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  • So.. how can I find a keyboard player?

    Posted some ads on Craigslist.. what else do you guys do when you're looking for serious band members?


  • #2

    we found our current guitar player 6 years ago on bandmix. also post on fb

    www.ostrichhat.com

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    • #3
      To speak in broad stereotypes, keyboard players are really interested in time in vs. money out. There's a lot of work out there for keys players, and the cost of a gigable rig is high, so they're less likely to put up with a six-months-in-the-basement, playing neighbor's pool party situation. Emphasize that you're working steady, let 'em know how often you rehearse, and hope for the best.

      Oh--and make it clear they're needed--keys guys here often complain about being hoodwinked into guitar bands where they're stuck playing tambourine behind AC/DC or Green Day songs for half the night.
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://jukejointhandmedowns.com" target="_blank">Jukejoint Handmedowns (my band)</a><br />
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      • dan88z
        dan88z commented
        Editing a comment

        Chicken Monkey wrote:
        To speak in broad stereotypes, keyboard players are really interested in time in vs. money out. There's a lot of work out there for keys players, and the cost of a gigable rig is high, so they're less likely to put up with a six-months-in-the-basement, playing neighbor's pool party situation. Emphasize that you're working steady, let 'em know how often you rehearse, and hope for the best.

        Oh--and make it clear they're needed--keys guys here often complain about being hoodwinked into guitar bands where they're stuck playing tambourine behind AC/DC or Green Day songs for half the night.

        This is a pretty good summation. As a keys player, I'm not always looking for the money, but a band that has a steady lineup (no musical chairs every gig), drama free, and most of all, enjoyable. If the money is there, that's even better. Then again, some guys want the money and could care less if it's fun or if the are rotating players every night. I'm not doing it for a living so my requirements/criteria are a little different. I put a lot of time into developing my craft, optimizing my rig, and I want like minded players on stage with me, not the 300 a night hacks who will play 3 gigs and someone will quit and then 2 months later the band breaks up.


    • #4
      I didn't think bands used keys anymore. Most cover rock bands already have 2 guitars &can't afford another member spliting the $300

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      • SpaceNorman
        SpaceNorman commented
        Editing a comment

        Kevin T wrote:
        I didn't think bands used keys anymore. Most cover rock bands already have 2 guitars &can't afford another member spliting the $300

        You gotta quit running in the $300 a night circles.  Get past that "entry level" stuff - and you'll find that most of the 2 guitar bands have dropped 1 guitar and added keys - and maybe even a sax player.   Bands with diverse instrumentation have the potential to cover material that is more sonically diverse than the typical 2 guitar, $300 a night bands. 


      • TIMKEYS
        TIMKEYS commented
        Editing a comment

         


        Kevin T wrote:
        I didn't think bands used keys anymore. Most cover rock bands already have 2 guitars &can't afford another member spliting the $300

        That is one way to look at it and it is correct.   Bar pay is low.  Thats has effected me as a keyboard player.  I am playing keys in a two guitar band.   Its not only a tough job, due to the number of people in the mix, it also makes playing bars nothing but a hobby or somthing to do for yuk. 

        The most efficient way to rock now is , a leadplayer, bass player and drum machine where they both sing.  Then next thing you want is a keyboard player who sings.      It trumps the second guitar.   Keys adds a lot more to the mix and open up lots of songs you could not do without them.    I am doing  shows with that format now.  Got six shows under our belts in two weeks, and now it just cuts back to every tue till oct.  Its going to be interesting to see how it works.   The easiest guys to cut out now is the drummer if you are doing bars.  Solo guys have it made.   


    • #5
      As a former keyboardist, I can relate to the keyboard players that don't want to play very minimal parts on a bunch of guitar-oriented songs. I need to feel like I am an important component of the overall band sound.

      Now that my focus is firmly on being the primary vocalist and guitarist, I would like to find a keyboardist with great harmony vocal ability to compliment the band, but they seem to be in short supply around here. I can switch off from guitar to keys in a pinch, but my band's sound is partially based around my specific guitar style, so that wouldn't work very well. It would be better to have another person play those parts instead (and probably better than I ever would).

      I would suggest searching the local universities. You might find a music major there that would be interested in playing in a rock/country/variety combo, as long as the amount of songs where they can stretch out a bit is high enough.
      (This is my Non-Signature.)

      Comment


      • WynnD
        WynnD commented
        Editing a comment
        Love the comments about a gigable rig. Then I started looking at what I have and it's about $5000 worth with much of it purchased used. That $1000 piano needs an amp to play through and I've got about $500 tied up in that. I've also got about $3000 tied up in an organ. (I'm more of a rock organist.) and if I had to replace my Leslie, it would run about $1500 more.

