Playing with other people

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blade123

Guest
I don't know, but I think I've had the worst track record when it comes to playing with other people. I've tried getting a band for a few years, had at least 10 "almost bands", not one went anywhere.

Recently, I've given up on playing in a band (even though I really really want to), don't call anyone, don't hand out my number as much.
Every single time it's either:
-I never hear from them (which has happened 50-60 times, I'm not exaggerating at all)
-A lot of talk, but they don't actually set any dates and have a reason why we can't play when I try to set dates
-We jam once, I think it went well, and then I never hear from them again

I've been trying to jam with others for YEARS now, and nothing has worked. I've tried Myspace, Craigslist, Guitar Center, through friends in real life, NOTHING worked.

Let me ask you this? Why are musicians so flaky?
I'm turning into a flake just because I don't feel like putting out a ton of effort to just have someone else tell me that they are "too busy".
 
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jay norem

Guest
I don't know. Where do you live? Is it a little small town or are you in a city? Really, there's so much about you that I don't know. How old are you? What music have you been working on? Do you have a drum teacher, are you in school? And what is it that you're trying to do?
I've gathered that you're into jazz and so I'm guessing that this is the music you want to play. To do that you're going to have to go to a level that is above the guys who don't walk it like they talk it so to speak. Is this an option for you where you live?
Keep trying is the only thing I can think of, and as soon as it is possible move to a city where there's a music scene that you can insert yourself into.
Times are tough, but look: desire is a great guiding force, so follow your desire.
I wish I had more than that to tell you. You just have to get yourself in there, and once you're in there you have to work hard at keeping yourself there.
All of this, of course, is easier said than done.
 
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blade123

Guest
I don't know. Where do you live? Is it a little small town or are you in a city? Really, there's so much about you that I don't know. How old are you? What music have you been working on? Do you have a drum teacher, are you in school? And what is it that you're trying to do?
I've gathered that you're into jazz and so I'm guessing that this is the music you want to play. To do that you're going to have to go to a level that is above the guys who don't walk it like they talk it so to speak. Is this an option for you where you live?
Keep trying is the only thing I can think of, and as soon as it is possible move to a city where there's a music scene that you can insert yourself into.
Times are tough, but look: desire is a great guiding force, so follow your desire.
I wish I had more than that to tell you. You just have to get yourself in there, and once you're in there you have to work hard at keeping yourself there.
All of this, of course, is easier said than done.
I live in a weird area; It's fairly big, but there is nothing here. Dave Brubeck was born in my city, but that was ages ago, times have changed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concord,_California
I'm 16, have a drum teacher and in school. I want to jam with some people and play a few concerts.
I would prefer jazz, but I can play all styles except metal (I have a great deal of respect for metal drummers, but there's way too much "image" behind it) and emo/"alternative" (I don't want to be another whiny teenage band).
I've lived in the general area all my life, and in this house for 14 of my 16 years and I will stay here for another at least 4, moving isn't really an option.
 

bojangleman

Platinum Member
well, i dont know..but, one of the reasons i dont get alot of gigs is cause im underage...

your 16, so technically, you are too...

and your still in highschool...if you were to make it big, would you drop out? or what?

Alex
 
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blade123

Guest
well, i dont know..but, one of the reasons i dont get alot of gigs is cause im underage...

your 16, so technically, you are too...

and your still in highschool...if you were to make it big, would you drop out? or what?

Alex
That is a big factor for me too, if I was older I would have a lot more gigs.

No I wouldn't drop out.
I've considered a job in the music industry, but I looked at how unreliable it is. I may "make it big" but get fired 5 years from now and then what? Not even a highschool diploma...
 

The Colonel

Silver Member
Well, I guess I will be the dark horse and say that maybe they aren't returning calls because they didn't like your playing or you or your vibe, I dunno. That's a big thing with musicians. People think almost immediately "How would this work out?" and respond to that. I was in a band for a few years and we were trying out guitar/keyboard players and we went through quite a few - and didn't like any of them. It's funny - the one guy whose playing was really good didn't get the gig 'cause our singer thought he looked like his mom dressed him. And then 6 months after I quit the band I find out that guy is their new lead guitar player.

Image is very important to some people - especially in the rock side of things. I almost had a deal with a band on Sub Pop Records only to find out I lost the gig to a pretty average drummer that happened to "look more like [them]" - which makes you think "AARRRGG!!" - After the audition they said "Dude you're in as far as we're concerned - we just need to try out one last guy in a few days" - and that was that.

