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Advice on finding a band. Please.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bassman blue, Oct 9, 2002.


  1. Okay, here's the scoop. Played in a couple of rock bands when I was younger. Then got tied up with work, family, etc. and didn't play bass for too many years :-(

    Have been taking lessons for about two years now, and am wanting to find a group to play with. I have good gear, practise lots, transportation, but of course I have lots to learn. I would like to find some people that have some similar interests....both in music taste and to some degree, lifestyle....ie: don't smoke etc. Maybe that's too much to ask.

    Is posting at the local music stores about the only way to find other musicians???:cool:
     
  2. LoJoe

    LoJoe

    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Strictly a suggestion as it may not be your cup of tea, but if you have any local churches in your area that do "contemporary" services, that's a possibility. I got the job as a bassist in one with just a few days experience on bass after converting over from playing guitar in order to get the job. The music is in the pop and rock styles. We have a keyboard, a drummer, a lead guitar, singers, and me on bass. It doesn't pay much (as in no pay at all) but churches, especially ones that are just getting started in contemporary music style services are desperate for musicians and aren't too picky. I now have a steady weekly gig. I am getting valuable experience playing on stage and in a band environment, and I am having a total blast.

    This article from Bass Player magazine sums it up nicely and was dead on accurate in my case.

    http://archive.bassplayer.com/z1999/9910/church.shtml
     
  3. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    Not sure of the availability up in your region of the continent, but I've hooked up with a lot of different musicians over the web. I guess the first step is trying to find out if there are any musician forums for you up there where people go to find each other. For example, down here there are several sites I can go put in an 'available' ad based on area code, zip code, location, etc.

    I never browse 'wanted' ads, just put out an ad and let them find me bases on mutual interests and location. There's a glut of drummers and guitarists in my area, so bass players can always get a ton of response through use of a web ad.

    Hopefully there are forums for this in your region, and best of luck to you with finding a band. :)
     
  4. yes, you can find other musicians by posting ads in music stores. i have done this successfully many times, it is worth the effort.

    also, read the last page in this month's issue of bass player magazine. excellent advice to any bassist who wants to play outside of 'the shed'.

    also, focus on good feel, good tone, and be flexible...

    if you have any friends that are in working / gigging bands, try and do a 'sit-in' here and there. sooner or later, if you play your cards right, you will be noticed, you will be a bandmember.

    best of luck!!!!!

    :)
     
  5. Open Mic Nites and Songwriter nites and local clubs and coffee shops is a great way to meet other players. Also check out if there are any jazz clubs that do sit ins and jams in your area.
     
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    In lieu of music store ads, Lime's "Open Mic Night" is very good advice, at least in my neck of the woods.

    Quite often, the people playing aren't formal "bands", just some people getting together to make some fairly competent noise. All it takes is approaching those you like and telling whomever appears to be the leader that you're available.

    On the music store ads - I never have included my phone number, just my email address. Quite often, if they have the money for a PC, they have decent gear. Any schlub with with a Gorilla amp has a phone , (well.....at least most of them do).

    On the "smoking/lifestyle" thing - what's "right" for you may not be "right" for another very good musician.
    I don't care what the others do as long as they're dependable and can play skillfully.
    Setting up exclusionary limits that mirror your preferences will cut you off from a lot of talent out there, IME.
     
  7. open mic night may be a viable option.

    regarding posting ads in music stores....
    i've found that being specific will make a big difference. if you have preference (covers vs originals, rock vs country vs whatever) put that in the ad. otherwise, you will be contacted by lots of people who do not have a common interest.



    p.s. rickbass...

    it is good advice and it does work.
    ;)
     
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Very true! Ad readers don't want to read your autobiography but mentioning the styles you're into is very important. Even then, you may still get contacted by people you never considered like a "tribute band" who requires you to wear a wig and some sort of costume.

    The downside of ads is that established bands sometimes take the attitude that ad posters must not be very good/have attitude issues/have substance abuse problems/whatever since they have to advertise for a gig.

    The upside is that once you hook-up with somebody decent and play out a little, you meet other musicians and your name/face gets "in the loop." Ads no longer are necessary. The word gets out you are available. IME, there's a informal "network" on any fairly sizeable music scene. (Having been at it a while, I can't even remember the last time I had to post an ad........knock on wood).
     
  9. hey bassman blue-

    as rickbass noted, once you are in the loop, or in the network, it's word of mouth.

    working bands in our local area (spokane, population 300,000) always keep tabs on musicians and each other... i'm sure it's the same in your area. we discuss who is playing where, and 'who is leaving what band' or 'who is getting together to do this house gig' or 'what band is breaking up' or 'which club owners are a pain to deal with', etc.

    getting in this loop is not just about being a good player, it's about being a user-friendly personality as well. we've all had to deal with someone who was a top-notch player but had an attitude that everyone finally grew tired of.

    hope some of this helps, bassman. and... it may not happen overnight, but be persistent. it's worth it in the end.



    ;)
     
  10. sweetpea

    sweetpea Guest

    Jun 6, 2002
    S'port, LoUiSiAna
    Cool Article LoJoe