How to write a GOOD craigslist ad and how to vet other musicians.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by ZBirdV8, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. ZBirdV8


    Feb 26, 2012
    Detroit Michigan
    The title pretty much says it all. As lock down restrictions lift I want to put a band together. I'm looking for advice on what is and isn't important to put in the ad, or even if craigslist is the way to go at all. Then the next thing I want some advice on is how to find "the guys". I want to leave it very general for now and become more specific as the thread progresses.
  2. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    1. Leave any attitude/viewpoint that isn't positive and welcoming out of the ad.

    2. Use good grammar, spelling, and syntax.

    3. Unless it's really important to you, don't mention age.

    4. Be honest about your own talents.

    5. Music is music. Listing influences is fine, but you may turn some people off by too-specifically wanting certain influences or styles.

    6. Don't try to show how incredibly intelligent and sophisticated you are.
    Gearhead17, EXCAV8, crguti and 9 others like this.
  3. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once...

    Feb 24, 2013
    If it is important, mention it early. Don't make me read a 4-paragraph ad and finish with "please be 21-30."
    OTOH, if you know you want to build a thrash metal, or speed punk, or stoner/shoegaze project, say so. Don't try to cast a wide net by saying "classic rock covers" and then eventually disclose what you really want is screamo metal.

    State your project goals clearly. If you want an informal jam, that's cool! But if I'm looking to perform live for money, that's not going to be the project for me, no matter how much else my skills, influences, and styles may match.

    Have samples. You're going to want them from players you audition, post your own.
    JRA, BritFunk, RSBBass and 4 others like this.
  4. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with what's already been posted - be absolutely clear and honest about who you are, your abilities, and what you want to do. Don't try to be cute or clever - it can just come off as arrogant or annoying or clueless. The sheer fact that you communicate clearly and specifically in your ad is itself testimony that you might be a worthwhile band mate. If there are any specific things that are make-or-break for you - drinking , 420, wanting paid gigs, time commitment, etc. - state them straight out.
    JRA and AGCurry like this.
  5. rockdoc11


    Sep 2, 2000
    Great suggestions above.

    To add a thought or two:

    1. Address money issues. Is this band designed to be up and gigging ASAP? If so, do any of the organizers have contact with venues that might hire the band?

    Or is the band just a hobby band, with no intentions of gigging out for money?

    2. Ask for videos of potential band mates gigging. And ask what local bands (if any) they've played with in the past. If you've been around a while, you might recognize these bands, and perhaps even know former bandmates of the respondents that you can use as references.
    neurotictim and hrodbert696 like this.
  6. Be honest, be clear, be concise, be specific.

    What do I want to see in an ad?
    1. Type(s) of music. Be as particular as you think is necessary. If you want something very specific, be clear about what that is. There's a local guy who has been trying to put together a band for at least 5 years. He wants something very specific and he's willing to wait. If you're flexible, state what you're open to, and what you're not open to.

    2. Rehearsal. How often, how long, etc. Set expectations.

    3. Goals. "Take it to the next level" and "rule the world" don't count as a goals. I don't know why I see them so often around here. These should be actionable goals and you should be able to give a clear path to achieve them. (Gigs, touring, recording, videos, etc)

    4. Gigs. How often, how long, how soon, how far away. Local only; out of town; tours.

    5. Pay/expenses. Do the gigs pay, and how do band expenses (gear/rehearsal space) get taken care of.

    6. Demographic. If this matters to you, put it in the ad.

    7. Your experience level and examples of your work.


    The ad should be done to not waste time. The ad should weed out everyone who doesn't share a compatible vision/goals This saves their time and yours.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Be specific and honest as possible. Ask for then to provide links to their own playing so you can do some early vetting before wasting time.
    rockdoc11 likes this.
  8. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    Request Video links, and have your own
    rockdoc11 likes this.
  9. Craigslist is the best online forum, but meeting other musicians in person is important not only to find bandmates but to build support in the community for your projects. If you are the only one in the "band" so far, then start talking in general terms to meet others you might like to collaborate with. As you add members solidify an idea of what you want the band to become and get more specific in your ads to find the remaining members. Things you want to discuss in your ad:

    -Title should say who you are and what you're looking for ("Need Drummer for New Originals Band", or "Need Drummer for New Wave Cover Band"), and list the city of your rehearsal space as the location
    -Ask for videos or audio recordings
    -Include links to your vids/audio recordings
    -Where is your project now? Just starting or already gigging?
    -What is the goal of your band? "Cover band gigging twice a month", or "Originals band to record new material" etc.
    -For a cover band list 4 or 5 bands you want to cover. For an originals band list 4 or 5 (not 50!) artists in a similar genre that you want to play
    -Where and how often do you intend to rehearse?
    -Where and how often do you intend to gig?
    -Money: For a cover band are all your gigs paid, or do you do mostly free gigs at the community center? Will members be expected to share in the expenses, and which expenses?
    Alik likes this.
  10. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    9. Always, always attach the international "NO DRAMA" symbol to your online posts in order to comply with ADA requirements/illiteracy issues.

