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What to put in an ad?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Obsolex, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Ok... I have the perfect name for my music, Funk Math/Metal, lol. That sounds badass :D :D. But like i forgot to mention in my first post, what should you put in an ad asking people to start a band with you? Like, genre and influences are obvious ones, but what else?
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I've always kept it simple, I stated who I/we am/are, what I/we need, what type of music is played.

    All that "no flakes, no drugs" crap? Throw it out the window. What you do is get the person on the phone, and just talk to them, find out where their interests lie.
  3. anon5458975


    Apr 5, 2001
    I agree, keep it simple. It's very easy for a classified ad to turn into an epic length novel if you try and get too detailed. I've seen lots of local ads that just contatin way too much information, way too much babbling. All about things that would be better handled on the phone or in person.

    You didn't ask about this but I thought I'd mention it anyway. Sometimes it can be really difficult to try and get across exactly what type of music you're interested in doing. Funk Math/Metal could mean different things to different people. Even listing influences can get sketchy, but still, it is something to go on. So just expect a little bit of "hit and miss" when it comes to hooking up with other musicians and actually hitting it off. It could take sometime before you get all the right people together, or maybe you'll luck out early on.

    Good luck
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - what you have got to think about are :

    What musicians do you want - keyboards, drums?

    What music are you going to play - do you have originals written, covers in mind?

    Where are you going to audition/ rehearse?

    Have you got any gigs lined up - what sort of gigs do you intend to play? Or is it just for jamming/fun?

    That's a start!!
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I just thought of another thing which was always a big issue, but which was never mentioned, when I was younger and starting/auditioning bands :


    So - how are people going to get together, get gear moved about. So inevitably musicians are poor and have no cars - how is it all going to work - getting to rehearsals, getting to gigs etc.

    Another thing which is good to clarify at the outset, if you are serious, is how often you rehearse and get together - very easy for things to drift apart or for people not to turn up if it's not made clear.....
  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Location is definitely important. When I was looking for a project to join last year, I kept an eye on a London wide musicians wanted board. I lost count of the times I had to email someone back and ask 'where' - there's a big difference between South East London (maybe 30 minutes journey time each way) and North West London (more like 2 hours each way). I wanted something I could be committed to without placing unnecessary barriers of distance in my way...

    Some people will be willing to travel further than others (our keyboard player is a boy-genius and currently a full-time student at Cambridge University!), and you need to be flexible, but certainly from my point of view, the bigger the distance, the bigger the hassle.

    Therefore, I vote for including the rough area where you plan to base your initial operations, then people can make their own call about transport, etc.

  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I do agree - I specified it further as "where are you going to rehearse" - so if you can't get to rehearsals - forget it!!!

    but it can still cause problems if you are 5 minutes away, have no transport, but a rig you can't lift! ;)

    I always used to find the problem, that there was this great drummer who really wanted to play, but had no transport - lost his licence or couldn't afford a car!

    My current band's drummer had his car break down several times and then was stolen twice! He is now the percussionist and we have another drummer!! ;)
  8. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    You wanna try going on a tour of Prague with a Fender Rhodes (~70kg) in the winter (ice on ground). Especially when the gig is at the bottom of an (icy) hill, and the coach is parked at the top :)
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    You had a coach??!! You were lucky that you didn't have to make do with a handcart!! :D

    We would have murdered for a donkey!! ;)
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Okay - so that's the location / transport thing covered. What about 'influences'? I find that a very nebulous concept, and would be less likely to respond to an ad that named lots of groups I hadn't heard of, which wouldn't necessarily reflect my ability (or otherwise) to lay down suitable basslines.

    Personally, I'd rather keep the 'labels' fairly broad and rely on sounding people out at a jam / audition. For example, most of the artists whose work we cover in Lovesjones are people I either hadn't heard anything by or hadn't even heard of when I joined, but I've found it to be a gateway to whole realms of new music and my diverse influences and training have provided me with skills that are quite adequate to keep up.

    I suppose it would be a different case with a tribute band but, generally, 'influences' are not something I'd waste too many words on. Any thoughts on that?

  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Ride down on the Rhodes, hope they've got an in-tune keyboard at the venue, and stay inside until it thaws out... :D

  12. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK

    lol, the thought of riding down on the Rhodes did cross our minds. At that point, I was quite glad it wasn't my Rhodes, it belonged to the other piano player :)
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    No - I don't think it's worth wasting too much time - as I said, I think if you just say whether you have originals written or have specfic covers in mind - or maybe even ask for people to write and have their own songs?

