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Aspiring band newbie seeks craigslist ad advice

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mister-o, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Dear experienced TBers,

    I've jammed with two friends (drums/keys) for a while, but for various reasons that project is going nowhere and we all know it. I'm the only one who practices & takes lessons, etc etc. All the other musicians I know are either bassists, in bands already, or have moved away so I need to reach out.

    I've wanted to play in an original band for a while, and I'd love to work up to playing out. I've only played for two years and taken lessons for eight months (though my teacher told me I'm "definitely ready to be in a band" :hyper:). I'm obviously not trying to join a jazz band or high-caliber cover band; but I am extremely open as to what kind of music I'm looking to play - I just want to play bass!

    I started writing out a craigslist post that I'm hoping to air after the new year, but it turned out super long. What should I include? What should I not include? I'm trying to cover all my bases without seeming arrogant, and trying to be humble without saying that I suck (I don't slap, sing, or play with a pick so I feel like my options are going to be fairly limited).

    Any and all advice would be appreciated.
  2. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Check out the open mic scene in your area. You'll hear what others are doing, and after a few visits come to know other musicians of your caliber (and better). Here's a link to get you started ... there's an open mic somewhere in or around Chapel Hill nearly every night ...

  3. kenlacam


    Nov 8, 2005
    akron, ohio
    Personally I would start off as a cover band, just to get your feet wet. You may have a hard time finding gigs doing original music, as bars/clubs want to hire bands that will make music that people will dance to. You will have to build up a following before people are willing to listen to original material.
    On your ad, just be short and to the point. Lay out exactly what your plans are, and what you are looking for in a musician, how often you will rehearse, how much you will be playing out, etc.
    Hope this helps.
  4. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Who do you take lessons from? (Just curious as I live in Durham and work in Chapel Hill) I've been experiencing a similar phenomenon. Every once in a while I get called for a gig as a hired gun, but I've been itching for something a little more regular.
  5. Hey, thanks! That's a fantastic idea.

    Re: Jimmy Rocket. Sent you a PM!
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Answer ads.
  7. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Be honest, be concise, and be realistic about your goals.

    If you can spell those things out and communicate them to others the right people will find their way to you. However, with craigslist 75% of people who are not the right people will also find their way to you. Your job is to filter the right ones from the posers.

    The worse thing you can do is over-blow what you're capable of or your goals. Capable people will smell bullhockey immediately if you get them to give you a chance.

    Primarily, be honest.
  8. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Just be up front and honest about your skills.
    Bassist are like drummers: if you are basically competent, you can get a gig.

    My usual advice for "am I ready to play in a band?" type posts is to encourage you to find join a gigging band with the best players who will have you, because the practical experience you gain is invaluable.

    And tho I also prefer originals, for someone at the 2 year mark, a cover band could also teach you a tremendous amount. There is much to be learned from our bass ancestors...
  9. Sadly most of the ads I see around here are looking for pros, teens, or folks in Raleigh. I can't make it out to Raleigh on my own on a consistent basis since my fiance and I share a vehicle.

    Re: covers. Probably a good idea. I guess I can be move open towards that.

    Re: honesty. I'm acutely aware of my many shortcomings on bass, so that should be no problem :)
  10. So here's my current draft. Any thoughts?


    Aspiring bassist looking to join/form local band

    I’m 26 y/o and live in Carrboro with a steady job. Looking for goal-oriented musicians in Chapel Hill / Carrboro that want to have fun and play energetic music.

    I like indie rock, post-rock, pop punk, 60s psychedelia, and more but am fairly open as to what I’m willing to play as long as it’s energetic and rockish. Open to covers, originals, or both.

    I’ve played bass for two years now and taken lessons for about 8 months; jammed with drums/keys for a year or so, so not entirely new to playing with others. I play 4-string Fender style basses, fingerstyle.

    Willing to rehearse 1-3 times a week and eventually play out a few times per month.

    Email me if you’re interested and let me know what your vision is.

  11. stflbn


    May 10, 2007

    Not sure you need that, just because it's very subjective. Some bass players could be fantastic in 2 years, while others may play for 12 years and still not be able to learn songs by ear. You're opening yourself up to the 'past experiences' of people who read it.

    Other than that I think the ad is fantastic. Just state what you want and what you're looking for and people will come to you. From there it's up to yoru ability.
  12. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    That's a good ad. I'm tempted to switch back to guitar just to join your band... :)
  13. Haha, let me know!

    Thanks so much for the feedback.
  14. Thanks for the feedback. I figure I need to say something about my past experience just so people don't email me expecting that I've been playing since I was a teenager or something. Maybe I'll take out the part about experience playing with others. That's not really relevant, and really, that old band wasn't the best in terms of applicable general experience :meh:
  15. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Agreed, but I think you could deal with experience via followup.
  16. Vanceman


    Feb 14, 2007
    So. Cal.
    I have to agree here, leave some of the detail vague. The last time I posted an ad, I referred to myself as having 'moderate skills and experience, but willing to play anything within my ability'.

    It worked!
  17. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    So, Mister O any updates?

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