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Anybody have luck with Craigslist?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by GuiTuber, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. GuiTuber


    Feb 19, 2015
    San Antonio, TX
    I am in an acoustic band at the moment, but we're without a gig and no prospects for the near future. We'd only be playing once a week or so anyway.

    I decided to keep tabs on the local Craigslist for musicians. I'm looking for something to do on the side and if the acoustic gig doesn't work out, maybe something more steady.

    I don't mean to sound insulting to folks who put ads on Craigslist, but the 3-4 hits I've gotten so far have been, well, a little on the "ghetto" side, if you get my drift.

    For anyone who has used Craigslist looking for bass gigs, is this the norm or have I just been unlucky?
  2. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Lots of posts in this forum about incredible successes and crushing failures with Craigslist bands. I'm sure the usual suspects will chime in soon.

    I'm on the crushing failure side. I've had one good Craigslist experience over the years and a ton of flakes both in looking for bands or looking for musicians.
    Capt.Obvious likes this.
  3. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Craigslist has put me into some weird situations and hooked me up with odd characters. Then again, they probably felt the same way about me. It's an adventure and it just takes a while to find what you're looking for.......and you might not.

    I have to admit though, without Craigslist I never would never have worked my way into a gigging band. I met some people, who knew other people and...................so it goes.
    ThePez likes this.
  4. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    No luck in the past 3-4 years.
    Numerous auditions with people who talked a good story
    but could hardly play.
    The only luck I have found is my old contacts
    and hitting local jams and talking to real players.
    Still can't find gigs though, the scene is dead other than
    Jams and playing benefits for free.
    Bodeanly likes this.
  5. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    My timing has been good. Placed a "have bass, will travel" ad in January. Was playing in a completely crappy group by February. Used the "I'm in a group right now but nothing serious" to help other, more serious inquiries, entertain auditioning me in March, and now am in a group with my first paying gig in two weeks.

    I've had to turn down two other established bands looking for a bassist as well. I guess I'm in a limited bassist market!
  6. crucislancer

    crucislancer Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    I've had my share of success and failure on Craigslist. If I look online, I try to double down by answering ads and posting my own, and also find other websites that might be helpful, like bandmix. The band that I'm working with now, not a full member just yet but my chances are good, they found me through bandmix, but they also had an ad on CL that's I might have answered if I saw it first.

    Craigslist does bring out the characters and the mediocrity, though. I guess because it's free, and of course you find that throughout the CL site, not just the musicians section.
  7. I have had very mixed results with Craig's List but I think a lot of that has to do with the area you are in. For me, I've had several auditions and met some interesting people and ended up with gigs in two bands. Unfortunately, both of those bands were very poor at getting gigs so they both folded. I am now in a band with some of the guys from a previous CL gig. One good thing is I have built a solid relationship with a drummer, both socially and musically. He's a very interesting character. We are total opposites on almost everything except music. He's a cop in the local PD and I'm, well ... not. I'll just leave it at that. :cool:
  8. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Totally random and opposite results. You just need to be able to walk quickly away from the bad fits.

    I've made some great long lasting contacts, and landed a couple of ongoing projects. But also walked from several not-so-good situations before they wasted too much time.
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I've had lots of luck with craigslist, especially with selling stuff. It's without a doubt become my preferred method of selling gear. Only rule I keep for myself is that I MUST talk with the people before meeting up. But I know that's not what you're asking about.

    As far as finding musicians go, I've had awesome experiences (or luck) finding bands, not so awesome finding individual musicians. Don't think I ever in fact found the latter. Found a whole lot of bands though that I've played with for a while.

    Quick story. Was playing in a Zep tribute for close to year. One that was rehearsing regualarly, yet having a rough time finding solid members, and therefore not playing any gigs. Got to the point where it was ridiculous for me to continue, and I quit - upset about the amount of time I "wasted" as we never got out the door.

