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Finding a band - VENT

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jordanm, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. jordanm


    Feb 24, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    So I've just recently gotten out of college and looking for a new band to get something going with. I played with a steady band all throughout high school and a little of college. We had something good going and made alot of money, headlined some cool shows and opened for some pretty big bands, had talent, and know how but no one is interested in doing it anymore. I lived with a drummer in college and played with alot of random musicians working on all types of stuff. Have had experience recording, I have plenty of experience, know how, talent, and gear... so I assumed this would be a somewhat easy thing to do. I lined up a few bands through connects and put an ad on craigslist. Went through the suitors with a fine tooth comb and picked some out that might have potential. It has turned into a stress nightmare! Its just friggin music what the hell is wrong with you people!! My summary of bands thus far

    Band #1- Nice guys, very devoted and seriously want to do the music thing. Going for the poppy rock kinda sound, not very original and dont have the song theory down well. Every guitar line has a **** load of open cords and too much distortion, not melodic at all.. and there all like 7 min long.. and the vocals suck.. but they think there about to get signed and move to LA:rolleyes:

    Band #2- Rap group, early Roots type sound. Very cool stuff to play and sounds great. Just not serious at all, we played like 20 min and that was their practice time. No CD, only played one gig, next..

    Band #3- Responded by email wanting me to come audition that night, I was at work. Schedualed me to come audition the next night at 11 PM, but didnt pick up their phone to give me directions til 12:30. Turn out to be some little rich boys that sing really poppy stuff. Would be ok because they could get gigs and probably a following pretty easily. Played songs I hadn't heard before about as dead on as possible. But I think they were more worried about how I dressed than how I played. Didn't call me back.

    Band #4- Older guys both have played professionally, and seem cool, but hadn't heard their stuff yet. Been talking to one of them for about a month while the other moved into town. Really excited as we seemed on the same page. I was about 20 min late coming to rehearsal because I got stuck in rediculous traffic on a Sat. Called the guy and got directions around it, let him know I would be a little late. Show up and the guy that I haven't talked to before sais he has to leave in 10 minutes to go to a show? I was just in traffic for a freakin hour and he is more concerned about hitting a club than his band? We jammed real quick and went through a few of their songs. Played them dead on and had a cool jam going. We schedualed another time to play, and the day of that he calls to tell me they had previously schedualed another guy to come out? I told them to call when they had a time they could definately play. Never heard from them again.

    Band #5- Another group of older guys, with some pretty decent funky tunes. A little low key, and been done many times, but fun stuff to play none the less. Had sent me a demo and schedualed about 5 sessions and they cancelled every one of them at the last minute. I finally get to play with them, unprepared as I didn't bother learning their stuff since I assumed they would cancel on me again, and hadn't had alot of time latey with other people I had gone to play with. Asked one to show me the tune real quick before we went over it (all I need is 30 seconds!) and he tells me they wont bottle feed me and wants to know if I can play any without him showing me. So I lie and we go over another that I play pretty well. Go over a few other tunes and not really impressed with any of them. They keep heckling me and say their jaded because they've been around (even though earlier they were talking about their last show where everyone left when they went on stage, then had it taken over by MC's, and left without getting paid... guess they havent been around long enough to do a good show?). Anyways I tried to set up another time to come out while I was there to give it another shot, so maybe they wouldn't set up another time they couldn't do. They told me to call them when I could "kill" their stuff. Haven't given their CD a second listen, just can't deal with assholes like that.

    Band #6- Holy Sh*t this is it! Guys are my age, guitar player was a "child prodigy" and has a famous father, and rediculous connects. Had a killer jam session, just amazing! Some of the best musicians I've played with. There really excited about me and want me to join. All is well accept their kinda weird, just cant do much but play music and they don't have a strong relationship together. I could really care less at this point, start learning their stuff and get together with the guitar player a few times and get the songs down. Calls me yesterday to tell me that he's not playing with the drummer anymore, the drummer just doesn't want to play with him. He now has a famous drummer, and is hiring a session bass player and hitting the road with money daddy gave him next fall. Who knows if that will happen, but it's possible, at any rate I'm not included, and not even sure if I would be intrested.

