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Screening Bass Player Wanted Ads

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bluewine, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008
    Screening Bass Player Wanted Ads(For those looking for Actively Working Bands)

    Just a few suggestions from my experience;

    1) Check their Web-Site and confirm past booking history and what they have booked in the future.

    2) Check their Web-Site and determine if you feel like your a fit for what you see, hear and feel.

    Ask them to e-mail you the files or names of 4 songs to audition with a time , date and place. If they can't do that or you don't get a response, it's probably an ad posted by a dreamer.


  2. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    Check 'em out at one of their gigs.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Ask them why their old bass player is leaving or being replaced.
  4. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    I have not had any luck with finding bands through ads. My suggestion to anyone is get out and meet people. That's how I found 5 solid bands. I have tried bands through ads and it never works. If you are a good bass player the best way to land a gig is word of mouth.

    The music business is all about who you know. Now matter how talented you are, if you don't network no one will care.
  5. bluewine

    bluewine Inactive

    Sep 4, 2008

    I tend to agree, however I have had 1 decent audition through an ad and I found my current band (coming up an a year with them) from an ad.
  6. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Seems reasonable to me. Personally, I'd leave more of an opening for bands that were in the formation stage, if you seemed to fit in and could work together musically.

    I ran into several bands who gave me set lists etc. and set up audition dates who cancelled at the last minute (more than one time). Had Web Sites, previous bookings etc. I worked up many songs for scheduled auditions that never happened.

    I would be more open to the "come on over and bring your bass" audition. Show us what you can do on the fly. But of course that's what in the end worked for me!
  7. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    IME, all of the tools available have at least some value. Some more than others, but the harder you have to work to find the right fit, the better that fit will be. Nothing good comes easy.
  8. Nothing worth having is worth working for....

  9. It depends on what you want to do. Jam Sunday afternoon with a bunch of friends? Play the songs of your favorite band? Play originals for the fun of it and gig for the door? Play covers and make money? Play covers and make A LOT of money?

    If it is a startup, I would if I were you ask what their plans are, where they want to go, how they want to achieve this result

    Of course, a gigging band with a full calendar is very attractive if you are in the last category.

    Startups may be good if you want a say on things and make the project a bit of your own (a band is rarely a democracy, unless you are with very like minded people)

    Checking them at a gig, listening to their MP3 or demos, is a good thing.

    I don't think that asking why the old bassist left is always a good idea. You can hear everything but the real explanation, and every story has two sides.

    I am still auditioning, although I have one band with whom it's getting serious, but of all the answers I got to my ads, only 10% were serious.

    I have had the following calls:

    . several delusional alternative rock duos with no future (all we need is a bass player!)
    . a couple of experimental jazz fusion band nobody will want to listen to (they claim they have gigs, don't listen, it's often gigs for the door, like here UB's in Mesa)
    . a gigging country band (my ad specifies I am a rock guy, but he tried anyway, he was nice, though)
    . a Vegas reject who needed me in his "band" which consisted of him by himself
    . a couple tribute bands of bands nobody listens to
    . tons of metal bands (Phoenix has a big metal scene)
    . a few awesome musicians with a great kick-ass project (all we need is a bass player but he has to be awesome!)
    . 1 tweaker who sent me an email, then called me, then 2 days later sent me another email in response to my ad, which he forgot he already answered to, then called me again and did not even recognize my number and voice, told me he needed a bass player, issue being we already had decided to meet on the week-end (well, he's still in need of a bass player, because I cancelled the audition). Weird enough, his MySpace showed he had serious skills
    . 1 cover band with a crazy set list of songs nobody knows and nobody will dance to
    . a few 15-25 guys who I calmly repeated what my ad says: I am 40 years old, have a day job (usually the discussion ends in "ok, sorry" then "click!")

    Many sounded serious and ready to go, then never called back.

    In total I had about 4 auditions, including one in the form of an open mic at a gig (which was fun).

    And often when I audition I am told I am actually one of the very best, while I am really very average, which means there's also a lot of crappy bass players out there!
  10. Ive been trying to gig about 2 years now (Newbie Gigger) one old friend wanted to put something together....almost a year of talk, 20 song set list he wanted me to learn, then he just faded away..family responsibilities, a dude I work with plays guitar, gigged for years, but not the last 5 or 6, keeps telling me he wants to reform something, but he just cant get the drive back, he even complaining about blisters! Dont see that going anywhere. NOW, another dude I work with plays guitar, says he has a drummer lined up, another guitar, keys, and a female singer, all he needs is a bass. He hasnt gigged in about 6 months and really misses it. I filled him in completely that even though Ive been playing over 22 years, I still consider myself at the intermediate level (he says he is too) but I definitly have the drive, and the desire and just need a chance, and for people to help bring me along. (I try / am one of the best at anything I do) Sounds good to him, I will be meeting these guys and "auditioning" next Wednesday. Im super nervous, dont play in front of people often.....let alone be judged, and never grooved with multiple instruments, well, live anyway. Sooo, we'll see how THIS turns out....or not! But DAMN! I want to gig!

