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Tips on finding other amateur musicians to jam with after 30?


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Morning All

Might sound like a stupid question but how do you find other amateur musicians to jam with?

For context I picked up bass originally in my early 20's and back then finding a amateur guitarist was a dime a dozen, either a friend played or had a mate who did. As with all things life got in the way and i put down the bass to pursue a career as it required alot of studying and exams with the aim to go back once i qualified. That took slightly longer then intended (10 years on and off) but i've been back playing for a year now and i'm getting to the point it would be cool to find others to jam with, however it's difficult to find anyone these days. All those mates or friends of friends have stopped playing or moved away. I've had a look on the joinmyband website and most want experienced players for proper bands which is a bit beyond my scope atm.

 

Any tips?

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My tip would be to go along to pub open nights and talk to people. Over the years I’ve met loads of musical collaborators that way and I’m still doing so in my 60’s. As a caveat, I live in quite a densely-populated area and have lots of choices of small towns and villages with active music scenes. It may be sparser for you.

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9 minutes ago, Geddys nose said:

Put a Ad on JMB there will be plenty of people looking like you  for a Start/Jam band,  FB also have local Band scenes that you can put a Ad on.

Never ask you won't get.

thanks for the recomendation, are they pretty open to posts like that on there then?  I did have a look through posts in my county and the surround ones but couldn't see any so was wondering if you could post that type of thing.

 

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10 minutes ago, JapanAxe said:

Look for open mic nights in your area - they often have a Facebook group. Get talking to some of the other participants.

 

8 minutes ago, Len_derby said:

My tip would be to go along to pub open nights and talk to people. Over the years I’ve met loads of musical collaborators that way and I’m still doing so in my 60’s. As a caveat, I live in quite a densely-populated area and have lots of choices of small towns and villages with active music scenes. It may be sparser for you.

Thanks both :)   Thats one of the things i do need to find out here is where does live music, i'm sure theres at least one place but wasn't living here long enough pre-covid to get to know local haunts ... only one i've come across was the local cider festival just before covid lockdowns happened, now everythings re-opening i'll do a reccy and find out whats on

 

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I’ve tried everything too, but everyone wants to play indie covers or punk, which I can’t stand. I’m trying to establish some links at the university where I work, as there’s a number of musicians on staff who might be up for a jam. Perhaps that’s worth a try at the university or college near you. Many have quite generous outreach programmes offering free lessons and so on and may have some useful info. 
 

Be prepared for a lot of time wasters though. I put this advert up and a day later had TWO people write to me saying ‘Do yOu wANT to PlaY PunK CovErs?’

https://bandonkers.co.uk/fusion-funk-bass-player-available-york-14177

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1 minute ago, Supernaut said:

JMB is very hit and miss but there are some diamonds in the rough. FB is worth a shot. Local mic nights also provide opportunities. 

Yea I can imagine it is. I’ve just had a look though and there is one post just titled “fun” and seems like it’s for a bit of fun band, doesn’t give any indication ability or music so might drop them a line and see what they’re after as isn’t too far from me either. 

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Perhaps if you tell us your location, members from local area will be able to recommend specific Facebook groups. I'm in Glasgow and there are 3 or 4 really good musicians wanted Facebook groups, I'm sure it will be the same for most larger cities. 

Oh one other piece of advice would be don't be too picky about genre etc as once you are on the scene its much easier to find other musicians as you were be sharing stages etc. 

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I do think it's quite hard now, around here as well. Very few people looking.

I'm certainly quite picky, but even I wasn't, there still isn't too much about.

I started my potential return a few months back, and I've still not got around to getting another bass yet, given the lack of opportunity. 

About 10 years ago, you could leave a band at tea time, and be in 3 more by lunch the next day! Good days.

Stick with it, OP, if you're heart is in it. I'm not sure mine is, TBH!

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Posted (edited)

Blues jams are a fecund source of contacts if you're into blues. Even if you're not.  My blues jam members also play all sorts of other stuff in other bands.  My personal experience of Join My Band - nutcases and wannabes. Maybe they think the same of me.  If you're in a rural area or other music wasteland you will be very lucky... Also, over 10 years I've seen the market change.  When I started at blues jams I was often the only bassist there so got a lot of experience over an evening; in recent times every fourth attendee has had a bass. Dunno why, maybe its the growth in online learning, like SBL.

Edited by lownote12
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1 hour ago, ped said:

I’ve tried everything too, but everyone wants to play indie covers or punk, which I can’t stand. I’m trying to establish some links at the university where I work, as there’s a number of musicians on staff who might be up for a jam. Perhaps that’s worth a try at the university or college near you. Many have quite generous outreach programmes offering free lessons and so on and may have some useful info. 
 

Be prepared for a lot of time wasters though. I put this advert up and a day later had TWO people write to me saying ‘Do yOu wANT to PlaY PunK CovErs?’

https://bandonkers.co.uk/fusion-funk-bass-player-available-york-14177

I just think you've been unlucky.  I arguably live in a more isolated, remote place than you and I've managed to end up in two bands, one doing a wide gamut of rock covers and the other doing original music that no-one likes :)

And I started in my 30s.  Back then, local music web forums were the way to go - these days I guess that Facebook groups are the modern equivalent.

