These posts I see on Craigslist

Channing

Member
So, I'm kind of new at drumming, and I keep seeing these posts on my local Craigslist from drummers looking for gigs or bands to play with. I see, in general, two main types of posts. So, some are from drummers looking to join or form a band; they'll list influences and maybe a link to some recordings with a former band. The other, far more common type of post, is a drummer posting looking for gigs. They specify that they don't want to practice, but they just want to play paying gigs. I guess my question is... is that real life? Do drummers actually find gigs by making these kinds of posts? Do bands really hire drummers who they've never practiced with for a show? If they do, do they make a lot of mistakes because they haven't practiced together? Is this only for certain genres of music? Usually these posts claim that the drummer plays "all styles of music." How much experience would a drummer need to be able to pull something like this off? Anyone here make posts like this? What is the logic behind not wanting to rehearse?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I may be out of the loop, but I wouldn't hire someone who didn't want to practice, nor would I want to be in a band they didn't practice. All bands practice.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
"All styles of music" is a farce. I'd like to see a groove oriented drummer jump straight into black metal. Especially without practicing. We have lots of those posts here too. Personally, I feel as if it's just someone who wants the cool factor of being in a band. We all know what our favorite genres we like to play are. Someone who wants to play anything isn't really in it for the music.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
So, I'm kind of new at drumming, and I keep seeing these posts on my local Craigslist from drummers looking for gigs or bands to play with. I see, in general, two main types of posts. So, some are from drummers looking to join or form a band; they'll list influences and maybe a link to some recordings with a former band. The other, far more common type of post, is a drummer posting looking for gigs. They specify that they don't want to practice, but they just want to play paying gigs. I guess my question is... is that real life? Do drummers actually find gigs by making these kinds of posts? Do bands really hire drummers who they've never practiced with for a show? If they do, do they make a lot of mistakes because they haven't practiced together? Is this only for certain genres of music? Usually these posts claim that the drummer plays "all styles of music." How much experience would a drummer need to be able to pull something like this off? Anyone here make posts like this? What is the logic behind not wanting to rehearse?
I've played many a paying gig without rehearsing with a band.
With that being said ,it's mostly standards that we've all heard before and or stuff from a fake book.
If somebody requests a polka or a waltz,and if you have a background in playing those styles ,you can usually wing it.
Weddings and dances are usually those types of gigs.
Even top 40.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
. They specify that they don't want to practice, but they just want to play paying gigs. I guess my question is... is that real life? Do drummers actually find gigs by making these kinds of posts? Do bands really hire drummers who they've never practiced with for a show? If they do, do they make a lot of mistakes because they haven't practiced together? Is this only for certain genres of music? Usually these posts claim that the drummer plays "all styles of music." How much experience would a drummer need to be able to pull something like this off? Anyone here make posts like this? What is the logic behind not wanting to rehearse?
Yes.

Professionals who get paid for every gig.

Usually for cover bands or bands playing standards.

If a drummer knows enough covers, it's entirely possible.

I used to do gigs like that way back when, though I never enjoyed them as much as being in a real band.

Ask Living Dead Drummer or Bermuda, as they do these all the time.

Go up another level:

Korn hired Ray Luzier originally off one audition, and they never rehearsed with him before the tour. Ray was told when the 1st gig was and just be prepared.

When Motorhead hired Micky Dee, Lemmy told Mickey he knew the songs. It wasn't an opinion, it was an order. They never rehearsed.

You hear all sorts of stories of so and so filled in for another drummer in an emergency situation, and yeah, there aren't rehearsals

It takes a very high level of skill to pull those situations off. But they happen all the time.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
What is the logic behind not wanting to rehearse?
These particular c/list ads are directed at NOT having people reply who need a drummer for their basement bands, that rehearses a lot, once a week, and almost never plays out. Some people are not interested in that, they want to only play out.
One can encounter the opposite, people who are fine to just play for enjoyment weekly in a basement, and advertise as such. Something for everybody out there.
 

Channing

Member
Yes.

Professionals who get paid for every gig.

Usually for cover bands or bands playing standards.

If a drummer knows enough covers, it's entirely possible.

