Why is it so hard to find a decent band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by twilightcall, May 27, 2004.

  1. twilightcall


    May 27, 2004
    After many auditions and playing many bands I still can't find a decent band. If I find a band that sounds some what decent most of them are all talk and don't work to achieve playing the material correctly. Is there anything or any place to look for a decent band that actually plays out and is fairly serious about playing. Please let me know of any good sites, etc. Thanks.
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The Eagles are pretty good.
  3. twilightcall


    May 27, 2004
    I agree but I am referring to finding a band to play that would be realistic to play with. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't mind playing with the Eagles.
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Where are you located?

    Thats an important piece of info.

    Most regions have a musicians forum. I know of about 3 for Florida, and 1 for Gainesville. Im sure your scene has one.

    Go to a local show and ask people.

  5. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Welcome to my world, buddy.
  6. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Because usually out of the 3-5 people in a band one idiot always seems to act stupid, or egotistical and ruin the whole thing. Maybe that's why Hanson, BG's, Donnie and Marie, Chevelle, The Jackson 5, all did well because they were family and if little Michael got out of line Tito would put the smack down on him. :rollno:
  7. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Yeah dont forget about Oasis!


    That would be pretty cool if I had a band but right now Im just looking. LonelyFenderJazz and I were talking about making a trip to Bass Central in Orlando when he starts up at Uf next semester. If you are playing with a band we'll try to check that out.


  8. Metallica should have put up a poster reading "Old Milk Seeking New Sugar"... the milk obviousley still doesnt taste any better, the sugar doesnt even come close to masking the stink...
  9. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    You know, this is something that gets talked about over and over again in here...all these dysfunctional bands and musicians.

    You know what? Once I started working with PROFESSIONAL players, I stopped having those issues. When people are playing music to pay the rent the BS disappears; jerks don't last long in pro circles because noone will work with them.

    As noted above, there's nothing in your profile...where you live, how old you are, how experienced you are and what type of music you want to play has a lot to do with finding a good gigging band. You do need to set reasonable expectations.

    The sobering reality is that to get good gigs you have to be worthy of them. As much as it may seem that some real bad bands get gigs, the ones that LAST must be at least competent. To get in to a good band you have to offer something they need...you have to be easy to get along with, you have to be able to play well enough AND they have to know you're available. That's why constantly hanging out with gigging players is so important. Word of mouth referrals are way more important than ads in putting bands together.

    It may seem to take forever to get into your first gigging band and you may not gig much. I think I played four or five gigs with the first band I was in. By the time I finally got into a band that lasted more than a year I had been in at least a half dozen bands and been playing for over five years.

    You need a lot of patience and confidence in your own abilities. Eventually (if you're good enough) things will start happening.
  10. Networking. Absolutely key. Make yourself visible, and known. Build up rapport with many like-minded people.

    If you're serious, you should be able to key-into those who are also serious. Start your own band. Do the flyer thing if you must, and make your intentions known there as well. Hold your own auditions. Post on your local chatboards if there are any. Places like uglybassplayer.com have gig / player databases. If you get into a situation where there is a weak link, politely make your feelings known... who knows, maybe said person will step up or step aside. You may find the other members feel the same way, or manybe they were all full of **** from the getgo. I know I don't have time for bull****, and if you're at a certain level where you can make that claim, neither should you.

    Don't complain. It gets you nowhere. Go out and do. Sure it's frustrating, and I realize that's all this thread is is venting, but I agree 1000% with Brainrost. I've been playing semi-pro to supplement my income for the last 15 years. Since I was 18. I keyed into real players and situations. Search them out. They're around.

    Ron :bassist:
  11. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    It can be tough and frustrating... I know. A couple of conclusions I reached while stewing in my own discontent over not finding a decent band awhile back... 1.) Despite the magic and promise of the internet and the many referral boards to be found, the most desirable opportunities are usually filled by networking and word of mouth. If you've been out of the scene (or new to it) and not the most gregarious-type person, it's just going to take awhile to crack this nut. 2.) You have to narrow your own priorities... ask yourself if it is a more important/realistic goal that you play a certain style, more important/realistic goal that you be making money, more important/realistic goal that you're playing with a certain caliber of musician, etc. Then you compromise on the other aspects.

    Good luck. Don't let anyone tell ya it's easy, but with persistence, the opportunities and rewards are out there, if you can compromise enough, and in the right way, to let them happen! :)
  12. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    Are you talking covers? Every band I have been in plays covers with their own flavor. You don't want to sound like the record/CD. You have to give the people a reason to come to the venues, not pop in the CD at home with a 6 pack instead of paying 3.00 for one beer.

    If you want to be in a band situation you need to be a little flexible. Or you can just do coffee house solo stuff and do rather nicely. I do that on the side and I make a nice chunk with that.
  13. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    That, and the rest of that post, is really the way it is from experiences. It seems the better the band, the less BS, and as I'm working my way to finding better situations, the more professional types of players are just great to work with, compatible with my professionall work ethic, and its rare there's someone trying to ruin everything. Getting into the right situations is a slow process that takes a lot of patience and is certainly a learning experience. Its really important to get with people who have the same goals as well.

