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Craigslist Tryouts pt.2

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by dtripoli, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. ....yet another craigslist thread. Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    After a long absence from replying to craigslist ads for bass players, I decided to jump in again and make a go of it.
    Got three replies back and arranged to "audition"

    Band 1:
    I looked at their set list and was impressed, watch a bunch of their Youtubes and the girl singer was great looking and
    the band was active and seemed to be enjoying themselves. I don't have audio sound on my work computer so I didn't actually hear the music but they looked to be having fun.
    I readily agreed to meet up that weekend. Later at home, I remembered and idly clicked on their YouTubes. OMG!
    Drummer was all over the place, singer was weak, rarely in pitch and guitarist was off key and tempo. Every single song was in
    C or D. Apparently that is the only range the wobbly vocalist can navigate
    I politely sent them over an email expressing my regret at not being able to audition and wished them luck.
    Damn, and I was so hoping to become a member of the "I Back a Hot Singerbabe Club"

    Band 2:
    Had Facebook page and calendar showed they had been playing out regularly. No audio though. Talked with guitarist
    and he seemed knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
    I agreed to show up the three nights later. He emails me over a list of 20 songs. I fortunately knew most of them but had never played them so I feverishly spent the next few nights learning the songs.
    He said they had a studio but I would have to bring an amp.
    I arrive at the location and it turns out to be a garage. It's 40 degrees outside and there is no heat in there.
    Schlep my rig in and start playing with my heavy coat on and I'm still cold. 2 hrs later, still freezing, I pack up and leave, I'm asked to join the band.
    Drummer had no clue how or what to play. Kept speeding up, slowing down and dropping beats . Every song he just ad-libbed and played through every stop. Rhythm guitarist was meter challenged and keyboardist was a no show. Most of the songs were just mush. I ended up knowing the songs better than them and would politely mention info about stops, bridges, intro-outros and chord choices.
    The shining light was the guitarist /singer. Amazing voice and awesome leads. Sadly he has surrounded himself with poor musicians.
    They all seemed to be good friends so I said nothing negative and thanked them for the opportunity.
    I politely send them over an email expressing my regret at not being able to join the band and wished them luck.

    Band 3:
    Has Facebook page, audio and it sounds really good. I am scheduled to meet up with them next week.
    Hope I don't have to politely send them a regret.

    What's it called when you keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results?
  2. bigswifty1


    Dec 8, 2011
    Here's my story.

    Reply to ad, get a list of songs emailed. I've heard maybe 3 out of 30, and don't care for them. Listen to the rest and didn't care for them either. Thought I would audition just for the exercise.

    At audition I find a bunch of pretty ordinary musicians but who are super positive and having a great time. The material sounds flat. But I hear a challenge. And I decide to really give it a go. I decided to try to *make* it into music I would like.

    A year of great fun gigs later, the music is still not something I would listen to, but I've worked hard at bass parts that are interesting and satisfy us all, and I figure that if a song sucks then it is up to me to be part of the solution.

    It would have soooo easy to pass on this band and I'm very glad I didn't.

  3. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Heh... I had a "Band 1" experience several months ago. It was (is) a band that's got some local notoriety, been around for ages, but I'd never heard them. Everything I read pointed to green lights. But then I got hold of some live recordings they'd done. Wow. Talk about bad. The old bass player's sound was thin and clicky (massive treble boost), playing way outside the slot he should've been in. Making matters worse was the fact that he was doing falsetto harmonies rather than bothering to find a part below the female lead singer that would have fattened things up. His harmonies sounded totally lame. I'm trying to be as kind as I can here. Also, as I look at the vids, I'm asking myself, "Where's his amp? The PA's too small to handle BG." Then one vid starts off with the singer complaining to the crowd about her problems. Terrific.

