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Twigman

How did you meet/join your band?

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We get a lot of queries on basschat about how to join a band etc and thought it might be interesting to see how people who are in bands got to join them.

Did you meet your bandmates the traditional way, at school and go from there?

Was it an invite through a mate?

Answer an ad from the board in the rehearsal studio?

Answer an ad in melody maker or its modern equivalent?

After a drunken session in the pub?

 

 

 

 

 

My story: I blame my Mum! - I'd been playing (badly) with a band in London but been forced to move to live with my Mum just outside Watford. It was 1985. I'd left the London band as commuting into the smoke was just too difficult. I was fed up. One day my Mum had a copy of the local paper, the Watford Observer, wherein there was an article about a local band . That band were looking for a bass player to record their next album. My Mum suggested I give them a ring. I suggested to my Mum that I didn't have the skills necessary. She told me to stop moping around and forced me to call them. I got an audition. The singer dropped a cassette of some material around my house and asked me to learn as much as I could in about 4 days. I managed to learn about one song LOL but went along to the audition. It was a bit of a disaster if I'm honest but I got a call about 3 months later asking me back! I went and, apart from a couple of years where I left to play keyboards in a sister band, I've been here ever since (OK so we did split up for a while but I was the 1st bassman to be called on reformation in 2009)

What's your story?

Edited by Twigman
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A local multi-instrumentalist guy I'd never met (but should have done, as we were in the same social circles) put up a post on the local FB musician finder page that he was looking to get back into playing drums, and does anyone fancy a jam?  I replied yes, we had a great jam, chatted about what we were into, and who we could get into the band guitar-wise.  We both came up with the same name, and that guitarist had just finished with another band and had a female singer in tow from said band.  We're still together 3 years later writing our own stuff, gigging and loving it. No egos, no wanting to be a star, everybody gets input, and we all get on very well.  Never thought I'd see the day.... 

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First band was mates from school  - we began about 2 years after we'd left sixth form.

This morphed into band #2 - 2 original members from school - me & singer / guitarist, plus drummer from a local band who'd supported us, another old school person on guitar and another guitarist we poached from a support band we liked! :/

...10 year ish gap...

Band #3 (current, fledgling) - the 'house band' from the open mic night I run at my local bar - 1 drummer & 1 singer / guitarist.

:)

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I was a massive fan of my main band in the 90s. They reformed about 5 years ago and a few friends sent me messages to say I should audition to join the new rhythm section. I didn't because I was too busy but then went to see them with a mutual friend last October. I knew they were using bass deps so having enjoyed the show I spoke to them with a view to adding my name to the dep list. I thought I might get ONE local dep gig but I got emailed through a list of tour dates. "I can't do all that" I thought but I looked into it and figured I could offer to do ONE tour. I joined with the permanent new drummer but after the second rehearsal I was told that I wasn't a dep and was the new main bass man. It's been a struggle with work etc but has wound up being my busiest year and musically 31yrs later, I've never been so happy. 

Edited by Cat Burrito
missed a word!
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1 hour ago, Twigman said:

We get a lot of queries on basschat about how to join a band etc and thought it might be interesting to see how people who are in bands got to join them.

Did you meet your bandmates the traditional way, at school and go from there?

Was it an invite through a mate?

Answer an ad from the board in the rehearsal studio?

Answer an ad in melody maker or its modern equivalent?

After a drunken session in the pub?

 

 

 

 

 

My story: I blame my Mum! - I'd been playing (badly) with a band in London but been forced to move to live with my Mum just outside Watford. It was 1985. I'd left the London band as commuting into the smoke was just too difficult. I was fed up. One day my Mum had a copy of the local paper, the Watford Observer, wherein there was an article about a local band . That band were looking for a bass player to record their next album. My Mum suggested I give them a ring. I suggested to my Mum that I didn't have the skills necessary. She told me to stop moping around and forced me to call them. I got an audition. The singer dropped a cassette of some material around my house and asked me to learn as much as I could in about 4 days. I managed to learn about one song LOL but went along to the audition. It was a bit of a disaster if I'm honest but I got a call about 3 months later asking me back! I went and, apart from a couple of years where I left to play keyboards in a sister band, I've been here ever since (OK so we did split up for a while but I was the 1st bassman to be called on reformation in 2009)

What's your story?

