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Where are all the guitarists?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by RoadRanger, Jul 5, 2012.


  1. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    After swearing off bring a BL 30 years ago I found myself without a band and with a promising younger female vocalist so started down the path to damnation once again :help: . Anyways I put an ad on CrapList and easily found 3-4 drummers who were good and into doing contemporary Top 40 which quite pleasantly surprised me. However the only guitarist that's replied so far really needs to find a gospel band - the "bad girl" songs and bar scene just ain't "him" LOL. I always hear how guitarists are a dime a dozen out there and these pops songs don't need monster guitar chops - so where are they all :( ?
     
  2. pmchenry

    pmchenry

    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    Probably looking for an alt-rock/metal band or a classic rock band. As you mentioned, pop doesn't require the same guitar chops, but that also makes it less interesting for a guitar player. There are cool bass lines, fun vocals, and well drumming is drumming right :p... but the lack of solos or technical riffs makes pop less appealing to the guitar player. Take a look who is posting "guitarist available" ads in your area. I'd be willing to bet there are a bunch of them, they just don't want to play pop.
     
  3. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Maybe i should be looking for a couple kazoo players LOL . I actually thought it would be tough finding a drummer who would play all the "four on the floor" beats but no prob there :) .
     
  4. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I know it's probably frustrating but consider it a blessing in disguise if what's really happening is that a lot of the wanker types are eliminating themselves. I can't think of much worse than suffering through auditions of 6 or 8 Page or Van Halen wannabes who totally wouldn't be a fit for your band.

    Do any of these drummers that you've talked to know a guitarist looking for a project like yours? If you can get a drummer and guitarist who are both good and have played together before, you're that much ahead. Have you put the word out through other channels besides CraigsList? I would venture that some of the better guitarists in your area don't even go to CraigsList cause they pick up all the bands/gigs they need through word of mouth. Networking and referrals will deliver you a better player than CraigsList 9 times out of 10 IME.
     
  5. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    For sure!
    We've got the word out and the first question I ask drummers is that :ninja: .
     
  6. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Sounds like you're doing everything right, then. My suspicion is that if you're patient, the right person will show up and he/she may very likely be someone who's not of your "typical" guitarists mindset, which means they may not have been what a lot of bands are looking for but would be perfect for yours. In that case you win double... first because they'll be thrilled to be working with other "pro-minded" players in a project that actually has the potential to make good money, and second because they will be far less likely to come with the scheduling baggage that can accompany players who, while good, are also constantly involved with multiple bands at once.
     
  7. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    ^ yah, we're willing to take on someone who's been out of it for a while or someone without much gigging experience as long as they have "the hunger" to do what they need to succeed. The drummer we've chosen is someone I've jammed with before a couple times with some pretty good blues guys. He's only been in a couple crappy originals metal bands but has had enough of that crap LOL. He takes lessons from one of the old Jazz/BigBand union dudes and also teaches rock drumming at that dude's store. I wish I could clone a guitarist version of him :cool: .
     
  8. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    It sounds like you've got the makings of a band that can get a lot of gigs and make a lot of money. I've got to think there's a decent guitarist out there who will put economics before ego and decide he/she wants a piece of that action.
     
  9. rhino333

    rhino333 Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Western NY State
    It might be the word "Pop" for music that is putting people off. For some weird reason, some musicians see the phrase "Pop Music" and immediately think it's "crappy top 40" without, redeeming musical value and therfore beneath them and their "art". That's their opinion and mind set, so you can't argue with that.

    Pop makes $$$. Always has. Always will. It's called "Pop" for a reason. It's POPULAR and people want to hear it. Aren't we playing for the listener (ultimately)? To paraphrase Lawrence Ferlinghetti: "Screw art, lets dance."

    Do your thing and let it roll on.
     
  10. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Well... it is. But it brings young hotties to the front of the stage and pays me cash money, so I play it.

    :bag:
     
  11. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    I hate this. Trying to talk guitarists into playing music normal people like is like pulling teeth. And then they usually want to "improve" successful popular songs by making them sound like unsuccessful, unpopular songs. Yeah, I'm bitter about this, even though I do know one guitarist who's actually willing and able to play pop.

    Your best bet might be to add another singer who also plays some guitar. Or find somebody who can play keys and have no guitar. Although, again, finding somebody who wants to play pop on keys and play anything other than weddings seems hard...
     
  12. jaywa

    jaywa

    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I was thinking that, too. Maybe the answer in this case isn't a guitarist per se, but a good musician who plays guitar... possibly as one of several instruments. Then you'd essentially have a "utility player" and from personal experience I can tell you having one of those people in a cover band is tremendously valuable. Even more so if he/she can bringing vocals to the table as well.
     
  13. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Growing up I hated pop music. But, I like hot chicks and money, so over time I have been conditioned into tolerating it. Sorta like Pavlov's dog.
     
  14. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    That's where I have found my niche as a guitar player. There's a bunch of guys in town who can totally smoke me in their sleep in terms of chops and skill. But, I'm very willing and capable of playing music where guitar isn't a prominent instrument. While some guys get totally bored skanking reggae or stroking on funk, I enjoy playing that style. While some guys want a solo every song, I prefer not to. While some guys may think playing top 40 to be beneath their skills, it actually fits my skill set very well. I guess a long as these situations exist, a hack like me can find work.

    As far as the OP, I'd try to find the best fit rather than the best player.

    IME, just about every horn player I know also plays guitar, keys, or bass.
     
  15. A majority of guitar players like to play solos, solos, solos and navigate towards rock and especially metal the younger the player. It is rare to find funk/pop-centric guitar players. Which is funny as me thinks most of the guitar jobs are in this domain. Now, nowadays I avoid cover bands like the plague so it's even harder to hire me as a funk/pop guitar player :).
     
  16. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    That's exactly my approach - I've done this before ;) . Nobody except other guitarists want to hear all that guitar wanking that most bands focus on :p .
     
  17. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Thinking out of the box here… could the fact that it’s a female singer be an issue?
     
  18. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I do know players that won't ( or their SO won't let them ;) ) play in a band with a female singer :( .
     
  19. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Jun 19, 2011
    DC
    Did you forget where your location is? NE Connecticut is not exactly a hotbed of musical activity (or much of anything else I would imagine). Low population density probably has more to do with not being able to find the right guitarist than any other factor. Even in a pretty big city like DC (the "city" itself is only about 1/2 a million, but the surrounding area has a lot more) it can be really hard to find the right musicians for a certain project.
     
  20. craig.p

    craig.p

    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Lots of good points in this thread. I agree with them all. I think it's the combination of all of them that adds up to difficulty finding someone.

    A guitarist for a female-fronted pop band doesn't have to be a smokin' player, but he does have to have impeccable timing (as any proper rhythm player must), he does have to be lyrical, and he won't be able to show off anywhere near as much as he'd be able to in another musical style because it ain't about him. Basically it's stand in the shadows of the backline and do your work. Like the lowly bass player, lol. In other words, an ego-less team player who's focused only on making the singer succeed at every gig. (I think this is what jive1 was getting at.) So, that all could be part of the problem, too.

    A female-fronted band I auditioned for several months ago found it hardest to find a rhythm player. The other instruments were a relative piece o' cake.
     

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