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Answering ads -- pet peeves

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by dbd1963, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    I'll bet people have groaned about this sort of thing before, but recently I've been trying to get into a 2nd band (because my first band only gigs once every other month -- actually, not even that, on average).

    I've answered so many ads, and I've run into a set of predictable (now) issues that get my goat.

    1. In my email I carefully answer every question posed in the ad, and then ask a few of my own. 9 times out of 10, the ad poster ignores my questions when he/she gets back to me.

    2. In the cases where there is a delay in responding to my query, it is often the case that the ad poster will ask that I get back to them asap.

    3. After some initial interest from some of the bands, things will just stop on their end. There's no "Oh hey, we found someone, good luck!"

    4. A couple of times, weeks later, the ad poster tried to start back up again as if nothing had happened. I would be fine with "We tried a guy out and he didn't work, are you still interested?" rather than, "Man, work got really busy and stuff, yeah, where were we?" (If work gets really busy for me, I'm capable of writing a short note that alerts people who are waiting on a response for me.)

    I don't go off on these folks, I don't even mention that I was peeved, but I don't take the gig from them either. I figure, communication problems now = other problems later on.

    But it turns out that my policy really cuts down on my options..

    I've decided that I'm going to spend my extra energy practicing and learning things I skipped when I was younger until I'm such an awesome bassist getting into a great band is no problem.

    (Don't tell me this won't work -- I really do need the practice..)
  2. BelleNoireBass


    Apr 18, 2012
    Bay Area
    You don't work in the corporate world do you?
  3. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Suggestion... Rather than answering ads claiming to be looking for someone... post your own ad looking for a project. Might yield different results.
  4. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    That's internet communication for ya, rife with bs. No way around it, just gotta wade your way through it.
  5. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Well, I've been at this for 42 years, and about all I can tell you is that what you're experiencing is the norm for the business, especially in CL Vacantville.

    Unless you're talking about a professionally-managed band, in which case the rules are often rigorous and inflexible. Those can be a breath of fresh air to someone who believes in standards of conduct. Depending on region, though, they can be hard to find, and even if you do find them, they often grab their players from their pre-established networks, and rarely if ever advertise or reply to ads.

    The bright side of your story is that, in every case, you ran into trouble *before* you became part of a band. I think your policy is valid, since it seems to be working in that regard. After all, your policy is *supposed* to cut down on your options, right? I mean, it's supposed to weed out the crappy ones, and leave you with far fewer and far less-frequent (but far better) ones. Just depends on how you set your filters. You're like me in that you set yours pretty tight. That's ok, as long as you're willing to wait for something finally to squeeze through the ruleset.

    Just manage your expectations, be patient, and keep at it.
  6. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    I did post one trying to start a project, but that wasn't successful either. People I know said that they don't use CL for starting a band, they network. I've only been back into the band thing since last October, so I have to pay some dues I think..

    And my age is a problem for a lot of people -- Once they find out I'm 48, unless they are around that age or older, show's over! DC has a lot of bands full of young folk.

    Anyway, I'm not complaining about not being able to find a band, more how people who respond to the ads seem to have difficulty seeing further than their own noses.
  7. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    Yeah, you are right!

    Good words of advice, thanks!
  8. Dantreige


    Oct 22, 2009
    craig.p's post is 100% wisdom!

    OP, I can sypathize with your points. Sometimes you'll want to pull your hair out when things don't go your way and when dealing with flaky people.

    Better to learn what these people are like sooner (now), rather then later. It will sure save you some headaches.

    I've been in two bands that I have been proud of in the twenty five years I've played. I got "lucky" in both instances. The first I had seen live and I told the BL I liked what they were doing and gave him my contact info. Their bass player broke his wrist a week later and I got a call to step in. LUCKY! Would not have happened if I had not went out of my way to talk to the BL. The second is my current band. I went on CL to dump some gear that I no longer needed. I was "taking a break" from it all. I saw an add that interested me, so I aswered it. Good thing I did! This is the best situation I could have hoped for. LUCKY! Would not have happed if I had not checked the CL adds.

    Keep at it. You can still practice and learn while you look for the right situation. Just don't try to force it. Someone could be posting your perfect situaton right now!

    Good luck!
  9. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Here's another suggestion...

    Get yourself a resume. What??!!?? By that I mean a ReverbNation type page. It's free. You might not be ready for this step just yet... but... on that page you'll be able to...

    1 - Enter sound samples of your work or groups you've played with.
    2 - Pictures of yourself, so the others can figures it out for themselves.
    3 - Make a Bio of yourself... with all your strong points.