    So what am I doing wrong!! I've probably played with around 10 groups so far and straight up not gone to play with 4 times that, that I just wasn't interested in. Is there a better way to find people? I dont really have the time to start something by myself right now. I want to play music, and I want to do it NOW!!! I'm open to different types of music, I have been playing a bunch of different stuff. But I'm not going to kiss someones ass so I can go play music with them and more than likely not get paid for it, atleast not much for awhile. But I am a nice guy, and have been nice and straightforward with everybody. Just can't seem to get it right?:confused:
  2. Shoulda kept #2
  3. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    Sounds like the story of my life (minus graduating from college, yet). The last straw on the camel's back, having been through nearly every single bad situation possible. I posted an ad stating that I wasn't the world's greatest bassist (which I'm definately not, though I'm a helluvalot better now), don't have an 800W tube amp with a ten grand compressor/limiter, but have working gear, but I loved progressive metal and wanted to play with others who wanted to challenge themselves to play that kind of music, and experiment with new ways of doing things in the process, blah blah blah. I got a response from someone saying that he was in the same boat as me, wanted to challenge himself, had a small studio in his basement, and wanted to put the music first, etc. Bonus, this guy had to be the most eloquent and sane sounding person on the planet.

    I near his house that evening, see a young well dressed dude out at his car and thought I was nearing the house. Turns out it's still further down. I finally get to the right house, a poodle is outside, and the worst excuse for a beatneck comes out and fetches the poodle, tells me, "The dawg hates me!" as he practically kills the thing. I go inside, pull out my fretless, and he immediately says, "Why ya play a fretless? Ya gotta be good to play a fretless!" ...as in I wasn't good enough. Right there, I should have left, but I agreed and said something like "I manage." Next, he had emailed me two clips of a bassist he had played with, who sounded somewhat dry, and this guitarist had agreed with me in the email about. This guy suddenly says there, "So, ya practice 'dem bass parts I sent ya?" Me, I didn't realize that I was going to be replicating an old bassist, so I said, "No, but I can learn fairly quickly anyways." Then he goes to his computer, as he's chain drinking and smoking in the worst way, and says, "So, 'dis is what we can do...", and then he plays Alice 'n Chains and a few other grunge bands, Slipknot, and some other stuff, and then he says, "So yeah, as you can see, I can really play anything!" I immediately prompt him about Dream Theater, which he also said he enjoyed, and he said, "Yeah, well, they're fine and all, but how the hell do ya' remember them parts?"

    The whole time I was thinking that this was the worst joke in the world, and I wanted to get out of there. Forty five minutes later, and forty five minutes longer than I should have been there, I finally left.

    Lesson learned, don't play with people you don't know. I will not play with someone unless I know them or get to know them before I ever pull out an instrument with them.
  4. jordanm


    Feb 24, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Band #2 would have been an ok side project, but I would have been the babysitter. That and I'm interested in playing out and recording, they were just too slack and it would have been too big of a headache.

    And yes it is easier playing with people you know Thumb, I completely agree. Especially if your into metal, I've definately played with some wierd metal guys before. Just what I'm looking for right now was not possessed by anyone I knew. Want top quality guys that can get it done.

    I have another group lined up for this week, so hopefully that will go a little better. The one I've talked to seems nice and the music is ok, so atleast they won't piss me off lol.
  5. Jordanm: Here's some tough love...but stick with it!

    You kind of blew it with 4 and 5. Coming in late for one and not being ready for the other gave them reasons not to add you to their bands. Auditioning is a job interview and even if the "interviewers" are running late or otherwise have not bent over backward to make it easier for you, they are still in the driver's seat and you have to be 100% professional no matter what.

    You are swimming upstream if you are looking to join the "perfect" group of established musicians. I suggest you try to put your own group together so that you are the one selecting talent - then people have to jump through hoops to impress you!
  6. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I have been going through this recently, so I can sympathize. Finding a band, especially as an adult, can be difficult. I played with about 10 different bands before I found one that was TOLERABLE. Here are some of my horror stories:

    -Band 1- swore they didn't play country. Swore they didn't like country. Swore there music wasn't country. I show up at the audition, and there music is nothing but country. Old school country. Better yet, their "practice space" was their front porch. I'm sure the neighbors didn't mind. :rolleyes: They begged me to play with them, which I didn't.

