Finding Band Members #1

We all know that finding band members is a difficult thing to do. Finding the right band members takes a bit more…

Put an advert in the ‘musician classifieds’ in your local newspaper?’ Nah, not really. Post an A4 saying “guitarist wanted” at the local superette, or musicians’ store? Well, okay, maybe slightly better…

Here is some advice about how to find band members.

First things first – the line up. You have an instrument, right? (Even if you just sing, you have an instrument: your voice.) You will know, more or less, what music you like playing, or want to be playing. Or, better still, what music you want to be composing. So you will have an idea, basically I mean, of what other instruments you need in order to get your ‘sound’ going.

Obviously if synthpop is your thing, then there wont be too many band members, will there? Otherwise, will you be needing a lead-guitarist? Or a sax player; will you have backing trax, or a live rhythm section? This issue, in a way, forms the starting block, but in case you’re thinking, like duh, spare the following thought. What are the chances that just a bunch of random musicians will get together (because they can) and lead you in the direction you aim? It is possible – and maybe something new and fresh, something you hadn’t thought of will result, but it is a risk. Rather try and plan.

Don’t worry at this stage about practice rooms, equipment, anything like that. These aspects of starting a band have a way of coming to those who are keen, but there are a few words of advice if you read on…. Obviously, you will still practise your instrument, sitting on your own bed in your own bedroom, to or at whatever level is your zone.

There are a few ways of finding band members.

  1. Use BandBay!!  Go to the BandBay Marketplace and browse – and post!  No more “looking for band member” search strings on Google… !! At the Marketplace you will most likely find others, in your area, also looking for conspirators and like-minded musos to get your thing going.
  2. Next to consider is whether you are in school. There, the infrastructure of music classes, school-arranged groups, marching bands, whatever, provides a fertile ground for ideas and information to flow. You’ll soon learn who plays what, just from the grapevine even. And there isn’t  anything wrong with a catchy advert up on the school notice board. Y’know, “SEX……  is Latin for six. And now that we have your attention….”
  3. If this doesn’t work for you, or perhaps you are home-schooled, just ask your music teacher – either the person with whom you have lessons for your instrument, or just the school music teacher… He might have students who are at other schools; and, if not, he will know other music teachers to whom he can put your request. You will not be alone in a band member search!
  4. Check the music equipment stores. They mostly all have notice boards, and will gladly allow you to post an advert. I mean, they want to sell equipment, right, so the more bands out there the better…   Besides, the guys behind the counters probably play in bands and know exactly what you’re on about.
  5. Go to open-mic nights!! Join a live-music club, if there is one accessible for you. Remember, these set ups are there for you, not for someone with an established career! And even if you don’t play that night, because playing a solo on your sax is not your thing just yet, you will meet other musicians. Open-mic nights are quite common in student areas around colleges and university campuses, social precincts and so on. Folk-clubs are another prospect. Often restaurants and pubs also have certain nights of the week set aside for people to get up and blow their horn. And the equipment is there!
  6. Go and watch live music. Apart from the many tips you will pick up, and things you will learn, it’s a networking opportunity with like-minded people.  Chat to the performers during their break.  Chat to the management. You might find that not only will you get a band together, but you’ll get your first gig as well!