    The idea is to answer an ad with... "Check out my ReverbNation page with more info about myself" type of thing. It's a way more professional and buttoned up thing, looks good, and might help you on your learning curve in ways you hadn't thought of. Essentially you answer the ad more on your terms sort-of-thing.

    Just another out-of-the-box idea from a crazy New Yorker :D
  10. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Being a great bass player is not necessarily going to get you into an awesome band.

    I have seen cases where a local top notch bass player was passed over by a young Guy who was a rookie and didn't even know the material for the audition. He was a friend of the guitarist, so he got the gig. They let him go within a few months.

    Your looking for s band that gigs consistently and more than 6 times a year.

    That really puts you into the cover band search in most cases.

    Keep watching the ads for working bands and make sure you know what the " red flags" are.

    I'm 59 and have had to deal with the age issue too. It really depends on the band and what their looking for.

    Rule of thumb;

    "Never try and wing it at an audition. Be prepared. "

    View attachment 278831
  11. CL is like hunting for deer in a fish pond...
  12. livinitup0


    Dec 22, 2011
    Maybe find some websites/fb pages of more established bands in the area and tell them you really like their music and if they know of anyone looking for a bass player to pass your name and number along. You could do this face to face too... Just go to shows.

    Forget craigslist IMO... No one decent really uses it anyway unless it's a last resort.
  13. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
  14. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    DC has alot of bands with old folks too. I can think of a few A-list club bands with members in their 40s, and it seems like almost every wedding band has at least someone over 50 working in it.

    IME, CL is ok as a networking tool. I've landed gigs and met some talented folk from it, but as far as a long term band, it's hit or miss. At this stage of the game, use CL along with open mics, going to shows, Bandmix, Washington City Paper, talking to local musicians, etc. to build a core of folks you can work with, and when the opportunity comes, you'll have people that you know you can work with available. You may find a good band that fits right away, or it might take a while.

    Lots of people will blow you off. This is NoVA, and it's a very busy place with very busy people. We're overloaded with information and tasks, and that's just going to the grocery store on a weekend. It's very easy to get lost on an e-mail conversation, and I found that it doesn't hurt to hit someone back up if the opportunity really interests you and you haven't heard from them in a while. But, in light of all this, I've chosen to promptly answer all responses unless they seem totally psycho, because I would be giving out my e-mail address by responding. I have found that people appreciate a prompt reply, even if it's refusing their opportunity.

    Feel free to PM me, and I'll be happy to help out. People ask me about bass players from time to time.
  15. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    +1 to this suggestion. My experience is that CL ads work best when there's as little text as possible, same with the email correspondence. The more info you give the more chance the reader funds something they don't like an simply dismisses you. I always keep messages as short as possible and link to my RN page then try to get a face to face interview. No different than a resume and corp job interview. Goal is to get the face to face. Doing it via email rarely works out.
  16. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I can see the logic in this, but for me, if people weed themselves out, it makes things easier. I don't need lots of responses, just a couple of good ones.
  17. Corbeau


    Dec 14, 2011
    I like the idea of getting a reverbnation or soundcloud account. When my band was looking for band members, people kept asking if we had samples. The advent of free music hosting has changed the band landscape - it used to be that people were happy to rock up to a jam, but now people seem to prefer to hear sound samples before a jam.
  18. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    Double edged sword. Most peeps cannot record at all. If they can the recording quality is poor which can reflect negatively as everyone expects radio ready quality. That goes for both sides. You just need the bare minimum of pics, quality audio and words to get the face to face. Goes for band pages, too. You don't need to post every recording ever to get gigs, just a few quality choice clips to get the gigs rolling in.

    At least that's my personal opinion.
  19. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Hmmm....reverse that scenario for a second. If some random stranger contacted you and asked you to refer him to your friends.....are you gonna do it???

    I wouldn't. Most people wouldn't.
  20. This is a bare minimum. It's also not that expensive to build yourself a website. They cost under $10 per month.

    I started playing before there were any quality home recording devices. The 4-tracks you could use were fairly crappy, and mostly for jotting down ideas. Now, every computer out there can get you a decent recording. Also, there's super easy ways of getting people to hear you that don't involve putting together press kits, getting taped dubbed or getting CDs made at some company 1000 miles away.

    I'm amazed by what's at people's fingertips these days that goes unused and isn't utilized by 90% of the players out there today. If they only knew how much harder it was just 10 years ago, let alone 20 years....

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