High schooler attempting to start a band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Ryan Atchison, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. I am a freshman In high school. I've been looking to start a band for a while. I have a drummer. Nobody I know plays guitar. I don't know any male vocalists either. Does anybody have advice for finding bandmates?
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  2. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    @Ryan Atchison If you are not in high school band, you should consider it seriously.

    Start A Band?
    Check with your band directors and the band members to see if any either play guitar now or have experience. You may be surprised.

    Besides folks you know, check with the high school chorus group(if there is one) and.....wait for it....church youth choir folks.
    I did sound for our one stoplight church here and there is sometimes amazing talent hidden there. One young lady sang exactly like Sheena Easton on "Wind Beneath My Wings". Whether or not they'd want to be in your band, fit, and/or be able to be a "front person"/band leader(for real or in appearance only) is another question. In the 70's our lead vocalist could sing anyone(Boston, Journey, Zeppelin, Queen, etc) but lacked big time in audience-handling skills....he wound up "retiring" after a few years to be a bank teller.
    Jhengsman likes this.
  3. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Just put the word out on facebook/whatever, put ads up in your local rehearsal space (if you have one)... A rhythm section seeking a guitarist should be an easy sell!
  4. LowFish


    Nov 8, 2014
    Coastal NC
    Talk to people, our current singer was found by our old rhythm guitarist, he bounced a couple of checks and had to deal with it at the bank, struck up a conversation with the bank lady about playing in a band and her telling him that she is a singer next thing we know she has been here for 3.5 years now.
  5. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    (the sun comes through the clouds... birds are chirping... cue the deer) Even though, this seems to appear as a problem for you, appreciate this moment.

    Kidding aside, hook up with horn and orchestra players in your school. And don't write off that weird kid who plays accordion and breathes through his mouth.
    design, Jhengsman, jthisdell and 4 others like this.
  6. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Starting to see fewer young people playing an instrument or wanting to be in a band. A lot of this is the fall of the big stage, rockstar, music era I grew up in.
    But don't let the stop you. Look in your school and put up fliers where you can like a local library , music stores etc.
    Talk to others in your area who know somebody who at least messes around with guitar. They are out there, it just takes some time to find them.
    Jhengsman likes this.
  7. You're very lucky....those are usually the two EASIEST roles to fill.

    Maybe not easy to fill with very good musicians....but your school hallways are full of potential egotistical gloryhounds if they'd only be given the chance. Keep asking around, that weird outcast kid in your history class might be a rippin' bedroom guitarist but only his best friend knows about it.
  8. Wow a whole rythm section! You already have the best part!
    Look for a hyper kid that loves the same type of music as that you can get a long with. Hopefully he can sing somewhat. If not there is Sophie sheer and Eric Arcineux videos to help him along , give him about 3 days to sing youtube karioake and get a small PA system and you have a singer. I wish i would have had all that when i was 15 and learning to sing. : /
    All i had was 8 tracks of Van Halen and ACDC
    Good luck
  9. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    Do you have a local music store? Many local music stores have bulletin boards where you can post, or answer, an ad looking for band mates (this might be true of cooler indie record shops, too). Do you have a school newspaper that takes ads? Is there a teen room in the town library? Are there guitar instructors in town that can recommend one of their students?
  10. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    One of the best discoveries I ever made at that age was actually one of my best friends. We'd play LPs (sigh...) of our favourite bands, and swap new music that we liked. One day my friend started singing along with a song on the Stereo, and I got whiplash as I turned to see what was going on. He sounded like Steve Winwood. Amazing.
    "er.....Simon.....???......I've got this band...."
    We did really well for a teenage band (rock originals/covers), and even had a residency at a pub in London.
    He went on to working quite regularly in a popular party/covers band.
    I went on to relative obscurity playing originals.

    Moral of the story is that you might already know someone. They just have to show you what they can do.
  11. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Back in the day I'd use the Recycler where you could put print ads for musicians seeking bands. It was an analog version of Craigslist. However people were a little less creepy back then, and I can't suggest a 13-14 year old put an ad on CL to meet people. You'd probably end up in someone's van.
  12. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I would go to music schools and ask the music teachers there if they know anyone. They might have students. Make sure you have a sample of your own playing on Youtube so the potential band members can decide if they fit. Make it clear the type of music you want to do as well. If you want, make a quick video of yourself explaining the concept of the band and who you are looking for...that way the music teacher can give the potential members a link.

    Also, don't rule out playing instrumental music so you don't need a vocalist, if you like that style of music. That is the hardest part of it all, I found. If you can get a gig on the books, even if free to play, far enough out to allow for sufficient rehearsal, that will help attract people. Better yet, get a paid one from somewhere, like get your parents or someone who loves you to fund it (pay the musicians something for their first gig), as a party, or fundraiser for a good cause to get the band started.

    If you are like me at your age, the hardest part is finding people in your age category who have the necessary talent and who are committed. I lucked into a group of people after candidate after candidate said they would join and then would blow off rehearsal. And they will need some kind of transportation.

    Also, use all your social media and ask people to make your post or youtube video viral to their friends -- to help you find a band.

    And do you have a place to rehearse? That is really important.

    Another idea is to approach your music teacher at school about whether he would support a jam night. Advertise it to the whole school. That way you can get all kinds of people to come out and its like an audition. Plus your music teacher gets kudos for contributing to student life at your school. Plus you get a free place to hold the auditions. Advertise you need a drummer and guitar player and other instruments to be the anchor band for the night. That way you aren't committing to anyone, but have a core group that people can join for the jam night.

    Hope that helps, out of ideas :)
    design and ThuzzleFump like this.
  13. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Also, if you can get on Bandmix.com -- you can post the kinds of musicians you are looking for and people sometimes contact you.
  14. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    I would think in the age of the Internet it should be easier than ever to find people to play in a band with.
  15. pbass2

    pbass2 Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    What kind of music do you want to do?
  16. ThuzzleFump

    ThuzzleFump All your bass...

    Nov 15, 2015
    Ask around. And hey, it's not unheard of to have people start playing when they get the idea to have a band...it's kinda the foundation of rock n roll.
  17. ThuzzleFump

    ThuzzleFump All your bass...

    Nov 15, 2015
    Whatever happened to just being PO'd scrawny guys who want to hang out, smoke a bit, and get chicks? See my previous post about the origins of rock n roll.
  18. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think teens are necessarily on craigslist looking for bands so much. I would say asking the music department at school and guitar teachers in town if they have students who would be interested.
  19. ThuzzleFump

    ThuzzleFump All your bass...

    Nov 15, 2015
    One more and I'll zip it. Haul around some music gear and look sullen. And go to a guitar store and put a handwritten index card with skulls n stuff on it on the bulletin board. The interweb is for nerds and old people. Remember, being in a band is about rebellion. If you are planning to play, I dunno, fusion or something, just try to get into Berklee. Otherwise, get some gear and a garage, and have at it. Bonus points if you are a skater or somebody has a bike. But be careful. Them things is dangerous.
  20. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    That wasn't me. I grew up with a different perspective on music. No more valid, just different. So, I tend to dole out free advice from the same perspective.
    ThuzzleFump likes this.