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Musicians: How to find band members

Looking for band members is never an easy task. You may first
want to ask yourself what exactly you’re looking for – whether
it is to join an existing band or find individual members to
start your own band. Obviously, both have their differences and
this should be answered first before you start your grueling
search.

Join an existing band. This is a great way for
enthusiastic musicians to gain some playing experience right
away, although it is sometimes harder to find these kinds of
opportunities. These are established bands that are looking for
single or multiple members for various reasons (their guitarist
overdosed on cocaine, bass player got fired for drinking
problems, etc). This might go without saying, but make sure you
really do like the type of music a band plays before deciding to
join their group! There are many musicians I know that play in a
band where they don’t even like the music they play, all just to
“gain experience” to get their foot in the door and hopefully
move on to greener pastures. It can’t be stressed enough that if
you don’t like the music you play, you’re going to do a
half-assed job at it, so why bother?

Also, know your playing experience and limits. For example, if
you’ve only started playing guitar learning all Green Day songs
for a few months, don’t expect to join a thrash metal band that
requires you to do sweep-picking, fast arpeggios, or any other
insane guitar techniques. Make sure you choose a band where the
technicality of the music they play is comfortable with your own
skill level as a musician.

A huge advantage for joining an established band (maybe) is that
most of the back-end stuff is already taken care of. This
includes tasks such as finding an agent/manager to book your
gigs, song development, contracts with music labels, etc. All
you have to do is show up for rehearsals and play shows as
scheduled.

A good resource to start finding these bands in need is going to
your local rehearsal studios where most of them lurk. These are
places where any musician can pay for a room to rehearse. Best
of all, all the musicians you find there are often in your local
area. Check out the bulletin boards where frequent bands post up
classified ads that may go something like:

“Looking to join a band that rocks?! We are in need of a
guitar player with lots of experience! Our influences include:
Megadeth, In Flames, Black Sabbath, and many more! If
interested, please contact Todd at xxxxxxxxxx.”

Or even better yet, post up your own classified ad on the
bulletin board so bands can contact you instead. Local,
independent music stores often have a bulletin board for
classified ads as well. These are some of the best free ways to
find band members in your area.

Disadvantages of joining an existing band. First and
foremost, you have to learn all their songs usually in a limited
period of time. The band might have a show coming up and you
have to be able to play all their songs flawlessly
note-for-note. Needless to say, this might be stressful for some
musicians (except if their music is very straight forward and
easy with pure 3 note power chords).

Another disadvantage is often your own music creativity is
limited. Most bands prefer their original tunes to be played and
carried on without any radical change. For example, if you just
joined a band and replaced their old guitarist, the way the
former guitarist played a particular solo, is the way the band
wants it to be played by you. Often you must follow the same
note structure of a music piece composed by another musician.

Organizing your own band. This is where you try to find
individual musicians to start a new band, usually with similar
music skills and backgrounds. Thinking of starting a band is the
easy part, but the actual process of searching for the right
people is harder than most people think. There are tons of
musicians out there in the world but only a small percentage of
those you may be compatible with. In addition, ask yourself: are
you going to play in a band just for fun, or are you trying to
make a living out of it? This will influence where you are going
to start looking.

The internet is becoming a popular method for musicians to find
other musicians. If you search “looking for musicians” in
Google, you will easily find over 12,400,000 results – so how do
you find what you’re looking for? Many ads posted in classifieds
sections and on popular music forums will vaguely have
descriptions such as this:

“Guitar player looking to form a band.”

Well, that’s just great.

Try refining your search to keywords such as the area you are
in, what position you are looking for, etc. Example: “Looking
for bass players in Toronto”. The first search result is an ad
posted on www.craigslist.org, which by the way is an excellent
place to get started. Try to only focus your attention on
well-written ads that describe the musician, which includes how
much playing experience he/she has, the types of music they are
willing to play, and the intention of playing in a band. Or you
may also want to post your own ad in music community forums and
add a link to your audio/video samples that will likely interest
more candidates. Audio/video samples that show off your best
work are often the most influential factor of candidates
contacting you back.

Be consistent with this. Chances are you won’t find someone
right away on your first few posts, so try to refresh your ads
on a weekly basis (but don’t spam!).

The internet is a large resource but don’t just rely solely on
it. You may find you have better luck looking in local
magazine’s classifieds ads section where it’s more direct. Also,
because musicians have to pay to get their ads published in
magazines, it shows that they are more serious about organizing
a band.

Don’t limit yourself in a location. If you are serious
about starting a career as a musician, you don’t just search for
bands or members only in your local area. Living in smaller
towns and cities won’t give you very many options in choosing
the right band or member for you. Expand yourself to larger
urban cities where the potential to find band members is
greater.

Finding band members is like finding a good job. Know exactly
what you want before searching, always have a good portfolio
ready, and be consistent in your pursue. Goodluck!

Webmaster @ GetMeABand.com – Looking for a band? Search through
our directory of musicians to find band members in your local
area – http://www.getmeaband.com

One response to “Musicians: How to find band members”

  1. prasurjya talukdar says:

    i like the comment so much. we should find band member which play the right method of music and comfortly played with us. thanks and good luck

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