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Finding musicians.


Loobs
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I've found that craigslist is often a wasteland of dudes wanting to just cover Guns n' Roses and AC/DC or some 'genius' looking for backup to indulge their neo-classical prog rock wankery, although it probably is a function of the size of the area that craigslist covers.

 

You're best bet is probably to just network at shows/places that fit the kind of music you like, and have some kind of demo calling card up on bandcamp or something.

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Here's a couple of other ideas:

 

Go to the local music gear stores and ask around. The folks in the store may know of other people who are into the same stuff you are. If they have a bulletin board, make sure you put something up there too.

 

Also try contacting the local recording studios. Most will have a list of musicians in various genres that they can call for session work. If someone's on the session player list, they're usually pretty good... and again, most studios try to stay connected with the local musician population; they may know of like-minded players who they can refer to you, or pass your number along to.

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You should move here, that seems to be what a lot of the local bands do.

Do you keep an eye on the drownedinsound musicians board? I think there may be a few bands posting on there which may suit, although a lot of them are looking for drummers.

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The others just didn't seem too interested in anything too creative or arty either. And at the end of the day, you have to have some sort of artistic appeal playing 'progressive' music.



I've only recently started to realise that just because someone plays an instrument and likes being in a band, it doesn't make them an artist, or a creative person, or anything like that.

Used to really bum me out when guys in bands I was in never came to practice with ideas, or didn't get excited about the potential of a riff, or whatever. I suspect you might be a bit like me in that if you hear an idea, even if it's just a snippet, a bunch of other ideas happen and next thing you know you've got a song in your head. And it can be frustrating when the other people in the room don't see what you're seeing.

At the end of the day, good gigging musicians want to be in good bands. If you're feeling right now that you've got ideas and you're excited about going in a certain direction, I think you should write a bunch of songs, record demos by yourself, and get out there playing them, even if it has to be in a stripped down form. Once you've got good songs you've got a project on the go, and it's much easier to get other people on side once you've got something going for them - I don't think many people enjoy joining a band that literally has nothing going for it - no songs, only a vague idea of what sort of music you might like to play, you get the idea.

I think there's two broad types of creativity - the "artistic vision" kind where you have a concept, an idea, where you started with a blank page and end up with something. Then there's a more practical kind of creativity which is about solving problems to make the song good - "this middle 8 isn't working", "The song doesn't sound frantic enough"... this is problem solving creativity because you identify particular things that need improving, and often you'll find people that don't have that artistic spark are great at this kind of thing - even better than the guy who had the spark that became the idea.

So yeah, I'm rambling a bit but hopefully you get what I'm saying - if you're feeling inspired to do something in that direction, get started because you're the ideas man. Once you've got that core of ideas, it'll be much easier to attract band mates. Sure, look for people all the time, but don't wait until you've got a band together to start the project.

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I think jazz school is a pipedream and a money pit. As far as finding the right avant-garde cats to play with, it could happen -- but I don't think jazz uni is going to necessarily increase the odds, for what you want to do is against the odds anyway. Jazz school mainly sets you up to teach, play restaurants/wedding gigs, or be up to your eyeballs in debt; it doesn't really set you up get into the next bitchin' avant-garde experimental touring & recording ensemble. YMMV.

 

The recording option is cool, and maybe look into playing solo. I don't think you're going to have much luck at all finding the band members you want, especially as you get older and especially with the kind of music you wish to make. Anything's possible and I wish you the best of luck. Sounds like you're at a crossroads in your musical life.

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I think there's two broad types of creativity - the "artistic vision" kind where you have a concept, an idea, where you started with a blank page and end up with
something
. Then there's a more practical kind of creativity which is about solving problems to make the song good - "this middle 8 isn't working", "The song doesn't sound frantic enough"... this is problem solving creativity because you identify particular things that need improving, and often you'll find people that don't have that artistic spark are great at this kind of thing - even better than the guy who had the spark that became the idea.




Dr Meredith Belbin did studies on teamwork. He called your examples of creativity, plant and resource investigator. However you don't need more creative people, you need a balanced team to make it work, someone who gets on with the work, a peacekeeper, someone who is organised, etc.

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I think jazz school is a pipedream and a money pit. As far as finding the right avant-garde cats to play with, it could happen -- but I don't think jazz uni is going to necessarily increase the odds, for what you want to do is against the odds anyway. Jazz school mainly sets you up to teach, play restaurants/wedding gigs, or be up to your eyeballs in debt; it doesn't really set you up get into the next bitchin' avant-garde experimental touring & recording ensemble. YMMV.


The recording option is cool, and maybe look into playing solo. I don't think you're going to have much luck at all finding the band members you want, especially as you get older and especially with the kind of music you wish to make. Anything's possible and I wish you the best of luck. Sounds like you're at a crossroads in your musical life.

 

I know what you're saying but I think you're looking at it in probably the most negative way. I think jazz school/music school would definitely increase the odds of finding that kind of player.

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Its funny, but Nels Cline, Sonic Youth and John Zorn are all 50+, and you cited them as influences. Unless you consider 50+ to not be old.



I meant like 75-80 plus. I know that there is a lot to learn from older players though, I didn't mean it like that. I'd like to find younger dudes to form a band with though.

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Loobs, you can call it negative or realistic. I live in an area with a major music school, University of North Texas. Just giving you the view from the ground from what I've encountered with jazz school grads.

 

A music/jazz degree is a dead-end degree in the US (perhaps it's different in the UK), unless you plan on teaching on the university level, which can be a solid path imo though it's a tough one. There are those who go on to label-supported touring groups and those who can have a steady life as a working musician (restaurants/wedding gigs/cruise ships) while teaching private lessons, but having a music degree isn't the ticket to having a career as a musician or playing the music you want to play. And the music you want to play won't get played much. Just look around and realize how difficult it is to go out and find musicians and performance venues to hear the kind of music you want to play.

 

I'm not saying that you shouldn't chase your dreams, but just be ready for the alarm to go off when it's time to wake up.

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Another thing you can try to supplement the jazz jams is getting solo coffee house gigs or whatever. Build up a repertoire of standards and sprinkle in some original tunes to represent the "noisy angular mathy jazzy" direction you want to go in. It'll be like paid practice. And, if you're lucky, some like-minded musicians may hear you and want to do something.

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Another good place to "find" people would be rehearsal studios. Just ask the person at the desk if they know of any bands with yer particular taste. Post up on the bulletin boards there. Plus, if you're lucky you can catch them rehearse and "listen through the door" if the place doesn't mind ya hanging out.

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isn't there a weekly publication in London that has a 'musicians wanted' thingy.. uh.."Loot" or something..


i remember a lot of bands back in the day used to cite it as where they got together.

 

Here in SoCA, we had something similar - the Recycler. Lots of bands gained members / hooked up via that paper, but today, it's a faint shadow of its former glory. Most people use Craigslist or other online classifieds - paper classifieds are dying out.

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