How did you start a band or start gigging with a band?

timmdrum

Silver Member
After one night of playing Hootie (from Hootie and the Blowfish) approached me as I was breaking down my drums and gave me a $600 tip.
HAHAHAHA! "Hootie"! I nearly spit my Pepsi...!

Darius seems like a nice guy. I've met him twice, once pre-fame (RIP Mad Monk, Wilmington NC), once post- (friend was on the lighting crew for HATB a few years back). Same congenial, friendly guy both times. But I bet he hates it when people call him Hootie...!
 

Bigdumbdrums

Senior Member
My first band was in high school - we wrote some of the silliest originals ever ("Granny Edna's Chainsaw Revenge" was our biggest hit).
Then in college (art school) I met a fellow artist who was a phenominal guitarist. We met a bassist from the music school and we started a party band - played every weekend - best times ever!
After graduating college the same guitarist and I found a new bassist in the Boston area and started an original power rock/funk trio and gigged heavily through the Boston club circuit - we played NYC a few times as well. That lasted 3-4 years.
I was also the drummer for the house band of a very popular blues club in Boston (Harper's Ferry) every week. Great gig - one of my favorites. After one night of playing Hootie (from Hootie and the Blowfish) approached me as I was breaking down my drums and gave me a $600 tip.
Then I got married and had 3 kids. I quickly fell out of the scene for nearly a decade!
2 years ago I reconnected with a singer I used to play with and helped them play a gig in NYC. They were 2 hours away from where I live and being their permanent drummer wasn't going to be easy.
Last year I used Craigslist to find a local cover band that gigs - great group of people in need of a drummer - I was the first they auditioned and was hired immediately. been happily playing with them for the past year.
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
I agree that it's not just about wanting to make a good living, but trust me, you have no idea how competitive those scenes you mentioned are.

Also, one way that I look at it...would you rather be a part-time musician, playing what you want, but also sitting in an office 40 hours a week, or a full-time musician, playing both what you want and stuff that you don't necessarily love, but still drumming, improving your craft, and getting to do what you love above all else?
even if they are competitive....as long as i find a place where they are plentyful....#
i live music, i see no other career for me!.....
i live in ireland but id love to move over to america when i can to find good music scenes ie. jazz and blues...that kind of stuff

bt i spose you have been through it and know anout it!
 

ManniMan94

Junior Member
When a my mate left his band as drummer he asked me to fill his place. i did so and we are stull goin, 1 year on :D
we just play the pubs in the area, just asked them if we could, they cant realy say no :D

Any one in leeds wanting to come see us, we are playin the primrose pub on sat at like 9pm :D

cheers

Manni
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
but then again its not all abot wanting to make a good living.....theres always going to be weddings ect....but i hate metal and rock.....so i dont see why i have to break into that because i think the music is awful......mabye the odd few are good...

i see where your coming from though.....i wish i was around in the 60's!!!!....i would have had a job no problem!!

even though ive heard that places like seattle and new york have huge jazz and blues scenes...anybody here from any o those places??
I agree that it's not just about wanting to make a good living, but trust me, you have no idea how competitive those scenes you mentioned are.

Also, one way that I look at it...would you rather be a part-time musician, playing what you want, but also sitting in an office 40 hours a week, or a full-time musician, playing both what you want and stuff that you don't necessarily love, but still drumming, improving your craft, and getting to do what you love above all else?
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
but then again its not all abot wanting to make a good living.....theres always going to be weddings ect....but i hate metal and rock.....so i dont see why i have to break into that because i think the music is awful......mabye the odd few are good...

i see where your coming from though.....i wish i was around in the 60's!!!!....i would have had a job no problem!!

even though ive heard that places like seattle and new york have huge jazz and blues scenes...anybody here from any o those places??
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
everyone seems tobe in a rock or heavy metal band....what happened to jazz and blues and funk!
im 16 and am a jazz drummer.ben playing for 9years now and loving it.....
its funny, you seem to think that your a great drummer until you see some great like elvin jones or gene krupa......and your stuck back working your ass off for 2years trying to impersonate them, but it will never happen!haha


To answer your question...first of all, let's be honest. It's a lot harder to be exposed to jazz and blues and funk today than it was when they were considered popular music.

