Musicians Wanted: A Guide to Finding Bandmates

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Lyrics by Simon Dodd

Wake up dreamers! The lockdown is over

It might have been nice to stay in your room playing alone during the height of the pandemic, but that’s more or less over now, and there are gigs to be done. Enough loggers. You’ve sharpened your chops enough. It’s time for you to form a band.

Here are some proven ways to find potential group members.

ask around you

Ask your friends or co-workers. They may be budding musicians. If they’re already your buddies, then they just need to be in your party to become party mates. And since you’re already friends with them or at least able to work with them on a day-to-day basis, that means you’re already halfway there.

Talk to your mom

Potentially even better than your friends and co-workers, and much closer to home, ask your family. Some of the most famous bands in modern music history have been linked – The Kinks, Oasis, Biffy Clyro, Beach Boys, CCR, AC/DC, the Bee Gees, Jet. And who could forget The Partridge Family? (Hey, that was a real band… wasn’t it?)

The nice thing about having family members in your party is that you already know all their weaknesses, plus it gives you a great two-person power block to settle any group conflict – unless all three other people in your group are also siblings.

Of course, there East the potential for sibling tension in bands, but it can, in the case of The Kinks and Oasis at least, be creatively beneficial.

To display

Telephone poles must be for something these days. Stick them with an ad and your contact details and hopefully only the musicians you need will get in while looking at their smartphones.

Also post ads on community bulletin boards, music stores, clubs, anywhere you can find a place to stick them.

For a minimal expense, you can put an ad in the local newspaper. On the more expensive side, put up a billboard or hire a sky writer. These are probably not the most practical solutions, but people can get out now, they will see! If you got that kind of money, maybe you don’t need a group?

Hanging out in places where musicians could uh, hang out?

Places like concerts, studios, rehearsal places, music stores, Centrelink. Talk to them, find out what they like and if they are looking for a gig.

You can also track down anyone you see wearing an instrument case. Not a good idea, but you never know.

Go out and play anyway

Busk. Potential new band members are often drawn to music, much like flies are – well, you know. Settle into the street with full guitar, bass, and drum kit, then play your set list and hope musically gifted passers-by turn up, like what you play and sit down. You could form a group there.

Or go to jam sessions or open mic parties and watch your future band members audition in front of you. You could even get up and play yourself so they know what they’re getting into.

There is an application for that

Finding compatible group members is like finding a life partner. In addition to matching musical tastes, you also need to find someone you like and get along with if you’re looking for a long-term musical relationship. If only there was an app like Tinder.

Well, it turns out there are a few – Bandmate, Vampr, Fuzz and Jambro are all apps designed to help you find the musicians you need in your area. Find a player who rings your (musical) bell and swipe right. At worst, you might end up having a (literal) one-night stand and, at best, a fruitful and lasting relationship with the muso(s) of your dreams.

But just like real dating apps, you have to be careful. Profile pictures can be misleading. Sometimes this hot rock god turns out to be a middle-aged bald dude. Then again, if he plays like a rock god, maybe it doesn’t matter. And don’t be fooled by looks alone. Sid Vicious totally watched the Sex Pistols role but he couldn’t play bass to save himself.

(A word of advice – if you are using a tape app on your smartphone, watch out for that telephone pole I mentioned earlier).

Join a group music class

Music schools, adult education institutes, and even musical instrument stores often run classes for musicians of all skill levels. If you love the blues, join a blues guitar class. In classic rock, join a classic rock class. You can find courses for maybe not all genres, but most major ones.

It’s a great way to meet like-minded people who share your passion for a particular type of music or instrument. There are even organizations like Big Music in Sydney, which in addition to being a large musical instrument store, also has rehearsal and performance spaces, a recording studio and organizes band lessons. , where you can sign up to be part of a punk band or a metal band. or an Australian rock cover band, etc. And in the end, your band can play a set in front of real people.

After that, you and your party members are ready to step out into the big bad world and make it big, or die trying.

Access the Internet

There are many reddit forums where you can post or search for the right group member in your area. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Tik-Tok to get your message across. Put your music on Soundcloud and see who bites. Put an ad on Gumtree and look for a used van while you’re there, because you’ll need one.

But probably the best online site for finding band members is Bandmix. Specifically designed for this purpose, Bandmix is ​​the ultimate musician search engine. You can search for a wide range of musicians in your area, from accordion players, bagpipers, to violinists and singers and every instrument in between.

Advanced search features allow you to specify the age and gender of your potential partners in the gender of your choice, as well as their experience and level of commitment. Plus, Bandmix subscribers can post an audio clip of their game on their profile so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Now that you know where to find them, you should be able to put together your party in no time. Of course, with all groups, members come and go, or some of the ones you find might not work and you will have to make the decision to replace them. But by then, you will know exactly how to proceed to replace them.

The most important thing is to get out of your bedroom, into a rehearsal room, and then onto a stage. Because, as a wise bumper sticker said, “If you’re not in a band, you’re just playing with yourself.”

For more group tips, check out our guide to nailing the group photo. Click here to sign up for Bandmix.

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