

The singer and drummer fancy themselves the leaders. No one else has rights or a vote. They say jump and the rest of us say how high.

Our last concert was a disaster. Honestly we call screwed up. BUT... they found something vage and subjective to criticize me about, saying I project a negative attitude. The guitarist was WAY out of tune, the drummer was too lazy to practice and the singer can't sing a note in tune.

Ok, they threatened to fire me. I am THE ONLY MEMBER that they have ever threatened like that.

They use that fear to control me and to oppress me from speaking out. THey have mistreated me a lot, but if I protest, then I am ''looking for a fight'' and will be fired.

I think they're looking for an excuse to fire me because of the band wife's band ex wife's and band husband's ill founded jealousy of me.

I love music and it's practically my life. I hate the idea of going back to sitting in my room playing scales alone.

I LONG for music in my life, I just hate being in a band with these guys.

Here's the thing that breaks my heart. I long for those happy times when the harmonica player/rhythm guitarist, guitarist and I were close and got joy making music with each other and just from our friendship. My heart breaks because it seems like those days are over forever. I'm not sure WHAT'S going on, but it seems like they're thrown me in the trash and like they don't want to be around me.

I would love to find another band but I try and try and NOTHING works out!!! One of my closest friends has a band, he says they want to keep it down to the four existing members. He says he will let me know when he finds someone who needs a guitarist.

On top of everything, I'm a guitarist and everyone and their dog is a guitarist!

I don't understand why it's always been so hard for me to find bands to play with. I have played for friends and they compare my guitar playing to Stevie Ray Vaughan and they say I sing like Madonna. Ok that's very incompatible but no one has ever said I suck.

But no one seems to want to play with me, except my band now and I am sick of their attitudes and them always having a go at me. Going to rehearsals is a drag because I have to look at people who say they're my freiends and don't care about me and don't appreciate my talent.

Honestly? I am lacking and there are so many thigns I must improve as a musician.

I am just depressed because how they've abandoned me as friends and because they accuse me of having a bad attitude when all of them have a huge ego, are uncaring and hypocrites. My goodness the singer can't even sing in tune and the drummer is too lazy to practice.

This breaks my heart... I wanted, no LONGED FOR a band and friends for a lonf time and all my dreams are dying.

Thanks if you cahn help me.-

View related questions: depressed, ex-wife, facebook, his ex, jealous, player

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A female reader, Martine United Kingdom +, writes (23 June 2013):

Martine agony auntOk. I too am a musician. Here.s what you do. You look hard for another band. You join musicians websites and advertise yourself,and you answer ads. It.s taken me 8 months to find a new band,but they are out there. Stick this out a little longer if you can bare it. If not,leave. You will find another band if you look hard enough.believe me. Being in a band is supposed to be enjoyable. It sounds like you are being bullied. I can let you know of some websites if you wish. PM me,and good luck.x

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 June 2013):

I'm the OP... what I meant to say is that everyone needs unconditional love. Not the romantic kind. Just a need for friends that are your true friends and won't leave you. I need security and don't think I'm ever going to be happy because I don't know who is a friend for life and who will eventually fall away from me. I just need security and I don't see how that can ever happen.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 June 2013):

I'm confused... is it because they're not friends to me anymore, or because of another reason?

It makes me sad to think of people I thought would be friends for life, disappearing.

Furthermore, I'm abroad and not in the United States. If I leave the country then I do't see how we could ever be friends again, because we won't be part of each other's lives.

Other lead guitarist give me presents and says he wants to visit me when I go back to USA... but they don't invite me to hang out!

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A male reader, Hennessy1989 United Kingdom +, writes (22 June 2013):

Hennessy1989 agony auntQuit the band, all bands famous or not have conflict. It's a natural result of creative characters And egos clashing. This group of people are not a good match for you, quit and go your own way

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (22 June 2013):

chigirl agony aunt"It makes me angry to see all these things that they left me out of, plastered all over Facebook, of them having a good time and not caring about me, my well being, if I'm alone or in my room alone crying. It's rude, it's heartless, it's cruel."

