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Trouble finding a drummer

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Octaves, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Octaves


    Jun 22, 2012
    Hi all your great folks at Talkbass.

    Hopefully someone can help me out here :eek:


    I'm finding it hard to find a drummer for our band. I think it could be any of one of these things:

    - drummers are a rarity (i live in a main city though, it shouldn't be that hard)

    - we are limiting ourselves by being specific about the style of music we play (funk, soul, rnb) in the heading of the ad

    - I'm using the wrong approach to find people, eg, classifieds.


    I've been very specific in our ad re the genres we play. Should i not be so specific about the artists we're covering and wait till i make contact with a drummer and then fill him / her in?

    We don't have any recordings to point them yet, and we need to take a band photo. I'm guessing a recording would increase our chances?

    I've only had about 45 hits on my ad and it's been up for a week. I live in a main city - is this unusual?

    Any tips on how to go about finding an appropriate and reliable drummer would be appreciated :)

    How long did it take you to find your drummer? One person we had lined up for an audition next week just pulled out on me.

    Thanks in advance for any replies
  2. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    What does your ad say exactly?
  3. Octaves


    Jun 22, 2012
    Title says: "drummer wtd for funk, soul / rnb and blues band"

    The body of the ad goes into that we are a guitarist, bass player and singer looking to form a mostly covers band and we are looking for a percussive or groove style. I go on to mention the artists we have been covering, and that ideally we are looking for somebody with own equipment, mature approach and a commitment to weekly rehearsals and then gigging afterwards. I've said where we rehearse and that we're open to compromise in future.
  4. Joebarnes


    Oct 4, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    Classifieds can be hit or miss. Sounds like you're very specific in what you're looking for, and a lot of drummers are probably self-selecting out of calling. This can be a good thing in that the people that respond will be very much in to what you're doing, but you probably won't get a high number of responses.

    Me, I'm about 4 drummers deep who I can call on now that I've met and jammed with through various Craigslist ads. For some strange reason, Guitars have always been a problem, but I think that's because every guitarist in Vancouver wants to start the next ultimate metal or -core band and I've always been very specific that I didn't want to play metal.
  5. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Good drummers have their pick of bands. They aren't looking for bands on Craigslist; they are sifting through their messages figuring out which of the several offers they've had sounds most appealing. Your ad implies that you have no gigs lined up and won't be paying the drummer. If I am good at the drums, I am looking to join an established band with a good reputation and earn some $$$. Sorry if that is blunt.

    Your best bet is to work your social network and use word-of-mouth. Ask all your musician friends if they know any drummers. Then you might find a drummer who is willing to take a chance on you based on your personal reputation, even though you currently have no paying gigs to offer.

    As a strategic point going forward, you should play with as many bands as possible, and befriend the drummers and other musicians. Then you will have a network of people you know for future situations like this. In the meantime, play some gigs as an acoustic trio, hang out at open mics/blues jams, make a recording, etc.---whatever you can do to demonstrate that your band is going places.
  6. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Where you rehearse could be this issue. Drummers want to have an easily accessible practice space which ultimately is secure so they could leave their gear if necessary.

    If you are practicing on the third story or somewhere without any security or climate control, I can see why a drummer might shy away....especially a "mature and committed" musician.

    I don't understand your comment on being willing to compromise. Compromise what exactly?
  7. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I would do this...

    a) book a free gig two months out at a party or some place where they wouldn't otherwise pay a band. Don't want to take from the bands that are already established. Make it two months out so you have time to get the guy rehearsed.
    c) The other members kick in something toward paying a drummer to do the gig.
    d) Get agreement from the band that the monies paid to the drummer come off the top of the next gig at which the band is paid to reimburse everyone, split the rest.
    e) Advertise the paid gig on Craigslist and watch your phone ring off the hook. Make sure you pick someone who wants to
    be part of the band and won't just take the paid gig and leave.

    I did this two years ago when we could not, for the life of us, get a guitar player to commit to the band we were starting. When I advertised the gig paid $75.00 and the first guitarist I asked agreed and is still part of the band.

    Good players don't seem to like startups when the band doesnt' have anything on the horizon.

    Also, do what you can to show you have gotten through as much of the startup issues as possible -- get the recording, even if you use a sit-in drummer for two songs who will just do it for fun, get the website up there, get a logo, pictures. Once I even put on the performance schedule a list of "all the places our musicians have played" for a new startup. We simply listed all the venues at which our musicians had played while in other bands. This shows there is experience and history of performances with the musicians.

    Also, I got a cheap drum set in our rehearsal space so the drummer doesn't have to cart anything around. HOpefully you are advertising the general location of the rehearsal space too so drummers know they don't have to drive forever to get to rehearsal, and don't have a huge load-in and set up each time you rehearse.

    I don't have trouble finding drummers -- for me, it's finding keyboard players in our town because they can go out solo if they sing and make more than in a band, with no rehearsal necessary.
  8. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    "Looking to form" will drive away potential fits. I would avoid it.
  9. Octaves


    Jun 22, 2012
    Thank you so much, this is exactly what i needed :)

    Thank you also to everyone else, i'm going to use some of these ideas.

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