Choosing the right bandmates is not a simple task. You need to have the same musical goals and interests, while also having compatible personalities. Here are some useful tips to find great band members.
While the popularity of solo performers and DJs has been increasing, it is undeniable that the energy of a full band is still a great attraction for music fans and party-goers.
Festivals and venues across the Country are often on the look for talented, fresh bands ready to hit the stage and deliver a performance filled with energy and rock’n’roll.
However, since you’re reading this article, you may know how difficult it can be to find the right people for your project. There are many factors to consider when looking for bandmates and there are many opportunities to find them. So many that it could be confusing.
In this article, we will try to give some clarity, defining a few factors to consider when choosing your bandmates and drawing some ideas on where to find them.
Originals or covers?
First of all, ask yourself what kind of repertoire you will focus on. Cover gigs are usually more lucrative. Bands playing original material, instead, are often paid less or not paid at all unless they can draw a big audience and prove their popularity.
Not saying that writing original music leads to nowhere, just stressing the fact to discuss this beforehand, to see if you will pursue it. Ideally, original music can lead to much more success than cover playing if you are 100% in it.
For this reason, you will need to clarify this aspect right away with your potential bandmates. Are they professional musicians making a living out of their performances?
This means they will probably need to get paid for each show. Do they strongly believe in the project and the original songs you will showcase at gigs?
In this case, they might accept to earn less money for a start, hoping the band will take off and start producing some serious profit. The golden rule here is: be clear about your goals and expectations and share them with your band members.
What genre do you want to play?
Music genres are usually part of bigger subcultures, where like-minded people share values, ideas, even aspirations, not just a certain musical taste.
Musicians, moreover, play according to specific rules, developing a specific style or sound, influenced by the genre they feel part of.
For example, a jazz drummer will sound very different from a metal drummer. A punk guitarist will sound very different from a funk guitarist, and so on.
There is no right or wrong here: if you are open-minded enough you could welcome a band member with different views without any problem.
However, it is usually more effective to find your bandmates within your circle and stick to your music genre and style.
Agreeing on the genre and style of playing is pretty important here. Finding people that share the same view and look for certain things that you are looking for is absolutely detrimental in the long run.
Where to look for band members?
Now that you are clear about the genre and the repertoire you want to play, you can start looking for bandmates.
In the past, you could only rely on events and physical notice boards to meet the right people. The Internet has changed this rule drastically.
There are more and more collaborating platforms for musicians available online, not to mention virtual notice boards such as GumTree or Craigslist, and social media, where you can post your ads for free.
Among the most trusted resources to find band members, we can find BandMix. This networking site allows you to create a profile and upload samples of your music: a convenient solution to filter out musicians not interested in your genre or style.
There are plenty of similar tools out there, such as Hendrix, Musolist, Vampr, and more. Pick the one you feel most comfortable with, making sure it is used by musicians in your local area.
Community Facebook groups, usually including inhabitants of a specific town or neighborhood, are another precious resource to find band members and even venues to play.
However, the good old-fashioned offline solutions are still very effective.
For example, try attending open mic or jam nights in your area. You will meet a lot of musicians there, having a chance to see them play and shake their hands right away. You could even improvise one or two songs with them and see if some positive vibes arise.
As mentioned before, chemistry is key between people. See if you hit it off with at first, whether you share the same view or not it’s still important to see if you are compatible with those people.
If you’re a student, take advantage of your college notice boards. If you are no longer a student, your favorite music shop, rehearsal room, or public library will most definitely have a notice board where you can affix your ad.
When writing your ad, whether online or offline, be specific about the music genre and the repertoire your band will play (covers, originals, or both?). Leave your phone number or e-mail address and make sure to reply to any inquiry coming through.
Once you’ve found the right people to join you in this exciting new project, there’s one last step to take.
Give it a try!
Your band will become a sort of extended family. You will have to spend countless hours discussing, rehearsing, traveling, and performing with them. So make sure you all get along before embarking on a long-term endeavor.
If you found your potential bandmates online, you should get to know them in person before making a decision. Organize a night out together before a rehearsing session. In other words, find out if you like the person before testing the musician.
For a more professional approach, organize some auditions anticipated by a short interview. Ask yourself: is this person the right fit for me?
If the answer is no (and this is usually a very instinctive response), move on and start looking for somebody else. Keep in mind not to rush with this decision. Take your time to choose the right people and you will thank yourself for that in the end.
Finding the right bandmates is not easy, but it could be a fun, even educational, process.
Finding the right bandmates is no easy task. It takes time, patience, and effort to build an authentic, long-lasting relation.
It sometimes can be an emotional roller coaster when it comes to finding the perfect musicians to share the stage with, if you do your best to avoid quick decisions and rash judgments, then you will end up forming a band that is worth fighting for.
Keep in mind to get to know your potential bandmates on a personal level before making any serious decision about the future. Once you find these special people, stay true to them and remember that this is not just about having fun, but also sharing good and bad experiences as a team.
Remember your goal and do not let the music business turn you into jaded people.