    I mean, I'm thinking back now and assuming we're talking about being a teenager and forming your first rock/pop group?

    Nowadays, playing Jazz and stuff like that; it's very different and people tend to pick band members from having heard them play, jamming together etc.

    I know I go on about "Jazz Summerschool" but I know that several people got regular slots in good working bands from going along as students and impressing the tutors, who are all pros with their own bands!!
  14. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    An ad should mention music style. For instance a reggae band or a country band or a Christian band. would require certain knowlege. A well rounded musician could play all those, but such styles might give other musicians pause because they might dislike a certain style or just not feel adequate to play it well.

    I have seen ads for musicians in Christian pop or other bands state that the musicians must not smoke, use dope and must live a "Christian life-style." To me it is OK to state such restrictions if the musician's lifestyle is a major issue for the band as it would be for bands with a strict religious affiliation. Otherwise, leave such lifestyle requirements out of the ad. What do you do if the dream guitarist shows up, but he is a chain smoker? You might just decide you prefer him and his cigarettes to a so-so guitarist who never smokes.

    I think it is wise to mention that you have rehearsal space if you do. That is a plus. For one thing it shows you are serious about your band and have gone beyond just the preliminary wishing and dreaming phase.

    In Nashville, musician wanted ads often stated that the band had regular local gigs or was about to do a regional tour or had a recording contract or was just a jam band. The ads always stated if the music was original or mostly covers. If there was an expectation that the musician be able to rehearse a given number of nights per week, that was stated.

    One other thing not mentioned in the other posts in this thread...professional equipment. Many ads in Nashville commonly state "Must have pro equipment."

    I appreciate that because when I lived in South America and was in a group trying to start a band, so often we'd have musicians show up with the worst, most unprofessioanl set ups you could imagine. We could never have played a gig with them. Some even expected us to provide the equipment and transportation for them. What dreamers!

    Age has not been mentioned either, but many ads in Nashville do mention it. For example, commonly ads for heavy metal bands say no one over twenty-five. Other ads will say, no one under eighteen. That is because bands that play bar gigs cannot use minors.

    Another common line in ads is something to do with appearance, especially heavy metal bands. I know an excellent guitarist who was turned down by a band because he was not tattooed, had no piercings and his hair was too conservative. The band really wanted him and asked him to please change his appearance, but he refused. Their loss, but it happens. Be warned.

    Lastly, many Nashville ads say something like, "Must be experienced. No amateurs." But some will say "Beginners (amateurs) welcome." That is rare, though. Oh, and I forgot. Some ads do say must read music or must know Nashville number system.

    It seems as if band ads can get away with ageism, sexism and every other predjudice under the sun. If you have any limitations you wish to impose, do so. Just be aware that you may gravely limit the number of musicians who apply.
  15. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Last year I almost had an audition for a band but then they contacted me to say that they'd seen someone else and decided to stick with them. Fair enough... but then they tagged on that they felt that as a Christian, I wouldn't be happy with the 'humanistic' leanings of some of their songs?!?

    I suppose you could say 'fair digs', considering that the same prejudice is often applied the other way, but it did sadden me a bit. Actually, I really liked what I'd heard of their repetoire (including the four I'd diligently learned for the audition :rolleyes: ). Perhaps they didn't send me the one called 'God doesn't exist but humans are making a jolly good show of running the planet....' ;)

    I wasn't too upset, since they were based quite a distance across town, which would have given me a lot of extra travelling time. However, if my faith (as read from my website) was a key factor in putting them off rather than just having found another excellent bassist after a long hiatus and not wanting to waste any more time on auditions, then prejudice lost them an opportunity. As far as I can tell, my present band doesn't find me insufferable, so I can't be that bad ;)

    I would see an advert as a tool for meeting and playing with people to decide whether the 'vibe' is one you want to pursue.

  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    That's why I mentioned transport - as I said, in bands I was in, we would often get drummers show up, who expected someone else to transport them everywhere!

    I can also remember starting up groups and auditioning guitarists with terrible equipment, who would have been a total embarassment on stage - they couldn't even complete one song without something giving way - it's not just confined to South America !! ;)

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