  11. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North

    Avoid the: "looking for musicians to jam and eventually gig". Of course, don't all musicians have that basic goal - more or less? Especially the ones that post in April and want to be "gig ready" and "book some gigs by summer". Sorry - all the good gigs were booked months ago, earliest you can get in the door would be fall (around here anyways) - unless you're happy playing a Wednesday night open stage night to 8 people.

    Be specific - i.e., "looking to put together three sets of {whatever} rock and start booking at {particular clubs} within X many months". Or "have a set of original material written and ready to perform - gigs have been booked at X, Y and Z starting in September". You'll weed out the tire kickers, band flakes, dreamers and schemers as soon as you put tangible goals on the table.
    RiffwRiter and ArtechnikA like this.
  12. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    I think there's a lot of good stuff here, but if you include it ALL, your ad will be way too long. The unfortunate truth is that while it would be nice to lay everything out in the ad, the more concise you can make it, the more responses you will get, IME. That could be just because you've weeded some out with the ad, but I think a lot of people see a text wall and think "control freak" or something similar.
    RiffwRiter likes this.
  13. I don't have anything particularly useful to add, except to echo the idea that you should make your expectations and goals very clear.

    Also, experience level should be a factor. If you've toured the country and played huge stages, you probably don't really want to play with guys who haven't played a gig yet and get starry-eyed over using the stage entrance. Having someone with more experience than the rest can be good, but at some level it can also be a hassle. Better IME to find musicians with comparable experience if possible.

    Side note: I think age is super important whether you know it or not. I've been on both sides of that particular issue and it's always an issue. Again, it's not so much that you can't or shouldn't put together a band with guys who are wildly different in age, but IME you'll find all the other stuff - job, family, goals, priorities - won't really match up as well as you'd think. That may not matter at first but it tends to become bigger as time goes by. I played with some guys who were 10 years my junior, and after every gig they'd be ready to get out and start partying... While I'm trying to pack up and go home to my wife and my bed. That didn't last long, because it made me "different" and drove a wedge in the group.
    johnnynitro and ArtechnikA like this.
  14. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Don't say- Major label interest unless you have actually sat down with a major label exec and discussed your recording career.
    Don't say- Band with 4 CD's released if any of them are self produced in your basement.
    Touring is NOT two gigs in the same week.
    A 'Showcase booked' is NEVER in someone's garage with the door open and the p.a. facing the street.
    LiquidMidnight, Beej and SoCal80s like this.
  15. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    1. be as specific as possible as to who you are as a musician or as a band. Don't be vague
    2. Be as specific as you can as to what you want from the person responding to your ad.
    3. If you are a band, don't hide who you are. put it right out there.
    4. Don't be cocky. Don't brag about your contacts and the famous bands you know. be humble but honest.
    5. For God's sake, don't say things like, 'NO EGOS!" -- nobody really thinks that they don't have an ego. pretty much all musicians do. but to say it in an ad makes you sound arrogant. That you don't want anyone with an opinion. or a personality. it's a turn-off.

    Here's a quick example

    "We are Monkey Business, an established band playing in the Warthog city area. You can find our page at http:.... We play 80s, 90s and modern covers and some originals. We are looking for a bassist who (whatever you wish - their age, their abilities, if they need to be able to sing lead or harmonies, say so)... We practice in Warthog City. You must be between 40-60. Please provide your contact information and links to videos of you playing, if possible. We will respond to you all that contact us within 24 hours. We hope to hold auditions from songs on our list (which we will provide to those that respond) on the week of June 22nd. Thanks"
    johnnynitro likes this.
  16. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Here ya go...
    157CB415-2B56-4C3C-81C4-B7EB9A1C3BFE.png 0EED027C-47A1-4F6E-A3D8-B7034B94B87A.png
    Beej likes this.
  17. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    RiffwRiter, JRA, Beej and 1 other person like this.
  18. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    I was thinking more along the lines of...
  19. Didn’t read the thread but nobody and I mean NOBODY wants to hear how talented you think you are, and what your vision is for ‘your’ band. You are looking for like minded partners, not subjects. Good luck!
    Beej likes this.
  20. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I applied to an ad years ago that basically said:

    Bass player wanted for twice monthly gigging band.
    We all have reliable pro gear, cars, jobs and regular lives, and you should too.
    We have four set lists, here is a sample one:
    ...insert 15 song list here...
    Gigs booked July through next January.
    Looking to hear from you soon!

    I still remember most of it because it was simple, to the point and not pretentious. I didn't get the spot, and they were killer as I recall.
    RiffwRiter and SoCal80s like this.