    -Band 3- rich kids just out of school. Probably $30,000 worth of equipment sitting in a crappy little basement. Playing originals, didn't have any recordings, couldn't tell me any changes, couldn't follow the guitarist because EVERY SINGLE guitar was tuned to a different open tuning. They thought they were gonna "make it big." Never heard back from them, which is a good thing.

    -Band 7- Older guys in a cover band, which was fine by me. Turns out, they had a bassist, but he decided that he was going to play guitar. Sent me a cd of songs to learn, which I did. 5 songs in 2 days. Throughout the entire audition, the "bassist turned guitarist" literally stood in front of me with his arms folded across his chest and watched me play. I nailed every song, even with his added pressure. After playing the songs, they questioned me as to why I "only brought one bass" and why I didn't have at least 1000 watts. The bassist turned guitarist was playing a GK 1000 watt head through a 215 homemade cab, which he considered "minimal" for any gig. These guys had never played a gig. After they ajourned to another room to discuss, they came back in to inform me that I could join, but I would have to upgrade my equipment, plus I would have to "buy in" to the band for "my share" of the PA equipment. I packed my gear and left without saying another word. They keep e-mailing me asking me to come back.

    -Current band- older guys, playing covers. Two great guitarists, but the drummer is average at best. Of course, he has a monster kit, including double bass drums, but he couldn't keep time with a watch. Believe it or not, he hits TOO SOFT, like he's playing in a jazz band. He claims he's been playing for 35 years, but I think he took 34 years off somewhere in the middle. He's getting a little better, but I don't hold out much hope for him to improve. I think all of them have picked up on my displeasure with his drumming. Apparently, I make a face whenever he loses time. They all take turns singing, which is average. I don't hold out any hopes for this band to play out much, but I like the guys, plus it's giving me experience playing with a band. They'll do until something better comes along.

    Keep looking, there's bound to be a band out there for you. Unfortunately, nothing's perfect, so be prepared to compromise somewhat on your expectations. If you've got a specific band in mind and won't compromise, then expect to wait a long time. Good luck.
  7. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I have to agree with this. Showing up late and not knowing songs are two of the top reasons NOT to hire someone.
  8. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Oh, great... this thread is all I need.

    I'm with a band now that has some serious discipline problems - mainly a 3-piece horn section that just 'riffs-through' funk, soul and disco tunes - just like it was one of the week-night tavern blues-jams that they're always bragging about. They also in-general play behind the beat, and also swoop-up to their notes (like you'd hear at a blues jam).

    Aaaand a drummer (who's the band leader) who doesn't have any concept of driving or laying-back on a beat, and he rushes the beat and speeds-up constantly. So it's like a ratchet: if I ever push a beat - even just momentarily for a turnaround or accent - he instantly speeds-up (I think he considers this 'tight playing'); then when I try to 'haul it back' by intentionally dragging the beat, it doesn't work; he just stays fast... This is driving me batty.

    So I've got maybe nine more duds to deal with - huh, Guy N.?

    (oh - here's our website..
    our four demo tunes there sound pretty-fine, I know, but the other forty songs? ..not-so-good; believe me. ..and the singers were reading the words off a sheet, like usual.)

    ..Thing-is: I really like playing with this guitarist! Dang-it! Maybe me and her should start a new band.


    (note) - The guitarist on the demos isn't our present guitarist. Our old one was so bad, that we fired him just before the session, and hired-in a session guy... Also, they picked-up a Hammond-player, and the Barri since then - we're up to NINE-piece now! The organ player is groove-wise a little like the horns, in that he sort-of plays uh... 'ambient wash' chords, even when it's supposed to be a bubbly CLAV part. He DOES write-down his parts, though, and knows the arrangements.
  9. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Yep, 9 more, if you're lucky. :)

    Not to swap drummer stories, but our drummer won't count off any song that has a guitar or bass intro. He says the lead player needs to set the tempo........:rolleyes: He complemented ME on keeping him on tempo.

  10. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yeah: Drummers.

    ..But d'jah notice that they're always the best at packing stuff in a truck or trailer? Even the bad-ones. It's true - in every band I've been with, and most others that I've known-of! ..Right? - Bassist: "We'll never fit all that in there." Drummer: "Yes it will. Just hand me the stuff in the order that I call-out."

