How To Find The Right Musicians

Article by Eva And The Vagabond Tales

Whether you are looking for a singer to add a beautiful melody to your instrumental track, a drummer to join your cover band, or an original band to play your local album release show, there is always an uncertainty and hesitation involved with finding the “right one”. Finding a musician can be a bit like blind dating. How and where can you find the perfect match for your project? Here are some tips that have helped me:

5 Tips On Finding Great Musicians For Your Band

    1. Be Someone Who Others Will Want To Work With
      Before starting a band, looking to collaborate, or looking to hire a musician for some work, be the kind of person that others will enjoy working with. Make sure that you have a clear vision and idea, and that the people you plan on working with will be able to see it and visualize where they fit in. Realize that you will need to recognize your skills and abilities, and where they need improvement. If you’re planning on leading a band or a project, research what qualities are needed to be a good leader. Be honest with yourself about how ready your project is for others to get involved in. People will be more drawn to work with you if you know what you are doing and if you have a plan.
    2. Know What You Are Looking For
      I’ve met a lot of creative people that are so filled up with ideas that they constantly jump from one project to the next and because of this, they never really know what they want. This isn’t particularly a terrible thing, but when you get another person involved in something that keeps changing, a lot of time can be spent trying to understand what the goal is and where the project is headed. Many professional musicians are passionate about what they do, so they don’t like to waste their time, even if they are getting paid for it. So…
      •  Know exactly what you need and want from a musician. Be honest and clear about it, so that you can both figure out at the start if they are the right fit.
      •  Figure out if you looking for something long term or for someone to work on a show by show/ project by project basis.
    3. Know Where To Look
      It’s been said: “whatever you are looking for is looking for you too”. There are many musicians out there looking to join a band and add their flavor to a project. Great news, there’s no better time like today to find these musicians.
      • SOCIAL MEDIA. There are many online groups where musicians can connect, share videos, and post wanted ads. Some examples in my area include Facebook Group “Musicians For Paid Gigs and More- SoCal” as well as “SoCal Music Gigs”. Fantastic resources.
      NPR’s TINY DESK CONTEST SUBMISSION SITE. Every year, NPR does a Tiny Desk contest where musicians from all over the country submit a video of themselves performing an original song in front of a desk. It’s free to watch and you can search by genre, city, and band name. Most of these artists are excited and open to collaborating. Many great shows and projects have formed from people meeting through this avenue.
      • ATTEND LOCAL SHOWS AND OPEN MICS. Shows are a great place to mingle with local bands and their fans. Many of the musicians performing are sometimes in more than one band, and for many of them, this might be their only income. They are usually open to talking and getting to know other artists, so don’t feel like you’re “stealing someone else’s musician!”
      • PUT UP FLYERS AT A LOCAL COLLEGE. Most colleges have a bulletin board or an area where people can post events, flyers, invitations, and more. Create an eye catching flyer that might grab the attention of a college musician looking for a place to express themselves through their craft.
      CRAIGSLIST. I met two of my wonderful long time musicians who are currently playing in my band. It’s important to set your requirements clearly in your ad, and then make sure that the person applying has a way of proving their skills before the audition. Ask for video links and social media accounts. Be sure they’re who they say they are. It’s a good idea to rent a rehearsal space for auditions, and have somebody there with you.
    4. Have An Open Mind
      Be patient. Not everyone clicks right away. Things take time. There may be tension, and it might feel awkward, but find ways to work through it. Sometimes the reason you might not mesh with a person right away is because they are very different from you, but this kind of clash might be just what you needed. They might help you see things from a different angle. What if it turned out to be the best thing for your project?
    5. Know When To Let Someone Go
      It’s interesting that when you work at an office, there are certain requirements. You can’t be late, you have to have a positive attitude, and you have to do your job. In the music industry, I see a lot of people throwing these requirements out the window because of excuses like “oh, but he is an artist, he’s probably just having a bad day.” Or “all musicians are late, get used to it.” While it may be true that us creative types sometimes tend to be emotional and all over the place, we need to be responsible if we want to be professional. Being in a working band is a real job. If someone doesn’t live up to the requirements of the job, and if they are consistently doing that over and over again, they must be let go. This can be difficult when you’ve got a strong musical connection or friendship. Just remember though, that if you can’t move forward with someone, your creative space becomes extremely unhealthy. Letting unprofessional people go will give you an opportunity to grow and invite someone new to come in and possibly move your ideas to the next level.
In summary, be someone who others will want to work with, know what you are looking for, know where to look, have an open mind, and know when to let someone go.
Every step we take along our musical journey is rewarding. Finding the right musicians to join us on our journey will bring experiences and friendships that last a life time. Now go out and find them!
Article by Eva And The Vagabond Tales
photo credit Xpander Productions
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