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How to find people to play with

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How do you find people to play with?

Friends I already knew play
1
14%
Work/School
2
29%
Found some people at a party
0
No votes
Internet ad
2
29%
Ad in musicshop
0
No votes
I pay people to play with me
1
14%
I'm hired to play with others
1
14%
Other/completley random
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 7

Postby Niklas » April 9th, 2012, 9:39 am

I wonder how the people on this forum find the people they play in bands with. As a musician, this is my biggest problem. At this moment I have two people to play with (a drummer and a guitarist) which have great taste in music and are really nice people. I found the drummer on a ad on the Internet and the guitarist is his friend. This is the first time since I started playing (2005, seven years!) that I'm actually playing with people with similiar taste in music as me (The Black Keys, The Raconteurs, Led Zep, nothing weird, just rock'n'roll).

Because it's so hard to find people with the same skill level and taste I've played with people with completley different taste in music just to play in a band, but I'm having a lot more fun now.

The guitarist will be moving in the end of May and the drummer in the end of the summer. We'll just play until then and have fun along the way, but I don't know what to do when autumn comes. The drummer got 50 responses on his ad but only answered me because I had the right musical influences, that's how hard it is to get a drummer here.

I would give up if it was not for I the fact that the people I have played with think I'm really good and really should play in a band, and I just love everything about playing with other people from practising to playing live and even studio recording.

I'm going to buy a bass just to have more opportunities, but I'm skeptical to how much it will help.

So, I really need your best advice on how to found people to play with. I'm a bit sick of searching actually.
Last edited by Niklas on April 12th, 2012, 8:14 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby cnev » April 9th, 2012, 10:36 am

Nik,

Been there done that I know what you mean but unfortunately unless you are surrounded by friends that are musicians I think you have to search around again.

I feel the exact same way as you but if I didn't have anyone to play with I might not play myself.

But finding musicians on the Internet is about the same as finding a date, you go through a lot of window shopping and hope what they wrote is who they really are but you never know until they show up.

We were in the same position awhile back when one of the guitarist we played with passed away. We tried a bunch of different guitar players and it took over a year to finally find the right one..(then the drummer canned him, but that's another story) we were able to replace him and did our first show with the new guitar player without a hitch.

All I can say is keep your eyes and ears open and see what happens, but it doesn't hurt to keep looking even know before these guys leave.
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Postby Niklas » April 9th, 2012, 1:41 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your guitar player, cnev.

I've had quite bad luck with the people sorrounding me not playing any instruments. There was noone in my class who played anything in elementary school or high school and the people I've come across in Uni that actually plays are not on the same skill level (it's more the type that owns a guitar rather than play it). Or we actually had a cover band for a year a couple of us and some were quite good. Problem is they're only intrested in playing covers. Otherwise the drummer would have been perfect to play with.

I've read that a lot of other people on this forum are having trouble getting everything to work with their bands. I guess all of us would be rockstars now if it was hasslefree.
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Postby Cat » April 10th, 2012, 3:24 am

Niklas wrote: .....I would give up if it was not for I the fact that the people I have played with think I'm really good and really should play in a band, and I just love everything about playing with other people from practising to playing live and even studio recording.

I'm going to buy a bass just to have more opportunities, but I'm skeptical to how much it will help.

So, I really need your best advice on how to found people to play with. I'm a bit sick of searching actually.


Well...your head is screwed on right, so that's a point on your board...

Concentrate on being a band as well as what you play...but don't worry about it. If you have two guys that are there right now...well, that's all you got, then. What you need to do is to get so good...together...that non-one would want to move. If this happens with these guys...cool. Probably, it won't. You might need another ten years to hook up with the right crew. In the meantime...get ten years better and they'll all come looking for you. That's life...that's how it is.

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Postby Niklas » April 10th, 2012, 6:49 am

Haha, the guitarist is definitely going to move. He got in to the civilian pilot education here in Sweden which only takes 12 per year. He had to do all these tests and compete against 400 other... There's someone with his head screwed on right I would say.

I'll try to keep the drummer though. There's no question about it would sound good with a bass player and some practise. I'm going to keep in touch with these just because of I enjoy their company whatever happens.

What I'm really intrested in is how people here find people though. I went on a bit of a rant in the beginning, but I'd like to hear your stories as well. I edited in a poll, but it's only interesting if you write something about it too.
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Postby s1120 » April 10th, 2012, 6:49 am

Its eaven harder to find people when your older, and working on learning the ropes. Growing up its pretty easy. You always have buddys hanging around school, and a lot of free time to just mess around and get a rough band together. When you get older, unless your good, or its tough to find some more intermedent players, or better players that dont mind playing with players still learning to jam with.
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Postby cnev » April 10th, 2012, 7:03 am

Yea like I mentioned earlier it's tough there's no question and it doesn't get any easier as you get older. I started playing in my 40's and by that time I didn't have the huge circel of friends I did when I was younger but I had a friend who started at the same time (we were living in different states at the time) when I moved back to CT we started playing with another guitar player and drummer that he had hooked up with. We started jamming once a week nothing too serious but we did try and work on songs etc. but had no real desire to play out. As we played more we ended up finding a new drummer and that seemed to kick it up a notch we ended up getting a bunch of songs and started thinking about playing out but the other guitar player didn't want to (and he was very good) so we just continued as we were. We did play a party which went well but about 3 days later the guitar player passed away.