    So, later on I talk on the phone with the BL, and it gets worse. They run everything, including Mr. Falsetto ClickyBass, through a pair of cheap 15+horn boxes. I broach a few sound reinforcement topics to test where is head's at. It ain't. No clue whatsoever. "That's how we do it" is pretty much his reply. So, I leave it up in the air, but later on email him and tell him there's nothing meaningful I can offer the band.

    Seems like every CL band I've ever joined, I wind up playing kindergarten cop, having to deal with f'offs and time-wasters and drunks and incompetents. Only exception is the P&W band I found on CL; their ad claimed they're all pro-level players, and (gasp!) it turned out to be true. These guys go after the tiny details like a pit bull running down an overfed chicken. And their personalities make them great to work with. It's a joy being in a band with these folks. 'Bout time I caught a CL break, lol!
  4. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Either "Marriage" or "The Blues".

    Sorry, I couldn't resist ;-)
  5. bassfran

    bassfran Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    Endorsing artist: Lakland basses
    I have had zero luck with CL.

    OP- See if you can steal the singer/guitarist from band #2 and find yourselves a drummer. Then hire the 'singer' from band #1 as your merch person. :D
  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    If you guys were auditioning for one of my bands, you should have told me you were a TB member........:D
  7. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I've had great luck on CraigsList. Over the last 5 years I've auditioned for three bands -

    Old school hard rock band. Singer does AC/DC spot on, killer drummer and great guitar player. I joined that band.

    Blues band - the singer was a little weak, but the band was great. I joined that band, but had to leave because they were booking way more jobs than we originally discussed.

    Country Band - guitar, pedal steel and drums. All three great players and good vocals. I wound up joining this band and unfortunately have to leave the hard rock band because I don't have time for both.

    Of course, I screen really well. Before I audition I need to see a schedule, song list, pics and hear a clip.
  8. drpepper

    drpepper Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Columbia, Maryland
    craigslist has done well by me in the end also. There are some flakes of various types and people who use the anonymity to make commitments they have no intention of following through on, but there's also people who are just as serious as you are.

    You saw the youtube, I didn't, but I think you can easily get (wrong) bad impression from a bad recording.
  9. theWilly


    Nov 14, 2011
    Dallas TX
    In high school I played with a buddy and his brother, one on guitar and the other on drums. That's what got me started on bass, I was on guitar at the time and we never could find a decent bass player. After a couple years we realized we were really tight together and had a lot of material, we just needed a good singer/song-smith to form up our riffs. We posted up our room mic recordings and auditioned several singers from CL. We found an experienced guy that worked pretty well. I learned a lot from him about how to take ideas and run with them to craft songs. That worked for about 2 years then drama, weirdness, etc...

    I took a break for a few years then when I came back to it I didn't have any contacts so went to CL. It took a long time of searching because 95% of the groups I saw I had no interest in being in. I "auditioned" with a few and it was kind of trainwreck, guys that had obviously been bedroom players who didn't know how to jam in a group. I also found a couple projects that sounded really cool and reasonably competent (but not so good as to make me useless), but unfortunately they practiced an hour + away from me so it wasn't practical. There were also plenty of established bands whom I probably wasn't up to their skill level and certainly didn't own the equipment for.

    Eventually I found a guy who happened to live 5 minutes away who was setting a project up. He had a drummer lined up already. I went and jammed with the guy and we gelled on both a musical and personal level. Then the dude totally disappeared. I kept on searching for another year with no luck. Then I get an email back from the guy who lived real close. Turned out his wife had gotten pregnant and he had to take time off from band stuff. We ended hooking up again with the drummer. The singer/guitar had the framework for 20 songs or so ready to go that he'd written on acoustic. We jammed on them, electrified them, and arranged them. Within a couple of practices we had about 6 songs put together. Then we posted and ad for a lead guitarist, auditioned one guy and he was a great fit.

