As a musician, how do you go about making yourself known?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by alexmurphy, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. alexmurphy

    alexmurphy Banned

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    By this i mean, how do you personally get word out that you play *instrument* and if other bands are out there, you are open to play? I dont need to advertise my band, thats not what i am interested...in this thread, at least.

    I am asking this because I play 6, 7, 8 string guitars and a 6 string bass. I used to be in 2 or 3 bands at one time. But one of those bands turned into a MCR cover band, another turned into a "lets get together every 3 months and pretend we really have it going for us". I left both of those. The one that I am still with, has several problems, but its the only one where i write a majority of the music, and i dont really want to leave it. Right now, though, the band is me, a drummer, and a maybe bassist. We dont practice often at all but we do keep in contact fairly well.

    So, as you can tell, my "musical career" is pretty much going nowhere at this point. I'm done trying to start bands, because most of the time it doesnt work out. I want to join a band that means business: they have songs written, maybe recorded, or maybe have shows lined up, etc. you know, a band with a real drive to actually be a band, not a bunch of bored kids who have nothing to do over the summer. and maybe their bassist or guitarist quit on them or something. I want to join a band like that. I know they exist, i hear about them all the time; im just not sure where to look, who to get in contact with, or anything like that. can someone help me scope out my options here? Do i even have options, or is it all based on luck?
     
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  2. Demeyes

    Demeyes SS.org Regular

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    Musician Classifieds - Sevenstring.org

    Honestly you could wait all your life trying to get into a band that is good to replace their guitarist. Your best bet is to try and start a band you like, that way you can control how driven you are. If people aren't working out well, kick them out and have them replaced. As for where to look, there are loads of forums online, obviously you will mostly find guitarists and bassists here but you should be able to find a few people to jam with after a while searching but it depends on the style of music you want to play. It's not easy but it's the best way to try and get out and happy with the material you are playing.
    If you want people to call on you for open positions, it's generally people who have proven themselves in recorded output and playing live. You would also want to be pretty good at your instrument and a pleasant person to deal with to get those kind of oppurtunities. A certain amount of luck is required, but if you are good enough and determined enough you will eventually play with guys on the same page as you.
     
  3. concertjunkie

    concertjunkie SS.org Regular

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    First off, we need to get in touch since you're from St. Louis. I'm finishing my last semester out here in Columbia, MO then I'll be moving in with my drummer buddy in the Manchester area, and finish my degree online, and so we can start cracking down on our writing.

    It seems that it is difficult to find dedicated musicians in that area (although I just may have not come across any as of yet), or maybe they are more into the pop and punk scene instead of metal and/or music that challenges your ability, to push yourself to new limits. You do have to keep optimistic! It never hurts to try craigslist or other related ad sites and post for musicians.

    But as of now, hit me up and we'll talk :hbang:
     
  4. Randy

    Randy Full on Friendship!™ Super Moderator

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    In my experience, you need to just keep trying things until something sticks. That means browsing online, but also checking the 'post-it' boards at your local music store. Go to shows and just stay in the community. Opportunities are out there... most aren't perfect but either things will shift, you'll shift, or you'll meet somebody along the way that you can start something with.
     
  5. alexmurphy

    alexmurphy Banned

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    first off, I would have posted in the musician classifieds here, but i am one of maybe 3 people from my area on this website. I'll go ahead and do that a little later though, just to see what i get.

    As for the starting a band idea, thats what i was planning on with the one i am still a member of. but in my area, its hard to find people willing to play for us, especially with 7 strings. all 3 band members live within 15 minutes of where we practice and we're having little luck finding anyone else to play.
     
  6. concertjunkie

    concertjunkie SS.org Regular

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    To add to that note, going to shows and meeting people there, that can yield some great results as well!
     
  7. NaYoN

    NaYoN Heavy Blog Is Heavy

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    I have had the same problem too. To top it off, I'm new in this country and don't know anyone or any places. I also don't know 'how stuff works' in this country in regard to musicianship. But I'd really like to play in a band.
     
