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Getting your music heard is extremely hard, but before you can even make music to be pushed out to aspiring fans, you need a team of band members working towards the same goal.

Weather you're looking to replace a band member who left, or are forming a new band, finding a band member with great work ethic, awesome musicianship, and similar goals to yours is hard work.

Maybe the supposed vocalist doesn't sing like he said he could, or the guitarist never shows up for practice.

Either way, it's important to do everything you can to surround yourself with awesome people so you can move forward in your musical careers together.

Finding a Band Member

Before you choose a band member, you need to explore your options. Here are some ways you can meet more musicians.

Network Within Your Scene

The best place to find someone to join your band is through someone you know. This way, you can ask questions about the person before meeting them to see if they're likely to be a good fit. People such as promotors, venue owners, and other band members are likely to recommend people with high work ethic.

Hang Out in Music Stores

Music stores are a great place to meet fellow musicians. If you're looking for a drummer, hang out in the drums section and strike up conversations with people who are jamming or shopping. Ask them about their favorite bands, or even ask to jam together for a while (if the store will allow for this). This way, you can quickly see if your music styles mix together nicely.

Put an Ad on Craigslist

While you're looking for someone to join your band, there are also people out there looking to join someone else's band. Those people often search craigslist for opportunities, so putting up a listing can bring in some musicians for you to vet through.

Choosing a Band Member

Once you've found someone who you think might be a good fit for your band, you need to make sure they're the right choice.

It's hard to get someone involved, but if you make the wrong decision, it's even harder to tell them things aren't working out.

Here are some tips for choosing who to work with.

Put Work Ethic and Cultural Fit Before Musicianship

When reach a point where you're talking to someone seriously about joining your band, it's important to measure their work ethic and see if they get along with the other band members.

Do they show up for meetings on time? Do they contact you first sometimes, or are you always contacting them? How often do they bail?

If they're flakes and aren't showing up on time or cancel last minute, or worse, just don't show up, be careful about giving them a second chance. When building Dozmia with other programmers, people who possess these characteristics have set us back months. Working with flakey people is extremely stressful and can really set you back, which makes you look inefficient to others in your industry.

Don't Ask for Too Much Before They're In

Be careful about asking someone to learn all of your songs before you even consider them a member of the band. This can scare them away, since they'll be making a huge time investment on a 'maybe.' If you're exploring the opportunity with them, don't ask them to do more than you.

Here's an example of what I mean.

I was asked to join a band as a guitarist once, and after meeting some of the members at a local Guitar Center, they asked that I learn their songs and we get together for a practice to see if I'm a fit for the band. I agreed, thinking they'd help me along the way.

When I asked for help learning the songs, they decided to leave it to me, only providing different tunings of each song. I asked for more information about the songs, such as the key or for tabs, but they insisted I learn on my own because they were busy with school or work.

Maybe I was in the wrong here, but I didn't want to put in hours of work learning their songs before I even knew if I was going to be a part of the band. When I tried to bring this up with them, rather than working with me to find a solution, they simply decided I wasn't a fit.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of what it can be like from the other side.

The best way to vet potential band members is to set up real practice sessions with them. You want to see if the band member shows up on time, get along with band members, and how well you improvise together.

You can teach someone to play better music, but it's very hard to change who they are. Pick band members who are great communicators, know their musical limits, and are open-minded.

If They Aren't a Perfect Fit, Get Rid of Them - Fast

If you've made the wrong decision about who to work with, they're going to slow you down, and a lack of progress can be emotionally draining on the whole band and result in good members looking elsewhere. When you've identified that one of your members isn't a good fit, it's important to let them go sooner rather than later.

When you do let them go, try not to damage your relationship with them. Just because they aren't a good fit for your band doesn't mean they won't find success elsewhere, and if they do, you can collaborate with them in the future for music videos or social media promotion.

What's been the hardest part about finding band members for you? Let us know in the comments!


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