Joining a band via Craigslist...is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MovingPitchers, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. I got an email from someone who replied to my ad that was looking for a rock/pop rock/prog rock band that needed a bassist. I had listed a lot of influences and the person said we have similar tastes, though he didn't tell me specifically which bands.

    Is it worth the risk of meeting a bunch of people you've never met in your life? What are some of the yays and nays?

    People do recommend getting together with friends with like-minded musical tastes and going from there; that's how a lot of bands started, honestly. With the exception of Sting and the Police, there are bands that still are out there rocking since the age of 10 or whenever they got together: Green Day, Rush, Yes, etc...

    I don't want to play at my church anymore. Not that the stuff is boring, but it does limit the abilities that I've been working on in the bedroom and I want to apply those in a setting where it's appropriate and suitable. Certainly, worship songs don't call for bass tapping or slapping (well most anyways).

    HAs anyone really clicked or made it relatively well joining a CL band?
     
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  2. Capt.Obvious

    Capt.Obvious Guest

    May 17, 2014
    Bonney Lake, WA
    All the time. Surely it can be very hit and miss, but there's never any real danger from getting together for a jam, not like your signing your life away. If you don't click, bow out politely. There's definitely a lot of just lonely hobby musicians on there, but you can find serious professional bands on occasion no doubt.

    Ask more questions if you have any concerns. Ask them exactly what influences you listed that they liked.

    Met and jammed with this gal off CL and was in the studio with her the next week. I refused to play unless I got a part in her video. She put me in the underwater scene, no close up. :meh:

     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
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  3. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Well, the main negative is that a craigslist band might turn out to be a bunch of human-sacrificing cannibals that will carve out your entrails and offer them in propitiation to their dark gods. If you fail the audition, anyway.

    If that doesn't happen, the other main negative is that they may turn out to be flakes or hacks who have no idea what they're doing and will waste your time.

    I have managed to avoid running afoul of the demon-worshiping cannibals so far, mostly by not replying to ads for metal bands. I have had my share of time with flakes and hacks.

    As a new musician on the scene, though, I didn't really have many other options for finding a band. Spent a year with one group that lasted a year and finally disbanded in frustration over the guitarist-singer who wouldn't learn more than 15 songs (not enough to gig). A few weeks with the drummer from that group and a guitarist we got over CL (drummer left to join a different group). A few weeks with some metalheads who thought they'd make money in a pop-punk cover band to fund their metal originals, had no idea how to play popular music. Then with a singer-keyboardist for whom nobody who auditioned was ever good enough to fill in the rest of the band, and a group of guys doing some funk-oriented rock that disintegrated at their first open mic and clearly were going nowhere fast. That was my first couple of years playing music (I just took up bass about five or six years ago).

    The thing is though, that while none of these were strong projects and none of them ever got it together to play an actual gig, with each group I was exposed to more music, developed my own playing in group settings, and learned more lessons about how bands run and how they fail.

    Frustrated with train-wreck-funk-rockers and too-good-for-the-world keys guy, I went to craigslist one more time, and got picked up by a new female-fronted rock cover band. This time it actually clicked. The drummer was solid, the singer was talented and charming, the guitarist was an old Iron Maiden shredder but able to be flexible and do different things (and do them well). We actually got some gigs, not a lot but the ball was rolling. That lasted about a year and a half or two years till the guitarist stopped going to his AA meetings and it gradually unraveled. I wound up moving a little too far away to keep it going without him. I also had a CL-recruited originals group going for a while before moving.

    After moving about an hour away, started over in a new town and back to CL. There was an oldies group I played with for a few months, good players but they weren't able to get gigs. Then I stumbled into my current groups, one another female-fronted group via CL, the other one is the only non-CL band I've joined, a classic rock power trio. That came about from an encounter at a TB get-together; Dave from Revsound liked my playing and put me in touch with a friend of his who needed a bass player. I've been with those two groups for about a year and six months, respectively, and now am gigging 3-5 times a month, couldn't be happier.

    TL/DR version: Over the last five years, I've been in and out of 10 projects, out of which 9 were recruited in whole or in part via CL. Three of them I'd consider successes in that they actually got to the stage of gigging (which was my goal). I'd only consider a couple of the others to be a complete waste of time; most of them were failures that I got valuable experience from. I don't know if my experience is typical, but I'd say that if you're willing to be patient, weed out the flakes and learn from projects that don't work out, you can do OK with CL over the long term.
     
  4. friendlybass

    friendlybass Guest

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    Its hit or miss, depends on the area!
     
  5. Winfred

    Winfred

    Oct 21, 2011
    Yes, you should try it. Here's why.

    CL people are flaky, but every now and then you'll meet, and jam with, a decent to good musician. That's good networking. And networking is how you find better people to play with.

    So if for no other reason, just look at it as a chance to meet some good people that are also good musicians.

    Warning: Be prepared to meet lots of time wasters, giant egos, bedroom players, drunks, druggies, and immature flakes.

    It comes with the territory. :)
     
  6. Personally, I like to have as big a network as possible of other local musicians. Even if the band you're checking out doesn't work out, you might meet someone cool who will need a sub for another band or something.
     
  7. Joebarnes

    Joebarnes

    Oct 4, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    I have had referrals from friends that crapped out and Craigslist bands that have made it to the stage. Just look at Craigslist like a bulletin board in a music store.