  11. keep at it. you'll find something cool. gigging can be super fun, and just takes the enjoyment of your instrument to the next level. it can also be tiring....but it's worth it. i have a gig tonight from 10:30 to 11:30, and i gotta get up at 5 for work tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the gig, but I'm already dreading waking up tomorrow....lol.
  12. Thanks for hearing me. Its getting frustrating but I know how it goes, just going to try and be ready if something does ever work out. Later.........
  13. I also say don't settle for the first band that wants you. If you feel that you have just the right amount of skill, or even too much skills, keep looking for people who are more skilled than you are.

    This will force you to improve your technique and challenge yourself to the next level. Unless it is a band that's already gigging, with a good calendar, which itself is a challenge, because you will have to learn a lot of songs really fast.

    Also look for a band with a good project. Lots of bands are full of it.
  14. Try hitting some local jam sessions. Lots of good guys filter through there. It also at least gets you some experience playing with guys. Many of the real gigs get filled through word of mouth, the real decent ads in Craigslist are few and far between. Its still worth checking out, every 1500 or so Craigslist ads you'll find one with potential...

  15. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Both gigs I'm on now I found through craigslist.

    But I had to weed through at least 100 flakes to find them.

    Including a two week tour (with no rehearsals) that I had to chart about 85 songs for.
    Then it was cancelled the day we were supposed to leave.
    I was a little leery of the no rehearsals part, but it was good money, $150-$300 a night, plus meals, so I felt like it was worth a shot.

  16. troy mcclure

    troy mcclure Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Central Florida
    I got my current gig through Craigslist, though they knew me already..neither of us knew the other was looking. I am not sure it is a perfect fit, but I have played out nearly every weekend for the last 5 months.
  17. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    You got your quotes mixed up.

    It's "Anything worth having is worth fighting for" or "Nothing worth having is ever easy"

    Unless you really wanted to tell everyone that the best opportunities fall into your lap, and you shouldn't put any effort into it.
  18. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I did a bunch of auditions from Carigslist last fall. Sure I had some responses that I weren't going to follow up on, but I did not spend any time on them either. I auditioned for 4 bands, all of whom were gigging, all of whom had their act together, all of whom I wouldn't mind playing in their band.

    I have found the following criteria helpful for working cover bands.
    - Phone call. If you can't talk on the phone, or meet in person, and you are only comfortable talking through e-mail, then you're in the wrong business. If you can't talk to a potential band member on the phone, then I can't really trust you to book the gigs or even ready to perform in public. Also, I get more info from a person with a phone call than an e-mail, and I get a better idea of their personality.

    - Song List. I want to see a full song list. Not 4-5 songs you want to audition, the whole list. I want to see at least 40 songs, so I know you can play an all-nighter. When I audition, I get to pick the songs. I'll usually pick about 10-12. That way I know it's a songlist, not a wishlist.

    - Timeliness of audition. With each week that passes with us talking about the band without an actual jam session, the less serious I will take the band. It's all talk until the rubber meets the road, and the jam will answer most questions about my playing ability and the ability to get along with others. If you can't get to that part, then I can't trust that you will rehearse, get your act together, and gig if it's too difficult to get together and jam. Now, sometimes it's my fault due to my busy schedule, but, in that case, I also will know that I won't be a fit for this band and possibly be a liability, so I try not to go there.
  19. marklaforest


    Feb 5, 2010
    I've never tried the online ads, but I've had great luck with just going out and immersing myself in the local music scene. You'll meet all kinds of great people and future band mates that way. Plus, you can preview anyone around town at their shows. It's also fun and you get to see all the great bands in your town.
  20. I know the benefits of playing with better musicians than myself, but finding ones that are patient enough, and in the position to be not gigging for a while, Im sure will be tough. So, I think ideally Id like to find a whole bunch of new giggers, at about the same playing level, take 6 months or so..or whatever it takes, to get ready to play out. And so far that "audition" that was tentatively set for this Wednesday......still havent heard if its on or not. So that dragging on and all talk stuff seems to be ringing true again. He was supposed to call me let me know if its on, he was supposed to email me songs, cords, and some type of musical program he uses and raves about.....but its now Tuesday and nothing! If he comes to work tonight (Tues.) and says its a go, Im going to tell him Im no longer interested, I mean I really want to but its feeling like the run around. Anyway, thanks for all the advice and if you need a bass player in my predicament, give me a buzz.
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