Also people get pretty exact ideas in their head as to where they want their stuff to go - what to sound like. And if you weren't giving them what they wanted, you're out. And a lot of times the way musicians do it is to just flake on you and never get back to you. I'm guilty of it all the time.

And the way you post on craigslist can go a long way towards finding the right people. Don't be terribly specific unless that's what you want. Are you playing jazz? Are you going for some sort of rock thing? Maybe post some influences in there. Sometimes I'll respond to someone's craigslist with a link to my freaky jazz and sometimes I won't - because that stuff could scare them away. Be honest with people about your playing background - I HATE when bands say "we're sort of like a Radiohead meets Bjork with some Bowie in there" and then you hear the stuff and not only is it terrible but it sounds nothing like anything they just said...

Anyway - keep plugging away - sometimes the right people just aren't out there at the moment. I NEVER had a bass player growing up - just a sax player for 6 years. Which was enough for us but we kept going "Man it'd be great to find a good bass player"
 
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jay norem

Guest
Ah...16 and chomping at the bit! I understand.
I don't know what it's like to be that age now. What I do know is that it's a hell of a lot different from how it was in the sixties. Whoo...but look, people are doing it, you know. I'd say don't be too impatient. I know what it's like to be young and to live in a place where nothing is happening. If you have your drums and you're studying with a teacher then that's good, right? Stick with that and keep looking for people to play with. You never know what will happen. Just stay with it and don't let yourself get discouraged.
Keep your grades up in school and get into a good university where you can study music. It'll all happen eventually.
I know this all sounds like a lot of crap but I just don't know what else to say, except to say to hang onto it and keep playing and learning.
 

Crusto 62

Senior Member
Just keep at it man. Your still young, there is no hurry. The right people could be just around the corner. Stay positive and practice , practice , practice. Good luck.
 
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blade123

Guest
Stay positive and practice , practice , practice. Good luck.
That's my problem. I've come to the point where sitting home by myself practicing isn't useful anymore, it's just exercise and technique that doesn't have any point (at least in my mind).
 

bojangleman

Platinum Member
haha..yeah...well, thats good!

if my band were to make it right now, which, we are pretty close to getting signed and some other stuff, i think i would take online highschool if we got a chance to tour...

but who knows..lol

Alex
 

zbdc

Junior Member
Are you in your school's music program (if one even exists...? That's the way to go in my opinion, especially for jazz. I've met numerous people interested in playing jazz and set up some jams, all through jazz bands in my school. Now, I don't know the situation regarding talent, commitment, etc. at your school. But there are many options in highschool music programs, even if you're not in them. Heck, check out concerts from other schools if you can't find anyone in your schools program. I find if you're in highschool and looking to play jazz, the best bet is in music programs...but maybe you've tried this already.

Hope that helped.
 

Crusto 62

Senior Member
Hey Blade 123, You might just have to put yourself out there. Tell people that your good. You may have to consider playing any style of music. Join a church group ,social group, school band, anything. just get out there and play and you will have fun. Eventually you will get yourself into a good jazz band. Good Luck.
 
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blade123

Guest
Are you in your school's music program (if one even exists...? That's the way to go in my opinion, especially for jazz. I've met numerous people interested in playing jazz and set up some jams, all through jazz bands in my school. Now, I don't know the situation regarding talent, commitment, etc. at your school. But there are many options in highschool music programs, even if you're not in them. Heck, check out concerts from other schools if you can't find anyone in your schools program. I find if you're in highschool and looking to play jazz, the best bet is in music programs...but maybe you've tried this already.

Hope that helped.
I'm in school band and jazz band. It's helped me out a LOT, but it can only do so much. There's no one in my school's jazz band that would be interested, so that doesn't work.
 

Baddstuff

Senior Member
the post by The Colonel is right on.

Trying to be in a good band with the right people can be one of the most frustrating and time consuming things a musician will go thru, at least from my experience. The endless false starts, the egos, and the half-assed commitments are things I had to deal with. Playing music with the right people is one of the great feelings, it is all the other garbage that eventually wears on you.

All I can tell you is to keep plugging away and give it your best shot. You will no doubt have your share of frustrations but the rewards can be sweet. I thought I had the talent to be in a touring rock band but was never in the right place at the right time. I'm satisfied in that I at least gave it a good solid shot. Stay focused and forge on. I wish you all the best.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
I think age is mostly responsible here.

