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#138264 by slanoue
Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:10 am
I am on my fourth try now to start a band. I'm hopeful but a little frustrated.

First I lived in Lubbock, TX, and a friend of mine, who had a lot of band experience, was going to play guitar, and I was going to sing...but then he got busy at work and had to bail. Okay, that's fine because I know he couldn't help it.

Then we moved to Tuscaloosa, AL and I decided I still wanted to do this band thing. I have sung briefly with a few friends' bands and live band karaoke and such, and it's just a big thrill. I know I have the voice to pull it off after years of vocal training and experience.

So I posted flyers around town, went here on Bandmix, etc. Twice in Tuscaloosa, I had people answer me, and we met up, and fell apart before we even had a second rehearsal. The first time, the drummer was great, but the lead guitar player and bass player were flaky. The first would not practice and the second would not show.
The second time, we couldn't get a second guitar player, so the others bailed.

I moved to Columbus, GA in June (we keep moving because of my husband's job), so I posted flyers. I finally got some calls toward the end of the year, and last week I met up with two guitar players. We had a potential drummer, but he had no transportation except for his bicycle and none of us wanted to give him a ride. I called a business card I had found for another drummer, and he said he was interested last weekend, but then he bailed today. Our first rehearsal is supposed to be tomorrow!

At least he did refer me to someone else, and if that person doesn't respond I have another person here that I can email. But I am holding my breath that I don't lose either of the other two. It just seems cursed.

Is this a common problem? Why are musicians so flaky, or is it all artist types? I've been a singer for a long time, and I have always been a fairly reliable person. I have known plenty of non-musicians who are flaky, too, so maybe it's just a bad rep they get? What do you all think?

I am also in contact with a keyboard player here, and I am still looking for another guitar player (our "lead guitar player" is not very experienced and says he would rather play rhythm guitar if we can get someone else).
Wish me luck!!


#138807 by slanoue
Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:27 am
Wow, no comments? I'm so shocked because I know others have had these same problems.

Anyway, looks like we found some good people so things are going better. Hoping to have a rehearsal tomorrow.

We still need a keyboard player, though!!


#138833 by gbheil
Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:22 pm
Did not see your post for some strange reason.
And I come almost daily to the boards.

Welcome ... and yes flaky musos are as common as flaky biscuits.

And no where near as desirable. :?

#138839 by philbymon
Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:46 pm
Well...the fact that you move around so much would put me off, as a potential contributer.

I've been dealing with the same troubles for years, both in music & ain't just musos, trust me. It's a ppl problem.

Good luck.

#138848 by slanoue
Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:42 pm
We were in Tuscaloosa 9 years, so we don't really move around as much as it sounds...the period I was talking about was over 14 years.

I think you are probably right...lots of flaky people out there.

Thanks for the welcome!


#138901 by fisherman bob
Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:44 am
In 30 years part time pro musician I've seen some of the weirdest flakes you can imagine. I usually can figure that out talking with them on the phone, but sometimes they get past me, the "gatekeeper" and arrive at their audition where I find out how absolutely weird they can be. A band is a JOB. Treat it as a job. If people show up doing stuff they wouldn't dare do on their day jobs then they should be summarily dismissed. Not showing up on time, drinking or worse during rehearsals, gigs, continuously forgetting their parts, lyrics, etc. You can't put up with any B.S. you wouldn't put up with as an employer. Think of it that way and eliminate the flakes ASAP.

#138918 by gbheil
Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:22 pm
I am in agreement with Bob here. Well mostly so. There is no reason I cannot have a cold beer. Or a few pulls off my favorite wine jug and still take care of business. 8)

#138931 by RhythmMan
Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:29 pm
Over the last 5 years or so, I've talked to well over 100 female vocalists via the internet.
I know people pretty good, although it's harder to figure them out over the internet. I need to hear their tones of voice, and hear the delays before they answer a question, and watch their facial expressions and body language, and what-not.

But I have a pretty good filter.
I find out everything first.
> Available for rehearsal & 1 - 2 gigs a month?
> Ability level.
> Creativity level.
> Need to be taught? Ability/willingess to learn?
> Like thae same kinds of music?
> Willing to drive to rehearsal every week?
> Are they likeable?
If they get past all those questions, then I'll schedule a tryout, to see if they can ALSO sing.
As a result, I only schedule a tryout with 1 out of 12 vocalists who apply.
But - the ones I DO meet are always qualified.
Also - anyone who doesn't respond within 48 hours is either not interested enough to work with me, too busy to work with me, or too rude to work with me.
If I don't hear from someone within 48 hours, I put them in the 'dead' files, and I put them out of my mind completely.
Maybe, maybe not.
But I'm not going to waste time on people.
I do all originals; they're all different styles of music, and hard to sing.
That means that 95% of all singers are probably not suitable, anyway.
S'ok. I've got a good lead vocalist, I've hooked up with a soprano, I'm meeting another one tonight, and I've recent;y heard from 2 others.
And I'ev been making music all along, anyway.
And: that's what really counts.

