Putting together a band, few questions.


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Kyle1029384756
12-29-2009, 07:43 AM
Well, I'm hoping to meet some musicians next year at my new school, I'm in a pretty big music class and I'm already listed as playing "Guitar, Drums and 'Other'" and I'm about to post some ads on a few websites. Anyway, I have a few questions.

1. How do I create an effective ad?
Last time I put up some ads online it went along the lines of...

"*Age, location, instrument* I like to play *bands*. If you're interested you can reach me at *contact details*"

I got very few replies so I'm thinking I should work on creating a better ad, something more interesting.

The second question is about making compromises.
In my last band we had a member, the singer, who refused to sing anything other than pop-punk bands. I don't mind pop-punk but she would not even think about even the slightest possibility of considering anything other than pop-punk. It got very annoying when we'd all come up with a 10 song setlist and she would veto all but 2, usually included with very lame excuses.

Now, I want to know how much comprimise you think is fair. I'm willing to play most genres as long as we keep it somewhat varied. As in, if we play pop-punk we should at least do a pop version of a few non-pop songs. I'll play your songs in your style and then you'll play my songs in your style, it sounds very fair to me, what do you all think?

So, does anyone care to give some advice?

SomeoneYouKnew
12-29-2009, 08:48 AM
I'm already listed as playing "Guitar, Drums and 'Other'"I'd move right past an ad where a guy listed himself that way. It sounds like he isn't focused. Even though having other skills makes you a more rounded musician, you should be presenting yourself in the ad, for the role you want to fill in a band. If you wanna work as a guitarist, leave it at that. Also, mention any vocal skills you may have, as well as any bands you've worked with before.

Drop the "if you're interested". Wasted words, imho.
Contact via: *contact details*


The second question is about making compromises.
In my last band we had a member, the singer, who refused to sing anything other than pop-punk bands. I don't mind pop-punk but she would not even think about even the slightest possibility of considering anything other than pop-punk. It got very annoying when we'd all come up with a 10 song setlist and she would veto all but 2, usually included with very lame excuses.

Now, I want to know how much comprimise you think is fair. I'm willing to play most genres as long as we keep it somewhat varied. As in, if we play pop-punk we should at least do a pop version of a few non-pop songs. I'll play your songs in your style and then you'll play my songs in your style, it sounds very fair to me, what do you all think?

So, does anyone care to give some advice?Fair is what you decide is fair. If you wanna be in a band that covers a variety of genres, state that specifically when you place your ad or discuss with prospective band-mates. No need to go into detail of past problems, though.

Kyle1029384756
12-29-2009, 08:57 AM
I'd move right past an ad where a guy listed himself that way. It sounds like he isn't focused. Even though having other skills makes you a more rounded musician, you should be presenting yourself in the ad, for the role you want to fill in a band. If you wanna work as a guitarist, leave it at that. Also, mention any vocal skills you may have, as well as any bands you've worked with before.

Drop the "if you're interested". Wasted words, imho.
Contact via: *contact details*


Fair is what you decide is fair. If you wanna be in a band that covers a variety of genres, state that specifically when you place your ad or discuss with prospective band-mates. No need to go into detail of past problems, though.

Unfortunatly I can't change what I'm listed as. We had to write down any instruments we play for school so nothing I can do about that but you still make a good point, I can use that in my ad. Thanks for the advice. :)

I haven't got a hell of a lot of choice with band members at the moment, hoping that will change soon, but right now I have to work with what I've got, so compromise is still an issue. It will always be an issue to a certain point, everyone has slight differences in taste. Even if you're a huge thrash fan you might prefer Slayer and Pantera while your drummer is a die hard Exodus fan, for some that might be an issue.

isabiggles
12-29-2009, 09:46 AM
Just remember not to be like a robot in the ads. I put up an ad not long ago saying that I was a bassist/guitarist looking to start a heavy metal/thrash metal band in _______. I got a few requests to play bass guitar for bands desperate for a bassist (but they weren't really the kind of stuff I was into) but eventually I got a reply from a BASSIST (even though there were loads of ads looking for bassists) who said he liked the ad because I just seemed like a nice, down to earth guy.

Some ads like "JOIN MY BAND, WE ARE LOOKING FOR DRUMMER, YOU MUST BE ULTRA-CYBORG DRUMMER SKILLS" are kind of alienating and only uber-serious people will want to join them. Just write some bands you like, give some of your skills and other details with a friendly undertone and hopefully (I say hopefully because you'll obviously need to get lucky) you'll find some good musicians.

axemanchris
12-29-2009, 10:35 AM
Here's something I posted a while ago on a similar topic:

Funny how different people look at things differently. About the advert... Mine tend to be long, but with good reason:

1. I know what I want. I describe it.
2. I know what I am and have to offer, so I tell it.
3. I know what level of commitment and prioritization I am looking for, so I ask for it.

