Jump to content

Finding new bands


SteveXFR

Recommended Posts

While you can't beat networking for finding bands or musicians to form/join bands, it has IME be the right kind of networking. For instance I know of plenty of musicians for all kinds of instruments who I could call on for a recording session or a one-off emergency gig dep, but, despite being very nice people I don't think I'd want any of them as permanent replacements in either of the bands I play with currently simply because they don't have sufficient understanding of the music that my bands are playing for them to be able to make any kind of valuable long-term musical contribution.

 

In the same way, from my experiences, I would be very surprised to find anyone with a serious interest in playing any of the genres I like at open mic or jam nights.

 

Maybe if your are looking to join/form a standard covers band these methods would work, but for most originals bands (from my experience) they tend to be dead ends.

 

I joined one of the two (originals) bands that I currently play with from an ad placed on JMB. I was very specific about the sort of music I wanted to play and the level of commitment that I would be putting in and what I expected from any band I might want to join. I then waited for replies, rather than trawling through the other musicians wanted ads. It took several months for anyone to contact me about the ad, but they were exactly the sort of band that I was looking for and I'm still playing with a version of the band that got in touch 4 years later.

 

The other band I joined because I was already a fan and was following them on Facebook, and therefore saw when they posted that they were looking for a new bass player. Because of this they already knew who I was and what I had done musically in the recent past which definitely gave me an advantage at the audition.

Edited by BigRedX
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I got back into playing I used JoinMyBand and Bandmix, then a few start ups came through word of mouth and a couple from Facebook.

 

I've never got anywhere with open mic nights or jam nights. The last open mic I went to, only a few months ago, was basically a lot of retired chaps warbling away whilst playing their very nice acoustic guitars. Even though I know a couple of people who run open mics it's not done me any favours, I've never got any contacts that way.

 

Currently I've just about given up. I got offered a spot a few weeks back in a band, the singer was in a band I was in some time back, but it was the same songs we'd been doing years ago, I'm not interested.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I deconstruct it like this: 

 

Route A

I need to show people what I can do and demonstrate what degree of an derrière I am.  I also need to see this in other people. Both needs are met in a decent jam session or equivalent.  I was introduced to my local blues society ( not my perfect choice of genre) and started going along.  I've now had two cracking bass chairs in two of the best blues / rock bands in my region. 

 

Route B

I have been in JoinMyBand and BandMix for several years.  I had two contacts, from a very odd pot head, and a decent enough own-stuff band. 

 

Route A is to my mind the only one: play with people and build contacts, build skills,  be willing and be as likeable as you can.  

Edited by lownote
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was giving this a bit of thought earlier and was primarily thinking about JMB.  On the couple of occasions I've put an advert up on there, I've just wanted to post from an accuracy perspective and honestly think that works detrimentally. 

 

In no way am I bigging myself up here, but I did have a couple of experiences where I was a way more than country mile more adept than the guys I went along to play with; these guys were advertising themselves as gigging musicians with a ton of experience, but they were in the event played like beginners, were directionless, had no material and were struggling to hold together three/four minute ideas.  After one session (with three guys I was never going to go back and play with), I was told by a guitarist that he was desperate for me to come on board 100% to shake some sense into the other blokes and prove they could achieve someting.

 

I started using the key terminology for the older player; 'mature' and putting links up to stuff on Spotify/Bandcamp/Soundcloud, but reckon that when people listen to what's up online this alone works against me (same bloke said he'd listened and was kind of in awe of that content and wondered whether his group of guys could emulate that somehow).

 

Just don't know whether it's better to phrase things a bit looser, rather than saying stuff about transport/gear/links.  Just keep it a bit vague.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have looked at local jam sessions. There's two, one jazz and one blues. I don't know anything about either genre. I've also only ever bothered learning natural and pentatonic minor scales because that was all I needed for metal. I'm fairly sureI wouldn't do well in either of those jam sessions 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

In no way am I bigging myself up here, but I did have a couple of experiences where I was a way more than country mile more adept than the guys I went along to play with ..

 

I can certainly identify with that, Nancy.  I'm definately not big headed either but a few times I've been for auditions with 'gigging bands' as well as a startup only to find that I knew the material I'd been given to learn, shall we say, rather better than the existing members of the band.  I think it's probably a good thing that you had quality links in your ad to show your ability - perhaps that might have filtered out some of the wannabes and people you didn't need to waste your time with?

 

Did you find a band eventually?