Until recently I was going through the same thing although I was already endorsing products and playing music on television. American clubs don't want to put up with the hassle of keeping an underage musician constantly monitored and some bands think they will get in trouble if their guys engage in adult behavior with you tagging along. Then some older players don't even want to listen to you because they assume you're not up to the level, while guys your age don't call because they think you're already with older players. Its kinda silly sometimes.

I've started to solve the problem by just saying the heck with it and booking my own stuff, with a lot of it being concerts and private stuff. It's hard work, but then it's entirely your way. Funny how those green presidents eliminate so many problems with the older and better players. Suddenly they have no problems playing with you.

It's too bad the US isn't more like Europe. I was listening to jazz in Bucharest clubs when I was 12. They knew who I was, would sit me over to a corner table by myself and bring a bottle of Coke and a straw. I sat in constantly with the bands and then started bringing in my own groups with adult players. It just seemed natural to the people there. Here in The States it's a different story.
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
It's a real chore, having a bass player growing up. They eat so much, you know, and they're they're really hard on the furniture.
From what I hear, toilet training is also very difficult.

Blade - I knew (and still know) many great drummers in the past who moved to your city just to march with BD. Not sure if you're a drum corps guy or not but you have an awesome resource there for that kind of thing. Anyway...

As for your dilemna, good suggestions and observations from others. School band and making efforts to get to know older guys in the local music scene helped me and my friend to find some good players who were up for hanging and playing with us. Best of luck to you!

spleen
 
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blade123

Guest
From what I hear, toilet training is also very difficult.

Blade - I knew (and still know) many great drummers in the past who moved to your city just to march with BD. Not sure if you're a drum corps guy or not but you have an awesome resource there for that kind of thing. Anyway...

As for your dilemna, good suggestions and observations from others. School band and making efforts to get to know older guys in the local music scene helped me and my friend to find some good players who were up for hanging and playing with us. Best of luck to you!

spleen
I've considered joining the BD, but I'm not much into marching. I'm not in my school's marching band either. I don't know why, but marching never caught my attention.
 

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
Well, I guess I will be the dark horse and say that maybe they aren't returning calls because they didn't like your playing or you or your vibe, I dunno. That's a big thing with musicians. People think almost immediately "How would this work out?" and respond to that. I was in a band for a few years and we were trying out guitar/keyboard players and we went through quite a few - and didn't like any of them. It's funny - the one guy whose playing was really good didn't get the gig 'cause our singer thought he looked like his mom dressed him. And then 6 months after I quit the band I find out that guy is their new lead guitar player.

Image is very important to some people - especially in the rock side of things. I almost had a deal with a band on Sub Pop Records only to find out I lost the gig to a pretty average drummer that happened to "look more like [them]" - which makes you think "AARRRGG!!" - After the audition they said "Dude you're in as far as we're concerned - we just need to try out one last guy in a few days" - and that was that.

Also people get pretty exact ideas in their head as to where they want their stuff to go - what to sound like. And if you weren't giving them what they wanted, you're out. And a lot of times the way musicians do it is to just flake on you and never get back to you. I'm guilty of it all the time.

And the way you post on craigslist can go a long way towards finding the right people. Don't be terribly specific unless that's what you want. Are you playing jazz? Are you going for some sort of rock thing? Maybe post some influences in there. Sometimes I'll respond to someone's craigslist with a link to my freaky jazz and sometimes I won't - because that stuff could scare them away. Be honest with people about your playing background - I HATE when bands say "we're sort of like a Radiohead meets Bjork with some Bowie in there" and then you hear the stuff and not only is it terrible but it sounds nothing like anything they just said...

Anyway - keep plugging away - sometimes the right people just aren't out there at the moment. I NEVER had a bass player growing up - just a sax player for 6 years. Which was enough for us but we kept going "Man it'd be great to find a good bass player"
All of this is really great advice. And if it's one thing I've learned from hearing famous drummers at clinics it really is the classic "being in the right place at the right time." Tricky but true!
 

The Colonel

Silver Member
That's my problem. I've come to the point where sitting home by myself practicing isn't useful anymore, it's just exercise and technique that doesn't have any point (at least in my mind).


Hmmmm - you might want to re-read that about a hundred times and re-evaluate. Just saying...
 
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