    You're going to have to weed through crazy regardless, you just have to weed through a little more crazy than you would with a referral.
     
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  8. AMp'D.2play

    AMp'D.2play

    Feb 12, 2010
    NJ
    As others have already mentioned, it can be hit or miss .. mostly miss. But there's no harm in pursuing what's out there, unless you come across some cannibals as hrodbert696 has mentioned!

    You may not come across any golden nuggets on CL, but you never know where it can lead. My first CL band experience never got out of the basement. But the guitar player asked me to play bass in this other project he was working on. And then he asked me to be part of a trio for a different project (P&W - not really my thing, but it was fun, we played a variety of genres (funk, gospel, reggae, rock, etc.), and it payed very well compared to the time commitment it required).

    Another CL band never got out of the rehearsal studio, so I moved on from that one, too. But the drummer recently contacted me about playing bass in a female-fronted funk/soul project he's developing. I didn't have time to commit to it, but it's nice to feel wanted :) and no bridges were burned for the future.

    My longest running band experience(s) has been thanks to a co-worker. He asked me to sit in, and it turned into a regular gig until I had had enough of the BL/lead guitar. Once I quit, everyone else followed suit & we basically reformed w/o the BL & his close friend, a terrible backup "singer" who was given too much of the lead duties.

    So yeah, go the CL route, network, try not to burn any bridges, and keep your eyes & ears open for any other opportunities that may branch out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  9. What do you mean by risk??

    Are you concerned about your safety?? If so, I cannot advise you on that.

    Other than that, what risk? You are talking about a few hours of your life. How busy are you? Get out there, meet some people, play a bit. If it doesn't work out, move on.

    Seems to be very little risk to me.

    FWIW - I joined two bands via CL, and formed a third. The one I formed is in year 7.
     
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah, I'd definitely agree with Winfred and AMp'D about the networking thing. Sometimes, even in the failed projects, it's because there are two or three flakes, but also one good guy that you make a connection with. The original CL project may collapse but you've got a contact out of it that you play well with. The drummer from my first band was like that; so was one of the guitarists from the funk-rock group. I'm in touch with them from time to time and would play with them again in a heartbeat.
     
  11. Not yet

    Not yet

    Mar 26, 2012
    Moved to new area and played w a wide range of chumps including one audition w a Putz who promised he played like Eric Johnson (not so much) in bare feet and shorts in his bedroom in Mommies house. Good thing is his Mom gave me some great food to take home after I bailed in 10 minutes

    Then I found the band I've played w the past 8 years. It's a roll of the dice but worked here
     
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  12. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Everyone in our band (including all former members) met through CL, and it's been a terrific 7 years. Like anything else in life, CL is only as bad, scary, disease riddled, drugged or delightful (or and delightful) as the people on it.
     
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  13. I don't see the harm in jamming once or twice to find out if it's for you - and those initial jams SHOULD be as much about you figuring out if they're for you as much as them figuring out if you're a good fit for them.

    I tried this once as a drummer and it was a great experience... I learned I wasn't as good as I thought I was and that I wasn't ready yet. The next time went really well - I consider any learning opportunity a positive one; even a negative experience teaches you something, which is a good thing.
     
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  14. delta7fred

    delta7fred

    Jul 3, 2007
    England
    We don't have CL over here and I have met my share of flakes, wannabes and dreamers.

    You just have to keep meeting musicians, whichever way you can. Stick with the good ones and don't upset the others as it will no doubt come back to bite you.
     
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  15. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    Beware of people on the internet posing as hot Korean chicks.
     
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  16. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Can CL lead to a successful band? Absolutely! Should you consider CL to meet with people as possible bandmates? Yes!
    Remember most musicians are flakes..at least that is what I have been told. :)

    Since I got back to music almost 12 years ago CL has been my main tool for people to find me and for me to find them. I have met and played with some very talented people by using CL many more hits than misses
    I have been in about 6 bands in those 12 years and all were found on CL or they reached out to me after I ran an ad. All those bands lasted over a year, one was 2.5 year the other 4 years.

    The band I am in today was formed by the 4 year band's bandleader, a band he formed after our originals band dissolved. He ran an ad after his bassist left, I saw it and were amazed to find each other again by CL.
    We are now back together and I'm very happy to be a part of his band again which was all formed thru CL.

    The main advice I can give you is screen, screen, screen then screen again. Follow your gut if the answers don't add up to you. I responded to quite a few ads and had them respond to me. I knew within a minute on many phone calls this person of their band was not right for me. Ask the hard questions do not be afraid to upset somebody by phone.

    Good luck and I hope this will land you in a successful band.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
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  17. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    It's not very often that I share my real face with TB, but since you asked for it, Nutdog...

    jia-rubber-duckie.jpg
     
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  18. delta7fred

    delta7fred

    Jul 3, 2007
    England
    Was that before you switched to bass and had the sex change? :laugh:
     
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  19. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I see no problem with meeting people of CL/Kijiji.

    I have been doing this since music stores all kept a binder behind the counter. You just asked for "the book" at any store and it was filled with looking/wanted ads for musicians. If I was fine meeting people out of a binder, why not the internet?

    We also used to laugh that every ad always had Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Metallica as influences... although this is still kind of true.
     
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  20. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA

    Cool! I liked the song and video. Good job.