    • #6
      Dear space
      wish I could but in rural suburban NJ 90% of gigs pay 3to400 and tons of bands will play for less.
      Other than Weddings there are no gigs

      Comment


      • SpaceNorman
        SpaceNorman commented
        Editing a comment

        Kevin T wrote:
        Dear space
        wish I could but in rural suburban NJ 90% of gigs pay 3to400 and tons of bands will play for less.
        Other than Weddings there are no gigs

        I've heard those same sentiments expressed by many of the musicians that I meet in my area.   Whenever I hear it - I can't help but thinking we're not looking at the same elephant.   While I do some gigs in that $300 - $400 range - a significant percentage of the jobs I play pay much, much more than that.   Something tells me that you haven't found the good ones yet. 


      • jeff42
        jeff42 commented
        Editing a comment

        Kevin T wrote:
        Dear space
        wish I could but in rural suburban NJ 90% of gigs pay 3to400 and tons of bands will play for less.
        Other than Weddings there are no gigs

        More and more places (most are new to live bands) are trying to pay established bands that in PA too. I'm glad I can say no to those gigs and still have a full schedule. - (full for us)

        Some bands are taking these lower paying gigs though.


    • #7
      If in 30yrs of giging I haven't found them they don't exhist

      Comment


      • SpaceNorman
        SpaceNorman commented
        Editing a comment

        Kevin T wrote:
        If in 30yrs of giging I haven't found them they don't exhist

        Can't argue with that logic.  


      • n9ne
        n9ne commented
        Editing a comment

        Kevin T wrote:
        If in 30yrs of giging I haven't found them they don't exhist


        It's not that they don't exist; they just don't exist in your area.

        I personally know a number of bands that are gigging steadily, and they don't leave home for less than $800/night.

        However, they're also working with booking agents and traveling hundreds of miles between gigs.

        The unfortunate truth is, few markets have more than one or two "A-list" clubs who are willing to pay good money for top-notch bands; in fact, many markets don't have one at all. And even if they do.....in most cases, when a club is paying $1000+ per night, they're going to expect exclusivity from their bands....and rightfully so.

        Believe me.....the higher-paying gigs are out there. They just require a lot more effort and time.


      • modulusman
        modulusman commented
        Editing a comment

        Kevin T wrote:
        If in 30yrs of giging I haven't found them they don't exhist

         They may not exist in bars but if you have a good enough band playing the right material you can get better paying gigs. I play in 2 bands one is more serious than the other. Next week I will play Friday in a bar with one band and make about $75.00. The next night I will play with the other band for an event and make $450.00 plus a meal.


    • #8

      I'm having a bear of a time trying to find a keyboardist.  Just locating one to audition, even.

      Comment


      • BATCAT
        BATCAT commented
        Editing a comment

        http://images.apple.com/ipodclassic/images/features_ipod_genius.jpg


         


        :mansurprised:


    • #9

      Blackbird 13 wrote:

      Posted some ads on Craigslist.. what else do you guys do when you're looking for serious band members?


      I'd like to see a copy of your ad.

      You have a lot to offer.  I wonder if you're spelling it out in as much detail as I think you should.

      Comment


      • Blackbird 13
        Blackbird 13 commented
        Editing a comment

        SeniorBlues wrote:

        Blackbird 13 wrote:

        Posted some ads on Craigslist.. what else do you guys do when you're looking for serious band members?


        I'd like to see a copy of your ad.

        You have a lot to offer.  I wonder if you're spelling it out in as much detail as I think you should.


        My CL ad:

         

         

         

         

        In the past week.. I've managed to get the other four musicians in place.. now I just need you to round out the 5 piece project!

        Looking for a keyboard player who is talented, professional, focused, and wants to build a new product to make money and have a great time doing it. This will be a cover band, so those looking solely for original projects won't be the best fit, and the focus will be on events, corporate clients, weddings, festivals, colleges, and other types of those gigs, with the occasional bar and nightclub show thrown in to keep the band in the public eye.

        Who am I? 
        I'm 30, I sing and play guitar, and have performed in, booked, and managed various local cover bands for the past five years of my life as my sole source of income. I also have experience in sound reinforcement, lighting, and the business of running a band. I am also currently IN a working cover band, but that group has no real desire to do the sorts of shows I'm focusing on with this project, which is the reason for the new project.

        Who are you?
        - Talented and proficient at your instrument. I would love to be the least musically talented person in the band, because then I know we're off to a good start. For a keyboard player.. this means having knowledge of patches, MIDI.. and how to replicate sounds from modern pop to country to classic rock to 80s to hip hop. Versatility is appreciated. 

