As a vocal coach at Vox Singing Academy, I am often asked about the best ways to find band mates. This article describes how I put together my own live mish-mash hiphop band “Renelophus“. This was no easy feet considering my skint budget and highly specific requirements.
It’s very important that stylistically each band mate is on a similar wavelength. They don’t need to be all lovers of the same genre but they have to respect the type of musical input each other brings to the band.
It is necessary that all members are somewhat on the same playing field skill wise. No one wants to be an obvious week link and on the other end of the scale, no one wants to feel held back by other band mates that are not as proficient.
Aside from practical necessities such as member proximity and equipment quality, it is also preferable that every one can work together professionally. There must be a level of personal respect and healthy communication between members. If a member does not personally gel with everybody, there will be problems and they will not last long. In the early stages money is generally not an inspiration so members need to be having fun to an extent.
Before starting my quest it was imperative to know firstly who I was, and secondly who I am looking for.
Nothing describes who you are as a musician better than your music. So a demo is paramount. Without a demo recording you will be wasting every one’s time including your own. Even if this means using a terrible noisy phone recording. A musician will be able to tell what you are like no matter what the recording quality. A better recording will of course show that you have some form of accesses to a studio.
When describing your self in adverts, include all the positive points. This is your CV in a way. In a short concise manor list your influences, styles, equipment, location, performance experience and training. Also any other sweet enticements e.g. Rehearsal space or professional contacts.
Negative points will do nothing but turn potential perfect candidates off so leave them out. Never lie. Lies may get you punched in the face for wasting people’s time.
Usually a good explanation of yourself will make it obvious to other muso’s what you want from them as a member. When choosing band mates it’s important to be true and honest to your self no matter how politically incorrect that may be. Follow your feelings. If you are looking for a bearded hipster that loves the Spice Girls then accept that and look for that. Don’t waste any ones time by trialing people that don’t feel right. It’ll create more heart ache in the end. They shouldn’t take it personally if they are not right and neither should you if you are not right for them.
The first thing I did was write a list of potential musicians I knew personally and contacted them in order of preference.
Secondly I, searched and placed adverts in all of the musician search websites I knew of. Melband, Bandmix, Rockstar Hookup and StarNow.
Next I joined social media groups that were focused on finding band mates. Make sure you are not only placing adds up, but searching through adds already placed. Don’t just put up your own add and expect people to come to you.
I also joined specific social media groups made for instrumentalists alone. Then scrolled though their members, researching and contacting who ever may suit the role.
I searched for music teachers on Google and asked them if they or any of their students were interested.
It took me approximately a year to find a group that I am super proud of.
I lost track of how many people I auditioned.
Like any thing in life, success relies on persistence and our ability to come back from failure.
By Rients Vox
Vox Singing Teacher and lead vocalist of “Renelophus”