Finding Other Musicians


View Full Version : Finding Other Musicians

04-19-2007, 11:36 PM
Hey all,
I'm writing a series of articles for UG. Lemme know what you think, or anything that'll be helpful.
Thanks folks,


Hey folks,
This article is part of a series I'm going to do mostly on starting a band and the various parts that that entails. Primarily, to start any band you need band mates. Where do you find these guys? Well there are lots of ways, and I'll start outlining those here. The musician hunt is on.

This is probably the most common, problem prone ways to find band mates. Often enough, if a person has the will, and not necessarily the talent, they can become part of a band. Many non-musical people decide to take of an instrument for just this purpose. If you're musical, and want to start a band, and have some friends with enthusiasm for music too, sometimes you're band mates are right in front of you're eyes. This doesn't come without problems though: being in a band together can screw up a friendship. If something goes wrong in the band, things can be wrong as friends too. Or, if some of your friends are in your band, but not others, your friends might feel like you're discluding them. Albeit lots of bands have at least a member or two who is just a high school friend, these purposes have to be dealt with carefully. Do not try and force a friend into it! Anthony Keidis and Flea might be best friends since high school in the Chili's, but it's not the only way.

If you're really into music, you can often take a course at school in your area of interest. I would say the prime part of my guitarist's learning came from my guitar class in high school. You get your reputation as a musician throughout the school, and some of the other people in that class will be pretty into music too. I've done some gigs and recording and had lot of fun through a high school class. Often enough you'll have lots or fun and some decent experience even if you don't manage to find anybody here. Can be lots of fun.
In addition to the regular classes, some schools have regular coffeehouses you can play in. Sometime their acoustic, and sometimes they let in electrics. Either way, just play what you can. The experience is great. I started out just playing acoustic gigs by myself, and to be honest, it probably sucked, but once the word gets out a little bit, it's always easy to find somebody who needs accompaniment, and often you can find another guitarist or two to play with. Even after my rather horrible beginnings in my school's coffeehouse's, by the time I graduated I played over 15 times in my final coffee house, and people I didn't even know would come to me to play, and I had a great time, even if I didn't like the songs that much. It helps you feel natural on stage, get some experience with other musicians, and helps you get your name out their as a musician. Variety shows and all that can be good experience and give a lot of same benefits, they just happen more rarely usually.

Now this won't be for all of you, as a lot of guitarists have extreme anti-lesson views, but, despite a load of other advantages, taking lessons from a teacher can be an excellent way to meet other musicians. A lot of teachers put together groups of students to play in "bands," and then set up shows for them to play at. Although these mock-shows can not truly hit the reality that is an actual local gig, it gives you a lot of access to meet musicians. They might be in the band you're thrown together with, or one of the other bands, or it might be some cute singer chick in the crowd just checking the bands out, but if you are a little social and get talking to people, you can usually find some people with similar interests. The key here though is to start something up outside of your teacher's groups and events. As much as a teacher can really help you out and those kind of put-together bands can be fun, it's pretty unlikely you'll really hit the connection and creative peaks you want in a band with these groups.Usually for a band to work, the musical drive has gotta come from you and your band mates, not a teacher. So here's the wrap-up question. You might be saying, "But J! I don't want to take lessons just to meet other musicians!" Then don't. Get some cahones and call a teacher and tell them you're situation. They might need an extra guitar player for this, or a singer for that, and be happy to have you free of charge. It's worth a try.

Even if you're not playing, feel free to look around and check out any local gig's you can. If you're having trouble finding local gigs, talk to anyone savvy to the locals scene, and check telephone polls or the windows of local music shops. Feel free to talk to the bands after the show (as most bands like to talk about themselves anyways). Eventually, people will notice you as a common face at local shows and start talking to you about the local bands. Once you know what's happening with the local bands, you'll know who's free and isn't doing anything right then, or often find some musicians in the same spot as you. Checking out local shows takes a little more guts, but the results can be much more rewarding.
Another way to use gigs to your advantage is to find an open mic night somewhere (this can be difficult as a lot of them are 19+, but they are around). Even if you really don't have the full package to play live (like being able to sing or such), even a little instrumental piece that shows you're not horrible and is still even a little fun to listen to can definitely help you out in terms of finding some other people to play with. Even if you're just "alright," this often will give you an in with the other "alright" musicians in the house, and you'll find yourself a band pretty quick. I did this in high school with a horrible acoustic cover of "Megalomaniac" by Incubus, while not knowing a single other person in the room other then a couple friends, and a year later I was getting requests to accompany a dozen different people every time another open mic came up, and that turned into band requests, and it's helped me in every way since.

Hopefully this will help you guys out there who are just getting to the point where you want to collaborate with some other musicians and get a band or a group going. Finding friends among musicians can be trying, but hopefully these suggestions will help you out. Often enough you'll find some people who might not match up to you the way you want, but once you know a few musicians, they'll often tell you about others, and once you've found some guys to start your first band, changing the odd member or finding a new guy/girl shouldn't be too hard.


This is just okay, but I'll probably work on it a bit later. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

04-20-2007, 12:08 AM
i like it man, informative

04-20-2007, 01:49 AM
Nice man, I can't really see anything in need of changing but if you can make it better than go ahead! XD

Sir Edwin CBE
04-20-2007, 11:44 AM
If your musical, and want to start a band, and have some friends

If your really into music, you can often take a course at school in your area of
In addition to the regular classes, some schools have regular coffeehouses you can play in. Sometime their acoustic, and sometimes they let in electrics. Either way, just play what you can. The experience is great. I started out just playing acoutic gigs by myself, and to be honest, it probably sucked, but once the word gets out a l

I didn't check it all, just seen these.

04-20-2007, 01:03 PM
Yeah, I haven't done my punctuation and all that check yet. I usually just do that before I submit, lol. I'll do a quick look over it though.

Edit: Actually, in retrospect, I suprised you didn't see many many more. There were lots in there.

04-20-2007, 07:03 PM
unless your friends are all musically useless, your school doesn't have any artsy functions, and the local scene is incredibly dry.

Have any suggestions if that is the case?

04-21-2007, 01:31 PM
Gigs are probably your best bet.

04-21-2007, 02:29 PM
the owner of the music place i go to take lessons has a whole bunch of stores. He makes bands from students who go to them.This is awsome because my private lessons teacher asked me if i wanted to do that and i said sure. I now have to wait for him to call to say he has got enough people.(if you want to learn more about this for the hell of it just PM me)

04-21-2007, 06:21 PM
My schoolmates are musically dry, so are the venues and gigs that DO find their way around here, and my school's "Garage Band" plays nothing but power chords they call heavy metal.

Please tell me what to do then?...

04-22-2007, 08:00 PM
Thanks for the input guys. I'll add in some sections on what you said, and try to answer your questions when I get a little more time. Thanks guys, and check back soon, lol.

Donkey Fly
05-05-2007, 08:13 AM
Yer - it good. It's something different.

But i think it neeeds some more adding to it just to make it a bit longer.

12-18-2007, 12:01 AM
Made a bunch of changes. Not in a great mood, so some of the new material might not be so great, but anyways, here's a *bump* for new input.

12-28-2007, 02:28 AM
One last chance for input before I submit this...

Thanks for all the good ideas folks.

12-28-2007, 09:46 PM
It's good, I'm also impressed you managed an acoustic version of Megalomaniac. Crazy.