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Finding Reliable Band Members

“Reliable” and “band member” typically should not be used in the same sentence. If, however, you’re really serious about getting your music out there to be heard, here are a few suggestions.


The best way to attract serious musicians who show up for rehearsal, gigs, and recording sessions on time is to be one yourself. The better player you are (i.e., the more practice time you put in), the better the musicians you attract into your band will be. Also, if you set a good example by always being on time to rehearsals, still have all of your gear with you, making sure your equipment is working before rehearsal and putting off the drinking and other substances until after rehearsal, you will ensure that your band takes you and your time seriously.


One of the worst ways to find new band members is by advertising in your local “Get Out On the Weekend” type of paper. These papers are hideouts for the screwballs of the world. Instead, get out and go to some shows. The best way to find musicians that play your style of music is to go and listen to other bands that play that style. Then on the breaks, you can talk to the band members, see if they’re interested in your project. Maybe they’re looking for a side project or studio work. Who knows? How many times have you had or seen a really great band that fell apart because someone moved or for other reasons? It happens all the time. Knowing those musicians who play your style means they’ll call you first the next time they’re looking for work. And when you find your musicians by talking to actual gigging players, you can be sure they know how to make it to rehearsal, how to make gigs on time, and how to tie their shoes.


The more songs, gigs, recording sessions, and festivals you have lined up, the more likely you are to attract musicians. Money talks, which means that you’ll attract a lot of serious musicians only if you have already booked some paying jobs. This means that you’re not at a stage where you’re desperately trying to come up with enough songs to fill an hour. Instead, you should have and be familiar with at least 4-5 hours of the material before you start looking for gigs or other musicians. The best way to build up your repertoire is to go out to open mics and play. Here you can try out your material, meet other musicians, and practice.