 

A few months ago I replied to a promising looking ad on JMB which, altough not completely my cuppa, would have been ok for me.  A decent local cover band of good players.  Despite asking, I wasn't given anything to learn and was given a 7pm slot for audition, with, they said, another applicant arriving at 8.  I had sent them some details about myself and some links to vids in a previous band, so they knew I could play well enough (assuming they'd looked at the links). 

 

With some trepidation I turned up on time and was my usual nice-guy self and chatted while the band was setting their gear up, which they finished doing by 7:30, which left me 30 mins.  Having not been given anything to learn (which surprised two of the other members) I played along a couple of times to a song I'd never played before.  A little bit more chat and it was time for me to go.  I never heard from them again - I won't lose any sleep over that.

 

Dave


 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, SteveXFR said:

I have looked at local jam sessions. There's two, one jazz and one blues. I don't know anything about either genre. I've also only ever bothered learning natural and pentatonic minor scales because that was all I needed for metal. I'm fairly sureI wouldn't do well in either of those jam sessions 

The local jam nights seem mainly to consist of people playing in each other's bands or styles of music that just aren't for me (I'm rock/blues to the core),  I was never really in with the in-crowd back in the day despite being in bands with some of them and I'm certainly not part of the in-crowd now.

 

Perhaps JMB and Bandmix have more going for them in some parts of the country?  The handful of people who looked at my detailed BM profile (with links) over the months it was up were nothing like local or even looking for a bass player.  I'm guessing they were just browsing.  I check the Cheshire and Stafforshire JMB pages several times a day - I fear it's getting to be a bit OCD 🙂 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, inthedoghouse said:

Did you find a band eventually?

 

 

Not through JMB, no.

 

I depped for a London band called Rocket66, which came about more by association than anything else. Covid started, so I followed this with two huge amounts of recording for two different bands, all done remotely.

 

Currently bandless!  Doesn't bother me.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

I have looked at local jam sessions. There's two, one jazz and one blues. I don't know anything about either genre. I've also only ever bothered learning natural and pentatonic minor scales because that was all I needed for metal. I'm fairly sureI wouldn't do well in either of those jam sessions 

In my opinion jam sessions don’t gel with every genre of music. For a riff/song based genre such as metal no real point unless it’s covers of well known classics.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 01/10/2021 at 20:32, inthedoghouse said:

I've been looking for ages too. 

 

Bandmix is frustrating because not only do not many 'serious' people seem to use it, but also because the majority of profiles are sadly lacking in basic information and even fail to edit out the instruments they're not looking for and so end up with a list that says "Seeking: (list enough instruments to start an orchestra)".  I had a very complete profile on there for ages and didn't have one person contact me, and very few even looked at my profile.  Perhaps others have had better luck but in my experience it's a waste of time.

 

JMB:  Seemingly full of ads that aren't for me and so many wannabes, start-ups that never start, people who just want to jam and timewasters (in my experience).  Last week I answered quite a promising ad - a start-up and not totally my cuppa, but I could happily live with it if the quality turned out to be as anticipated.  We had several very positive exchanges of mails, seemed to agree on things and get on ok.  We left it that he would give me a ring on Monday (this week) for a chat.  Monday came, no call, so I mailed him again.  The mail was read (on JMB) almost instantly, but I haven't heard a thing from him since.  I won't be mailing him again or losing any sleep.

 

I answered an ad on a FB group.  A guy who plays solo nights of crowd pleasers but wanted to play some rock that was right up my street.  A good guitarist, singer, had his own PA, seemed a really nice guy and we had lots in common (we hadn't met in person).  All planning was going well until he suggested Sunday evenings for rehearsals.  I replied saying that Sunday evenings weren't good for me and if that was all that was available to him I'd rather drop out now.  Strange, because only a few mails earlier we'd been discussing a Tuesday evening.  Much to my surprise, instead of looking into mutually available times to get together he basically thanked me for my interest and honesty and said he hope to stay in touch.  Ok, so I said I'd rather drop out now because of Sunday evenings, but things had been seemingly going so well between us that I expected some negotiation for a mutually good day.

 

Finding good musicians who are also decent people has often been a bit of a big ask, but I'm not looking for perfection in either. 

 

Long gone are the days where our local muso shop (now long closed) was the hub of things and the place to find out who was looking for someone.  'Open mics' as they are called these days offer little, if anything, of interest around here.

 

The two examples above both took place over the last two weeks, so at the moment I am feeling very jaded and wondering if there really is anything out there for me. 