Are you still in Watford?

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Just now, PJ-Bassist said:

Are you still in Watford?

I live in Dunstable now but we rehearse in Watford - at Sanctuary - why?

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1 minute ago, Twigman said:

I live in Dunstable now but we rehearse in Watford - at Sanctuary - why?

I currently live in Watford is all.  Was interesting to see another BCer from here.

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Just now, PJ-Bassist said:

I currently live in Watford is all.  Was interesting to see another BCer from here.

@Lozz196 is from Hemel and I think there are a few others around locally

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I used to work with the guitarist, and asked him if he fancied getting a pub band together for a laugh.  He knew a keyboard player (who by chance I also vaguely knew) and he knew a drummer.  Took  about 2 days of text messaging to sort.

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I was asked to dep for a couple of gigs as bassist wasn’t available.

He turned up at the 2nd one. 😲

I’m still playing with them 3 years later and just recorded latest album. The original bass player I’m depping for still turns up at gigs. It’s very confusing. 

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Ok ...Deep breath ..

!st band ...1973   I had only played along to records in my bedroom and had little confidence. I met my (soon to be ) band mates at College ...we were all apprentice plumbers on "day release". I went for a jam with the singer /guitarist and the second guitarist whose garage we used. we got on well and needed a drummer. I nominated my friend who had driven me to the jam even though he had never expressed an interest in drums and had never even picked up a drum stick ...six weeks later we played our first gig! we did the club circuit for a couple of years.

2nd band....10 years later, having married and had kids so hadn't been in a band for that long ...The "second guitarist" knocked on my door and asked me to play bass in his originals rock band...I boro=rowed gear and played the local rock circuit for a year or so but left because I could commit to touring...The band was ( still is) called SYZ and they had one single released that has become a bit of a collectors item on the NWOBHM scene..they have a small mention in a book about the scene..typically, I missed out on all the fame.glory, free sex and money 😉

3rd band...five years later, my marriage ended and I bought a bass...answered an ad in the local paper and joined a band...we played the local pub and club scene for four years ….I fell in love with, and married the guitarist's daughter( much younger than me!) and had a great time ..the band split because me and my new wife went to live in Tenerife for the first time. we moved back to the Uk and I joined a band after auditioning ...even though one band member was someone I had had sacked from the band(3rd in this saga) before I eventually left forTenerife. we lasted a year ..he was still a d*ck ..so I left ...taking the singer, the guitarist, the drummer and the Keyboardist with me! 🙂

I'm bored now ...I'm sure you lot were before we got this far …..so I'll just say that after my second marriage ended after ten years ...I went to Tenerife and had a blast earing a living playing my bass.

 

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Long story this one.

Go back about 20 years and I became aware of an artist called Steve Roux (from a Virgin blues sampler CD). Superb guitar player and singer.

Soon afterwards, I joined a band local to me and, when asked about material, though I'd demonstrate my extensive knowledge by suggesting an obscure song by this chap. My fireworks were well and truly 'doused' by the response 'oh Steve, he lives just down the road'. He was playing locally quite often.

Another 5 years go by and I am in a pub when I notice the band playing contains one Steve Roux. I knew the bass player (he's a member here) and I jokingly said to Steve, if ever you get rid of that bass player, give me a shout. Time went on and I started to dep with the band (which also contained a ridiculously good drummer as the third member). This went on for a while and then things took a bit of a turn.

The bass player took some time out and asked me to dep for a full 6 months. That coincided (coincided I stress) with the band folding. I suggested to Steve and the drummer that we do something on a more perm,anent basis together., Steve came up with a keyboard player of whom he had heard great things and we arranged a get together.

It was one of those incredibly rare events when the chemistry is instant and it has remained so ever since.

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In the 45 years I've been playing in bands I think I have joined or formed bands by pretty much every method mentioned in the OP. 

I never actually actually answered an ad in NME or MM, but I did find a singer for one of the bands I was in by that method (after weeding out numerous weirdos first).