I used to do gigs like that way back when, though I never enjoyed them as much as being in a real band.

Ask Living Dead Drummer or Bermuda, as they do these all the time.

Go up another level:

Korn hired Ray Luzier originally off one audition, and they never rehearsed with him before the tour. Ray was told when the 1st gig was and just be prepared.

When Motorhead hired Micky Dee, Lemmy told Mickey he knew the songs. It wasn't an opinion, it was an order. They never rehearsed.

You hear all sorts of stories of so and so filled in for another drummer in an emergency situation, and yeah, there aren't rehearsals

It takes a very high level of skill to pull those situations off. But they happen all the time.

Thanks for your reply. It makes sense. I guess I'm just wondering if a band would play a show with some rando they found on CL without even rehearsing with them first. And if so, why? Why would they choose that guy when they could pick someone who's willing to show up for rehearsal?

I filled in for another drummer once for a show, they asked me on Tuesday and the show was Friday. I went and rehearsed with them twice and also practiced with some recordings they sent me. I wouldn't really think we'd play a show without practicing together at least once, but also the songs were that band's originals. Maybe I could show up and play covers that I know with a band I've never played with before. I wouldn't want to though; I'd prefer to rehearse at least once or twice.
 

The Modernist

Senior Member
I do dep gets fairly regularly. I'll get a phone call on Thursday, then gig the following day, no rehearsal. Mostly it's standard fare, so easy enough to wing. Different gig entirely if it was original material, of course.
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
I do a fair amount of short notice, fill-ins. I've never posted to CL, or similar site. Most of that work comes via referral from other musicians I've worked with. The bands know I will arrive early, with the right gear, and ready to play.

Rehearsals are always a good thing, but rarely possible. I get the setlists, and do as much listening as possible before the show.

On stage, I listen, and keep my head up and eyes open to watch for cues. The latter is essential for fly by the seat of your pants gigs.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I haven't written adds like that since I was only a guitar player.

I'm not into nk and metal, so I wrote that, and gave a description of what I could do and generally sounded like I also obviously put up some links of my playing, mostly live vids.

Generally, what happened is that when bands or artists had auditions they'd give me a call as well.

I haven't seen these ads, but what many people mean, I think, is that they're after paying gigs. Not bands doing original material just looking for a member, and aren't serious about getting out there and making money.

I know what I was after. Not some modern punk grunge band having fun, right? More an established cover band with regular gigs most weekends with acceptable pay to live on.

I did find a regular cover band, but I also got all orts of one-offs from that. Big band, theather, etc... I kept the add, but after a while who knows? It's a combination of that a word on the street. Maybe someone sees your add and asks a friend if they know about you. It's good to be out networking in all sorts of ways. Go to shows, the right clubs etc...

I van tell you that the cover band gig was, after the audition, pretty much, here's a list of 60 songs, first gig is on Friday, in four days. You make it happen. A couple of mistakes is acceptable as a guitar player. Doesn't look too good having charts on stage, but as a drummer I guess you can more easily hide a few notes on a few songs just to be sure.

Eventually, it became quite clear why I got the gig. Being ready, having the right understanding, right sound for various styles, a bit of history and so on isn't that common. I guess I just grew up having to do that and it was ingrained in me early on from the few mentors I had. I also always wanted to be a session player.

Let's just say we had few subs, highly educated ones too, that didn't get it. Some were too "proud." Strange attitude as they didn't know much.

Even the greatest of jazz musicians have paid their bills playing weddings, I say. It's a skill and it's a very useful one. Playing the same simple songs night after night and perfecting them. Getting so good at them you don't have to focus on technical things is also a great school, especially in time and feel. 4 sets day after day is also a great conditioning exercise.

Now, these days I don't do this much, at least not in my home town. I am available, but generally people think I cost too much)just normal scale, really) and some old local heroes fear me because I know my stuff. Just your old small town status bullshit. Little I can do about that. I'm mainly a teacher, thats how I want it now anyway, and then I'll start my own projects when things get a bit more stable. I really just move around too much.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I was in a 9-piece band, for about a year, where the guitarist never rehearsed. The eight of us would, but the guitarist never showed up. No one cared until we played a festival with a stage, sound system, and a few thousand townies. He botched every solo, every cue, every custom arrangement of a pop tune. What a drag.