    Put an ad on craigslist saying, "Bass available for any payining situation - covers, fill in, originals", and within a day I got an email that said, "Hey, this is a longshot, but is there any chance you'd be interested in a Zeppelin tribute?' I at first thought it was a joke, but it was the real deal. Wound up jumping right into an already established tribute, with guys I've made great friends with.

    I'm a craigslist fan :).
    lancimouspitt likes this.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yeah...once...about 9 years ago and I'm still with that project. Most of the "musician wanted" CL posts narrate situations with goals which are unobtainable, unrealistic, or unsustainable.

    On a brighter note, I did pick up a NIB Hoover SteamVac on the cheap yesterday.

    Haji likes this.
  11. GuiTuber


    Feb 19, 2015
    San Antonio, TX
    I joined Bandmix a couple of months ago and I get emails about many new members in my area. I'm wondering if it would be a better collection of prospects.

    I answered a CL ad the other day for a country duet. It was a husband and wife team that were looking to add bass and percussion (not drums). They had already found a mandolin player. I met with them this past Sunday. Nice people, though they are vagabond-ish. They live in a trailer east of town and will travel all over So. TX (just about) for any gig. They have gigs booked through June, but they're all 45 mins or more away from me. And they're mostly your typical small TX town beer joints. They play covers but the husband has about 40 songs that he has written that they would like to do more of. The 5-6 that he played for me were great songs. He's a great songwriter and his wife has an awesome voice. So why are they still playing these little towns just to survive? It shouldn't be a factor, but the husband is blind. I didn't ask, but it looks like he may have had some sort of accident because his right temple and right eye are sunk in. The side of his head looks like he was hit with a pipe. Like I said, it shouldn't be a factor because these two are talented. But I can't help but wonder that the more "mainstream" the venue they try for, the more they are met with negativity because of they way he looks.

    Yesterday I tried to meet up with a guy who got my number from another guy who had an ad on CL. The two guys have ideas of forming a band and met through CL. Both are guitar players but both are looking to start a trio. The guy I tried to meet up with yesterday called the day before to see if I'd be interested in meeting in the early afternoon. Not a problem for me. He lives in a little town just south of S.A. but much closer to me. He told me to meet him at this little market and I'd follow him to his "house". I call him when I'm getting close and he's in downtown S.A. looking for the drummer he knew. He said something about the Haven for Hope (which is a homeless shelter) and that the drums were scattered all over. He has his wife meet me at the market (45 mins after I get there) and she took me to their "house". 5 miles outside this little town, off a farm to market road, off another dirt road, is a run down mobile home. I look around and I have no idea where we were supposed to set up. His wife was nice and a gracious hostess but 45 mins later and the guy still hasn't shown up. Then he calls me and says it will be another hour. Needless to say, I thanked the wife for the hospitality and the conversation and I left.

    Maybe I should just immerse myself in my current band and wait for the gigs to come, which I'm pretty confident they will. It's just a matter of the BL clearing his schedule (he's an SAT tutor) so we can commit to anything that comes up.

    I can see that my experience with CL is definitely not unique.
  12. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    No doubt, lots of flakes and dreamers on CL. You have to sift through a lot of crap.

    Still, I have had successes using it. You just have to be patient and keep looking till the right group comes up. After all, if YOU are worth having in a band and you're resorting to CL, there must be OTHER people worth playing with who are in the same boat, right?

    I'll run through some of my experiences -
    About 5 or 6 years ago, when I was a new player, I posted an ad looking for jam partners. Got picked up pretty rapidly by a guitarist and drummer, soon after added a rhythm guitar/singer. Jammed with them for a year, broke up because the drummer and I wanted to gig and the singer couldn't learn enough music. The drummer and I briefly formed a power trio with another guitarist but then the drummer left for another project and it broke up. He was good and if he were free I'd play with him again in a heartbeat.

    There was a keys player/singer who also joined that group briefly. After it broke up, I got in touch with him to form a new group. We advertised on CL for other members (drummer, guitarist), but got a lot of mediocrities, no one who was up to his standards (he had studied at Berklee for a while). Eventually we gave up.