        - Realize that the songlist will be all popular songs chosen to maximize crowd response and booking potential. You'll also need to be willing to put the time in to learn a bunch of tunes, some of which you may not be fans of, but that you still will need to DELIVER and sell to a crowd. I've never been one for tons of practice with no immediate payoff.. but the nature of this project will require learning 100-200 songs, and adding songs on the regular, if the project takes off the way I hope it will. 

        - Have a stage look, a youthful energy, and an open mind. It doesn't matter how old you are... there are cover bands in the area with older players who are still perfect for the project and fit well with the package. That said, you also have to be willing to dress the part for the gig. I'm looking for musicians who are open to dressing and playing the part a bit if it means additional work.

        - Understand that professionalism will be important. That doesn't mean you have to be the most talented musician or the world's best salesman (I envision doing the majority of the booking for the project).. but you have to "play the game". Musically.. what the crowd wants will ALWAYS trump what we want. There will be minimal dead time onstage and set musical transitions between songs. You'll be expected to shake hands with people.. pass out business cards, make connections, and represent the product well. This also means we'll have a business license, tax ID number, income will be reported, and contracts will be in place.

        - Finally, and this is the most difficult one to find.. I want someone who wants to "grow" a project from the ground up. That means learning a ton of songs. This means that we'll need professional pictures and video, and will likely be playing a show or two (or more) for free or gas money. This means that there will be a "crawl before you can walk" mentality. But it will also, hopefully, end up with us making decent money on a consistent basis. 


        After all that, if you're still here.. let me say this. I have the connections, experience, knowledge, and ability for this to have a solid shot at success.... IF I can find the right musicians. I have some of them in place already.. but I need a few more talented people with a similar mindset.. so if that's you, let's talk!


    • #10

      Rather than waiting for the "right guy" comes along....I would simply make sure everyone else has their parts down and treat the keyboard position as a gun-for-hire until the right guy comes along.   

      Prepare some basic charts for the songs so that any reasonably qualified player can pick them up quickly.....start asking around for names of hired gun keyboardists who might be available.

      It probably isn't optimal....but the longer it takes for things to get off the ground, the greater the risk of the other guys losing interest.  And if you start making decent money on a consistent basis, you'll probably find one guy who ends up becoming your go-to guy for most dates....practicallyi a permanent member, but with less overheard.


      I'd also start out booking a few low-money bar dates to make sure your model works and tighten things up before going after the wedding/corporate dates.  (Even if it means everyone else making more than you do on the dates.)

      Comment


      • #11
        Spot on sir. I often see " band need Keys to Round out our sound" this means 2 guits and tunz picked so no room for input & no sonic room for Organs etc ssshhhheeeeesssh! That's why keyboardist (myself included) must behave as freelancers. "Why don't you want be a band member"

        Comment


        • #12

          I'll echo Outkaster's and KevinT's comments - playing with a group that feels the keyboard player's role is to strictly play a little organ or a few pads well behind one or more guitar players just isn't what I'm interested in doing.   I recall and instance where a guitar player took me aside after I played the cheezy organ solo in the Rascal's "Good Lovin" and explained that I needed to "lay out" in that part of the song because there's this "little guitar thing" he plays there.   Lay out?   Screw that - I got out!

          The SpaceNorman

          www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
          www.souldoutrocks.com

          Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
          Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
          Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

          Comment


          • BATCAT
            BATCAT commented
            Editing a comment

            In a lot of pop and rock music, the keys DO just "round out the sound" though. :mantongue:


            Not to say you should take on a band role you're not interested in, but I do think it's entirely reasonable for someone to look for a keyboard player to do just that most of the time.


          • theGman
            theGman commented
            Editing a comment

            Dittos on the keyboards use in many guitar only bands.   I have sat in with local "good" bands from time to time, who rarely use a keyboard, and don't have the common sense ? or whatever it takes to give it up for an obvious keys part.

            We do classic rock mostly, so picture playing, or rather nearly NOT playing, during obvious keys oriented songs like  House of the Rising Sun, many Skynyrd songs like Breeze, I Know a Little, etc. and Allman songs, etc.  

            No wonder guitar players have their reputation, and these are the "better" guys.  WTF?

             


        • #13
          They were unique and had great sound men. Pull up any live video band paladia etc with 2this guits
          and watch the shot of the kybd hands play with little or no sound over the drums/guits

          Comment


        • #14
          Wow .....really we should start a dual keybd band!

          Comment


          • Chicken Monkey
            Chicken Monkey commented
            Editing a comment

            Kevin T wrote:
            Wow .....really we should start a dual keybd band!

            My favorite band (The Band) had a variety of configurations, but there were usually two keyboards going all the time.

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