We didn't play for several months no one really had the desire to but we finally decided to look for a new guitar player. I first asked my instructor if he had any students that might be interested. We ended up with a guy who was good but didn't last too long. the same thing happened with a singer too.

So after 6 months or so of going no where we decided to put an add on Craigslist and we ended up finding a singer, guitarist and bass player. Unfortunately the guitar player who was very, very good got kicked out by our drummer (don't even want to go into that) and he had an old friend come down and play with us. He sounded good and he's with us now. probably been with us since about February.

We palyed our first "short" show last week and it went over well, now getting ready for a real gig at the end of May.
Last edited by cnev on April 10th, 2012, 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Niklas » April 10th, 2012, 8:10 am

I've heard it gets harder getting to know new friends when we get older, so no suprise it's no difference in finding people to play with. I'm experiencing it now and I'm only 24.

A part of my problem is that I'm picky with the kind of people I socialize with and have spent most of my time studying instead. I don't want to play with people who don't show up when they're supposed to or if they are very late. I've had a bit of problem with people not paying for practise and studio time either which I don't accept. I even have a hard time with smokers because they'll go outside in the freezing cold whilst I sit and play alone while I'm waiting.

The problem seems to be that the most talented young musicians think they can act just the way they like because they think they're so good and people will always want to play with them. This happened in my last serious band. The drummer was vey good (although I thought he was too skatepunk for our music) and never payed anything he owed me and didn't show up for practice without saying anything on more than one occasion. When he did he was about an hour late and brought some 17-yearold girl with him (he's 25 :roll: ). The singer and bass player thought he was good and I should give him a second chance (in reality it would've been like a fifth chance) and they didn't want to kick him, so I left. Which I don't regret. Now the singer is playing with a new band, but I have no interest in playing with him again.

Maybe I should have spent more time in high-school actually meeting people instead of sitting at home studying or playing guitar four hours a day, but honestly, I don't regret it.

I read about your experience in the news section, cnev. I'm very happy to hear it went well!
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Postby cnev » April 10th, 2012, 8:31 am

Ha Nik 24 or 44 it's still the same. I have had the same problems with band memebers showing up late, not knowing their parts, taking long smoke breaks, bringing girlfriends/friends to practices and I hated all of them.

Our drumemr has a new girl and she has been tagging along with him to every practice so one day I asked him in front of the band if he was allowed to go anywhere without her....he didn't like it but I was serious. He ended up telling her like 10 mins later and she gave me some crap on the ride home about it. I don't care but to me practice is about practice, yea it's work but unless you get serious you're not going to be any good no matter what you are doing.

Our original bass player was a good friend of mine but he had some major issues, one is I think he was into music only to try and be "cool" or something. OK so that's not necessarily bad but he thought it was just fun and games and somehow we'd magically get good. He was always late to practice (though he never missed any), never practiced on his own, wanted to take a break after like every other song and would randomly invite or bring people when we practiced. He ended up getting into some nonsense with the drummer and thier girlfriends and we parted ways which was probably a good thing.

If you read some of my posts over the past 18 months or so I've documented all the drama I have gone through tryng to get where I am now. It's tough and you have to work at it to find the right people, sometimes you're gonna have to pick someone with maybe slightly less skills but has the work ethic and desire. That will go a lot farther than the prima donna guy that thinks he's God's gift to music.
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Postby jwmartin » April 10th, 2012, 11:03 am

I need multiple votes. In my current band, we originally met via internet ads, although when I answered the ad, I recognized enough about the poster to realize it was someone I had known for a few years casually. He didn't know I played guitar/bass and I didn't know he sang. We fired one drummer and brought in another guy he knew already.

For the classic rock band I've been jamming with for a few months, we all met via internet ad. 1 guitar player quit and drummer recommended a guy he knew. It seems to be going well now.

For the acoustic jams I host at my house, it's people I already knew. One guy I have known a few years and he just started getting back into playing last year. Another guy that we met through our kids who plays and comes out sometimes. My oldest son joins in and occasionally, my grandfather plays pedal steel with us.

The cool thing about music is the fact that it can bring strangers together and make them friends. Of course, you can also end up with a bunch of folks you'd rather not know, too :D
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Postby cnev » April 10th, 2012, 11:34 am

JW you are right about "the folks you'd rather now know." I'm a bit like Nik in that normally I'm picky about who I hang around with, but music does open the door a bit to meeting new people.

I kind of paraphrased what has happened over the last year or so but I have played with a bunch of different people and most were pretty good players but I didn't connect with all of them.

