#1
..so I've been trying to put together a band forever and have never had one go anywhere. 

It's hard finding people to play with ... and then when I do I find people it usually falls before we even get to play a show.  People get busy, not willing to commit time, move away, have difference in musical tastes etc.  

I've been using craigslist last few years and I've met some good musicians I've vibes w/ but nothing that's lasted. 

After the last potential project  fizzled out, I feel like i'm giving up on looking for bandmates for the time being and my plan right now is to work on a solo project, and learn zeppelin songs (potentially going to try to put together Zep/join cover band once I feel like I have the full repetoir under my belt) .

But I figured I'd make a thread here to see if anyone has any advice or experience they'd like to share about finding bandmates.
#2
I'm not much of a band player, most of my live experience comes from sound tech and stuff, and the band stuff is usually projects like musicals etc. but the best bands I've ever had I formed with people I knew beforehand and was good friends with. In my opinion, the best way to find the "perfect band" is to network and make friends with other musicians. Since I study music, a large number of my circle of friends is a musician, and since I often volunteer as both a technician and a musician in school projects I meet a lot of musically inclined people all the time. This is a great way to find possible bandmates.

Another thing you can try is frequenting jam sessions. I'm sure if you live in a bigger city there are some chances to jam with other people, which again gets you in contact with other musicians. I personally dislike craigslist and band ads because I often find that the really experienced and passionate people don't waste their time on sites like that, but instead actively search for opportunities in the real world.
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*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#3
I agree with Kev. My longest lasting bands were with high school friends or friends I had met at shows and got to know pretty well. Common experience is pretty important. Good luck.
#4
Agree with the above. People that want to play don't sit at home waiting to be contacted through listings; they go out and play at the jams and open mics. That is where they meet people and have a chance to hear and play with each other.
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#5
PlusPaul said exactly what I would say. Look for other musicians where musicians who have gotten off their asses, got out of the house and made an effort go. That would be open mic nights and jam nights. If that is unavailable in your area go see other working bands in your area and talk to the guys in the band on their break. Usually musicians love to talk to other musicians and since they are already in the loop and out there playing it's a good bet that they know others who are looking to put something together. Maybe they know of other bands that are looking for another player like you. At the very least you will get a better feel for what it takes to be a working band in your area and what people like or don't like. Be flexible and open and you will find your place. 

First tip:  I have said this before and it's like my mantra for musicians looking to join or form a band. Get professionally made personal business cards for yourself (not band cards). A simple card with your name and contact information, what instrument(s) you play and or hopefully vocals. Writing your name on a wet bar napkin makes you look amateur and unprepared and will be tossed the minute you are out of sight.  Try "Vista Print". For $10 you get 250 cards. Don't try to get creative or artistic, a fairly plain card with just your basic info will do. It tells others you are serious and ready go.  

As far as the Led Zep cover band idea, I'd re-think that. I can only speak for my area but we have several excellent Led Zep tribute bands in my neck of the woods. They do the whole package from the correct period equipment to the right look (clothes) and play great (note for note perfect). Led Zep may be the number one choice for tribute bands out there (next to Elvis impersonators and KISS clones).
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jul 11, 2017,
#6
I can't relate cause my first band was a misfits cover band when I was 15.  I'm 30 now and I'm married to the bass player  

for real though, environment factors quite a bit...are you in school, how old are you, urban/suburban/rural?  If you want to be in a band then make it happen.  Go to shows, meet other people at them, find out where they hang out, hang out there, utilize craigslist, etc.  I'm only saying this with sincerity and not to be an asshole, but if you lack the social skills to make friends with people who have common interests, then you're not going to be very successful in starting a band.  

BTW flakes exist.  The problems you describe plague everyone at all levels.  I will add, perhaps you need to lower your expectation.  Sometimes playing in a band is fun just for the sake of playing in a band.  If you're just sitting around learning Zeppelin songs, that might not be what your peers want to play.  I guess the point is, don't be the snob who is unwilling to meet half way and just mopes about it on a guitar forum.  I'm not saying that's the case, but at a certain point you're going to need to evaluate why no one wants to commit to playing music with you.  
"I definitely don’t write all my music in a blackout, like I used to, although I did come up with some good stuff in a blackout."
-Matt Fucking Pike
#7
Rickholly74 
Quote by Rickholly74

As far as the Led Zep cover band idea, I'd re-think that. I can only speak for my area but we have several excellent Led Zep tribute bands in my neck of the woods. They do the whole package from the correct period equipment to the right look (clothes) and play great (note for note perfect). Led Zep may be the number one choice for tribute bands out there (next to Elvis impersonators and KISS clones).


actually what you wrote there is the whole reason why I want to learn zeppelin songs.  Page is my favorite guitarist, they're a band I'd really enjoy covering and I'd be actually able to find others to be in a cover/tribute band of.  I realize if I'm going to join a Zep tribute band I need to really know their whole repertoire inside and out.. so maybe in ~yr I'd have all the songs learned and memorized to be able to play in a Zep tribute/cover band. 

what everyone's saying about joining bands w/ friends doesn't really provide much advice, either you have friends from high school or such you can play w/ or you don't. If you don't then that doesn't provide you w/ anything proactively that you can do to improve that situation.

I actually do find cragislist to be useful finding people. I've had more success w/ that then trying to start bands w/ friends and people I've met at bars and parties and such. Craigslist just takes patience and you have to sift through a lot of lousy posts. 

It would be better if I lived in a city.  I live in NJ suburbs outside NYC. If I lived in NYC or another city I don't think it'd be such an issue finding bandmates. But NYC is too expensive and I'm stuck in my current living situation for the time being though I do want to move to a city some time in the near future.
#8
Quote by Badluckpalms
 I guess the point is, don't be the snob who is unwilling to meet half way and just mopes about it on a guitar forum.  I'm not saying that's the case, but at a certain point you're going to need to evaluate why no one wants to commit to playing music with you.  

yeah, that is a good point. I'm always analyzing why things don't work out and wonder if I'm just an ass no one wants to play with lol. 

I feel like there is a bit of a balancing act to it of accommodating others being flexible, but also being your natural self playing the type of music you want and being yourself around others.   I feel like I am getting better at figuring out that balance as I get older and mature, but it's still something I struggle w/. I feel like I can be too intense or weird for some people if I'm myself and other people I get along w/ end up being just as ecliptic and adhd and unorganized as me and it's hard to get things accomplished w/ them.
#9
Quote by desire_machine
yeah, that is a good point. I'm always analyzing why things don't work out and wonder if I'm just an ass no one wants to play with lol. 

I feel like there is a bit of a balancing act to it of accommodating others being flexible, but also being your natural self playing the type of music you want and being yourself around others.   I feel like I am getting better at figuring out that balance as I get older and mature, but it's still something I struggle w/. I feel like I can be too intense or weird for some people if I'm myself and other people I get along w/ end up being just as ecliptic and adhd and unorganized as me and it's hard to get things accomplished w/ them.

for sure, and by no means do I intend to communicate that you should abandon your values.

Finding balance and finding committed people is a difficult puzzle piece, even more difficult if you have slim pickins on available members.  

keep on keeping on
"I definitely don’t write all my music in a blackout, like I used to, although I did come up with some good stuff in a blackout."
-Matt Fucking Pike