Proven Tactics To Find New Band Members
To help demystify how bands really get together, we asked some of the bands who practice at Pirate how they found each other.
Many bands recalled meeting in places you'd expect - Facebook groups for musicians and music class at school. Others had come together in less orthodox spaces such as restaurant kitchens and Disneyland.
Below, we've listed our ten favourite meeting stories, as told by bands in the Pirate community. We've also pulled together the top five places to look for musicians if you're hoping to start a band of your own.
10 Musicians Explain How They Met Their Band
- ‘I was cleaning pots in a shitty Italian restaurant up North. I noticed another guy in the kitchen had long hair and brought his guitar into work a lot. I asked if he wanted to join my heavy metal band and he said yes.’ - @laurie.laurie.laurie
- ‘I met my fellow band members through playing and attending shows in the Queens/Brooklyn music scene.’ - @arverne.sound
- ‘Our band put up a Facebook post when we needed a new bass player and got lots of responses. Then our drummer got pregnant and we found a new one through the bass player.’ - @thedesperadosuk
- ‘I’ve known one of my bandmates since I was four years old.’ - @lawrnmusic
- ‘The rest of the band contacted me through Instagram. Online networking is so important.’ - @mmrdrums
- ‘We found each other through social media. The band started as two mates but the rest were found through Instagram callouts and mutual friends.’ - @steelmageofficial
- ‘I found my band when I started playing music at Disneyland.’ - @mrhowellmusic
- ‘Most of our members met working together at a music school, then our bassist answered an ad we put out.’ - @dbibby44
- ‘Our band all met at Leeds College of Music in 2017.’ - @supermarketpolice
5 Places To Find Musicians For Your Band
- Social media. Between Facebook groups and Instagram callouts, social media is one of the most common ways musicians find one another. Some Facebook groups exist for this exact purpose, whereas by putting up an Instagram story you're more likely to attract a friend or a friend of a friend. Before trying this method, it's worth making your callout as specific as possible - this will make going through applicants much easier later on.
- Ask other bands and people in the music industry. Anyone already in a band or working in music will know countless other musicians. The music industry is a small world and it only takes one introduction to unlock hundreds more.
- Local practice studios. Pirate is filled with bands, but its also filled with solo drummers, guitarists and singers honing their craft 24/7. Say hello to someone in the communal area next time you visit, you never know who you might meet.
- Friends and family. You're musical - did you get it from your mum? Did your sister also get it from your mum? Maybe joining a band with your family sounds like your worst nightmare but it's definitely worked for some - like the Bee Gees or Oasis. Plus, even if you don't want them in your band, your family members or friends may have valuable musical contacts they can link you up with.
- School, college, university or work. These institutions often have music classes, societies or choirs, making them great environments to meet like-minded people to join your band. If your institution has one, put yourself out there and join a music society. If it doesn't, why not start one?
Finding band members is not easy, even if you know exactly where to look. Playing with other musicians requires a rapport that you probably won't have with the first person who answers your social media callout.
When it comes to thinking about how to find bandmates, especially how to find band members online, it's important you don't commit half-heartedly to musicians that don't fully satisfy your band's needs.
Remember, it's much harder to ask someone to leave your band than it is to spend an extra week or two finding the perfect fit.