How to Find the Right Band Members in Your Area

By Vince Dibona

Finding the right band members in your area

You’ve been working hard on practicing and developing your skills on guitar and now you’re ready to bring all that hard work together and find the right band members in your area for your band. Very soon you will be on stage performing your favorite songs (or your own) with a group of equally excited and passionate musicians.This is a very exciting time indeed! This is what all the dedication and commitment have finally led to and in a short time, you will be out there and making it happen! Should be pretty simple right?
Well, sort of...
The truth is while it can be very simple in theory, it certainly isn’t easy. To many of the uninitiated, forming a band almost seems like putting together pieces of a puzzle that are meant to go together just based on a common skill set alone.

Have you ever had the experience of a non-musician friend or family member saying to you, “Hey, my friend/coworker/brother/etc., plays drums! You guys can be in a band!” It may seem so simple on paper, but as many of us find it really isn’t that easy.

As with many areas in life we find that just because we may share a common interest or trait with someone, that does not always correlate to a great working chemistry.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean you don’t necessarily like that person or even enjoy their company. I’ve had many friends and colleagues whom I would deem as great company and may even have a greater working relationship with them in some other field. But just like anything else, being in a band is a working relationship.

This can sometimes get lost with many as music is always associated with entertainment, pleasure, and recreation. This is absolutely true and should always be a part of the goal. However, when playing with a band, you all must work to get to that point.

Every band member has a role to play

Like in any other endeavor to create something special, everyone on the team has their own role. When you are a band member, you are accountable for fulfilling your role not only with your instrument but potentially many other roles.

Some people naturally gravitate towards being the ‘band leader’ if you will, as it just comes naturally. Others like to take on more logistical and managerial roles as well. Maybe another member can provide the rehearsal space or make studio connections.

This is all on top of everyone being responsible for showing up at rehearsal ready to go. Knowing one’s parts is almost entirely essential for making sure they are continuing to be a productive, contributing member of a band. The less time spent during the rehearsal time having to go over and learn the same individual parts for can hold up the pace of the entire band.

Now, of course, there will definitely be time to go over new things and review new parts as a group. But an individual band member should strive to practice and hone in on their parts alone in their own practice time. Rehearsal time with the band should be when all those individual parts come together and work in harmony.

Making sure that everyone is in sync with each other as an entire unit. So there are two practices here: one on the individual level, and one on the group level. Every member of the band should intuitively know this and use band practice for just that – band practice.

Now am I saying that band practice should be a strict, militant event devoid of fun or joy? Not exactly. Of course, there should be time for just hanging out and bonding with your bandmates. But I would suggest that those events should be time best spent separately. If everyone has some time afterward to just kick it for a bit or go out to a show together, you should definitely do that!

You do want to be friends after all and being in a band should always be as enjoyable of an experience as possible. Otherwise, what’s the point?

But if you do want to make serious progress on the creative and performative side of things it will take dedicated, disciplined focus from everyone involved. This understanding amongst the entire group is paramount for determining success and longevity, so look for those who have these traits when finding members for your band!

Your mindset determines everything when finding the right band members

When it comes to choosing the right band members, having a shared mindset is absolutely critical. This not only includes having shared musical taste, but also having the same overall goals in mind for the band. How far do you want to go with the band? Do the other prospective members have the same ambitions?

Many people will play in bands strictly as a hobby for enjoyment and that is perfectly fine. But what about if you have a vision to take the band further?

If you want to make it to the professional ranks, a band very much needs to be treated as a business. There are many that are not up to this task for one reason or another and once again, this is totally okay. But you do have to be clear on what your overall goals are when considering potential prospects for your band.

Everyone should have an aligned vision for the potential outcome of the project or you can certainly expect some potential issues along the way.

Being in a band ultimately means spending a lot of time together whether it is the countless hours of rehearsal, writing, studio time and potentially touring together. If you plan on spending many long days, weeks, or potentially even months in close proximity to each other, having common ground among everyone can be very beneficial.

You want to make sure that everyone has a shared vibe and liking towards one another as much as possible, otherwise, tensions do tend to take form.

This doesn’t mean you have to necessarily align with every personal interest (although that certainly can help), but you definitely want to meet at a common enough ground that the working chemistry and the overall shared goals are present among everyone.

That being said, certain topics are best left alone. You will most likely not always match up with everyone’s personal political or belief system that you come across and that is totally fine.

This should be mutually understood and you will inherently know which topics are best to avoid. Always be respectful of others’ opinions/beliefs and maintain a standard of professionalism.

There have been many great bands that have included members that were on the opposite spectrum of many beliefs and opinions but in the end, they had great working chemistry to create something truly special. They are able to put some differences aside for the greater good of everything else.

But the opposite holds true as well. Many bands have split up because of conflicting opinions and beliefs getting in the way of the shared vision and goals of the band. So it is up to you to properly gauge for yourself who you decide you’d like to work with for the long term.

I for one have had bandmates and friends that I didn’t necessarily agree with on certain topics, but we still liked each other and shared a common interest that we wanted to make a reality. So keep sensitive topics to yourself and have respect for others and keep the focus on the shared desired outcome!

Work ethic is key when finding band members

With all of this being understood, work ethic is the one true key trait that is the most paramount when finding the right members for your band.

As much fun as it is to be in a band with your best buds, everyone must have a strong work ethic. You want to be the exact role model for everyone else to aspire to when it comes to the work you put into your band.

Set the standard right away by establishing a strong working culture with how you approach the band. This way any prospective members will know at the outset what will be required of them in order to gain this position.

With that work ethic must come an ability to be able to not only deliver constructive criticism but be willing and open to receive it. Both your bandmates and yourself need to be able to put your egos aside and collaborate on creating a solution that works for everyone.

Countless times I have seen relationships break down because criticism was not well received or delivered tactfully. Humility is key here and it is important to never lose sight of the bigger picture when working with other members.

Be the leader right off the bat and demonstrate the same traits that you will also be looking for in potential bandmates. So stay humble and focus on establishing a culture that values proper communication.

A group of individuals who can constructively build with each other is a winning formula for a successful band!

Bringing it all together

It should be quite clear at this point that when it comes to finding the right band members in your area, there is a lot to consider. Many factors are involved when seeking to find the right chemistry to make your dream for your band a reality. Here is a summary of the primary key traits to focus on when looking for your potential bandmates:

• Common musical interests and goals
• An understanding of everyone’s unique role
• A shared mindset and work ethic

Once you have found the right members to fill the positions of your band, there’s no telling what the limit is to success. Passion is contagious and those who exude that same passion will enhance everyone around them to bring out their very best. Imagine the fun you will have creating and performing on stage in front of those who appreciate the energy you and your band bring!

Keep pushing forward to make your dreams a reality!

About the Author:

Vince is a guitarist and owner of Spring Hill Guitar Lessons. With over 15 years of experience of playing and performing, Vince enjoys sharing his passion and love of guitar with his students. Vince is committed to helping his students grow and reach their goals beyond what they originally dreamed possible.