    Its now nearly 2 years later and we've got a cool thing going. We're all in our 30's, there's wives and kids and professional day jobs and other various obligations to work around. This is our weekend get away. We're decent musicians, not total amateurs but not amazing musicians. We try to play a gig once every month or two when we're not otherwise occupied with writing/recording. We're finally to a point where we can just start jamming and improving on riffs and the band moves as a cohesive unit. Writing material isn't a struggle, but what is, is recreating the magic that was captured when first jamming on the riff. Fortunately we've got incomes that support good gear and studio recordings. We recorded a 6 song EP in 2011 and are now laying down vocals and finishing touches on a 10 song album.

    Its mostly very fun. We aren't expecting to get signed or go on tour, but its a great experience and we're now lining up gigs that pay a small fraction toward recording and offer free beer to boot. I hope that in 20 years I can be a guy that plays in a cover band at the local blues bar, maybe I'll even find those like minded musicians on CL.
  10. BigDaddyO

    BigDaddyO Rockin' Ruben Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    Groundhog Day!
  11. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    Here's a CL band I joined and was promptly tossed out of:
    Drummer and lead guitar were buddies looking for a 2nd guitar and bass. A friend of mine plays guitar so we call them and eventually hook up.
    For the past 3 months we "learned" about 20 mostly lame 80's rock songs (Paranoid, Run to You, Living After Midnight and of course, Breaking the Law, etc, etc...)
    My friend became the lead singer. I was back up vocals, which he HATED. I kinda have a different voice, let's say, and he felt I detracted from his performance when I "shouted" in the back ground.
    Loooong story short he sent this e-mail out the other day, oh, I should add, he became the self professed BL:

    I have given the back up vocals more thought. I also have given more thought to the way we make decisions on our sound and over all decisions on the business part if any.

    Vocals I have all the say in who and when some one will sing

    At this point no one.

    this will not be discussed again.also when a decision is made from my self or tom that's it don't bring it up again.I have an example for the vocals

    What if I were to say I will play bass or drums next practice right by your side I will walk around you I will shout at will and make you un comfortable.a vocal is an instrument like any other except its out in front for all to hear.

    This will not be brought up again if it is that practice ends right there


    After he sent it out I called him and told him I'll be picking up my gear and, basically, have a nice day.
    ..and this was MY friend who I joined with, the other CL guys were awesome to play with, hopefully they wll dump the psyco and give me a call.
  12. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Sounds to me like your backup vocals were really bugging the singer, but you wouldn’t get the message, so he had to get firm.

    Why were you so insistent to the point of quitting when you could have just stopped singing?
  13. scuzbox


    Apr 19, 2011
    Why would anyone allow themselves to be dictated to by someone that joined the band at the same time they did. No one should EVER lay down a "It will not be brought up again" attitude. Unless they are paying me to rehearse. This is what happens when the diva takes over your band. You were right to dump 'em.
  14. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Paranoid an '80s song :eyebrow:
  15. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    You should have made friends with the Guitarist from band 2.

    In fact if he was there there's potential for the whole band.
  16. Paranoid a lame song?!? :crying:
  17. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    OK,OK...I admit,I did like playing it... sorry bud....
  18. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    thank you, that's exactly how I felt, I mean, I'm doing this for fun, relaxation, stress relief...if I wanted to get bossed around I could stay home with the wife. :cool:
  19. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
  20. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    yeah, I suck at singing for sure, but his reaction was so over the top that I could not see it getting better between the two of us any time soon.(see my reply a couple posts back)
    The other two guys also showed a little resentment in his display of dictatorship attitude but for now are sticking around. I told the drummer if he gets sick of his bossy sh!! then give me a call and we'll start a new project. I'm thinking I'll be hearing from the drummer in a few weeks.

    I should have mentioned, he posted this ad on CL the same night he sent the e-mail:
    bass player needed (Cohoes)
    we are a group of mid 40s playing 80s rock too current. we practice once a week our location is in cohoes. equipment and transportation required serious inquires only.

    :mad: yeah, he admitted it was his ad.