Just for an FYI our old bass player that I mentioned earlier found another guitar player an asked me and the drummer to come by and play with the guy. This guy can absolutely shred on a guitar and play anything but after two times trying to get something going with him I just gave up. I can't even put my finger on it but something wasn't there. For one thing he was obsessed with Gary Moore which is fine but everytime we had a break he'd start playing Still got the blues with his amp set at like 15. It was really loud and annoying even if he played it well.

Played with another guy who has great chops too but you pretty have to play a blues song and you better know his "arrangement" since he rarely plays anything the way it was recorded. Again it's fine but tought o get on the same page with and personally I hate the blues and don't enjoy playing it or listening to it. But the few times he's tried to jump in on a rock song forget it he had nothing.

In my world I have limited skills and a very particular taste in music which again I've had to compromise in order to get everyone to agree on songs for the band but it's all good right now it's my number 1 hobby.
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Postby Niklas » April 10th, 2012, 11:49 am

jwmartin, it sounds like you have som great options to play with. Then you're from Nashville and if you were having trouble finding people playing music over there something wouldn't be right. Oh, and I've changed the poll to multiple-answer and you can re-vote.

I think it depends hugely where you live if there other musicians around. Stockholm isn't very good for rock music at all. Sure, we have the ABBA-studio and we have the studio where all the crappy pop songs of the 90's where written (if you want to blame anyone for Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears it's Andreas Carlsson). And a great deal of hip-hop culture. However rockmusic is dead here. I know for a fact that it's much better in Gothenberg. They guys I'm playing with now are from Luleå way up in the north and they also have a much better music scene.

And because it's dark, cold and snowy here 80% of all musicians play metal. This is a problem. I used to play it too, but then I grew up and got really bored of it.

I should move to London, Berlin or Melbourne. I'm actually serioulsy thinking about it. Just as soon as I finish my education. The food is not very good in England though, and my german isn't what it used to be...

Haha, sorry cnev but that about Still got the blues made me laugh. Just becasue I know that kind of thing too well. What about this; the singer in my old band used to play the bass line of "Daddy Cool" between every single song on his guitar. I just wanted to strangle him.
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Postby jwmartin » April 10th, 2012, 2:13 pm

Yea, I'm pretty introverted, so I don't make new friends very often. Being involved in music has changed that for sure.

The #1 bit of advice I would give to people that want to play in a band...DON'T NOODLE BETWEEN SONGS! There is nothing more annoying than trying to ask a question or discuss something about the song you just played or are about to play and suddenly having TWEEDELY TWEEDELY POWER CHORD explode from a Marshall stack. :evil:

Nashville is actually kind of difficult to put together a start up band. There are countless musicians here, some very talented, some not. You get a lot of "I'm very talented and already know 200 songs, let's get together and book a gig next week" types that don't want to practice for months before the first gig. Then there are the ones that moved here to "make it" as a country music star. They know 3 chords on their acoustic and can sing (sometimes). They don't want to put together a band to have fun and make beer money on the weekend, they want a backing band that can play for free for the next 3 years while the singer gets discovered and, if he does, the record company will hire studio cats for the record and hire pros for the tour, so the backing band is back to craigslist to find the next up and comer.

I was going to say, don't all Swedish people play death or black metal? :lol: Do you play bass or guitar? If you like the Black Keys/Jack White vibe, just go guitar and drums. But, you said your guitarist is leaving, so maybe that means you play bass (if so, fellow low-ender high five). I've often thought about my son (he plays drums as well as guitar and bass) and I forming a Misfits tribute band with just drums and bass. I would use fuzz and effects pedals to create a wall of sound with the bass.

Just put out feelers every where you possibly can. A lot of times music stores have bulletin boards where you can post. You're a student too, right? Put some flyers up around school.
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Postby Cat » April 10th, 2012, 7:55 pm

Niklas wrote:I've heard it gets harder getting to know new friends when we get older, so no suprise it's no difference in finding people to play with. I'm experiencing it now and I'm only 24.


Whoa! Hold it right there...not true. I've made pretty good friends at all stages in life. I don't know what birdie told you this...it ain't true. Ask the other Old Dogs right here on GN...

Again, it seems that you are overly concerned with finding people to play with. Get to a point where you know that you are better than anyone you are likely to come across...and they'll come for you...with both hat & money in hand. You are only 24??? Geez, I have shirts older than that...so just keep a sober and educated position in life...get on with a career...and keep playing your guitar. If you do...you'll make heaps of good friends and as you get better on your six string...a beaten path will lead to your door...

Hang in there, sonny!!!

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Postby NoteBoat » April 10th, 2012, 8:03 pm

The easiest way to find people to play with: when the weather is nice, play outside where people are.

You'll find that people who like guitar - which includes most guitarists ;) will gravitate to a guitarist. My first week at college, I just played outside... I got to know tons of people. Folks who play will may ask if they can try your guitar - let 'em! Folks who sing will join in. Play in the same spot for a couple of days and people will start to show up to jam with you.

You'll make new friends, and some will show you stuff... others you'll show stuff to. It's all good.
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