But, beyond that, those styles of music have become niche markets, which means there is less demand for that style of music. Therefore, it's harder to break into, especially locally. If you want to make it as a jazz musician in my area, good luck. There are three venues that have jazz, and one of them has a regular house band...so that makes two venues booking all the jazz musicians in our area, and they get bands from outside our area, too. On the same street that one of those clubs is on, there are (no exaggeration) 30 places that hire rock bands.

I used to only play jazz. If I had stuck with that, I wouldn't be able to make a living today.
 

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
everyone seems tobe in a rock or heavy metal band....what happened to jazz and blues and funk!
im 16 and am a jazz drummer.ben playing for 9years now and loving it.....
its funny, you seem to think that your a great drummer until you see some great like elvin jones or gene krupa......and your stuck back working your ass off for 2years trying to impersonate them, but it will never happen!haha
 

That Guy

Platinum Member
My first band heard of me from and guy who knew a guy who knew a guy who knew that I played the drums. Ya! I was still in high school and I used to sit in with a few of the high school bands at parties for shiz & giggles and have fun. At one of these parties I was approached by the older brother of the kid throwing the party and he said that his band was looking for a drummer. The next day, I ditched school went back to the house that the party was at and played on the kit that was still there with this guys band. It was perfect. I was 15 years old and the other guys were in thier early 20's. I felt so special and priviliged and these guys were good.

We played every weekend and were a self promoting machine. After a year and a half of gigging in the San Diego area we moved to L.A. after I graduated high school and had a ball. We lived up there for a few more years. Eventually we went our separate ways because I joined the military. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned alot.

My second band found me at an open mic night at a local sports bar in Stuart, Florida. That band lasted for 4 years.

Good times.
 

Mr. Compactness

Senior Member
I got an email from our bass player through Bandmix.com I had the foresight to put my email address is my posting so people wouldn't have to pay to contact me :) I auditioned and after a few other guys tried out I was told I was the best fit and got the spot. I've been with them for a year come this February.

It's the first real band I've been in, we gig fairly regularly (well, at least once a month which for an originals band in our area that's pretty good) and I'm loving every minute of it. It's very important to find musicians who you can feel comfortable with on a musical level but also who have the ability to challenge you either in their higher knowledge or skill in various areas.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
Started in high school, some of the other geeks in marching band played guitar, we got another friend of mine to pick up bass guitar and started a cover band. Our first gig: High school talent show where we won third place (contest was rigged, some drama students won 1st for a stupid skit that everyone agreed sucked and failed miserably but the talent show judge was the drama teacher, go figure.)

Almost twenty years later, i'm in South Florida's best up and coming progressive metal band. I've progressed light years since but any time i starting thinking to myself that i'm going to be the next great drummer in MD magazine, i just come here and watch some videos to put me back in my place
Have you heard of Ghost of Gloria? Their drummer, Mark Poisez, is incredible. He went to my high school, then went to University of Miami, did all kinds of stuff down there, and now his band either is getting signed, or just got signed. I know they won some huge contest and got to record with some industry heavies. If you haven't heard of him, you're missing out...check out www.ghostofgloria.com or www.myspace.com/ghostofgloria. Go check out a show in South Florida, and if you get a chance, talk to Mark. He's not only amazing, but he's a cool dude. He got to my high school the year after I left, so you'd think we'd have competitive attitudes...I was the outgoing awesome drummer, he was the incoming awesome drummer, but we've always gotten along and hoped for the best for each other. I respect that so much.
 

Snoodleking

Junior Member
hahah I just went to the bandmix website to check it out and low and behold the second band listed in my area had a picture of them playing on my drum set... which I set up at a local open mic...I thought it was hilarious.

But my roommate I was paired with in college plays guitar and I play drums... We would doodle together sometimes. Then about 2 years later we decided (after playing a gig that we threw together last minute) to look for a bassist.

