Are you thinking about hiring a new band member? Whether you are just starting a band or need a replacement, there is a lot to think about. Besides their skills and experience, personality is a critical trait to scrutinize. Band members who don’t get along can cause devastating acrimonious breakups. Bad attitudes and artistic differences will cripple your band, affect the morale of the other group members, and tarnish your reputation. So, be very careful when choosing your band members.
As a bandleader, it is your job to select the right musicians or artists to reduce friction amongst members so that your band can thrive and make money.
In this blog, we’ll show you how to look for the band members, where to find them, and how to prepare. Learn to recognize the traits of an amazing potential band member.
How do you go about finding the right member? It starts with you. You need to be clear about the type of person you want. After all, your band is your extended family.
“If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never find it. If you don’t know what you deserve, you’ll always settle for less.” – Rob Liano, Best Selling Author, a Certified Life Coach, and a Business Strategist.
Make a List and Be Prepared Before Interviewing New Bandmates
In a band’s performance, the band members feed off one another. It takes a group effort to make it look and sound great. Think about the personality and style that will harmonize with your band’s unique identity. Musical talent alone is not enough. There are busloads of talented musicians from which to choose. You need to find the ones that will contribute to your band’s stardom.
The first step is to screen for the kind of skills and musical style that you may need, like a bass player, drummer, guitarist, or vocalist.
Then, make a list of qualities that you want. Ask questions to find out about these traits. Are they:
- Punctual – You need someone who is always on time, whether to practice, soundcheck, or gig.
- Hard-working – Takes initiative to make things work.
- Committed – Makes your band a priority, continuously involved with the bandmates and activities.
- Reliability – Can you count on this person? Will he show up or keep his word?
- Team Player – Having an ego is OK; being self-centered is not.
- Right Attitude – You need someone who can help you get through the tough times, low pay, and not-so-good venues without whining. A good smile and sense of humor help.
- Professional – Someone who is respectful to everyone. They should practice and know their part before rehearsal.
- Responsible behavior – Moderation is the key here. You don’t want someone who’s incapacitated for your rehearsals or gigs.
Despite checking on all these qualities during the interviews, you won’t know for sure until you start working together. Consider a probationary period to make sure it’s a fit.
Damian Keyes, the founder of the British Institute of Modern Music (the BIMM Institute), has the perfect video on this subject. Watch How to Find Committed Musicians / How to Replace and Find Band a Member. It will open your eyes to what you need to do.
It’s up to you to instill the right belief, trust, and work ethic in your bandmates. You need to lead by example, and they will follow.
Go Public So Bandmates Can Find You
Even if you’re just starting your band, you need an online presence. Post your videos on YouTube or Facebook. Build your social media, so it looks attractive. Serious band members want to see you and your music. You must have samples of your music ready online where people can hear or see your style.
Better yet, get the Back On Stage app. You can curate all your music and setlists, then send them straight to your prospective band members. This web app keeps their contact info, lets you send emails, and rehearsal times all from your phone.
Now that you know the kind of person you want how do you find members for your band?
9 Ways How to Find Musicians for Your Band
You can find quality musicians everywhere. Here are some proven places to begin your search.
- Open Mics and Jams – Open mic venues work well for discovering new talent. It’s an excellent way to see how they play and meet them in person at the same time. You’ll also meet people who can give you good leads to other musicians.
- Attend Local Live Shows – Checking out other band’s shows provides valuable opportunities to meet musicians and music people who can steer you in the right direction.
- Online Music and Band Sites – Online band sites have taken over where bulletin boards left off. You can target by location and type of music. Four of the best sites include:
- Join-A-Band.com – You can search and place classified ads by country.
- Jamseek – This app is primarily for UK musicians.
- JamKazam - Join open sessions to jam with others in different locations.
- BandMix.com – Connect with other musicians by state or country.
- Music Courses or Workshops – You don’t have to attend a workshop for your chosen instrument. Mix it up to learn a new one and meet people you need for your band.
- Music Schools – There is nothing like getting to know like-minded people, who enjoy the same music, and studying THEM every day. You can see who’s always on time, who’s always late, and who’s got the best attitude.
- Classified Ads – Try looking at Craigslist, Bandmix, or Gumtree.com
- Check Local Rehearsal Rooms and Studios – This is a hotspot to check for local musicians seeking a band and bands seeking musicians.
- Start Networking – Ask your friends, your music teacher, fire up your Facebook page and send out some tweets. Let the “six degrees of separation” theory help you find someone right for your band. Someone out there knows a guy who knows another guy who wants to join a group.
- Hold an Audition – If you already have a band and need new members, holding an audition, brings the talent to you. Advertise on some of the places mentioned above.
Hard-working groups that already have fans and momentum naturally attract talent. The better musicians want to be on the winning side and will work to get there. You need to look and sound professional, especially when starting up.
Excellent Video Tips on How to Find Musicians for a Band
Get some excellent advice from the pros when you watch these videos.
How to Not COMPLETELY SUCK at Starting a Band - Glenn Fricker, recording engineer at SpectreSoundStudios made this hilarious, yet spot-on checklist of what not to do when starting a band.
How to Find Musicians For a Band - Damian Keyes, the founder of the British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM Institute), tells it like it is.
Experience is the best teacher, and you’ll learn a lot from these guys!
Finding Members is Easy, Choosing the Right One Takes Work!
By using a few of the methods listed in this blog, you’ll meet lots of potential bandmates. But that’s only the beginning. The tough part is knowing if your styles and work ethic can mesh. Use your checklist. See if your prospect can rehearse at the same time and if their playing experience is on a similar level.
You need to have a reason for musicians to follow you. Have your audio or video tracks ready so they can see how serious you are about making it in music.
If you’re committed to your path, other like-minded musicians will find you.