I would have personally given the guy from Facebook a go, good guitarist- tick, good singer-tick and has his own PA-even bigger tick.

I know you stated Sunday evenings were not ideal for you, but it would have been well worth sacrificing one Sunday, you may have got on playing together really well, this would have created a real positive vibe and you may have mutually found an alternative evening that suits you both for rehearsing.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, steantval said:

I would have personally given the guy from Facebook a go, good guitarist- tick, good singer-tick and has his own PA-even bigger tick.

I know you stated Sunday evenings were not ideal for you, but it would have been well worth sacrificing one Sunday, you may have got on playing together really well, this would have created a real positive vibe and you may have mutually found an alternative evening that suits you both for rehearsing.

Thanks for your thoughts. 

 

Yes, he ticked all the boxes and we seemed to get on well and have lots in common by mails, which is why I was so surprised he didn't appear to want to negotiate another night, especially as we had already discussed (for instance) a Tuesday evening and he seemed ok with that.  Sadly though, Sunday evenings really aren't good most weeks as I work in a hospital and need to be up earlyish and 'with it' most Monday mornings.  Perhaps I'll mail him again ... hmmm.  He's probably found another bass player by now though.

 

The other thing that niggles away a bit that we hadn't discussed is that as he plays professionally for a living.  So I do wonder how many solo nights he might be prepared to sacrifice for an occasional band gig.  He knew I wanted the band to gig but hadn't really got around to discussing that properly.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
1 minute ago, inthedoghouse said:

FFS!!!!!! 

Seems like nothing but timewasters on JMB - I really feel like giving up and selling all my gear!

 

I get that. It seems like around here they'll say they want to play metal or punk and you get there it they want to play Nickelback and Sum41. Either that or they send a song list and you get there and THEY don't know the songs and the couple they do know they don't play the best bit because they can't play it.

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 17/10/2021 at 20:31, SteveXFR said:

 

I get that. It seems like around here they'll say they want to play metal or punk and you get there it they want to play Nickelback and Sum41. Either that or they send a song list and you get there and THEY don't know the songs and the couple they do know they don't play the best bit because they can't play it.

 

Totally this ☝️.  Get so fed up of JMB most of the time - but then every so often a gem pops up.   Got into a decent busy pub band a few months back on there, and prior to lockdown I landed a spot in a tribute band that was a lot of fun for a while.  Probably 20 dead ends and 3 or 4 wasted evenings trying out for other bands to get those though.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

JMB was hard five years ago - seems nothing has changed looking this morning! Still endless cover bands and death / djent metal... 

 

I've been looking for an originals band for a while now and it's constant misery - there must be someone who wants to write hard rock tunes with influences like Soundgarden, Pumpkins, Jane's... 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect that your expectations are WAY too high.

 

I've only been at this game for 15 years (plenty of Basschatters can say much more than that!) but something I learned pretty early is that the vast majority of "musicians" - please note the carefully-placed inverted commas - are either flakes, or fantasists, or both. 

 

That's NOT a comment on any particular band-hunting portal, it's a comment on the several hundred people I've met and tried to play with over that 15-year period. 

 

Having had a reasonably successful business career working with serious, professional people, I have been absolutely staggered at just how feckless, amateurish and deluded have been most of the people I've met in bands.

 

Fair enough, ain't no law says everyone I meet has to reach the standards I set 😂 and I'm obviously far too arrogant anyway. Instead, I go into things with my eyes open. I know the sort of people I usually end up dealing with, and I keep hoping that the next muso I try to play with will turn out to be one of the exceptional few (apologies to John Fogarty).

 

I've met some very good people through both Bandmix and JMB, as also through Gumtree and Facebook. The only problem is that for every very good person I have met I have had to wade through dozens of complete clowns.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a dismal record at auditions. I failed most of them. . . . . . . except the one in 1985 that kicked off a run of phone calls that is still working to this day. It is getting harder to be at the right place at the right time, but word of mouth is the only thing that's worked for me.

 

On Thursday I've got the first gig with a friend of a band that I hooked up with (after a phone call) just after lockdown #3. He saw us a couple of months ago and me and the drummer got a call. I am crap at networking but it's the only way to ensure you're dealing with good players.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I answered one advert because I liked the bands that they mentioned in the advert, met them in the pub and they seemed ok, so sorted out a rehearsal date.  As it was an originals band, they didn't have anything in terms of songs/structures (which was a bit of a worry), so they gave me two song covers to learn, as apparently they played these all of the time.