By doing this, you weed people out even before they bother calling or emailing you. There's really no point talking to people or returning an email when the person is clearly not what you're looking for, save for out of politeness. I'd just rather those people didn't bother.

So, the ad weeds out people. Then, you talk to them over the phone or via email and get a feel for them and what THEY have to say. At that point, you'll further the process of 'keep it or kill it.' You might even choose to meet with someone just to chat over coffee or a beer to find out more about them. I'd rather spend half an hour at a Starbacks having a pleasant (or not) chat with another musician that I don't have much in common with than to spend the afternoon humping gear around and jamming out for three weeks, only to find out later that the person has an entirely different set of ambitions.

Also... be honest and clear about what you are and have to offer and whatever baggage you carry. People are eventually going to find out anyways, so you might as well be up-front and not waste anyone's time. For instance, in my ad, I put down that I am in my late 30's. That way, if some 21 year-old was hoping for someone younger and family-free, I've excluded myself from their list. It's just as well in the long run.

As far as compromise goes.... if you weed people out and select people based on those above parameters, then you're all already on the same page. The less you compromise when picking your members, the less you'll be forced to compromise later. If you take just anyone in your band, with all their baggage and musical differences, you'll have a ton of compromises to make along the way. I'd sooner pay now than pay later, and each and every time we get together. Skip those people and pick ones where you're on the same page with. You'll all be better for it.

CT

axemanchris
12-29-2009, 10:39 AM
Here's a copy of an ad I flew out a few months ago:



Experienced Vocalist / Lead guitarist available for otherwise complete band (covers):

I have:
• No ego, attitude, pretensions.
• Experience:
o Live – played Westside Concert Theatre, Main Stage at It’s Your Festival, various clubs; live radio performance on CFMU
o Media – repeat exposure on CHTV, Y108, campus radio, etc.
o Roles – lead singer, lead guitarist, manager, webmaster, primary songwriter, recording engineer for my original band, Now-Here-This for the last four years. (various other bands since ’86)
o Recording – released full-length original CD in 2006.

• Formal training – degree in classical guitar and ten years vocal instruction, which allows me to sing without wearing out my voice.

I am:
• Non-smoker and Drug free
• Casual drinker
• Easy to work with; Laid back
• Late 30’s

I am a dad and have a demanding full time job (straight days, basically) which means that I don't depend on music for my income, but also that music is necessarily worked around my work and family commitments. (which has never been a problem)

I can commit myself to a practice schedule of roughly once per week. You can expect me to show up with my homework done, and I expect the same from you. I would like to gig once or twice every month or every other month - regular, but not rigorous.

I would like to sing and/or play guitar. I can do rhythm and/or lead, and can sing and play at the same time. In any case, I wish to be a vocalist in some capacity. Playing guitar is desirable, but by no means a deal-breaker.

As far as material goes, I am interested in doing covers and getting out there and having fun. My musical tastes are varied. I have successfully covered bands from Frank Sinatra to Godsmack, and from Blue Rodeo to Alice in Chains.

For more info and audio samples, check www.now-here-this.com.

Also listen to my old cover band from around 2004:
http://www.now-here-this.com/shine.mp3
http://www.now-here-this.com/betterman.mp3
http://www.now-here-this.com/comedown.mp3

I want a band who wants to do real 'crowd pleaser' type songs. I'm not against the occasional lesser-known song, but I want to focus on playing for the audience, meaning lots of newer popular material. At the same time, though I don't mind doing the odd 'standby', I'm not interested in doing a whole night of Roadhouse Blues, Satisfaction, and Knockin on Heaven's Door - and all those other songs that have been done 1000 times too many. There is so much great classic rock out there, that you can always find songs people really like, but aren't overdone.

My primary goal is to have fun and make good music with good musicians (not necessarily virtuosos), and good people.

If your band is interested in what I have to offer, please either email chris@zzzzzzzzzzzz or call 289-440-####. We'll chat and take it from there.


By being up front and specific, I got very few responses from people that were clearly not good matches. In fact, many people who responded said they did so because of how I presented myself. It was MY ad that stood out and appealed to them because of such-and-such that I said in my ad.

I flew out a similar ad for a Green Day tribute (instead of just plain old 'covers' like this one) and that one really took. I had tons of really solid replies.

CT