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Finding a GOOD guitarist

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Trouland, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. :rollno: Hello All,
    I don't post here often but I come in and read lot and there is alot of good info posted in Talkbass. Here is my delema:
    I have been playing Bass for 33 years in lots of different bands. About 5 years ago I started a Progressive project here in MN. It took a long time to find really good musicians, drums, key boards and vocals, not to mention bringing my chops up to standard. We initialy played with a guitarist who wasn't quite up to the job. When he started to come to practice not knowing his parts we decided to let him go. Since then (about 9 months) we have been auditioning guitarists (about 20 so far) and I have to say its real slim pickings out there. They either have drug or alcohol problems or they have no idea about music theory, composition or even know the circle of fifths. Most of the people who audition we feel embaressed for them, I mean one guy we had to show him how to tune his guitar! We have advertised in the newspapers and all over the internet and so far we have come up empty. Does any one have any suggestions for our situation? We write our own materiel and do alot of Dream Theater covers, we also have our own studio and good practice space. Sorry for the long post and thanks all.

    Stalled in Minnesota
  2. chris4001asat


    Dec 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Warehouse Manager : Reverend Guitars
    All you can do is keep looking and auditioning. The right one will turn up, you just have to be patient. I was in your boat two years ago. We auditioned one guy, he played ok, but was really nervous. Plus he borrowed a guitar amp I owned to audition with. We invited him back the next week for a second audition, but told him we want to hear you through your own amp. He comes in with an multi effects rack unit, an old stereo reciever (it was tube at least :p ) and a pair of Soundesign home stereo speakers! He said " I have a half stack, but it's too heavy to haul around all the time" ! THIS WAS AN AUDITION!!! Our guitarist was the person right after him.
  3. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    Is there a music school anywhere near you? Look for some college kids that are currently studying.

    How about looking for some teachers in your area and asking them if they want to adution or have any promising students?
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Nine months? Twenty auditions?!

    I s'pooooose... you could go 'head hunting' at the local live music venues and steal one from another band (?).

    ...But not mine, please (especially after hearing that story - egads - I guess I'd better just put up with the big goof. He sure can play that guitar!).


    Whadd'ya know - here he is now...
  5. Thanks all,
    Yes we are asking music instructors now, and low and behold the key boardist asked one of his professors today, (his major in college is music theory and composition) and he said maybe but he has to hear us first before he will commit. I guess this guy loves prog also. :hyper: I hope our search is over. Thanks for the responses all.

  6. mindflow


    Oct 31, 2004
    does anyone know of any sites like talkbass that are for guitar? where there are serious musicians and a good community. i had checked out a couple of sites before talkbass but i have to say that they were not of this caliber. people here know their **** and even those who dont are respected. anyways i was thinking that this might be a good way to find a guitarist as our band is looking as well. thanks
  7. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Try running a musicians wanted ad in Harmony Central to find a guitarist. Good luck :meh:

    This is one of the great myths in the music world, that good guitarists are "a dime a dozen". It has taken me 2 years to finally put together a band with a guitarist who I feel really has the requisite skills to fill the lead guitarist slots. Man, there are a lot of posers out there. :rollno:
  8. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I've been looking for good guitarists for roughly 2 years now, and about a month ago, I stumbled onto a pair of them. I just say keep at it, and expect a long wait. Though good luck!!!

  9. Our band tried adding a lead guitarist shortly after we found our new drummer back in July (the lead guitarist was a friend of the drummer). He was a really good guitarist, but had ego problems like crazy. He actually asked our lead singer/guitarist "who is going to be the star of this band?"

    He also didn't seem to really get the concept of playing in an established band...he'd bring up stuff like "what should we name this band?" And we'd have to respond with "we're called Total Posers...we've had that name for four years and it's what people know us by." Plus he'd want to sing some tunes...OK, fine, that's cool. But he'd never learn the lyrics properly, and would blame us if he couldn't remember them ("you guys are playing two slow (or too fast), etc.") He would just stop playing in the middle of a song if he couldn't remember the words.