    Linked up with a singer and guitarist who wanted to form a pop/punk cover band to fund their metal originals (o_O). Needed a drummer, and I got my friend from group #1 to try out. Left them when they couldn't tell the difference between his excellent drumming and a kid who bashed the skins with no sense of timing.

    Played with a funk/rock group for a while. Beginner drummer and a singer/guitarist who had never been out of the bedroom before, plus an additional guitarist. Seemed promising, but proved to be a train wreck when we tried to play an open mic and they clearly had no idea what had gone wrong or how to fix it. Wound up leaving, but the additional guitarist was quite good and he and I would get together to jam from time to time after that.

    Answered an ad for a cover band that needed a bassist. Drummer, guitarist, chick singer; they all knew their business and had minimal drama. That became my first band to play actual paying gigs. Had a great time for about a year and a half, then the guitarist stopped going to his AA meetings and it started to unravel. In rapid succession, he and I had a big fight, I moved an hour away (near enough to keep playing with them if things were going well, far enough to look for something different when they weren't), and then he died in a motorcycle accident and that was the end of that.

    In the new location, found an oldies band. Good guys, good players, but they just didn't seem to be able to get gigs. I was really gig-hungry by then after having a taste of it, and eventually moved on.

    Finally found another cover band, rather like the one with the alcoholic guitarist only without the alcoholic guitarist. Been playing with them ever since.

    There are probably a couple of others I haven't mentioned - auditions I've gone on with groups that were just flaky or incompetent, ads I've answered that never even got to the point of meeting. Not counting those, that's about seven different projects I've been involved with that either began with a CL ad or that used CL to try to complete a roster. Of the seven, two that I would consider successes, at least for a time. Basically, CL can pay off if you can be patient and weed through the flakes until a good one comes along. But it takes time.
  13. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I'm one who has found CL (in my area) to be a complete waste of time. Nothing beats getting out on your "scene", meeting people, networking.
    bluejack likes this.
  14. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    So far so good. It's probably dumb luck, but I would take luck over talent any day. Since I don't have talent, luck will have to do. I have been lucky finding bands and band members on CL. Most of them have turned into long term friends as well as sometime band members.
  15. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    All three of the paying bands I've ever been in have been through craiglist ads or people I met through craigslist ads calling me back when their situation changed.

    But then I don't get out much.
  16. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    I found a band off of CL and joined up. I've also found several others which I didn't join. Just like anything else on CL, you gotta sift through the junk to find the treasure.
  17. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    I gave up a long time ago
  18. I have a feeling that with Craigslist, the best strategy is to think in terms of the long game. Rather than seeking out The Immediate Perfect Situation, try out something that's not 100% or even 50% what you're looking for in the hopes that it can lead to better things, whether it's meeting other musicians at gigs or moving on to a potential other project with the drummer or whatever.

    But who has time for that? Certainly not I, which is why I am not playing with anybody yet. Then again, NYC is a special sort of petri dish chock-full of dreamers, schemers, and scenesters which makes the process quite a bit more trying.
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  19. MrBKerth

    MrBKerth The Gypsy Bravado

    Apr 20, 2013
    I found some pretty terrible bands on craigslist. One of the less pleasant experiences on craigslist led to me hooking up with these guys though ->The Gypsy Bravado Music, Lyrics, Songs, and Videos

    This has led me to the thought process that it's all about the networking. You might hook up with some guys and find out that the band just isn't a fit just to have them recommend you to a great group. In my case the drummer picked me up from a group I didn't enjoy being in, and wanted me to join his main project. Never looked back.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  20. steelbed45

    steelbed45 TRemington Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    Nolanville, TX
    Yikes, that described my area to a T. I'm down to just going to a once-a-month open mic myself.
    I thought that might be a good place to meet other like-minded musicians interested in starting a project, until I realized by the second open mic that I was the only musician there that wasn't already in a local band.

    I still find myself checking out both CL and Bandmix. Gotta keep looking. Who knows? :thumbsup:
    Capt.Obvious likes this.

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