With all the bands for hire in town, you would assume finding great musicians is easy. Further, you might even
assume that once you found them they would all share your exact goals. If this is your assumption, you may be mistaken. So, where do you find exceptional players with similar ambitions?
Houston Band Classifieds are a great place to start. While this is no full blown endorsement of any one website, rest assured there are some great resources out there. In particular, sites focusing on connecting working musicians with other working musicians are a gold mine. However, as with any worthy endeavor, there are a few simple tips to help refine your search and find just the right people. We’ll cover them here.
- Start at the Top and Work Your Way Down:
What do you need in order to get your band off the ground? Choose musicians who have the most to offer. Don’t get this confused with all the “multi instrumentalists” you’ll find. These are people who list in multiple categories and would have you believe they are virtuoso’s on every instrument. What you’re looking for are players who can actually play their primary instrument well, have quality equipment, have reliable transportation, and possibly additional P.A. equipment. Musicians who sing lead and/or background vocals are a big plus. Shoot for the stars and make it happen. You’ll never know unless you give it a try.
- Post Very Direct Ads:
If you’re posting an ad of your own, be very specific and direct. Tell people exactly what you’re looking for. In some cases, you may need to tell them what you are not looking for. Here’s an example from personal experience:
A very long time ago, I posted an ad in a local paper – yes, it was that long ago. The ad stated that I was putting a band together and looking for a bass player who sang background vocals. I got a call from a guy who wanted to get together for a practice. I had already found a guitarist, so it appeared we had the making of a great trio. When the rehearsal time arrived, the respondent showed up with an acoustic guitar. Needless to say, the practice was less than stellar without a bass player. To add to the frustration, the guy was actually upset that I hadn’t recognized his name. He had walked in thinking that we would be his backup band. The moral of the story is this: be specific and exclusive. Be polite, but stick to your guns and get what you want.
- Be Real:
One of the worst things you can do is to place an ad or answer an ad before you’re ready. Often, there’s a period of excitement and energy where we want to get things rolling ASAP. This can be more harmful than anything if you’re not prepared. What type of music will you be doing? Do you have a place to practice? How many vocalists are you looking for? If you don’t have answers to these questions, you could end up wasting the time of some very valuable musicians. Once that happens, you’ll be hard pressed to get their attention again. Get a game plan and have things in order before you start searching. You’ll never have things picture perfect, but have your ducks in a row and a plan to offer the troops. Once you’ve accomplished this, share your vision and goals. Be realistic and you’ll find realistic players who will join ranks with you.
If you’re looking to start a band, just know that you can do it. Take these tips as a starting point and build from there. Develop and execute a plan and watch things happen. Do a little bit of work on your plan every day and before you know it, things will begin to happen for you. And remember, Houston Bands Classifieds are a great place to start!