I asked him why he never rehearsed with the band. "I hate rehearsals."

The real bummer is that he's a very talented musician. Amazing raw talent. He just never really applied himself to achieve a higher level of musical performance.

I'll put this out there:
The creation and presentation of any art requires constant application of, and practice with, the tools and techniques. It could be paint-brush work, strobe lighting, drum rudiments, mic placement, dance position. It's called a discipline for a reason.

 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for your reply. It makes sense. I guess I'm just wondering if a band would play a show with some rando they found on CL without even rehearsing with them first. And if so, why? Why would they choose that guy when they could pick someone who's willing to show up for rehearsal?
One reason to not rehearse is the time-frame before a gig. I did a gig like that just last night. I had one week to learn 45 songs - originals and covers with unfamiliar arrangements - from various recordings they supplied, and with no further direction from them. Some of the songs faded-out, so I really had no idea for those endings. When it came time for the gig, many of the intros and endings I had studied were different. Like, train-wreck different! But I did remarkably well because I follow cues, and also know how to rescue myself; at one point I stopped playing when I shouldn't have, but faded back in quickly and gracefully. :)

Now, I should add that I was recommended to sub with this band by one of its members, I wasn't blindly picked from an ad. And I made sure they knew that if I got a chance to play with them again, I wanted to rehearse and smooth out the rough spots.

As for bands or players who don't think it's necessary to rehearse, that depends on the band, and the player. I'm a permanent member of a few bands that rarely or never rehearse. In one case, the success of that - even with original songs - depends on the bandleader's ability to lead, and the players' ability to follow, as long as the songs aren't impossibly intricate (and most music that bands get paid to play is not.)

Can someone just walk in on such a situation and make it work? Well, it's certainly possible, though not always ideal. Again, it really depends on the people involved. Providing accurate recordings of the songs is certainly a plus, and may eliminate the need to (initially) rehearse as a band.

As for Craigslist being a valid place to find bands or players... why not? As long as someone can reach someone else, it's a valid method. I don't know any pros who advertise on CL, and am not aware that any major bands have sought a potential member there, but that could just be a matter of time. Heck, I wouldn't have thought a forum full of drummers would be a good place for a drummer to find a gig - drummers don't hire drummers, right? But when I needed a sub for one of my bands, this forum turned out to be the ideal place to ask who in the area would be interested. Both Tom Coyne and Bo Eder stepped up and have been covering my Zero G Band over the last 7 years or so. :)

My suggestion at this point in Craigslist's existence, is to not expect too much from the bands that advertise or seek players there. There are established, musician-focused, and more navigable avenues to connect players to each other, such as the various "musician finder" sites out there. The Zero G Band I mentioned found me on DrummerHunter (not longer in business.) And it's still hard to beat personal networking, such as participating in open mic jams. I've done a large amount of work with players who heard me at my local jam, eventually hooking up with one band for the past 13 years (and counting.)

Bermuda
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
It's just another avenue. One of the easiest ways to try someone outside your regular circle. Some of the greatest collaborations in history happened because someone decided to take that chance, too.

Things are a little different here i Norway. No big Craigslist, but we have similar things. The club scene isn't what it used to be either, but showing up at a jam with the right people around and doing a solid job wouldn't hurt.

As for rehearsing. Some gigs are very loose, sometimes you can get a run through with the person you're subbing for, sometimes there just isn't time. That local salsa gig is not a TV performance. Do your best. No one will die. Do better next time. Show you care and a few mistakes. A good musician should be aware of what they're demanding from someone. Simplify, focus on the important stuff.

At certain jazz gigs it's almost part of the fun not knowing. Playing the most well known pop sing in the world, maybe no, but you should probably also just know some of those songs well enough to beging with. It'
s a bit regional, but there are standards you just should know.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I don't know any pros who advertise on CL
This is exactly the opposite of where I live, which explains my post earlier. Everyone here is a "Pro" of some sort, with 20 or more years of experience. Like 75% of the ads claim to be "Pro". These folks like to talk about how great they and their gear are, all the experience they have, yet have played with nobody. It's always the same thing, bars and casinos. This is why I feel it is a farce and these people just want to be cool.