First, you need to realize that they are NOT responsible for how you feel. Your feelings, how you react to things, how you respond, what you feel, is up to YOU. Not others. You decide what your reaction will be, and how you will feel about it. It isn't cruelty on their part, just a lack of empathy. They aren't leaving you out with the intent to cause you harm, or with the intent to make you cry. They leave you out because, well, sounds like they don't find you that great of a friend any longer. Which sucks, and they are idiots for doing this. But never the less, something happened and they decided they were having great fun without needing you to be part of it. They're bullying you by leaving you out, but I don't think they're actually that aware of it, or doing it with the intent to cause you pain. But a lot of people are just selfish that way.

"I am just depressed because how they've abandoned me as friends and because they accuse me of having a bad attitude when all of them have a huge ego, are uncaring and hypocrites. My goodness the singer can't even sing in tune and the drummer is too lazy to practice. "

So perhaps this is the reason why? You do sound very negative, and perhaps it isn't just in the post, but also in real life, and they notice? Perhaps that's why they leave you out, because they feel you will bring their mood down? They should just talk to you about it instead, but you can't DEMAND friendship like this. Just because they used to be friends of yours doesn't mean they owe it to you forever.

And, you do make this more dramatic than it is. Some people are friends for a while, and then they disappear from your life. Be grateful for what they gave you, and move on instead of trying to cling to something that doesn't exist any longer. They're no longer your friends. Perhaps they will be friends with you again, in the future, but not right now. And you can't force them to. So what to do? Leave the band. Sounds like the only logical solution. There will be other bands, or start your own. Or go solo. Don't let your happiness be dependent on others!

But before you leave the band, sit down with them for a talk about this. Ask them what's up, and if you can't join them for whatever they're doing after the show. That you feel left out, and miss hanging out with them.

But if you do this, you MUST be positive, and not drag in earlier arguments. Try to rebuild the friendship if you can, but remember: it is called re-BUILDING. Not tearing it down even further by accusing, blaming, or complaining. Add in some positive energy and see if they respond positively.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (22 June 2013):

CindyCares agony aunt This is a bit as if Keith Richards kvetched because Bill Wyman or Charlie Watts - or even Mick Jagger, actually - would go to parties without him. They did, did he give a fuck ? heck no ( read the autobiography :)

This is about MUSIC. I know you wanted to be about music AND a sense of belonging, a sense of substitute family, but, it can go either way , it can happen or not, and, in rock bands, .. most often ot does NOT , personal and professional jealousies crop up real fast. The mark of the real professional is to keep his/her s..t together regardless, at least from a musical point of view. What counts is the final product, the performance, what your common effort can offer to your audience and, perhaps , leave in them an unforgettable memory ( or at least a happy one ).

It's about music, not about each own's personal egoes, and, who more of you should understand that.

Not that you have to be stuck forever with a bunch of assholes, but, while you KEEP looking for other venues where to play ( be persistent! keep auditioning, keep tryng, don't give up yet ! ) - there are a few things you can do, like 1) grow a thicker skin 2) do not make the bandmates responsible for your emotional well being and entertainment, be proactive in searching out other people, other friends, other hobbies to spend your time with, there's not only this guys , and if you want hang out with fellow musicians , there are other musicians 3 ) learn assertiveness . Keep doing the best job you can do, and for the rest, operate along the lines of " never explain, never complain, never apologize ". i.e. accept openmindedly critiques and suggestions, there's always room for improvement, but do not be sucked into any drama, do not bicker, do not bring discussions from a technical level to a personal one 4 ) start asking yourself a few questions. I don't accuse you of anything in particular , of course, but I found out, time and again, that if I keep having the same problem again and again and again, somehow I have contributed to it. maybe unwillingly. I mean, THREE crazy jealous band partners, of both genders ?!

Either you are really,really unlucky, or there's something in your attitude that could be changed. Who knows, maybe your loneliness may make you emotionally needy and have execssive demands on these people's time and attention, which their partners won't like. maybe you are one of those naturally seductive people, that flirt without even realizing it. maybe you send out vibes of " I am better than you because I am a musician and you are only a musician's partner ". I have no idea ! But, if you think about it dispassionately, you could come up with one.

And most of all, I repeat, keep tryng , remmember this is a temporary thing and not a life sentence. You haven't found another band YET - I don't think it's years and years you have been tryng, you can't say " it's just not going to happen ". ( But, keep in mind, that if you join the next band from a place of need and fear and anxiety , .. the same dynamics could very possibly show up. So, try and fix yourself before you have to go and try fixing up colleagues ).

Chin up, regardless of anything, you always still have your voice, your talent, your PASSION. And it's an enviable whole lot of stuff to have...

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