I get there and the drummer doesn't know either of these "regularly played" songs.  Also, it turned out that the singer/guitarist has only one song that he is working on, which I bluffed my way through, as he had nothing written down and nothing else.

I didn't go back - I would be stunned if it went anywhere.

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Patster1969 said:

I answered one advert because I liked the bands that they mentioned in the advert, met them in the pub and they seemed ok, so sorted out a rehearsal date.  As it was an originals band, they didn't have anything in terms of songs/structures (which was a bit of a worry), so they gave me two song covers to learn, as apparently they played these all of the time.

I get there and the drummer doesn't know either of these "regularly played" songs.  Also, it turned out that the singer/guitarist has only one song that he is working on, which I bluffed my way through, as he had nothing written down and nothing else.

I didn't go back - I would be stunned if it went anywhere.

 

What do you expect with a new originals band?

 

The most successful originals band I have ever been in, had nothing but a handful of lyrics written by the singer and a vague idea about musical direction when we got together for the first time. We wrote all the songs that would be our initial set (8 in total) in the first 3 practices and then spent the following month tightening them up for our debut gig. The singer and the drummer had played together previously (in a band that had nothing musically in common with this new one) and I had been very briefly in the final line up of that band (a handful of rehearsals and one gig) but none of us had played together for almost a year. The guitarist was new. We essentially went from nothing to a cracking debut gig in 2 months.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

 

What do you expect with a new originals band?

 

The most successful originals band I have ever been in, had nothing but a handful of lyrics written by the singer and a vague idea about musical direction when we got together for the first time. We wrote all the songs that would be our initial set (8 in total) in the first 3 practices and then spent the following month tightening them up for our debut gig. The singer and the drummer had played together previously (in a band that had nothing musically in common with this new one) and I had been very briefly in the final line up of that band (a handful of rehearsals and one gig) but none of us had played together for almost a year. The guitarist was new. We essentially went from nothing to a cracking debut gig in 2 months.

 

Absolutely this. 

 

The magic comes from the chemistry of X amount of people sitting in a room, swapping ideas, and just jamming it out. I wouldn't expect anything at all going in. It's a matter of putting a bit of time in and seeing if it gels. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly. One of the best original bands I was in jammed for the first three to four months to come up with ideas. We spent the next couple of months figuring out the song structures before playing our first gig. I remember debuting and a few people came up to us after and asked how many years we had been going! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I've turned down two invitations on JMB 

First band did cover songs I  didn't mind playing apart from  2 songs I wasn't sure. The female lead singer has the same pop dance move to every song including AC/DC, so I said that repertoire was not my cup of tea.

The second band clearly did not read my ad, they had some space ( cosmos) related title, even called themselves like someone from  star trek. I wonder what their dress code is.

Now, a local guy asked me to join a cover songs band. He plays guitar and sings.  His voice is good. He found a drummer that hasn't played for years and another guitar player. He suggested four songs to learn. I don't mind two. One is fine. But the fourth song is Michael  Kiwanuka. The song is a bit wishy washy, completely not my style. 

Do I give it a go and learn something I don't enjoy and see what other suggestions they come up with in future or politely turn down. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, SH73 said:

I've turned down two invitations on JMB 

First band did cover songs I  didn't mind playing apart from  2 songs I wasn't sure. The female lead singer has the same pop dance move to every song including AC/DC, so I said that repertoire was not my cup of tea.

The second band clearly did not read my ad, they had some space ( cosmos) related title, even called themselves like someone from  star trek. I wonder what their dress code is.

Now, a local guy asked me to join a cover songs band. He plays guitar and sings.  His voice is good. He found a drummer that hasn't played for years and another guitar player. He suggested four songs to learn. I don't mind two. One is fine. But the fourth song is Michael  Kiwanuka. The song is a bit wishy washy, completely not my style. 

Do I give it a go and learn something I don't enjoy and see what other suggestions they come up with in future or politely turn down. 

 

Might be worth just contacting the guy and putting your cards on the table. Tell him that the song is not really your style and ask if he would consider swapping it for something else.

 

Nothing to lose at the end of the day. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

 

Might be worth just contacting the guy and putting your cards on the table. Tell him that the song is not really your style and ask if he would consider swapping it for something else.

 

Nothing to lose at the end of the day. 

I mean , I go through a phase where I listen to all sorts, but there are songs that I could not even give a try. I will suggest it today

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...