A lot of the time one band would morph into another. I spent all of the 90s in a band that went through 4 different names, numerous line-ups including a 12 month period when I left the band and swapping from bass to guitar in the later incarnations, but with the style of music being played remaining consistent and I think when we finally split we were still playing at least one song from our first set.

My first band formed in the mid 70s was just a bunch of friends from school who all had similar tastes in non-mainstream music and some degree of musical ability.

The two bands I play in now...

I found one through a Facebook post, although I was already a fan and they knew of me through gigs we had done together when I was playing with The Terrortones.

The other is a morph from a band I joined through the JMB web site (although again they knew of me from previous bands I had been in).

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I was in a punk covers band with the singer/guitarist and he mentioned that he’d like to do an originals punk band. We already knew the drummer we wanted, who was playing in another local punk/new wave covers band so asked him and he said yes.

Set about learning the material - the singer/guitarist had about 5 songs recorded just by him on a home studio, with drum machine - and I had to tell them at the first rehearsal that I’d struggled as could find no enthusiasm for it. But then we started playing and totally changed my mind. It just had the power and energy that I love.
 

So I’d say to any musician looking to join a band, give it a go in a rehearsal studio, don’t be put off by recorded material, I nearly was and if I’d not gone ahead I wouldn’t have had the best six years of my musical life.

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23 and a half years ago a group of school friends decided to form a band and had about half a dozen rehearsals in the singer/rhythm guitarist's garage.

One week, the bass player phoned to say he couldn't make it that evening for rehearsal. The lead guitarist had found out only a couple of weeks before that I played bass as I had bought a little practice combo from him at school so he phoned me to ask if I wanted to stand in for the practice that night. I happily agreed to the chance to have a jam with some mates and came along. 

It was soon pretty obvious to them that I was a much more advanced player than their guy and they asked me to join permanently on the spot. I happily agreed and they assured me they would break it to the other guy the next day at school and then we'd get together again in the evening. 

Unfortunately he was off school the next day but word got to him through the school grape vine anyway before any of them had a chance to speak to him. That evening we got together again anyway and were just setting up when there was a knock on the garage door. It was the other guy's mum come to have a go at everyone! She went absolutely mental at them for being mean to her boy and they were so scared that they denied completely that they were going to kick him out and told her they wanted both of us in the band! 

We played our first three gigs with two bass players. After which I said enough was enough and that if they wanted to keep me but wouldn't tell him he was out then I would do it for them. I arranged to meet him at the local park and broke the news that it wasn't working with two bass players and he was the one to go. 

He actually took it really well. Turns out he was far less bothered about being out of the band than his mum had been as he was much more interested in learning to play acoustic guitar than in playing bass anyway. 

1500 gigs, 5 drummers, 1 rhythm guitarist and 6 lead vocalists later and we're still going strong. 😁

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Great thread. 
 

I’d been aware of my band for a while as they were prominent on the local pub circuit, and I liked what they did. At the time I was doing my solo singer-songwriter thing, and whilst I enjoyed doing it (and still do) I was feeling the urge to pick up a bass again (at that point I hadn’t played bass for a few years) and get into a gigging band. 
 

As luck would have it I saw on the band’s Facebook page that their bass player was retiring and they were looking to replace him, and relaunch with a new name. Despite my hometown’s relatively small population and fairly tight music scene I didn’t actually know any of them. I did know the singer’s girlfriend though, so I went to see them at what turned out was their bass players last gig, and I got her to introduce me to the band. It turned out they’d auditioned a few bass players and had kind of settled on one. I was really up for joining though, and I managed convince them to give me a go. They gave me three songs to learn and a week to learn them. 
 

At this point I didn’t actually own a bass guitar or an amp, so I took a load of stuff I wasn't using to PMT and traded it all in (plus a bit of cash) for what I needed. I learned all three songs quickly, and then looked at their set list on their Facebook page and learned about thirty songs. 
 

A week later I auditioned, we played the three songs they’d asked me to learn, we played some of the extra songs I’d learned and then we went for a pint. A couple of days later the singer rang me to tell me I was in. That was summer 2015 and we’re still together. We’ve lost another member in that time so we’re now a three piece but we’re playing and sounding better than ever and next weekend we play our 76th gig (since I joined). We have a good local following and I’m still enjoying it, for now.