There is no real live music scene here anymore. If this place was as loaded with as many "Pros" as CL would lead one to believe, it wouldn't just be DJs and electronic dance music anymore. This is a major college town for crying out loud, live music should thrive here.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Thanks for your reply. It makes sense. I guess I'm just wondering if a band would play a show with some rando they found on CL without even rehearsing with them first. And if so, why? Why would they choose that guy when they could pick someone who's willing to show up for rehearsal?
Well, there are two different questions as work

First: Why no rehearsals: Usually due to lack of time.
The gig is tomorrow and the regular or 1st choice, drummer:
broke his arm/other injuries
Suddenly won't return anyone's phone calls
Showed up drunk to the last gig, and isn't a consideration anymore
Got a better gig and can't do this gig
Has other obligations and can't do this gig
This gig was booked at the last minute and drummer can't make it
Everyone has a day job, and can't rehearse themselves

Now, of course, 99% of the time, the call is going to someone they know, or they'll call someone they know who will know someone.

The ads on CL are aiming for the remaining 1%.

And/or those who know they'll one day be in the situation above an are scouting ahead of time.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I think that actually has more to do with venues than availability of bands most of the time.
Maybe so, but 10 years ago or so every bar had a band playing. Now there are none. Music has all but disappeared here. Maybe that's why there are so many Pros. All the musicians are out of work?
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Maybe so, but 10 years ago or so every bar had a band playing. Now there are none. Music has all but disappeared here. Maybe that's why there are so many Pros. All the musicians are out of work?
Not sure about where you are at, but here the landscape has changed a bit in the last decade or so. I can say here venues started to pay less or didn't raise pay with inflation expecting bands to play for almost nothing. In some cases expecting bands to play for nothing, not even gas money. Some of the areas were some venues were in were taken over by urban revitalization and were sold and a lot of the owners were contemplating selling even before that so they never reopened. Popular music has shifted as well, so the demand isn't what it was. Some guys I know still play, others have just gotten older and have put it aside, others just play for themselves or on recording in their home studios. Certain genres, like country, seem to still have places to play around here but others have very much diminished.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Maybe so, but 10 years ago or so every bar had a band playing. Now there are none. Music has all but disappeared here. Maybe that's why there are so many Pros. All the musicians are out of work?
I've noted the same trend-there are small setups where they bring piped music and play along-or maybe two people. I've thought about that at a nearby pub-they have a "music corner" for one or two people. Bring my Safari kit and play to music-I just need to be able to sing. No one wants to watch a drummer-except other drummers-so a singing drummer would work-just I can't sing (well can't drum either but that's never stopped me LOL).
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I guess I'm just wondering if a band would play a show with some rando they found on CL without even rehearsing with them first. And if so, why? Why would they choose that guy when they could pick someone who's willing to show up for rehearsal?
Maybe you might call them. But you probably wouldn't book them, without checking other sources first. You can go to their facebook or instagram and check out videos, common acquaintances, etc., in order to vet someone you don't know.

If a band can plug in another player, without rehearsal, then that is also a sign of a well-organized band. That band might have recordings, charts, an effective band leader, or all three. So, by looking for a band that does not have rehearsals, maybe this is a way to rule out less organized bands. Sketchy logic here, for sure.

It's rare that a band calls me to sub, no rehearsal, and I haven't previously met anyone in the band -- but it has happened. When I have been called out of the blue, someone has usually vouched for me. IMO CL ads are a waste, because if someone is looking for a musician, social networks are better, in every way. 10 to 20 years ago there was local entertainment news paper that had a good classified section, and I found at least three bands that way.

It comes down to this: when you're young, you tend to think that the tightest/best bands got that way by frequently rehearsing together as group. Later on, you realize that musical execution depends much more on being prepared and knowing your parts cold. Doing your homework (critical listening, making charts, focused practice) is a much bigger part of a musician's success that most realize. Obviously, skill matters, but the best improvisers, technicians, and sight-readers on earth, still need to learn the songs. I've run into plenty an A-list musician who sucked on the gig, and lost said gig, because they can't be bothered to do homework.
 
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