    We put up with him though because he did sound good. I had to give him a lot of feedback though, on stuff like him playing too loud, or mindlessly soloing at the end of every song. One time he managed to turn "Tush" into like a 15 minute guitar wank fest, all the while not even looking at the rest of the band...you know, getting down on the ground, and just grooving away to himself. :p

    Things started getting really bad with him when we did our first show with him. It was a birthday party for himself he set up with some friends. OK, cool. It was an outdoor show. I'll give him credit, he made sure we had the proper permits, checked with the police, etc. But once we started playing, he went back to being self centered, playing WAY too loud (so loud no one could hear the vocals, plus we were having feedback problems like crazy with his mediocre Crate PA). Plus, he even went into a couple songs that weren't even on the set list, and that the rest of the band didn't know...plus, he would play with his back turned to us, so we couldn't even see what chords he was playing...needless to say, we had a LONG talk with him after that show. He promised to be a team player.

    Well, suffice to say that didn't last too long. Soon, he was back to having his amp cranked too loud (he'd always blame it on the fact that his Line6 amp "is digital"...like that means it's just going to go up in volume randomly). Finally, about a month later, he came by to our guitarist's house and found all his equipment waiting for him on the lawn, after we decided as a group to kick him out.

    The whole point of my long post is this...sometimes it's better to try and make things work with what you do have, then try to add another person that might create new problems. I don't know if that's feasible in the original poster's situation, but I think sometimes keeping it simple makes the sound more cohesive overall, and can lead to a lot less headaches down the line.
  10. Tnavis


    Feb 25, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Part of your problem might be geographical. It's tough enough finding good musicians in Minnesota, but once you get into central Minnesota it gets even tougher. Are you near enough St. Cloud where you get check out St. Cloud State for guitarists?
  11. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    This may be a little more than you want to work, but you could do the arrangements without guitar. Till you find the "right" guitarist anyway. Bass and keys could share the requisite guitar parts in the songs as needed. Just a thought.
  12. We have been switching parts of the melody between key boards and bass, since I play 6 string basses I can move into upper registers with melody while the keyboardist picks up a bass groove. It seems to work out pretty good. I know part of the problem is geographical being in central MN, but I have way to good of a job to even think about quiting and moving somwhere else (Im an Air Traffic Controller). We also know the myth of good guitarists being a dime a dozen is pretty much busted. The drummer and key boardist are full time students at St. Cloud State. We will keep looking and we are positive we will have success eventually its just a question of how long. We auditioned one guy with an ego but after 15 minutes with our key boardist he was very humbled, 32nd and 64th note keyboard solo left his jaw on the floor. The problem with that guy was he did'nt have the chops to back up his ego. Our key boardist gets 2 hours a week one on one instruction from a concert pianist with a PHD in music he is also majoring in theory and composition in college. We all learn tons from him!!
  13. che990


    Feb 19, 2005
    i am only 13 and have got a decent band goin with gigs and a recording session coming up if u want a good guitarist i advice having a good friend as one. Bands from my personal experence work better when you and your band mates get along this way the jams become more enjoyable and all of you are alot more open with you ideas. Also try and find a guitarist commited enough and not with a heavy work schedulde or if they happen to be in another band

    peace out.
  14. Thats not an easy job my friend. There should be some sort of a musicians union in your area that the serious players are part of. If I was doing a prog band I actually would have a much easier time finding guitarists (Numetal guitarists tend to suck) I go to a State University in New Jersey and we have some KILLER guitar players. I'm talking about sweep picking and soloing through changing chords and key and time signatures. One of our players has won the guitarmageddon competition so many times that they made him a judge. He does this crazy thing where he taps out a legato solo with his right hand while playing a bassline with the left. We have at least two or three guitarists sweep picking jazz solos and reading music and taking theory and aural skills classes. Just find a school with a strong music program and there should be guys who would jump on the opportunity to play with guys of your skill level.