Edited by BrunoBass

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I had known of the band. I knew they had a female lead guitarist, they were local , they played 70s era blues and rock and they gigged a lot. I thought, "I should be the bass player for this band"

I went to their gigs and introduced myself. Eventually I told them I was looking for work. One of the members said we should talk.

Turns out they were looking to replace their bass player. I auditioned several times and eventually was offered the job to play bass and sing backing vocals.

That was 9 years ago.

Blue

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Join My Band ad from a rhythm git, that i answered. We sat down , had a chat and discovered our common ground was a love of funk. We recruited  vocalist, drummer, and keys.

We rehearsed for ages, and the backing vocals  ( me drums git and keys ) werent cutting it so we we recruited 2  female lady women backing singers who were friends of rhythm git.

We've now gigged and are still at it

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It starts at my grandmother's funeral...

My cousin is a lead guitarist, has played in some reasonably well known bands within small ponds, and when I first moved up to London aged 19 we used to bump into each other and hang out a fair bit, when his first signed band was taking off.  The life happened and i didn't see him for a good few years.  Then our grandmother died, and we were both at the funeral, and it was just like old times.  Life was no longer in the way so we started meeting up a lot, drinking, going to gigs, talking bollox, etc.  Basically he's one of my best mates.

His two then current bands weren't really doing much (and have long since split up, although the final album by one of them has recently been released, almost a decade after they recorded it) and he fancied doing something quite different from the extreme metal he is known for.  He still insists it was classic rock, whereas it sounded like heavy metal to me, but, whatever.  So he pulls together some musical acquaintances and asks me if I want to play bass.  Had an absolute blast - much higher standard of musicians than I'd been used to playing with, playing better gigs.

That band then split up after a couple of years due to the singers substance abuse issues, and cuz is asked to reform his best known extreme metal band, who have been going strong for the last three or four years.  One day I get a Messenger request from that band's singer saying that "we've got to talk".  Turns out he was putting together a classic rock/metal covers band, which is most of the extreme metal band except the bass player, and did I fancy it?

In fact I've done more gigs depping for the extreme metal band (who seem to find themselves in between bass players quite a lot, although I've only played with them twice) than I have with our covers outfit (just the one, earlier this year) but that may change next year.

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Current band was word of mouth.

Singer was doing solo work with backing tracks but wanted to go down the road of full Glam rock covers band.

He posted an advert on his FB page and a mate who knows both of us passed it onto me. I replied saying i would be interested. I said i knew a drummer from about 5 /6 yrs ago that was into Glam Rock. When i said his name he told me he already knew him for years and he had recommended me too. Small world i guess. Our guitarist was the bass player in the singers "other" Ozzy tribute band and our current keys player i was in an originals Prog band a few yrs ago. Was all basically word of mouth and people that knew people.

First few bands were all mates but in last 5-10 yrs its been mostly word of mouth with one or two thru JMB or similar sites.

Dave

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16 hours ago, Twigman said:

great story

Well  . . . . . I met up with Pete, the guy who ran the other band in our school, on a gig with a band that I joined in 1986, via an ad in Melody Maker. He asked me to join his band. He introduced me to Robin, Tim, Pete, Jamie, Nigel and others. Nigel had a band with Dave and they had their own bands. I played with all 3. Roger, the drummer in 1986 band, hooked my up with Polly, Greg and later Steve (mentioned earlier) and Bernie . Playing with Robin I met Ed,  Rob, Dave and a dozen others. Debbie saw me on a gig with Dave and I started playing with her. When a different Dave left his band I took over and after a few years moved on to play with Steve. I met Andy through Jamie and after a chance meeting on Woking station, he introduced me to Martin and Keith. That led to joining with Chris, Tommy and a different Steve. Chris left and Steve, Tommy and me played in a cover band for the next 8 years. John occasionally fronted the cover band and I did gigs with his band. Also played with Tommy in about half a dozen side projects. Had an occasional band with Rob and Jools. Ed got me gigs with Andy, Pete got me gigs with Eddy and Dave got me gigs with Johnny. Still playing with some of those guys (especially Pete, from school) and also now depping with Paul, John and Jeff's bands. I think that brings me up to date.

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