    Just a good reason to keep practicing as well and to get out there and hang with gigging musicians and play out as much as possible, because everyone around here seems to be in multiple bands and if someone likes your playing they just might have a gigging opportunity.
  14. I myself am trying to figure out how people find band members. I have a drummer set up, but say you know a few guitarist and such, but their all booked, or you were already in a band but broke up with them for creative issues, then how do you advertise "we need someone who can sing somewhat like Tool's singer and a guitarist" the reason I say tools singer is beacause most people would think of a "rock" singer as someone who can do really deep and evil screams...

    well....anyways...ignoring most of the last paragraph...how do you guys advertise that you need a so-and-so for a band.
  15. rugrat


    Nov 12, 2003
    Northwest Illinois
    It's hard to get a group of 4 or 5 people together that have the same views and tastes regardless of skill level. Most musicians are very passionate about their art, and at times, very ignorant of others passion. I was lucky enough to help start a group that lasted over ten years with the same four guys. I have always tried to be somewhat "low maintenance" and fun to play with. I'm a very solid and experienced player but I'm sure there are 14 year old kids with chops that put mine to shame. I can't slap, I can't tap, and I can't read music. For some reason I get offers by very good bands on a regular basis. I believe that by being dependable, knowing your material, being fun, maintaining quality equipment (as well as state of mind) and being a good player will make someone a great asset to a good band.
  16. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    You betcha.

    I just got back from a rehearsal for a gig this weekend and I was there early, knew my part inside and out and had a fun time. Brought good equipment too. I really think these and similar qualities will land the gigs and bring more gigs. Super chops are great to have but if I think about who I play music with, I think more of who they are and the effort they are putting into the project, if they have the right equipment, and whether they are prepared for the rehearsal and the gig and whether I'd want to spend my free time with them. Also gave the leader my card and I was asked about doing some future gigs together. ;)
  17. twilightcall


    May 27, 2004
    I agree. I have good equip. I know all of my parts. I am quite versitle but in the East TN area it just must be very difficult to find a decent band with members who actually realize you have to work to get gigs, sound good and know your parts. It is easy to say you have to do this but I have tried everything. I would love to see a guitar player show up with something decent. I usually have better equipment that the other players. For a while I had to let them use my guitar amps. I think it must just be the town. The only time I had a decent band was one that I had to travel in every weekend. I liked it but still even they weren't as professional as I would like. Getting drunk then playing just isn't my thing. I think it is unprofessional and rude to your audience even if they themselves are drunk. Anyway, if anyone wants a serious good bass player in East TN let me know. I would like to play in a band that has fun with music but can also look at the business end of it. It seems that most miss this part. If you are being paid you have work to do. IMO you are getting paid for a service just like when you take your car into a garage to be serviced, etc. Rant off. Thanks.
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Double ditto. And on everything else Brian said too.

    I'll also add that I think we need to pay some dues before we start playing with people we're really going to be content playing with. I play with 2 groups that are 100% professional, allow me all the artistic freedom I want, and really know thier stuff. These groups are light years away from the 1st ones I ever played with. I played with lots and lots of people who weren't professional, who didn't do what I felt they should be doing, who screwed me and my bands over, who didn't learn their parts, who did just about everything imaginable that you wouldn't want bandmembers to do - and I kept moving along. What I gained was a lot of tolerence, a lot of acceptance, and tons of experience. All of that gave me the ability to play with the kind of musicians I presently feel worthy of playing with.

    What's my point? If I were you, I'd play with whatever your best available options are, right now. There's no need to be married to a band. Play with whoever you can, and play with others too. Keep the door wide open for new opportunity and as they arise walk away from the gigs that aren't serving you. Like that you can gain experience and start building the solid kind of relationships with other musicians that it seems you're looking for. If you play in a band of jerks for 5 months and wind up forming a solid bond with a guitarist/drummer/singer that you can move forward with later on - well, that's how great things often begin. I played with my current guitarist in the nerve for about 10 years now. I threw HIM out of one of the earlier bands I was in because he was a jerk, he learned from that experience and somehow we never stopped playing with each other. We have a great team now.

    Lastly, and I say this out of my own experience so I hope you don't take it as a judgement - I've learned that when I believe things suck, they do. It seems that your attitude is, "there aren't any good, professional bands out there." Guess what. Then there aren't. Same as with relationships. I know countless people who believe all men, or woman (whatever the preference might be), are a**holes, liars, cheats, etc. And guess what again, that's exactly what they seem to find. People who feel there's a world of opportunity, even in the darkest places seem to always attract that to themselves. What's more, when people are sensitive to certain things, ie. a lack of professionality - even the slightest action that seems unprofessional is going to take on enormous proportions. I could go on and on with this stuff - it's been so much a part of my life that I thank god is finally starting to change.

    I'd suggest lightening up, playing as much as you possibly can with whoever you can, having fun, and enjoying the ride. The time spent looking for what you want could be spent building those very relationships.

    I sound like dear abbey.
  19. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    I like that idea! They should start a new column at talkbass called Dear Joe Nerve!
    We could email band and musical problems, and then you can solve them for us as only Joe Nerve can!
    This has to happen. Unbelievable entertainment possibilities! :)
  20. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Well,I don't think dear abbey could have have said it better., Joe. So true. Even in some of the most unprofessional situations I've been in, i.e. people didn't learn their parts, too much drinking, lack of focus, etc. there's usually at least one other band member that's keyed into thinking and acting professionally that one can align themselves with. Then, there's the opportunity of getting some musical things going with that person. Some good things have developed from some seemingly bad band situations in building musical contacts and resulting gigs. Its just important to be out there doing something.

    And so well put, the idea of belief. I am at the point of believing I can find and succeed in the type of professional band I am ideally looking for and I will find the right situation. And, for now, things are pretty good anyway.

    But I had to go through the same kinds of things mentioned in this thread -- lack of believing there's not much out there, as well as ideas that I'm not young enough, I don't sing strongly enough, I'm female, certain individuals are working to my detriment, etc. etc. But what one sees is a reflections of their beliefs.

    Now I'm attracting quality professional musicians and situations because its out there and I feel confident enough to get involved in a bigger way. And, a lot of this also has to do with having more confidence -- the result of almost a year of some intensive shedding -- but a lot has to do with my belief that I can get with the right musical situations.