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I'm a young drummer that moved to Los Angeles. How do I find bandmates?

I've tried posting and replying to ads on Craigslist and am going in circles. Most, not all, have been flaky or are into a very different style of music that I'm interested in.

Are there forums or reliable musician ads available? What's the best way to network to find musicians or bands that need a drummer when you move to a new area?

7

It takes more time and effort, but seeing your potential future bandmates in action is the best way. It means that you may have to go to the venues that these folks play in, and I don't know if you're old enough to get into some of these places. If you are old enough, try not to get sucked in by the drink-your-face-off-at-the-open-mic scenario.

You can see how these people handle themselves in a real world situation. You may get a chance to sit in. Keep in mind that the craig's list and music paper ads will never show anyone in their REAL light. You could get more by seeing someone in action. How they play, how the interact with others, etc.

You can stay anonymous this way, with no commitment on your part. If the person or persons aren't to your liking, then you can leave. no harm, no foul.

If you're not of bar age, visit the local schools, and put the word out in the music departments and student activity boards. Go to local events where music is featured. If you have an instrumental teacher, that's a good first source. Local music schools. Local music stores.

It's one of those things where you may have to kiss a few frogs to find the right person. And, as with any situations where you're meeting someone for the first time, keep your wits about you, and be careful......

  • Thanks for your help, unclebee. I'm in my mid 20s and don't drink, so I prefer not to meet with people that enjoy that. I'll check out local music stores and visit more local shows to network. – wwwuser Sep 22 '12 at 18:37
5

There is also an app for that: BandFriend. It's a free app for both iPhone (iOS) and Android phones for connecting local musicians.

App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id510681565?mt=8

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.touchbee.bandfriend

3

In every area the best ways to find bandmates include:

  • Adverts in music papers
  • Adverts in music shops

Sure, there are many more genres of music than just the one you want to play, so you have to filter out by either looking at wording in the adverts, or placing your own adverts describing exactly what you want to play.

Hang out at music shops or studios if you can, and get to know the local scene.

1

Many cities in the USA (and perhaps around the world) have Open Mic nights at local venues such as restaurants, pubs, and bars where local musicians can show up and sign up to perform on stage. These events attract musicians of all abilities including some who perform as a duo or even a full band.

Usually at an open mic each musician signs up for a ten to fifteen minute time block and sign up is usually first come first serve. Some might offer on line advance sign up. At an open mic you can meet and talk with other musicians and hear their music and watch them perform. You can also perform yourself as a solo act or offer to sit in with one of the other musicians.

As a drummer, you can ask the host of the open mic if there will be a drum kit set up, if there is room to set up a small kit, or if the venue will be limited to smaller drums such as a cajon, djembe or bongos. Usually there will be other musicians who would love to have a decent drummer sit in on their set - giving you an opportunity to showcase your skills. If you are talented, other musicians in the audience are likely to approach you and ask if you are interested in joining their band/duo/trio.

You can google "Open Mic in your city" and possibly find some listings.

You might also try to find some local song writing contests or battle of the bands. These events attract local musicians and you could attend to watch them perform and talk to them. Try searching for those terms on line.

You can also find local bands by doing an internet search for "bands for hire in your city" The results will lead you to websites and soundcloud and facebook pages etc. for local bands who perform in your area. There you can learn what style music they play and usually find a bio on the musicians. You will have their contact info and can reach out to the ones that appear to be a good fit for you - to ask if they or any other band they know of is in need of a drummer (or whatever instrument you are proficient at).

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