In a sense, this is a follow up thread to http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=214106 I am going to start a new project. Kinda jazz/funk/hiphop fusion. Heavy groove, jazz harmony. All instrumental - bass, drums, keys, sax. I don't have any of the players lined up yet. Here in the SF Bay Area, musician wanted postings on Craigslist are pretty effective. The better the musician, the greater their expectations are for the rest of the band, and the bandleader. First impressions are important, so before I invite musicians over, I want to be maximally prepared, so that the experienced players feel that rehearsals are going to be efficient and focussed, and that their time is going to be well spent with the project. The first thing I need to complete is writing a set's worth of tunes. I am going to insist on players that can read (not necessarily at sight). Without real charts, tunes just take longer to learn, and make it difficult to use subs. Recently, I have been composing using Ableton Live, and once I have a tune close, I dump all the midi data into Sibelius and massage it into a lead sheet or arrangement. This way I can give folks a chart, and an Ableton Live MIDI 'scratch track' to play along to. Then I need to really master my part on all of these songs. Master as in being able to play it confidently while cueing or otherwise directing the band. Something new for me, and something that will be a challenge. With this homework done, I think I would be ready to invite musicians over and give them the charts and playalong beforehand. This should make the rehearsal reasonably efficient, and hopefully give the experienced guys a warm fuzzy that the project will move forward efficiently toward a first gig. What else should I do before the first rehearsal to get my 'ducks in a row'? Perhaps a project timeline with milestones for completing a demo package, and a target date to start gigging? Any other tips for attracting and retaining the best musicians?