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Finding Bandmates at Young Ages

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Beginner Bass, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Beginner Bass

    Beginner Bass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Round Rock, TX
    A&R, Soulless Corporation Records
    My friend of a few years, who I recently found is a drummer, asked me to join the band he was trying to get together. I said yes. He flaked. It seems to me like this happens a lot. So to those of you who were/are in groups at young ages, how did you do it?
  2. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Apparently he didn't really want to do it. You could ask around the store where you take lessons, if you do. There might be some loose players dying to form up.
  3. Hey Beginner:

    Assuming that when you say "young" you mean still in school, here are some comments.

    1) Look for similar levels of commitment. Young musicians have widely differing levels of commitment to their bands, so you need to match levels of commitment.

    2) Watch out for logistical factors. This includes whether the musicians have gear, whether they can actually make it to rehearsals and gigs, whether they have substance problems, etc.

    2) Look beyond your circle of friends. Branch out and try to meet new people.

    3) You gotta kiss a lot of toads - that's part of the process, I guess. You are probably going to have jam with a lot of people and most of them will suck, but you need to keep pounding away.

    4) Play well. If you play well, more people will want to play with you and you may build a reputation where other musicians seek you out.

    5) Keep an open mind. You may find that you learn a lot from and even enjoy different genres of music than you originally expected. An open mind will open other opportunities.
  4. hey there, well, I'm a young musician (17 yrs old) and have the same problem you have. My problem is that my band is not willing to spend money on gear that is not beginner gear and that they refuse to practice the songs we agree on if they feel that they don't like the song.

    I would advise you to meet new people who are musicians and try and gain a reputation in your school as a great musician. there's bound to be people itching to form a good band (like me). Don't worry about time because you have a lot of time and just keep practicing.

    hardest part of forming a high school band: finding a decent singer
  5. Actually, try to branch out beyond your school. Having people from another school in the band will expand your fan base - you will pull people from both your school and theirs. It will also expose you to a wider range of people who will think you rule.
  6. Id say, try to hook up with older guys who have some experience, since you have none. Worrying about age is a total waste of time. You wanna learn how to gig, you gotta hook up with people better than you who will help you along. Learn the songs, show some commitment. You'll soon be the bassist every one wants.
  7. eleanor296


    Jan 19, 2009
    I'd always try to get in over my head. Seriously, it very much helped to play with older, more experienced people.
    Also, most kids who play in school will quit when they get out of school and start a job... only a few will continue. Problem is, you often don't know who that will be. AKA it's hard to find committed people. So just keep on trying, it all eventually worked out for me.
  8. crijan

    crijan Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    Endorsing: JH Audio IEMs
    You could join one of those School of Rock schools (I know there's one in Austin) for a short time to meet other players.

    Or +1 to asking the music teachers at Sam Bass.
  9. Words of great wisdom from someone who's only 17. Nicely done. The only thing though, is that good equipment can be difficult to come by at such a young age due to financial restriction.

    But maybe that's a good thing. My first lessons in learning how to deal with another person in order to get a beter price came from buying my first pieces of musical equipment when I was in highschool. The guy wanted $80 for the bass and I had $60. So he sold it to me for $60. It made a big impression me. I haven't made a major purchase of any kind since then without getting some money off the asking price.
  10. one of the best ways i know beginners find musicians to jam with is at music schools where they take lessons at
  11. Here is my outlook on bands.

    Always try to get into a band where you are the worst player.
    Weasel, beg, do whatever but get a band to give you a shot and then you have to improve. once you are as good as they are then bail and find another and repeat that process.

    even if you do not want to go that route, make sure that you are never the best player/musician in any band you are in or you will never grow...

    its sometimes hard to live by it but oh so worth it.

    you wont always be young, the sooner you begin to build up your network and get the word out the better. before long you will play as much as you want.
  12. I'm not sure burning all of those bridges is a wise move. That's not a very good way to network in my opinion. Eventually some of those guys will get better and be in a position to bring you onboard with a band and because you bailed on them before might not want anything to do with you.
    Just my 2cents.
  13. who said I burned any bridges. The internet makes it seem so cold. it was all cool. you can cover your bases haha get it...

    and keep your network strong and still advance your playing.
    i am never condoning being a flake or anything like that.
    just continuing to grow.
  14. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yeah, ask the instrument teachers at your local music stores. I'm 39 and made the mistake, when I took bass up again, of asking my daughter's guitar teacher if he knew anyone I could jam with. He gave me this totally baffled look. The lesson, which hadn't occurred to me, is that those guys are teaching a lot of young people and could probably help someone in your position. They'll also know who's actually practicing and trying to get better and who's just goofing around.
  15. Put up ad's at school and around town that you're looking for people to jam with. Eventually you'll get a bite and anyone who responds to that, is usually looking for the same thing you are. Make sure you put exactly what you're looking for on the ad.
  16. Ask around school(I'm assuming high school), music schools, guitar center, even craigslist. I know it's frustrating to put together a group at a young age but when it all comes together it'll be worth it. I'm 18 and am currently in 2 bands. It was a total pain to set up but the good thing about starting young is you learn a lot of valuable skills that will give you an edge when you're older(Management, Promotion, etc.) Hang in there and you'll get a good group together sooner than you think.
  17. Beginner Bass

    Beginner Bass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Round Rock, TX
    A&R, Soulless Corporation Records
    How do you get past competition? There's another bassist who typically has a flashier style, and tends to "dazzle," the others more. He typically will pull together a band for single shows (Talent shows and the like).How do I get past this.
    Also, to clarify a bit, I'm entering 8th grade in August. I take lessons at school, and at the teacher's home studio during the summers, not a guitar shop. The teacher does teach quite a lot of instruments (http://www.moultonmusic.com/Lessons.html is his website) quite well, so that could be a decent place to start. And Crijan, those schools are out of the budget.
  18. I started playing in 6th grade. I played in a few incarnations and combinations of groups with a friend and guitarist as a constant for the first several years. As we got older, our universe increased and we met different drummers, keyboard players, singers and guitarist. At 11, our universe included the neighborhood. In 8th grade, we played in the middle school Jazz band and the universe grew to include our whole school and a its sister school which shared some special band program members. In high school, the universe increased to include all of the area high schools as we played events and networked.

    I think you should look to establish a band that has some cohesion to it. You'll want to find people that you connect with on multiple levels (musical taste, general interests, etc.). You'll have your band and other bass players will have their bands. As individuals, they're not competition that you have to "get past." They may be rivals in one sense at certain points (Talent competitions, battles of the bands, etc.) but if they're people you know, you should try to establish rapport with them.

    Hopefully, your parents are will to transport you as needed.

    There are so many resources today that didn't exist just some few years ago. You might also check out Craigslist. I've seen age specific ads. Not a lot for early teens that I noticed, but have a look, and see if your parents will help you post an ad for same age people in your local area.
  19. I didn't start playing bass until after high school, so I kind of missed out. I don't get much of a chance to get out and meet people because I don't drive. I don't think I'll be joining a band any time soon.
  20. agreed.....in return for the shot they give you,it would seem reasonable to give back by working hard and being dependable....if the op does that there will be less chance of bad blood when it's time to move on to the next opportunity........bailing is just bad form

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