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40 minutes ago, lownote12 said:

Blues jams are a fecund source of contacts if you're into blues. Even if you're not.  My blues jam members also play all sorts of other stuff in other bands.  My personal experience of Join My Band - nutcases and wannabes. Maybe they think the same of me.  If you're in a rural area or other music wasteland you will be very lucky... Also, over 10 years I've seen the market change.  When I started at blues jams I was often the only bassist there so got a lot of experience over an evening; in recent times every fourth attendee has had a bass. Dunno why, maybe its the growth in online learning, like SBL.

Funnily enough thats why i got started in bass 13 years ago. My friends all played guitar or drums and wanted to start a band but couldn't find a bassist, so having dropped out of uni / having nothing better to do they asked me to start learning bass. Sadly that band never materialised as it became clear while we all loved the same type of music, there was conflict over what songs should be played between a couple other members so it never got off the ground

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30 minutes ago, Sarah5string said:

Musofinder

Local facebook muso groups/pages

Joinmyband

Jam/open mic nights

Posters/flyers in rehearsal rooms/studios

Word of mouth

thanks i've never heard of Musofinder, so i'll take a look and have a crack at the others :)

 

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1 hour ago, spongebob said:

I do think it's quite hard now, around here as well. Very few people looking.

I'm certainly quite picky, but even I wasn't, there still isn't too much about.

I started my potential return a few months back, and I've still not got around to getting another bass yet, given the lack of opportunity. 

About 10 years ago, you could leave a band at tea time, and be in 3 more by lunch the next day! Good days.

Stick with it, OP, if you're heart is in it. I'm not sure mine is, TBH!

thanks mate,  hopefully you'll get some inspriation on this post too and find something that works for you too!  :)

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1 hour ago, Crawford13 said:

Perhaps if you tell us your location, members from local area will be able to recommend specific Facebook groups. I'm in Glasgow and there are 3 or 4 really good musicians wanted Facebook groups, I'm sure it will be the same for most larger cities. 

Oh one other piece of advice would be don't be too picky about genre etc as once you are on the scene its much easier to find other musicians as you were be sharing stages etc. 

Yea thats fair, i'm down on the Devon/Somerset border so any local music groups to check out are very welcome. Would be more specific but not alot of point as it's fairly rural :D
I'm not fussed about genre although i'd probably avoid funk atm, nothing against it i really like playing it but i'm slow at learning that style compared to other genres. Be happy to have a crack at most other things though.

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, waylander said:

Yea thats fair, i'm down on the Devon/Somerset border so any local music groups to check out are very welcome. Would be more specific but not alot of point as it's fairly rural :D
I'm not fussed about genre although i'd probably avoid funk atm, nothing against it i really like playing it but i'm slow at learning that style compared to other genres. Be happy to have a crack at most other things though.

 

I think you’re taking a wise course. My take is that I’d rather play music I’m not a fan of rather than not play at all. Not least because when you’re out there being seen and heard it’s surprising what doors can open. I was playing year before last in a indie-style originals band when, after a set at a small festival, I got the offer of bass duties in a rockabilly band! Sadly, I was too busy to accept. 

Edited by Len_derby
It wasn’t last year!
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2 hours ago, waylander said:

thanks for the recomendation, are they pretty open to posts like that on there then? 

Nothing quite as frustrating as joinmyband, you will get people asking to do something different, you will get people who seem perfect who just don't bother contacting you again and you will get a load of hassle. But, my two current bands are through adverts in JMB, and the guitarist we have just got on one was also through JMB, so I wouldn't want to not have that resource, and it is worth the hassle.

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20 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

Nothing quite as frustrating as joinmyband, you will get people asking to do something different, you will get people who seem perfect who just don't bother contacting you again and you will get a load of hassle. But, my two current bands are through adverts in JMB, and the guitarist we have just got on one was also through JMB, so I wouldn't want to not have that resource, and it is worth the hassle.

So much like Facebook marketplace then 😂

ive found one ad that sounds alright and have shot them a message just asking what type of music and ability level they’re looking for, I’ll give it a couple days and if don’t hear anything I’ll put up an ad myself to see if anyone’s interested 🙂

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4 minutes ago, waylander said:

So much like Facebook marketplace then 😂

Exactly like facebook marketplace in fact. I guess that is the price you pay for using a free service - doesn't get rid of people who are not serious.

I remember the group before the last group was from there too. But my main group, I answered an add, got contacted back, went to watch them at a gig, introduced myself, went for a practice later that same week, enjoyed the practice, thought I would join them, contacted them back to say so and they said they thought I had already joined, and could I do a gig the following week. Was a very busy week. Still with them 4 years later.

 

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1 hour ago, Len_derby said:

I think you’re taking a wise course. My take is that I’d rather play music I’m not a fan of rather than not play at all. Not least because when you’re out there being seen and heard it’s surprising what doors can open. I was playing year before last in a indie-style originals band when, after a set at a small festival, I got the offer of bass duties in a rockabilly band! Sadly, I was too busy to accept. 

I've got to say trying different styles is rewarding. When i was recruited to play bass i played punk as that was the bands main focus, before slightly shifting to rock which was pretty much all i played for a few years. Since starting again i've very rarely played punk and try to learn different styles, really tough but rewarding all the same :)

 

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