Finding Band Members
Where to look first
So you’ve decided that your vocal skills aren’t up to scratch and you need to find a new lead singer fast to complete your lineup, or maybe your drummer couldn’t keep time if he worked in a clock factory! Sound familiar? If so, where would you begin to look for your as yet undiscovered band member? There are lots of options available and they should all be explored if you’re serious about finding the right person for the job.
When it comes to the internet you will find many different options available to you with regards to looking for and advertising for potential band mates. Whilst you’re reading this, as good a place to start as any would be our very own Musicians Wanted category. It’s free to place an ad and you can search and browse through a list of musicians advertising their services.
It's not what you know, it's who you know...
A lot of the time you will find that people in bands know people in bands....if you get what I mean!? Your band-mate may know this ‘great singer’ who would be perfect for your band. Before you make any rash decisions on the back of a suggestion or recommendation, just remember for a second that this is your band were talking about here and any new band member will not only need to be up to the same standard as the rest of you, but will also have to be both reliable and hard working as well.
Sometimes a recommendation is a good thing, especially if you know and trust the person who has suggested this person for your band, but always try and get a second opinion or even better try and see this person in action. If your potential new band member is already in a band, head down to some Local Gig Venues and check them out when they are next playing, you may be pleasantly surprised! On the other hand if they have a shocker that night, you’ll probably consider yourself lucky not to have already approached them about joining so it’s worthwhile taking the time to see what all the fuss is about.
Do some scouting!
Sometimes it’s best to get opinions from people you don’t know, as you may be your more likely to get an unbiased opinion this way. Ask around at gigs and see if anyone knows the guy you’re watching, perhaps they are familiar with the band or person in question. You may discover that the person you intend to approach often shows up 2 minutes before the band are due to go on, which is obviously not a quality your looking for in a potential band mate!
You may have to think outside the box a little to find your dream band member as you never know where you may find the person you're looking for. Try and think where many local bands and musicians may like to hang out. A good place to start and a great resource for this kind of information is local Rehearsal Rooms, music shops and record stores. Ask the shop owner if he knows of any local musicians who may be looking for a band to join and see if you can place a flyer or business card in the shop advertising your need for a new band mate. Like I’ve mentioned above, always ensure you include details of who you are, what you need and where you’re from....oh and contact details. Don’t forget that whatever you do!
Running out of options?
If you're not fortunate enough to ‘know people who know people’, start by placing posters and flyers up around town. The most important thing you need to do at this point is get the word out. Try to think carefully about where you place posters; try to aim for as many places local musicians are likely to see it.
Once you’ve done that, try placing an ad in your local newspaper. Nothing fancy needed, just something that outlines who you are, what you need and where you’re from. If you’ve already decided the style or genre of music your band intend to play, it may be a good idea to mention this in the ad, or maybe even to list a few of your musical influences to ensure you attract musicians with similar musical tastes.
What are you looking for in a band member?
It's an important question you need to ask yourself as one of the most important things to consider when finding a new band member is to find someone you like on a personal level. Take your thoughts away from this person’s musical skills or tastes for a second, and ask yourself could you comfortably spend 4-5 nights a week with this person, or perhaps a whole weekend sat on a cramped tour bus? Don’t underestimate the importance of this in your decision making process as finding the right person now will pay dividends in the long run.