  11. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    Fun story.

    I think it helps to be open minded. I went from an awesome progressive metal band in Miami to a horrible tight leather pants bullet-wearing metal band in Albuquerque to a Jam Band with Potential. At first all their songs were really simple, but fun, and it was a nice scene at their house with parties all the time. It took time, but I got these guys- Left Brain- into decent shape. It will be a mater of time before we start mixing in a little sick progressive metal.

    I say- stay in the scene. You will eventually run into the right people. My "horrible tight leather pants bullet-wearing metal band" tought me to slow down, and also how to show off. I built up a bit of a reputation that helped me later on.
  12. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Man...reading this thread makes me realize how good I have it.
    When my last project was starting to fall apart, but was still playing out, I got a visit from a guy I know who has a local band. These guys are "first call" for almost any local events. They are all in their 50's (I'm 41) and do mostly 60's stuff. Probably not the music I'd choose to do first, but OK nonetheless. He was familiar with my playing and I with theirs, since this is a relatively small town. I'm informed their bass player left/was asked to leave, and I'm asked if I want to join. No audition, etc. I join up, 1 week later, I'm playing my first gig with them. Each and every guy is a competent to good musician. The drummer is like a friggin metronome. There are no huge egos. No headcases. No druggies. Each guy has a family and is a succesfull businessman. Each guy has a great sense of humor, and isn't afraid to use it. I don't have to do any of the booking or contacts. I learn my stuff, I show up, I play bass. We play as often as we want, and have a nice combination of being busy sometimes, and taking stretches off sometimes. I don't know that I've ever been in a better band situation.
  13. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    That is a very lucky situation, indeed. I am jealous.

    Off topic: Do drummers get insulted if you ask them to practice to a metronome? :bag:
  14. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I have had literally dozens of these experiences over the past three years while I was free-lance recording and gigging. After my previous band dis-banded three years ago, I came to realize how amazingly good the band was in all areas .... playing, attitude, professionalism, chops etc. I auditioned/met with some real doozies after that band broke up.

    I have recently gotten back together with several players from the old band and that good feeling has returned. As a matter of fact, the one troublesome guy we had is gone, and the band is starting to really gel again.

    Be patient, things will work out. And I agree with some of the comments above, never be late for any reason and never be unprepared. It's just two less reasons for anyone to rag on you ....... :cool:
  15. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Memphis ... is a small town with a HUGE tourist population ... and what do the tourist want to hear "Blues on Beale st." ... everyone knows everyone and it is not the least unusual to see any one player in any band subbing that nite.

    That said I'm really lucky in that aside from all that, I'm with a dedicated group that's a little different, and can streach a little more ... the lovely and very talented Denise Reasons makes it so ... the guitar player is a protoge from my 6 string days and the drummer is ... well you should all wish for one like him ... classically trained and from NY ( did I mention he hits like a freight train).

    Life is good!
  16. cat_s


    Apr 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Sounds about par for the course to me.
  17. cat_s


    Apr 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Good ones don't.
    'cause they already do it.
  18. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    in my experience, trying out for bands is just like dating...you'll get everything from the cold brush-off to bands that want you to join on the spot.

    I think it's important to NOT join a band because you're frustrated and bored with not playing. Find the RIGHT band and use the try-outs as just a way to improve and expand your repatoire.

    And like dating - try all angles - Craigslist, Harmony Central, post an ad at your local Guitar Center, talk to people in the biz in your area, etc.
  19. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    +1 I went from having a good time with a bunch of friends who weren't motivated, but had fun and wrote some good music, (5 gigs in 2.5 years.) strait into a band of guys who have become my friends and that makes very little money, but make/write really good music, plays out twice a month, is slowly developing a following and has been together for 2.5 years.

    Stick with it, you will find a good band eventually. Have you tried ads (for bands and for yourself) in local papers?
  20. need4mospd


    Dec 22, 2005

    I went from playing along to CD's to joining what appears to be an incredibly talented group of musicians. After our first couple gigs, we're getting asked to come back ANY time. We've had to turn down 3 gigs since our first gig April 15th. Not only that, I get to share all this with my wife since she got drafted into the band with me.

    It's kinda overwhelming for my first band.

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