How can I find musicians to collaborate with?
June 14, 2006 1:37 AM   Subscribe

How can I find musicians to collaborate with?

I've been working on writing songs in my home for the last year or two - I play guitar and have (what I think is) a decent / interesting singing style, and I have a clear vision of the kind of music I want to make. I've tried to hunt for band members on Craigslist and other sites, and even approached strangers who looked like they might fit the mold (the most recent was actually a drummer in a band on the same record as my favorite artist, so it's not an entirely unreliable method), and so far I have had zip nada zilch for luck. A few people have contacted me and then disappeared, or contacted me and wanted to do something i really wasn't interested in.

Others have asked if I know many musicians or if I run in circles where I might meet musicians, but I guess.. I dont know how to.. *do* that. I mean, I go to shows, I shop at big music stores.. but but but. Well even writing this is altogether too frustrating. I'll have a glass of 2-buck-chuck and go to bed, safe in the knowledge that a i'll have a good stack of advice (or a solid rhetorical beating) in the morning.

Final notes: some demo tracks at, and i live in los angeles.
posted by thedaniel to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
Does the old trick of putting up ads in music (instrument) stores still work? It's worked for me and my bands in the past, but it might not be the done thing, now days. Believe it or not, craigslist may not be reaching the kind of people you want to reach (shit, I've been there twice, and most of my musician friends barely even know how to check their email), where as actual physical paper advertisement in a music store, or in a rehersal studio, or at a university, might generate more responses.

It's not that easy though (particularly if you're looking for a drummer). I have to say that I've met band members through mutual musician friends, or by pure serendipity. By which I mean, going to a lot of parties and hanging around until grizzly wee hours of the morning. I don't know much better advice I can give.
posted by Jimbob at 3:34 AM on June 14, 2006

The musical people that I know joke that "a sober bass player will always have work" so my suggestion is not to look for your new bandmates to be sitting on bar stools.
posted by bilabial at 4:46 AM on June 14, 2006

There are often some websites online that are specifically for looking for band members. I don't know them by name because I mostly looked over my ex's shoulder while he was scouring them.

Also, I don't know how old you are or how big a deal that is to you, but in addition to the notes at music shops, notes on the boards at colleges are still pretty common.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:34 AM on June 14, 2006

I don't know what your genre of music is, but I meet most of my fellow musicians at sessions. Even if you don't aspire to playing bluegrass, old-time, or Celtic music, these sorts of musicians often play more than a single genre, anyway. Look up the sessions happening in your city or region and go for a listen. When everyone breaks for a drink or such, strike up a few conversations with "So, do you know anyone who plays [the style/instrument I'm looking for?]"
posted by Miko at 6:46 AM on June 14, 2006

Try putting requests on internet forums dedicated to the local music scene.

You could also try performing acoustic/one-man versions of your stuff and then if people like it they might tell you and if they play an instrument you need...

Bear in mind that all musicians in a band want to be engaged. If you just give people a bass/drum/guitar part and tell them to play it and don't let them have any creative input, don't be surprised if most of them get bored and leave.

In the end, though, it's best to try and get properly involved with the music scene and get a gang of friends who are musicians. There's nothing better than being in a band with friends, or getting a bandmate recommended by a mutual friend.
posted by pollystark at 6:47 AM on June 14, 2006

My company has just been contracted to build a website to facilitate these sorts of connections. I'll post back here when I can talk more about it...
posted by hsoltz at 7:13 AM on June 14, 2006

Is there a music school or community center nearby that offers classes and workshops where you can make contacts?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:40 AM on June 14, 2006

Good suggestions all - I'm 24, so posting on a college board would not make me uncomfortable. I've posted flyers in cafes that cater to what I imagine the appropriate demographic, but not music stores as much.

pollystark: "it's best to try and get properly involved with the music scene"

That's sort of where I'm struggling. My music isn't really that well-suited to solo performance, and I already go to shows - what is the line between "being in the scene" and just going to shows?
posted by thedaniel at 10:58 AM on June 14, 2006

« Older Car accidents, randomness and fame.   |   Where to stay in Padua Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.