We've all been there once or twice: At the wrong end of a long series of Craigslist posts that have failed almost every time to do much more than receive a few emails with largely no return. But there's hope yet, dear reader!
This article is geared towards anyone and everyone trying to kick-start a project, create a lasting relationship with a group that's got its eyes forward on the prize (the prize being a record label and preferably a decent fan base to go with it), or someone who's just looking to figure out what they've been doing wrong in the way of finding decent dedicated musicians. Let's get started!
First thing's first: You've done nothing wrong. Although it may seem that way. Sometimes the well's just dry, and you've got to look for water elsewhere, if you get my meaning.
This one seems a little more than obvious, yeah? Well, bear with us then. See, Craigslist is a great place to find like-minded people (or a bunch of creeps) who are looking for the same things you are. By and large, most of the ads up there are people seeking members to recruit rather than looking for a band themselves, but you may find out that a group needs exactly the number of members you have, and so that integration brings everyone together in one beautiful mess. The Lumineers met their cellist through a Craigslist ad before they were anybody, so don't get discouraged! It may happen that you have to expand where you're looking, but it's a good, if not decent, place to start.
- Music Stores:
Not every music store has a billboard for bands to post ads, but plenty of them would be happy to hold a flier for you if you frequently buy your strings and other equipment from them. They may even be able to refer you to other musicians they happen to know that utilize their expertise for repairs and maintenance. Whatever the case, it's always good to leave something up. You never know who's going to walk by the window and catch the flier. (Just make sure it stands out).
High school is a great place to meet musicians, but when you're kids you might find it harder to dedicate yourselves to the hours of practice you'd like to be apart of, and when you get to the upper-class your mind is occupied by the daunting shadow that college is casting over you. (Even though it shouldn't. Kids, if your reading this, college is awesome. Don't listen to your teachers. It's just awesome).
On that note, college is also a great place to meet creative minds. When you're not occupied with finals, exams, essays, and other stuff, joining various student controlled clubs, or walking around the little visited building on the other side of campus may warrant you an opportunity to meet someone just like you, on the bad side of a lot of underdeveloped bands looking for a new project.
The absolute best way to meet fellow musicians, however, is through other friends. (Sorry to the introverted. There's always still the internet!)
Obviously that wouldn't strike anyone as a surprise, but it might be good to know that Tyson Ridder bassist of All-American Rejects didn't know much about bass. He learned it over a holiday break in order to become part of the project. Like them or don't, he's pretty damn good at what he does.
Meeting people at parties and casually mentioning you play an instrument, or just that you've dabbled in bands might open up more doors than you think. Friends of friends of acquaintances may know someone down the line who's "...been a drummer for 10 years, and yeah!" Before you know it, you're jamming, talking, and wondering how you ever got on without each other.
To conclude, there's a lot of ways that you can get your band started, most of which involve socializing. So get yourself out there to local shows, meet some cool people, and act humanly to fellow music lovers. Hey, you never know.