Strange Question: Asking to Join a Band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by RyanJD, Aug 12, 2013.


  1. RyanJD

    RyanJD Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    So a good friend of mine started a band with two other people.
    They're shooting for the folk/bluegrass/indie type of music that is sweeping right now.
    You know, Mumford and Sons, Phillip Phillips, The Civil Wars, etc.

    Their setup is something like: a main singer, a main acoustic guitar player (my friend), and an acoustic guitar/percussion/harmony female singer.
    But I think it fluctuates a bit between songs.

    They've already done a few shows and a fairly well known radio personality from my area saw them and told them when they start doing original material that he wants to put them on the air.
    So that's a pretty big deal. I mean these guys are pretty good.

    I was just about to send a Facebook message to my friend in this band about a couple of new songs they might want to consider covering.
    And it just occurred to me to throw something in there about the possibility of them needing a bassist.
    I wasn't going to straight up ask him if I could join. That's silly. (Or is it?)
    I was however, going to mention to him that if they ever hold auditions that they should give me a call.
    My fear though, (if you could call it that) is that they will find someone else without holding auditions.

    I can't say much about my skill level when there are so many amazing musicians on this forum but I'm fairly good and I've played a LOT with this friend of mine.
    So if they are looking for a bassist (I don't even know that they are), I think I have a good shot.
    I don't think there is a possibility that I would drag them down, I think they could really benefit from some low end,
    and I'm looking to expand my playing a bit outside of the church music I've been rooted in for several years.

    So I'm just curious...
    What would you do or how would you ask them, in my shoes?
  2. SuperK

    SuperK Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Tell him you'd be interested in joining his band. He can either say yes or no. If he tells you they don't want/need a bass player then at least they know you're interested if they change your mind.
  3. rodl2005

    rodl2005

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Tasmania, Australia
    +1 approach em. State your intentions. What's the worst that could happen? Is that as bad as if you don't approach?
    Do it! :thumbup:
  4. cableguy

    cableguy

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    If you're friends with the guy, just let them know you really like their music. And if/when they decide to go a route that needs a bassist to give you a shout. Seeing as all their music is acoustic do you play a acoustic bass at all or only electric?
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  6. RyanJD

    RyanJD Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    Straightforward.
    No sense in dancing around. Good point guys.

    In fact, this situation probably didn't even require a thread for it. :rolleyes:
    Ah well. Since I'm here, any other thoughts?
  7. BassCliff

    BassCliff

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Hi,

    Sure, just let them know you're available and you'd love to be part of the project if they are considering a bassist. Then let it go at that. Your friend shoud know if you'd be a good fit. Just wait and see. There should be no sour grapes if you're not asked to join. I wish you luck.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
  8. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    South Haven, Michigan
    I agree with those above - and... speak to him with your mouth, face to face... in person. It shows confidence, allows you to address concerns before they turn into a "no" behind closed doors and is just an all around stand up move.

    It is amazing the difference using more than one sense in a conversation can make - give it a whirl! Good luck!
  9. faulknersj

    faulknersj Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale Az
    Before u catch a fish...you have to throw a hook in the water.
  10. RyanJD

    RyanJD Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    They play through a PA system. I've used an acoustic bass. Not a big fan.
    I have a fretless and I was just thinking I could get a wannabe upright tone out of it, which I'm assuming would be a plus for them.

    Also excellent advice.
    Thanks.
  11. fuzzy beard

    fuzzy beard

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aurora, Indiana
    Hope it works out! Folk roots music is my passion. Although around here upright is a must! Got my upright 4 months ago and just joined a group last month.
  12. BrandonBass

    BrandonBass

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Well, if you are really keen you can just ask him directly. But be ready for some ego-bruising if they already have someone in mind.

    My band was looking for a singer awhile ago, and trust me, if I have been jamming with someone for awhile(like how you said you did with say singer) then I've most likely considered him for the band. The fact that I havent asked to audition him is due to the fact that I don't think he is a good fit for the band.

    It doesnt necessarily mean that he is bad singer, just not a good fit for the project that I am doing at that point of time.

    So yeah, just go for it but dont take it personally if you dont get the gig
  13. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    South Haven, Michigan
  14. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    Yeah, I’d talk with your friend and tell him what you told us here - good luck and have fun.

  15. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Truth be told you don't even need a fretless to fake a passable upright tone.

    Either way, talk to them and if they balk at an electric bass show them this.



    You will notice he's using a different bass in each vid, but he's getting that great tone out of both with a plain old Peavey combo amp. I play a lot of traditional hillbilly music on electric and have figured out how to get a real uprighty sound out of it and it's mostly in the right hand. Set up your bass and amp to give you a good meaty tone playing over the pups, then anchor your thumb on the neck where you will be fingering over the last few frets and see what you think. You will wind up moving between there and the pups but once you do if for a minute it just happens without even thinking about it. Let your ears dictate your right hand position and it's like falling off a greased stump.

    That said, getting a job doing the kind of stuff you are talking about is going to be tough without an upright. Not because you can't lay a good sounding low end that fits well with electric, but because it doesn't have the look most folks expect when they go to see that type of music.

    If you are looking to follow that genre, and as you pointed out, it is blowing up these days, you might want to just go ahead and snag up a doghouse and get to working on it, then do like the other Americana bands and take both on stage.
  16. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    Louisville KY
    +1 for upright. Not arguing you can't get a passable tone from EB or AB but it just doesn't look right on stage for roots music IMHO. The biggest plus is it's just more fun to pound out the I/V's and walking lines on a doghouse than a slab. It also opens more doors for gigs and playing upright will definitely kick your EB skills up a notch.
  17. fuzzy beard

    fuzzy beard

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aurora, Indiana
    In my experience around here they tend to be more worried about looking the part! The tone I had with my Mustang bass and bassman 20 was always complemented when jamming with the local folkies! But for shows they just want that look!
  18. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    Louisville KY
    You ain't just whistling Dixie fuzzy!

    I'm sure this vid has been posted before but it still cracks me up and it's all you need to know about starting a Mumford band!

  19. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Ventura County
    HAHAHAHA! I actually just joined one of these bands, and though we obviously don't match up 100% to the parody, a few parts stung with delicious honesty and irony. Thanks for that.
  20. RyanJD

    RyanJD Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    Yes I have seen that video.
    And it about sums it up:

    [​IMG]

    Gonna need some flannel.
    Lol. :p
  21. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    hey man, that stuff is cool, I'm gonna bring my bass next time and we will jam on this stuff.
    See you friday.

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