Harmony Central Forums
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Band leaders, what do you look for in band members?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse









X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Band leaders, what do you look for in band members?

    What is important to you when you are putting a new band together and/or looking for a new member?  Obviously, the first thing would be the ability to play the instrument you are looking for at an accetable level of ability.  But, what else?  Looks?  Good equipment?  Someone who shows on time?  Someone who doesn't learn the material?  Someone who treats others well? 

    I'm currently not a band leader, nor have I been since the old high school garage days.  I'm curious to get some perspectives from the other side.

    http://www.reverbnation.com/thedubiouscapture

  • #2

    Yer Blues wrote:

    What is important to you when you are putting a new band together and/or looking for a new member?  Obviously, the first thing would be the ability to play the instrument you are looking for at an accetable level of ability.  But, what else?  Looks?  Good equipment?  Someone who shows on time?  Someone who doesn't learn the material?  Someone who treats others well? 

    I'm currently not a band leader, nor have I been since the old high school garage days.  I'm curious to get some perspectives from the other side.


    All of those. 

    First of all, there has to be a bottom line level-of-ability that gets you to even be considered for the position.   If you don't have that then the rest doesn't matter.

    2nd would be, how well will this person fit in personally.  In my band, the gigs are such that we spend a lot of time together doing things besides gigging.  Travel, hotel rooms, meals, etc.  If we're not going to get along, it isn't going to work.  If we all get along great, then the rest all falls into place much easier.

    After that it becomes a balancing act of looks, musical style, stage appearance, equipment, ability to learn tunes, etc.  All those things are important, but the more you have of one the less you might need of the other. 

    _________________________________________________
    band websites:
    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

    Comment


    • #3

      Here's the list of attributes that I'm looking for - along with a few comments.

      First - I'm looking for what I consider to be "musical competence" - i.e. the candidate's ability to play their instrument.  More than just the ability to play - it's also the demonstrated ability to talk/communicate about the music (i.e., does the candidate demonstrate that they know what chords they're playing by name?, does the candidate demonstrate the ability to pick up in the middle of a song, etc.)   Does the candidate demonstrate a feel for the material we're playing (a great classical player who can't find the groove in a simple shuffle does my band no good).  Does the candidate demonstrate the ability to quickly learn material by ear?   Does the candidate demonstrate an ability to play material they're not intimately familiar with "on demand"?

      Second - I'm looking for players with profession demeanor and attitude.   To me, that demonstrates itself when a player shows up for an audition on time, with well serviced gear appropriate for the gig.  In the course of the audition, does the player jot anything down on paper?  Does the player give me the sense that they are organized?  Does the player give me the impression that their are truly interested in the gig - i.e., do they ask appropriate questions, are they paying attention and engaged, etc.  

      The player who shows up late ... with gear in cardboard boxes, takes forever to get his stuff set up and tuned, comes across as bored or disinterested, plays for 15 minutes and then askes about a smoke break, etc.  is not going to make a favorable impression on me. 

      Lastly - I'm looking for "fit" - on two level.   First on the interpersonal level (i.e., did the player seem like somebody we could work with by demonstrating confidence, a sense of humor, etc.).  A player is overly timid in expressing himself, who seems lost / uncomfortable / unable to join in the banter .... makes hiring them a hard sell.

      I also take a hard look at the player's "fit" on a practical level.  A player with who's day job has them working late on a regular basis, A player with lots of family commitments, a player who lives a long distance away, etc. is going to have to do some work to convince me that they're going to be able to meet the requirements of the gig. 

       

      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


      • orourke
        orourke commented
        Editing a comment
        All that stuff above plus a guy who's not serious about his day job and has a wife or girlfriend who makes a lot of money.

    • #4

      Musical ability as well as musical *attitude* is number one with me. I've played with guys that just couldn't cut it musically, but were great guys otherwise. I've also played with people that were damn good musicians, but were lazy as hell when it came time to actually getting songs down. I have cut both before.

      Other attributes I look for are: a strong work ethic (no whiners or lazy people full of excuses), musical chemistry, a pleasant personality, so I can feel comfortable hanging out them with on and offstage, someone willing to make time for the gigs we already have and ones that will pop up from time to time and someone who has decent stage equipment. It doesn't need to be top of the line, but showing up with the cheapest stuff imaginable isn't going to work either.

      My bass player intentionally upgraded his equipment after his first gig with us, realizing that he needed to match what I had: a Fender MIM guitar and Peavey tube amp. He purchased a Fender MIM P-Bass and Peavey TNT bass amp to replace his cheapo bass guitar and Hartke practice amp. That showed me how serious he was about being in the band.

      One of the most important aspects is somebody that respects what I do and is not only comfortable with the vision I have for the band, but is looking forward to contribute to it. People that attempted to steer the band into a completely different direction didn't last very long.

      I had three people that wanted us to learn more country (we're a rock band) and they were also the same three people that didn't want to work on the songs to get them down well, be it lyrics (reading from a book onstage for months) or an unwillingness to practice on new songs, preferring instead to stick with their old repertoire. Finally, they were there for the money and could care less about the future of the band or where we were going with it. The people I have in the band are there for the work as well as the fun. They find it rewarding and enjoyable so we're in a good place now.

      (This is my Non-Signature.)

      Comment


      • capitalist
        capitalist commented
        Editing a comment

        My $.01.  No particular order...  Charismatic, attentive, positive attitude, good mediator, competent musician, open to new ideas, sets a good example for other band members, doesn't keep grudges, and keeps the band focused.  Good looks is obviously a bonus, but the traits listed previously should outweigh looks alone.  If you are looking for another Elvis, or a Boy Scout, you are not going to find one, and they probably would not be a good fit.  Good luck!


    • #5

      Personality, music capacity and motivation pretty much. Looks and style comes second.

       

      Comment


      • sweatpat
        sweatpat commented
        Editing a comment
        Lots of good points on here, I agree with just about all of them but for me a huge factor is whether or not someone has the discipline/work ethic to learn the song on there own time. When I say learn it I mean LEARN it all, signature lines & leads, intro/Outro, bridge, all of it not just the chords to the verse. I work with lots of different guys and rarely rehearse the full band so you gotta show up to the gig and know the material or you won't get called back!

    • #6
      Great thread!
      __________
      Your god doesn't exist but my god does and he is all loving. If you disagree with me I'll kill you. - Prince Ea

      Comment


      • #7

        Musical Compitance is a given and obvious. If they don't have that then they aren't even considered. So the real and only factors after that are hang factor-personality and professionalism.

        You lay out what you expect..Gigs, learning material etc..if the contract is mutually acceptable you move forward, if not, you move on

        I've found THE most important thing is a person's personality. Because although I'm cool, I can be intense and focused, I like to have very easy going people around me..They keep me light and ground me. Another intense person around, expecially someone who likes to question, and prod is like oil to my water and it doesn't work. If I'm the sideman I find the gig to be so much easer and I'm usually way way more laid back! Being a sideman is EASY if you're used to being a band leader because you already have your musical ability and professionalism down if you were any success at all as a band leader...However, your job as a sideman is to make the leader/artist or band look and sound good...Support role..VERY easy

        Comment


        • Outkaster
          Outkaster commented
          Editing a comment

           

          You know what



      Working...
      X