Posted on | August 12, 2011 | Comments Off
If you are looking to form a new band, it can be difficult to get people together with the right sound and attitude to complement your own vision. Whether you are on your own and looking to start a completely new band, or you just have one or two vacancies in your band you need to fill, here are some tips to help you get the mix you need, and mitigate the risk of those pesky “artistic differences” further down the line.
Use Social Media
The old school methods of finding band members, such as advertising in the music press, do still work, but you are going to get a much better response by trying to find people via social media sites. There are some sites dedicated specifically to introducing band members, such as JoinMyBand.co.uk and Band-Me-Up.com, but spreading the word on Twitter using hashtags relating to your location and what you are looking for can also be a great way to get your ad seen.
Be Clear About What You Expect
When advertising for or talking to potential new band mates, make sure you are completely upfront about what you want, need and expect, and what they can expect from you. If you are a professional party band, you need someone who will rehearse until they are tight and can be reliable, but you won’t need someone with song writing skills, for example.
Tell them what your aspirations are, how regularly you gig and rehearse, what percentage of covers to fresh material you play, and how much (if anything) they can expect to earn as things currently stand for your band. You definitely need people on your wavelength both musically and from a business perspective. There is no point taking on an amazing guitarist who wants to be in a band that’s trying to get signed, if you are putting together a band to play covers at functions for reliable money instead.
Depending on what you are looking for and how many responses you get, you may want to shortlist from demos or just hold a couple of auditions straight away. These can take whatever format suits you. For a lot of bands who play their own material exclusively, you’ll probably want to see how they handle your genre from a technical perspective by playing some cover pieces and then perhaps having a jam session to see how naturally they latch onto and integrate with your sound. If you are looking for someone who has song writing or lyric writing skills, you will almost certainly want some samples of what they do.
Don’t forget, it’s not just a general pop or rock band which may need musicians, so if you are looking to join a band consider a wedding band or party band, and not just on your doorstep, if you live in Oxford also look around for Hampshire wedding bands, Wiltshire based groups, Surrey bands or even Bristol bands for hire, the wider you cast your net, the better the potential catch.
While you do need to have a clear idea of what you are looking for, having some flexibility can actually be quite inspiring. You may have thought you wanted a male lead singer, but what is the harm in auditioning a female who applies just to see what effect that has on your overall sound and image. You may be surprised by the new directions your venture can be taken in by keeping your search slightly broader than your initial idea of your ideal band mate.