We found one where I work... And then maybe another one... Started playing some open mics. Got a paid gig. And maybe another one. And maybe a keyboardist/violinist/female vocalist. And that's where we are now!
 

Kyle_Drummer_666

Junior Member
Me and this other kid in my high school came into class wearing a guitarcenter shirt. So I asked him what he played, he said he played bass with his friend who played guitar. Then I jammed with them one day and we formed a band. Now we have a singer, same guitarist, me on drums, and the bass player left.
 

diosdude

Silver Member
I just wanted to know some background on you guys' band experience.

How did you start?
What went wrong at first and what went right?
Where are you now compared with when you started?

Thanks,
Drummertist

Started in high school, some of the other geeks in marching band played guitar, we got another friend of mine to pick up bass guitar and started a cover band. Our first gig: High school talent show where we won third place (contest was rigged, some drama students won 1st for a stupid skit that everyone agreed sucked and failed miserably but the talent show judge was the drama teacher, go figure.)

Almost twenty years later, i'm in South Florida's best up and coming progressive metal band. I've progressed light years since but any time i starting thinking to myself that i'm going to be the next great drummer in MD magazine, i just come here and watch some videos to put me back in my place
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
In high school, my band director literally grabbed myself and two other guys and said, "Look, you are the best drummer, guitarist, and bass player I've had come through here in quite some time, and you all love the same musicians. I know you don't get along very well, but suck it up and make some good music together." So, we formed a band, even though we didn't like each other. Soon, we were best friends.

Unfortunately, we all messed around with different drugs, let girls come between us, etc. The band broke up, but such is life. Bands change, but the music goes on. I'm now playing professionally. Yay!
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
Started playing drums in Church. I was horrible. Our first choir singspiration was great (except for my drumming). There were 5 other choirs there and sad to say, I was laughed at by several other drummers. This of course gave me the desire to become better. After wearing out 3 Walkmans playing Metal and studying Funk& Gospel with a good friend, I auditioned for the District Choir. I played and traveled all over California & Arizona with this 50-voice choir from age 15 to 19. I continued to play in English/Spanish Ministries learning Latin and Jazz rhythms. This year I finished my very first full LP with Steve J. Walker Band and Testify, a Christian Metal band.
 

DrummerDavid

Senior Member
Well, could be along story, but I will do the Reader's Digest.

Started to play drums in school band. My parents bought me a very used set from a pawn shop.
My older brother plays bass and a few of his friends played guitar.
We used to just mess around and jam old rock tunes(Zeppelin-Hendrix. ETC) in someones basement or whatever.
Then I started to play with a friend of mine who was a EVH nut and we jam some tunes with a tone def singer and sometimes, my brother jammed with us.
But I wanted to play originals and become a rock star-so I put an ad up at a local music store.

A singer from a band found the ad, and the band called me up for an auditioned.
I auditioned, they said I was good but was looking for someone with a black drum set(huh?-my set was blue glitter colored)

This was in the late 80's mind you. I went out and bought a black pearl export set and addittioned for them a few months later. This time it worked and in a short few months, we were playing clubs in and around the Detroit area. We never went above the opening for other bands level. A few months later I quit becuase I did not get along with the band anymore(everyone was related except me). After I quit, my replacement played sets with glitter on them..

After that I jammed with a few other bands. One being a band that was influenced by the likes of Marillion, Queensrche..ETC. I regret quiting that band.(My first gigging band mentioned above wanted me back-I kick myself)

So, anywho...I got married to someone whom I thought supported my playing, but did a 180 as soon as she said I do. Would not let me jam with anyone. Not even my brother.

We had some kids..moved to GA...and then divorced.

So I decided to start playing again. I put an ad on craigslist about 10 months ago, and now playing with a rock cover band-we just got our singer about 4 months ago-but we have not yet to play a gig, except a party.

I put another ad on craigslist a couple of days ago seeing if any jazz or blues bands needed a drummer who is new to those genres. I got a response, and hopefully this weekend I will have found a second home. I am looking to expand my horizons a bit..
 
Last edited:
Top