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Expand The Band

EXPAND THE BAND What's a band without its band members? Finding musicians might very well be the most difficult aspect of playing rock or pop music; you need to find band members that are not only fantastic at their instruments but also pleasant, punctual and easy to work with. It's a totally fine balance.

Maybe you already have a few friends or coworkers interested in rocking out with you, or know how to go about finding musicians to complement your vision. If so, great! You've definitely got a leg-up in the process. If you're like a lot of us, however, and know only a few musicians, most of whom you either can't trust or don't play anything near the style of music you love the most, read on. This article will provide you with several tips and tricks to help you find band members.

Join the Music Community

The best way to find band members is to get well acquianted with the music community in your area. This may seem like an overwhelming task, given how broad most music scenes are, but there are surefire ways to crack it.

Internet: Never underestimate the power of the internet to find band members or break into music scenes. Lots of cities have their own music community blogs and most of them include messageboards with topic headings specifically for finding musicians. Profile sites like Myspace and Friendster offer great bulletin-posting abilities and community sites like Craigslist give you the ability to post wanted ads to find band members or browse listings by others in the music community interested in finding musicians.

Live Shows: Attending local rock or pop shows is the absolute best way to break into your music community. Get out there and see what bands are doing in your area, talk to people, make contacts. Music scenes thrive on their open-ended communication, so be a part of that. You never know who you'll meet.

Local Papers: Most local papers, especially alternative newsweeklies, have sections devoted entirely to the local music community. They cover local bands, clubs and may even have some listings for musicians interested in finding band members. Read these papers religiously and pay close attention; music journalists have an inherent sense of what's happening in music scenes and are always more than willing to share their knowledge with the general public.

Music Stores: Music shops, either commercially or privately owned, are very often the cornerstone of a local music community. Talk to the employees, or even the owners, and find out about what's happening in your music scene. Music stores are also typically nice about letting people post fliers in the interest of finding musicians, and some employees may even be seeking band members themselves!

Cut a Demo

Okay, so you don't need to get super professional about it, but cutting a basic demo can go a long way in helping you find band members interested in what you're doing. Even if you've only got a few simple parts, put them down on tape to pass out to musicians you're interested in working with. Not only will it give them a basic idea of what you're trying to do, it will also afford them the opportunity to write some parts around the bits and pieces of songs you already have. What's more, circulating a simple demo around your music community may actually bring musicians to you, instead of the other way around.


By far the most important part in your quest to find band members, auditions can go a long way in narrowing down what exactly you're looking for. They're also very tricky; auditioning band members can sometimes seem like an overwrought formality, so you'll need to strike a balance between business and pleasantries.

The first order of business when auditioning band members, obviously, is to get a sense of playing style. If you've cut a demo, give it to the musician a few days prior to the audition so he or she can write a few things or play along. Or, if you've already got a few people lined up, get a whole group together for a jam session. Pay close attention to tone, form and even stage personality; these are all things that will become of vital importance later on.

Equally important as playing style is a band member's personality. Sit down and have a conversation with him or her, talk about the music community or bands you both like. Try to get a sense of who this person is, what he or she has done before and interested in doing for the future. Finding musicians is moot if they aren't in line with your specific vision, or if they're boring, mean-spirited or distrustful. Don't be afraid to get picky; the process of finding musicians is certainly an area in which you can afford to be.

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