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Best way to find and hook up with a band? Ideas?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by JimS, Mar 22, 2003.

  1. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    I've want to hook up with a join/form a band -funk or funk/rock--in my area. What have your experiences been in trying to do this?

    Flyers at music stores, internet, flyers at bars, etc.?

    (I'm not in school and don't have the those connections anymore.)
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    The band I'm currently playing with, Lovesjones, was put together by the manager. He posted flyers at a few locations and used an internet forum for musicians wanted round London.

    I responded and we arranged to meet over a coffee. He told me a bit about the other people he'd found, gave me the date of the first rehearsal and took my address. A couple of days a CD turned up in the post and I learnt a bunch of the songs, turned up and jammed.

    Somehow it worked and we've got a pretty tight band cooking - we've had a few changes among the vocalists but the musicians are still the same lineup (and I think we were just the collection of people who responded - it all fitted together).

    It may not work for you but it's worth thinking about - put the word out and possibly they might come. If you only find one or two people, at least you'll have some contacts!

    The downside of starting from scratch is that it might be a while before you're ready to gig - you'll have to build a suitable sized set, get some kind of promo pack together and do some legwork first.

  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Music store bulletin boards, (if you aren't known on the scene by word of mouth).

    Also, don't put your phone number on your music store ads -- because you obviously have high end gear. Just giving an email contact will eliminate all the people using used Fender Squiers through Crate amps and think they're ready to play Rob Zombie all night because they have a $30 Danelectro fuzz box. People with computers typically afford nicer gear and are more professional. Any jerk has a phone number.

    At least, that's my experience.

    If you're really cocky, as I've been in the past, go to a club and give whomever seems to be the leader of the band your name and a way to contact you during one of their breaks and say, "I think I can smoke your bass player." What can I say??? It's "dog eat dog" out there!
  5. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    1.Good idea about the phone number.
    2.I would do unto others...but if the player sucked I might tip my hand.
    3. Did check dufus Center bulletin board and have some solid leads...knock on wood. One guy asked about my gear because he said most auditions have been from guitarists that show with a Squier P bass and use a pick for everything! I think they'll be happy with my. One try out is tomorrow night.

    Thanks guys!
    BTW, what's "Craigs List"?
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
  7. Sworn


    Feb 27, 2003
    So Cal
    I have to put my input about one thing. When I responded to some guys's ad, they didn't call me to a "audition". It was just a meet up. To see how we jive together...Get to know the me. Which I think is possibly more important than the actual talent...maybe? So I suggest rather than auditioning someone, get together for coffee (suggested by wulf), know if they're serious. It eases thier nerves as well as makes you look better/cooler.
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If it's just you trying to pull together a band from scratch, it might be worth trying just to find one or two other people first who you really click with. For example, if you can find a drummer who's on your wavelength, that would set you up for life ;)

    It's certainly going to be hard to run auditions, pay close attention to what everyone else is doing AND provide groovesome basslines all on your own. If you're working as a unit of two or three, you've got someone to talk with when you auditionee leaves and you have to decide on yay or nay.

    Also, if you haven't done this kind of thing before, it would definitely be worth making a big effort to find an existing band you can join - that will give you a headstart on learning the 'repetoire' and and insight into the business side of things (booking venues, etc). You can always sail in your own direction once you've learnt the ropes but otherwise you're going to be spending a lot of time making mistakes others have already made for you!

  9. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Hi all,

    First post here. I've been lurking for a while but feel I have something to add here.

    I agree with Wulf on this. I've been working on putting together a band of 30 somethings with day jobs to play Blues and Classic Rock for almost a year. I had no idea it would take this long and we are not quite there yet.

    I started with a guitarist and we started working up tunes. It was clear that when we played together with a drum machine that we both had some groove issues - both together and individually. We worked about 6 months just learning songs, planning, practicing and getting together.

    Around Christmas, we placed an add on a local Board looking for a drummer. We found one after a couple of auditions. He came with a keyboard player brother who won't make it in the long run, but is filling in until we find the right fit (personal issues).

    After that we started on singers. Found a great female vocalist while looking for a male. The key is that we were open to what happened. I'm very excited about our lineup except the keyboard player.

    So, I agree with the piece by piece approach, if you are set on starting your own band. Just get it in your head that you are not going to stop looking until you find the right lineup.

    As far as auditions go, we recorded everything. I found this really helped because I thought things sounded pretty good until I listened to the playbacks. This way you can focus on playing well and the overall feel and groove of the 'band' with the new person. Then go back alone and really pick it apart.

    Best of luck,
    GrooveSlave :bassist:
  10. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    I've been in about 4-5 bands but nothing the past year. I want to work on another solo CD project but I really love the feel and magic that happens when you play with others. So here I am in my late 30s looking for a funk and/or rock band. I've got some apparently solid leads and have been able to dismiss some solicitations that seemed to be of low yield.
  11. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    SO... that was YOU, was it?! WHY YOU !@%^$%^%(* :D :spit: hehehe

    Open mics and jam sessions are another good place to try. These are often filled to the brim with people looking to form bands.
  12. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    It's all about networking. If you dont have a name for yourself, then 1st you're going to have to make one.

    I'd hit up as many open mic nights as possible. This exposes you to other musicians, they get to hear you 1st hand. Alot of them play either rock or blues, (at least around here). But thats ok. Get up there kick a little tail with them. They know people that you dont.

    Look for coffe houses and simply ask to sit in with an ensamble there. More often than not, they're quite ok with it. At least thats been my experience.

    Go to as many clinics and seminars as you can. Including, drums/percussion, vocals, guitar, saxaphone, whatever the instrument may be, regardless of whether you play it or not.

    In short hang out in places that musicians congregate.

    They all know people you dont. They might not gel with the same style of music you're looking to play, but they might just know people who know people that need a bassist for the type of music or similar type that you want to or would be willing to play.

    Also as peviously stated, place ads in all the local music shops in your area, and even surrounding cities, (if practical) You can also place ad's on various different sights on the net.

    I'd also recomend getting some business cards, as well as make up a musical resume and possibly bio about yourself. This will make you look and be taken more professionally and definatly weed out the as I like to call them "jerkoffs"

    Finally, as someone else stated, walk up to a band that suits your liking and hand him a business card
    and if you think you'll dust their current bassist like a crop then let um know that. It could pan out in your favor.

    This of course is just IME and IMO and has worked for me, YMMV.
  13. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    I wouldn't like it if someone ousted me from my position in a band. It's never happened thank you.

    However, if I were to smoke their current bass player, then I'd have to go all the way: replace him and then steal his girlfriend!;)
  14. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Well, I call it "The Gunslinger" approach, thrash.

    It can be dicey if your head is too swelled and you don't pick your prey right. Funny thing though - sometimes a band is willing to take on a new member just because the chemistry isn't there with their present guy. Your audtion has little to do with skill.

    I just used the "gunslinger approach" to get my "foot in the door" a couple of times when I moved to a new town. Once that happens, it like cassnova says about "networking........your name gets in the loop, you get known a bit, and you can forget the ads. At least, that's my experience.

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