Finding a good drummer in Los Angeles who gets it.
August 5, 2008 3:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm in a band in Los Angeles. How do we find a drummer who is competent and understands our music? I've been posting drummer wanted ads every 12 hours on craigslist, but no luck so far. We have recordings and we don't suck. Any general tips would be greatly appreciated...also if anyone knows a good drummer...
posted by Charlie Lesoine to Grab Bag (12 answers total)
Put some flyers up near the UCLA musical buildings? My brother's a music performance major there, I'll ask him if he knows any drummers looking for a band.
posted by Arbac at 3:59 PM on August 5, 2008

Ditto USC/Royce Hall.
posted by 6:1 at 4:01 PM on August 5, 2008

From my pre-Internet days...go to local shows. Meet other local bands, network, and find a quality drummer that people respect who is looking to do what you're trying to do. If you really care about the quality of drummer you get, you should go find him/her rather than waiting for him/her to find you.
posted by davejay at 4:35 PM on August 5, 2008

In LA, you're a tiny fish in a giant pond. After hearing your sound, I'd say it's a safe bet your drummer is out there, you're just gonna have to work extra hard to find him/her.

In addition to whatever else people suggest here (all good tips so far), be prepared to look at a lot of drummers. A LOT. People respond to want ads and such with different motives, many of which have little to do with your sound or the needs of your band. To make matters more difficult, you're looking at drummers, who don't have a reputation as the most reliable, stable people in the world. In a town so jam-freakin-packed with musicians, you'll just have to patiently weed out the people who won't work for your band AT ALL-- which will likely be most of them.

Good luck!
posted by Rykey at 4:54 PM on August 5, 2008

To complicate things further, you're in one of the most studio musician-friendly cities in the country. Good drummers get paid, and rarely have time for unpaid start up projects. Sorry if this makes me look like a shit.
posted by tremspeed at 5:09 PM on August 5, 2008

On the other hand, you could take advantage of that and invite some drummers to come play with you. No commitment from either side needed outside of 1 date.
posted by theichibun at 5:12 PM on August 5, 2008

[Link to myspace removed. You can include it on your user profile page if you like.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:19 PM on August 5, 2008

How long have you been posting to craigslist? It can take a long time. Be persistent. Make sure your ad is short and to the point.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:53 PM on August 5, 2008

See if you can put some fliers up in some local music or drum shops. Try local venues. Ask local bands/drummers if they know of anyone.

Networking is huge. The more people you know, the better chance you'll have of coming across the right guy. Know as many musicians as you can.

Good luck.
posted by alligatorman at 8:39 PM on August 5, 2008

Really depends on what you want from your drummer.

Most of the bands that I know who have had "a really difficult time finding a drummer" want their drummer to play a very specific way. In other words, they gave their drummer little-to-no artistic freedom. They wanted him/her to play a certain piece, note-for-note, beat-for-beat. I usually just tell these guys to get a drum machine.

Not saying that you're one of those bands, but it's definitely something that I've seen.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:56 PM on August 5, 2008

We have recordings and we don't suck.

Ultimately, it will come down to drummer's judgement of weather your music sucks, and whether they feel they can improve it. I second what afroblanco says - don't dictate how your music is to be "understood". Have interested parties come in and improvise, and if you like the results, ask them to stay on.
posted by phrontist at 9:48 PM on August 5, 2008

What Afroblanco and phrontist said. I live near Philly and play drums in a working rock band. I read the craigslist ads for fun (though I'd like a little jazz thing on the side, if possible) and many of them are either poorly written LIKE IN ALL CAPS AND SO ON or nonspecific as to what's wanted or the MySpace links go to sucky songs. Be specific, br friendly, be informative. State an age range. State influences.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:43 AM on August 6, 2008

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