1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Just can't win (It is hard being a bass playing drummer)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by WookieeDck, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. WookieeDck


    Dec 30, 2013
    Hey everyone so the story goes like this:

    I've been a drummer for almost 8 years now. Last year I decided to pick up the bass, the reasoning behind this decision at first was because of how seemingly impossible it is to find a decent bass player let alone someone that would push me to become a better drummer and then after I made the decision I found out that I truly love playing bass.

    So I pulled out an old Yamaha bass I had laying around and picked up Rocksmith which for me at least has been a great tool/ learning method. I quickly saw progress in my ability to play bass and figured that it would be a good idea to start jamming with other musicians. :bassist: Its fine to sit in a room and run scales, study theory and techniques but there is nothing like being in a room with musicians and music just happening.

    This is where my trouble began. :meh: I posted on my local craigslist that I was seeking a drummer / guitar player to jam with I got tons of emails back "Musicians" aren't hard to find in southern California. But after months and 20+ sessions I realized that there is a difference between a guy who just hits drums and a drummer, or a guy who strums a guitar and a guitarist. Not everyone who picks up an instrument has the intention, ability, or maybe just the drive to go from guy strumming and hitting things to a well rounded musician.

    So I adjusted my ad to make it clear I want other players who are interested in expanding and improving their playing and found a few more places to post it online, even leaving the ad on the Guitar center/ Sam ash wanted boards and I keep running into the same caliber of players.

    :mad: I moved to bass because I couldn't find a bass player who wanted to become a better musician and push me, and now I'm a bass player who can't find drummer who could even keep up with my current skill set.


    How many of you have had this same problem ?

    If you have how did you end up finding the musicians that did push you to that next level ?

    Any tips or Ideas on what I should do next? :confused:

    Currently I'm trying out for an already established bands and going to local shows/coffee shop gigs and just hoping I'll find someone who is willing to sit down with a bass player who just wants to learn. this has yet to yield any results.

    Well for now its back to my room and Rocksmith.
  2. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Maybe you are being too specific in your expectations, trying to find someone who fits a preconceived notion you have that is too narrow. Your post implies that you can't find anyone good enough to keep up with you. Painting yourself as superior to other musicians who don't quite fit the hole you want to stuff them into isn't going to get you a lot of willing collaborators, IMO. You should take on collaborators because of the ways in which they are different from you.

    My motto is "Difference of opinion is the essence of collaboration". In other words, if I have all the answers, what do I need you for?
  3. VarlotTheHarlot


    Dec 12, 2013
    I'd love to do something like that (learn from other musicians) but I'm not brave enough (because I don't think I'm good enough) :D
  4. jef4490


    Jun 30, 2012
    As someone who has a Craiglist success story in my current band, I would say that the best thing you can do for yourself is ask for recordings and/or videos of prospective musicians before agreeing to meet. Exchange emails, send them a video of yourself playing music or a recording if you have one, and try to find like-minded people before you go out and meet them. If their playing doesn't seem like it has the potential for growth you're looking for, don't meet up with them. Screening like this will allow you to go through the next 20 people in much quicker fashion, and hopefully find some good folks to play with. The dangers of these kind of public forums, either craiglist or postings in Sam Ash, etc., is that many of these people are there because they don't have musical connections. Now in a lot of cases this is probably because they aren't very good, so the trick is to find a gem in somebody who's just moved into town and looking to meet players, or somebody who's just looking to meet new people. Usually, in those cases they'll be as happy to find you as you are them.
  5. Kragnorak


    Sep 20, 2008
    Finding quality people is difficult in every part of life, just like finding a good job, woman/man, employee, etc.

    Currently I play with a lot of musicians who are great at what they like, but very few that could do what I want to do (experiment, progress, improvise, fuze, etc.) All I can do is wish luck to everyone here.
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    If your schedule allows, I'd suggest hanging at open mics in your area. Get up and jam with the house band once you get a sense of what they can handle (which for many house bands will be... quite a lot). Next thing you know there's someone else at the open mics, who's pretty good but has no band, doing the same thing, and they'll say, "you and me should put a band together..." That's how my last band formed.
  7. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I play hand percussion in two groups and drums in one, drums have always been my primary instrument. If the front man guitarist from either acoustic project are over the house hanging in the music room, they often strap on a Stratocaster and I'll play bass. It's allowed me to get plenty of extra practice with good musicians that I work with in my other roles.

    There is a local guitarist who decided that he wanted to play drums and approached me about lessons. I give him a half hour drum lesson and then we jam for half an hour with him on guitar and me on bass. I've learned most of his band's set list this way. I've subbed for their drummer a few times in the past couple of years. Recently their bass player had leave a gig early because he had an early trip the next day for his day job. At the end of the second set I rolled my rig in and he rolled his rig out. I subbed on bass for one set and it went really well.

    In other words, I've used the contacts that I've made over the years as a drummer to help me as a bassist. Although I'm not as good on bass as I am on drums working with good musicians is really helping me up my game.
  8. I live in So Cal. (south Orange County)

    I don't know if its different in other areas (I assume it is), but I have been to MANY auditions over a pretty wide geographical area and it is Very Difficult to find competent, tasteful players.

    The Hacks abound. Every goofball who's walked through the doors of Guitar Center thinks they're pretty hot stuff. If they only knew...

    As a bass player with a Lot of years under my belt, playing a wide variety of styles, one of the hardest players to find is a polished drummer with chops and Taste.

    Luckily, recently I've joined a group with very accomplished and creative players, but its been a long haul.
  9. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    With a bit of an amendment I could agree with this. It can be difficult to find musicians who want the same thing that you do out of music. One person's tasteful is another person's boring. Otherwise it sounds a bit self aggrandizing to say that you have difficulty finding other musicians who are as talented, dedicated, tasty… whatever… as you are. I guess I could be a bit jaded, though, living here in Austin where there are tons of very accomplished musicians everywhere you look. Maybe you should move here. :D
  10. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009

    Had an open mic last night at a friends recently opened bar, me and some of my former bandmates and some folks I had never met in my life jammed together, invited and encouraged folks in the crowd to come up and join in, and we had a GREAT time.

    I met several great guitarists, keyboardists, singers, and an outstanding drummer from the audience. :)

    The drummer sat in for a couple of sets was exceptional and not currently in a band, so I made sure to get their contact info. :ninja:

    The bar owner was so pleased with how the evening went he invited us to become the "house band" for future open mic nights (still mulling my level of commitment, already in one full time band, a semi regular Old Time jam session, and one side project)

    To meet musicians, first thing is you just gotta get out there.

    Good luck. :)