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snazzypadgett

Tips on finding band members

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I recently got back from a weekend of a jazz honor band where i played piano and it was basically the most fun I've had playing music, ever. Everyone was very very good and would come up to me and start snapping for a tempo and throw a Real Book up and we'd start playing stuff, as i drowned in inferiority LOL.

My point is, I want to find a drummer, bassist, and guitarist that can start a jazz combo with me, but I don't know where to find people like that. I am a senior in high school. I am in a larger funk band with this girl bassist who is excellent but is very flaky so I don't think she'd be ideal for a small group. As for drummers, well, I have no clue.

All of the drummers i know (and i know several because me and my friends are all in drumline) would probably not hold up to the jazz combo style...i mean, at this honor band thing, the drummer was a sophomore and seemed totally fluent with all kinds of styles, like he could do the jazz feet stuff (2 and 4 on hi-hat pedal) and the swung or straight threes on the ride like it was NOTHING, at fast tempos...i want to be around that. I know that will make me a lot better, being with decent jazz players.

I'm sure i'm not the only one here who's been in this sort of situation before. What can you guys recommend for finding people that can play jazz with me? Like out of fakebooks and stuff?

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Order a pizza, and put a bear trap in front of your door. As soon as the delivery boy rings your doorbell, you've got yourself a drummer.

But seriously. I'd recommend putting some kind of advertisement up on a few bulletin boards and see what you come up with. The trick is meeting as many musicians as you can. Reliability is even more important than skill, and it can be a hard trait to find, especially with drummers IMO.

Also, keep practicing and getting better at the piano. The better a musician you are, the more people will want to play with you.

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Pretty much all Sinewav said is true, especially the networking part. The music business is ENTIRELY about networking and meeting new people, including local bands; hell, what do you think this site's purpose is?

Being a skilled piano player is one part of it but you also have to be sociable with other band members. A lot of bands - especially high school bands - don't care nearly as much about the individual skills of other players. I'm in a high school band and every other band I know including the one I'm in is just a group of friends who happen to like music; most famous bands start out with a couple of friends who play music together then branch out.

In other words, go out and socialize more at local jazz clubs and shows and stuff. The more people you know, the more likely they'll play.

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Order a pizza, and put a bear trap in front of your door. As soon as the delivery boy rings your doorbell, you've got yourself a drummer.

No, you've got yourself a drummer who can no longer use the hi-hat or bass drum pedals.

Hopefully you live in a large urban area; your chances of finding bandmates are much higher if you do.

You could try looking craigslist; lots of people advertise for gigs or band openings there, many of them just for fun.

If you're going to start your own band, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want (standards band, writing original material, do you want to gig or not, do you want to make money at it or not). If I came to audition to play with you and you had no idea of what you wanted to do other than to play jazz of some sort in some setting, I'd probably walk away, and would definitely be looking for other opportunities. If you have a good idea, I'd be likely to get on board.

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I see from your profile that you live in Nasvhille, Tenessee? There should be no shortage of organized jam sessions in that area. Those are your single greatest resource for networking with other musicians. Find a couple good ones and attend regularly, take any opportunity you can get to sit in but don't be pushy, be sure to stick around and listen after you've had a chance to play, pay attention to any advice the experienced players offer, exchange phone numbers with other musicians. Then you can start finding some like-minded people who are good enough to challenge you musically and get some rehearsals of your own together. If you get good enough and are reliable and pleasant to be around, you may also start getting calls from other musicians to jam or play gigs. Us rythm section cats (piano, bass, drums) are almost always in higher demand than the horn players. Also, find musicians you like and make a point of going to their gigs just to sit and listen - not only can you learn a lot by listening, but the more often they see your face the more likely they are to remember you when they're trying to find a sub for the piano player who just pulled out on tomorrow's gig.

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you're from nashville? audio fidelity is from there, and he's a rock-solid bassist and an all-around awesome guy. i slept in the same room as him, and i became smarter and more attractive because of it.

branch out from there.

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