#144024 by don11817
Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:08 am
To the OP--Lets face it, Buttock, Texas isn't the talent capital of the world. Oops--I meant Lubbock... :shock: But seriously, the talent pool gets real shallow real fast when you apply a few filters to your search criteria:

1. Like-able? Could you see yourself hanging out with the person before and after the show--eating with them, talking with them, being seen with them in public?

2. Image. Do they look the part? Could they pull it off? Do they dress like they're going to be on stage in front of people or are they opposed to being at least fashionable?

3. Do they have stage presence? Can they work a crowd or look like they're having the time of their lives on stage regardless of what's going on in their lives? Stoicism has a place--entertainment is not it.

4. Do they have availability and a work ethic? Nothing is worse than the weakest link in the band not showing up for rehearsals and --heaven forbid-- hanging you all out on a gig. "Oh the gig was today? Oops, sorry-I'm at a friends' party and I 'm too drunk to drive..."

5. Can they accept constructive criticism in a rehearsal environment?

And then the real questions:

--Did they make it to the audition on time?
--Did they learn the material?
--Can they actually play their instrument or sing like they claimed?
--Are they teachable if they learned something wrong or are having difficulty with their part?
--Are they able to cover other instruments or sing backup vocals?
--Are they willing to learn how to setup/breakdown sound equipment?
--Are they willing to assist the band during load-in and load-out of gigs?
--If a vocalist, can they sing harmonies or do they see themselves as a lead singer only?
--Do they see themselves playing in this type of situation in a year or two from now?
--Are they willing to dedicate themselves to learning a 3-4 hour long setlist?

This is the tip of the iceberg. There are many many more questions to consider. But honestly you may look at 30 musicians to fill one slot. ONE! Most weed themselves out pretty quickly though and don't even get to the second set of questions...

#144025 by slanoue
Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:43 am
Thing is, I'm not that picky. I don't care about most of that stuff you mentioned. I just want reliable musicians who can learn the songs and play them passably well. Of course they shouldn't be weirdos or jerks, but I can put up with a lot. That has been the biggest problem, finding people who will even show up or learn the material.

BY the way I live in Columbus, GA, not Lubbock. Lubbock did have 300,000 people in it and is the biggest city for a long ways. Columbus is slightly smaller.

I had most of a band, but the lead guitar guy quit...I don't really know what his problem is (he was not honest with me, I don't think). So now I have to start posting around again. Too bad because it was fun while we had the four of us, anyway...


#145240 by drag57
Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:05 pm
as soon as you find people that share your likes in music you`ll have no problem.if you want flakes the biggest bowl is here in hollywood.the very best of luck

#145246 by slanoue
Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:28 am
No one has objected to the material, they are just not reliable...

#145265 by Starfish Scott
Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:11 pm
Have you ever considered that no one thinks that your situation is worth the trouble>?

If you have to beat them up to get them to play, it's a sure sign no one is "down" with what you are doing.

Try bashing your head against the wall..repeat.

#145295 by slanoue
Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:02 pm
What do you mean "my situation"???

And no, I haven't because I am not the only one in town who has had problem finding reliable musicians (not to mention all the comments here from people who have had the same problems worldwide).

And also I run a website with volunteers so I'm used to having people flake out on me. Unless you are directly paying people (and sometimes even then), most of them don't take it seriously. And with bands, most of the people who are reliable or any good are already in it's really hard to find someone who is reliable and talented, and not already taken (like dating, I guess :)

#145439 by doneaster
Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:06 pm
Don't give up, eventually you'll find the right mix of musicians and the wait will be worth it. When it's right everything will gel. I recently had to quit a band because every practice developed into a beer drinking party, but I knew going in not to expect too much so I probably stayed longer than I should have, but that's not going to happen again. If I run into any more musicians or bands that think that drinking during practice is ok I'm not going to join them. I'm going to continue to look for musicians who will stay sober, no alcohol and no drugs and no smoking dope. A band should be just like a job you work at every day and anything that you shouldn't do on the job shouldn't be done while you are playing a gig or at practice. There is no way you can be at your best if you are drinking or doing drugs.

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