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Why is it so hard to find a band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by saustindavis, May 18, 2011.


  1. I've been looking for a band for almost 3 months with no luck... I even had an audition scheduled with one band that backed out at the last minute, and another met with me but chose another bassist before even hearing me play. I have decent chops and some pretty nice gear, my own transportation and a job, no drug/alcohol problems, but still no luck. I've posted on CL a few times but most of the bands I get replies from are metal, which I'm not interested in, or start-ups that are inexperienced (and some just make bad music...). I don't have time or money to go to a bunch of shows hoping to find a band that needs someone, so I have been relying on CL ads and flyers at guitar shops. I even play guitar and have an acoustic and electric, I play drums (but don't own a set), some keys, and can sing pretty well. I'm not being cocky, but I think I would be valuable to a band if they would give me a chance. Bassists are in high demand here in Spokane, but the only bands that are interested are metal-heads, cover bands, or they are no good. I really hate this...
     
    Capt.Obvious likes this.
  2. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    Move to Seattle? I think making music is a lot like being in real estate: location, location, location. One of the reasons I haven't moved to, say, Bellingham, is that the musical opportunities up there just aren't what they are in Seattle.
     
    Capt.Obvious likes this.
  3. powderfinger

    powderfinger

    Feb 24, 2009
    saustindavis, you can't take it personally at all.

    Your issue has nothing to do with your chops, or level of talent. It has more to do, with like the previous poster said, location... but also right place/right time.

    Do the type bands who need a bassist like you, know that you are looking to join a band?
     
  4. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    I find the more clear you are on the expectations... the easier it is.. .

    Do you have good Email materials etc?
     
  5. powderfinger

    powderfinger

    Feb 24, 2009
    Take out a full page ad in every newspaper and entertainment rag in town. Have you sitting cross-legged on a stool, holding your bass in your lap. And under it have, in quotations, "you wanted the best.... you got the best.... bassist for hire". And list your contact info at the bottom. And some credentials. If you have a pic of you with anyone famous, put it in the corner of the ad.
     
  6. Don't sweat it, dude, think about it rationally:

    Of all the people in your city, you need to remove from the equation all those who don't play music; I'm going to just invent a figure here and say that that gets rid of 80%.

    Of that 20%, you need to remove all musicians who aren't interested in or capable of, playing in bands; probably bringing you down to 5% of the whole.

    Of those, you need to remove all those who are in bands that aren't your preferred genre/don't need a bass player. I'm going to guess that leaves you with 2% of the population of your city.

    From there, you need to narrow it down to those musicians who are in bands of your genre who need a bass player and whom you might get along with. I say 1% of the population.

    Of those, remove all whose schedules or aspirations don't match up with yours; leaving less than 1%.

    And finally, cut out all the dudes who are either way too good for you to play with, or way too bad for you to play with.

    You're left with significantly less than 1% of the population of the city you live in, conservatively speaking. So don't take it personally, and don't take it hard; it might be you, but it's probably not. Just keep your nose to the grindstone, and ye shall find what ye seek.

    Good luck!
     
    Remyd and TheBear like this.
  7. HeadyVan Halen

    HeadyVan Halen

    Jun 11, 2010
    Nobody knows you...seriously, go to Open Mics, Blues Jams, Gospel Woodsheds, anything with other humans. You keep showing up and playing they'll say "Hey, we need a bass player for....etc."

    Then:
    Be on time, wear whatever the attire is, be professional (don't play during tune-ups, don't play along to background music before sound check, don't play your best 5 licks during sound check) shake everyone's hand afterwards, exchange numbers.

    Keep at it dude, the chances of you running into a guy like John Mayer while buying a Slim Jim at the local Citgo and going on tour in a week is a long shot.

    Be Ready When Your Number Is Called.
     
    Remyd, Goatrope, Jhengsman and 2 others like this.
  8. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    R.Laevinus - Wow! I used that EXACT explanation for a co-worker about a dozen years ago when he asked why I wasn't in a band. I mean almost word for word! And I was about to use it again for the OP, but you beat me to it.

    Brilliant minds....
     
  9. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    I can't stress good promo and contact materials enough.
     
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I thought this hit the nail on the head. Especially since the OP is excluding cover bands altogether, that's going to slim the opportunities down a lot.

    It seems to me that the odds against getting a band together successfully go up exponentially with each additional member you need. To get together with a guitarist is pretty easy. To get a guitarist AND a drummer, not quite so easy. To get two guitarists (lead and rhythm), drummer, keys player, and one of them able to sing decently or add in a singer as well, AND everyone's schedule works out to practice together, AND everyone's agreed to be happy with the music you're all playing over the long term, AND everyone's happy with business arrangements when you start gigging... there's just an awful lot to make happen, or to go wrong.

    Not that I'm the wizened old voice of experience, but I would say just play, and get together with people one-on-one to jam and go to open mics or whatever just as much as you can. Make contacts, make recordings of your best playing to send people, get your name out, whether it's to play La Villa Strangiato or Mustang Sally. Eventually, when some band's bassist quits, they'll call you up, or when you suggest getting a band going, people will actually respond.
     
  11. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI

    It's tough finding a band, tough desiding to join and even who to audition for. It's just the way it is for anyone in your situation. It's tough being in band.

    In this forum theses guys only share the positive aspects of being in their bands. They don't share any of the crappy things that happen to them or all the crap we have to put up with.


    Here are my thoughts:

    3 months is about the average amount of time to find a band.

    Don't go into the take anything mode.

    Don't take anything where you have more than a 30 minute comute.

    Don't join a band that has no leadership or direction.

    Stay away from start up projects. Even the ones that seem promising are a waste of your time.

    Be certain you like their material

    Remember the fact that 9 out of 10 Craig's List ads are from flakes.
     
    obimark likes this.
  12. N.F.A.

    N.F.A.

    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    Bluewine, could you explain this one please? Thanks!
     
  13. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Yeah, 3 months isnt really that long, tbh. Be patient. Understand that the more musicians you meet or correspond with, the more opportunities you will eventually encounter. Get out and network. Talk to people in bands, they often know of other people in bands, and you might find one looking for a bassist. Give them a shot, if theyre not your cup of tea let them know and move on.
     
  14. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI
    I have seen this go to open mic advice.

    Generally speaking for most, this is a waste of time.

    blue
     
    obimark likes this.
  15. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI
    It's just something anyone should consider.

    Would you want to travel an hour one way to rehearsals. With gas prices still over 4 bucks it could be an expense you don't want on your back
     
  16. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I dont like to speak for others, but I assumed he meant commute, dont take anything with more than a 30 min. commute.
     
  17. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    WI
    Your right Matt, that's what I meant to say.
     
  18. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    It's like meeting the right person.
     
  19. Marginal Tom

    Marginal Tom

    Apr 28, 2010
    O'Fallon, IL
    Get out and play with other musicians. Consider joining a cover band to increase your exposure and improve your creds. Perhaps take a shot at starting your own band.
     
  20. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    It's just hard to find a band you actually want to join, it seems...

    the real problem is it's who you know that matters: most bands needing to fill a spot will turn first to their own network of friends and associates. You need to make friends with more local musicians. The best way would probably be to join a cover band. Think of it as a step towards joining or starting the band you really want.
     

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