How to meet other not-old-but-not-so-young-either musicians?
June 19, 2008 4:58 PM   Subscribe

Where do gainfully employed, moderately settled, experienced mid-30s musicians connect to play together casually and on occasion rawk out?

How can an experienced 35-year-old musician (guitar, learning drums) relatively new to a musically inclined town (Portland OR, 1 year) meet other decent players?

My stylistic interests are wide--rock, funk, soul, even electronica or something jazzy or hiphoppish--but I can't seem to meet other musicians like I used to.

I'm not interested in anything too intense off the bat, just having fun & jamming, maybe eventually writing some songs and/or gigging.

Ten years ago I would have just put an ad in the paper. Now I don't get out quite as much, and hanging in a smoky club trying to strike up a conversation isn't really my thing.

There's Craigslist and the normal classifieds, I know, although everybody seems to be looking for a solid 22-year-old drummer with MySpace clips to complete a band and go on tour. Not many of my friends are that musical. I've got a list of a few blues-jam nights I'm planning on swinging by.

What other avenues are there?
posted by El Curioso to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Every band I've played in (4 now, auditioned for several more) I have met through Craigslist. I think there are other "musician finder" forum websites out there, but I don't think they get the traffic that Craigslist does.

Be patient. There are people out there like you (but probably more looking for 22yo myspace drummers ready to tour.) Have you posted an ad yourself?
posted by gnutron at 5:23 PM on June 19, 2008

i'm a bit (!) older. my brother (bass player) dragged me to a church one evening a few years ago and made me (guitar/etc player) accompany their folk choir.

it's a lot of fun and i'm still doing it. i'm not a christian, but nobody tries to save me and the sermons aren't very offensive at all. i think that depends on the church, though.

another thing my brother makes me do is go to jam sessions. they're usually advertised as open mic nights in the paper, but they often devolve into jam sessions. we've been to blues, jazz and bluegrass jams in the last few years. it's been sort of fun.

get a brother like mine, is my advice.
posted by stubby phillips at 5:48 PM on June 19, 2008

Go ahead and check out the ads. I found one of the bands I'm playing with now because I checked out the classifieds in my free weekly on a whim one day. I'm now the bassist in an all-girl (well, woman) Bollywood cover band consisting of three middle-aged psychiatrists and myself. We drink iced hibiscus tea, eat snacks and make seriously cool music. Best band ever.

I've also had success with Craigslist. Yeah, most people posting and reading are 22 year olds who want to be rock stars, but if you're reading those ads and not finding anything that rings your bell, chances are that there are other people just like you waiting to find the right ad.

Focus. Instead of posting a general, yeah, I play a bunch of instruments, have wide-ranging musical tastes, and I'm 35, type ad, try imagining your ideal band. Post as though you were wanting to find people to fill that band out. Post only the instrument you want to play for that band, and only talk about those influences. You'll still have to filter random people out, but you might catch the eye of someone who has similar goals.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 7:18 PM on June 19, 2008

Another option is to check out local musician oriented message boards. This may take some patience, as you will have to do some searching to find a community that seems a good fit, and some lurking before you post, but it can be an invaluable networking tool for someone in your situation who doesn't necessarily have time to be glad-handing in the bar scene.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:44 AM on June 20, 2008

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