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band member requirements

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sqlb3rn, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. sqlb3rn


    Apr 6, 2016
    I've been trying to start a band for a long time (with no success), and made a list of traits I want in other band members. I'm not trying to make a 20 item checklist and did not list the obvious, like - must like our music and be a cool dude and have talent. But if any member did not have these traits, I don't think I would want to work with them for long. Do you think some of my requirements are just "nice to haves", or unreasonable, or do not apply to all members? What do you look for in taking on new band members?

    reliable - shows up to gigs and rehearsals on time and prepared

    communication - responds to texts/calls, uses band calendar, gives feedback on ideas

    motivated - practices at home between rehearsals

    gear - able to get decent mid-level gear, does the research necessary to have a good sound

    writing - contributes ideas and feedback in the writing process
  2. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    I think that's a reasonable list, as long as everyone understands what each item means as defined by you, the BL. :) Couple thoughts:

    Motivated as you have it listed seems already covered under "Reliable", by including "and prepared". It seems like you're really meaning "show up knowing the material and be ready to play".

    Gear might get sticky, as some people really get into their stuff for "their sound". :D In this case, do you really mean you want them to have functional, reliable gear that sounds good/right for the genre? Case in point, I have a ratty old Squier strat that plays and sounds amazing - another guitarist at a jam smirked when I pulled it out, but after a couple of songs, he wanted to check it out. :)

    Good luck, it sounds like you're off to a good start :thumbsup:
  3. Heyturnup


    Mar 28, 2016
    Good list! I personally have added: no addictions. Nothing else matters if addiction is in the mix. Always leads to heartbreak in the end.
  4. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Having band members is like having a significant other. If you want it to work, you got to deal with some of their shhhh. Having a list is cool but if it's not working maybe try something different..
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    My thing is....bring something to the table or I don't need you. I hate babysitting. Going through it now with the r&b band I'm in now. We have 2 gigs coming up and then I'm calling a band meeting.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  6. nomaj


    Apr 2, 2012
    Make it clear what YOU bring to the table as well. Good players tend to ignore ego tripper solicitations (unless, perhaps, there is a ongoing gig and a specific money figure mentioned).
    MVE, Wavebird, jamro217 and 2 others like this.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If you don't want alcohol or drugs at rehearsal/gigs, list that.
  8. The OP is a good start and might go a long way for an originals band.

    Successful cover bands can have a lot more specific requirements such as sharing common goals and standards for song selection, target venues and talent buyers, aesthetics, etc.
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Also, add frequency of rehearsals, frequency of expected gigs, and whether you expect to travel far for gigs. You don't want to spend time on someone looking to play out twice a month if your only goal is to stay in your studio (or vice versa).
  10. Maybe you should give us a link to your posting. I'm just saying, you give us a list of reasonable requests but the sometimes communication is the problem. For example, if you give some ALL CAPS requirements that are "non-negotiable" that comes across as an OCD task-master rant, nobody will reply.
    jamro217, SactoBass and sqlb3rn like this.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    *Reliable transportation!

    Also, view each CL responses as a resume. "I play guitar / sing...call me" doesn't cut it.

  12. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    1. Musicianship - know their instrument, knows the music, knows how their instrument fits into the music and enhances or impedes other instruments. Knows when NOT to play.

    2. Bandmanship - understands their role in the band, carries their own weight, is more than just a part of the whole, brings something additional besides musicianship - could be sales, logistics, equipment/audio expert, creative, etc. Cooperation, coordination and communication are key attributes. Reliable, punctual. Can both give and take constructive criticism like an adult.

    3. Showmanship - brings something that enhances the band’s stage presence - could be style, moves, looks, banter, etc etc. Adds value, doesn’t subtract. Understands the concept of dead air and the importance of not noodling, tuning (without muting) or asking what song comes next, etc etc.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  13. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    While I welcome ideas and contributions of other band members, it doesn't matter to me if someone can contribute or not as long as they can play their parts. Some people can do write and others cannot.

    I would also add:

    Must have a professional attitude
    Must be easy going
    Have good sense of humor
    Not be a drunk or a druggie
    sqlb3rn likes this.
  14. sqlb3rn


    Apr 6, 2016
    Those are some good replies I didn't think of. Some things can fit in bigger buckets like "professionalism" and "preparedness". To clarify, I'm not actually putting this in any ad looking for members... it's just a mental list. I keep my ad pretty simple to cast a wide net, and then weed through the replies.

    No one has mentioned an age range yet. I thought some people would see that as a requirement, several of the people looking for members in my local facebook groups mention a hard age limit, which I think is silly personally. I guess I should add must be old enough to play in bars, but other than that age doesn't matter as long as they're a good fit.
    fhm555 likes this.
  15. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
  16. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Age can matter. I know a guy who could play anything on guitar. He got a temp spot in a regularly working band mostly playing frat parties in the southeast. The band had two female vocalists who were the “stars”, both in their early 20’s as was everyone else in the band, until my 40 something guitar playing friend got hired to cover until they could find a new guitar player. Everyone in the band liked the guy but the manager, said he was too old to go full time with the band, that he didn’t fit the image. He lasted a couple months while they found a younger replacement.
    sqlb3rn likes this.
  17. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    I totally agree about the gear issue potentially being sticky. Personally, I don't care what a musician plays as long as it is reliable and sounds good.
    sqlb3rn likes this.
  18. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Some good suggestions in previous posts. I would think again about the writing requirement. Someone might be a perfect fit for your band, but not be able to write their way out of a paper bag. If their ideas aren't good, do you really want them? How many writers do you really need?
  19. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    The only issue I have with any of these is those who need their hands held by either over communicating or not having the 'nads to tell me what is wrong because they don't like conflict.

    I don't text. Not a skill I will EVER bother to learn, call me, just not a ton of times for stupid reasons you think are important.

    Some people have the skills above but in a far different priority than the rest of us. Hopefully the band has a benchmark for these skills that is all similar.

    Example: we a guy that joined, I'm the BL, we explained EXACTLY what we were doing and laid out the time frame. Everything was going fine until he tells me 3 weeks into it that he has "sort of" signed us up for a job, but we have "just have to learn at least 10 other numbers".

    He was told No!

    The calls we were inundated with were over the top.

    Aparently, while he had agreed to the time frame and our dates were close, he thought we weren't ambitious enough. Most likely because we all had normal jobs and he did not.

    He came close to throwing blows because I woukdn't text. He "liked to write not talk".

    He was replaced.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  20. TreySonagras


    Aug 11, 2013
    Video Killed The Radio Star
    fhm555 likes this.

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