  8. Demeyes

    Demeyes SS.org Regular

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    It's hard to find people, my band went for a year without a bass player but we eventually found one. He lives over an hours drive from our practice spot but we practice as often as we can and we make it work. Also don't limit yourself to 7 strings, you could probably get by with someone who tunes down. You sometimes have to make small alowances from your ideal take on the band but in the end you could end up being better off for it.

    +1 going to shows is a great way to meet like minded musicians who share your musical taste. Playing gigs is also a great way to get in touch with musicians. Usually I get talking to a few guys in other bands on the bill after soundchecks, sometimes you could get offered a position in one of those bands if they lose a member. My drummer has filled in for 4 other metal bands we've shared the stage with in the last 2 years.

    It's hard to get things going but you'll eventually get things off the ground.
     
  9. Axel

    Axel SS.org Regular

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    This!
    Just the other day I went to a party consisting mostly of engineers and musician's and met many new musician's.
    Go out there and network! :)
     
  10. Daggorath

    Daggorath -.-

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    This thread saddens me. Just have a good time playin' music and don't worry about your "musical career not going anywhere". If one day you're good enough to make a career in music then it certainly wont be because you went actively seeking publicity.

    Put your all into producing the best music you can and maybe if you're lucky some people will dig it, then you can go from there.
     
  11. alexmurphy

    alexmurphy Banned

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    i didnt mean a literal career, i meant more like my life in music
     
  12. Daggorath

    Daggorath -.-

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    Ah, apologies.

    The thread title is what agitated me really. To get known you must make music "good" enough that people will want to share it with their friends. This is how it spreads in this scene I find, word of mouth and reccomendation.
     
  13. alexmurphy

    alexmurphy Banned

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    That makes a lot of sense actually, i didn't think of that.
     
  14. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    I'd love to agree with you... but I don't know if I can. Although there are different stages in your "carrer" where one aspect is more important than the other.

    What I mean is, most local bands that I know of that have gotten recognized on a larger scale, did so on the sole basis of them being extremely driven and good at marketing. Not because they make good music.

    If you completely suck, you won't get anywhere. But if you're only decent musically but really good at marketing, you'll go so much further than a band who make sweet music but can't promote it.

    However, on the upside, the bands that get known for their promotion skills, sooner or later reach a point where people expect them to be better than they are, and go home disappointed from their shows etc. It's at this point that people actually start caring about what you sound like, and that's when you have to have good tunes to take you to the next level.

    But in my experience, you can go very far with bland songs, as long as your marketing skills are up to snuff. And to go even further, you need to have both the marketing skills AND great songs. Not one or the other.
     
  15. tacotiklah

    tacotiklah I am Denko (´・ω・`)

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    My two techniques? Networking with people and craigslist. Honestly, I've gotten more inquiries from craigslist that I ever have with networking, but both have been VERY valuable in me replacing people in my band.

    As a matter of fact, I've been putting my band Sociopath back together and I had my bassist put up a c/l ad in addition to mine and lo and behold, we got a GREAT vocalist that way. (and he's pretty good on a drum kit too.) I also found my bassist on c/l so try that out. It is a crap shoot to be honest. Originally my bassist responded to get a spot as a lead guitarist, but he wasn't what I was looking for. He said he was originally a bass player, and sure enough, he's a damn fine bass player.

    I've also had guys respond that talk a big game and suck completely. So again, it's a gamble, but it's the persistence that will get you somewhere. Also, you have to accept that in this business, it may be a long time before you get anywhere. (if at all)

    I mean think of how many bands there are. (just on this forum alone) Now think of how many are achieving any form of commercial success. The numbers just fell to maybe a handful. Should you give up? Not at all, as you never know until you really give it a shot, but just be realistic about things too.
    Another sorry truth that I've been learning the hard way is that you may be the most driven guy ever, with the fantastic chops and marketing skills, but if the rest of the guys don't bring those qualities with 'em, you still won't go anywhere. Sadly, you're as good as the guys you're playing with. :( If they suck, you get tarred with the same brush.
     
  16. cvinos

    cvinos Banned

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    alexmurphy, I have another point. You are already three people living in the same area and you are all more or less wanting to make music. So grab a beer and talk about what you are going to do. Having a bassist and a drummer with you is already totally awesome, maybe the guys just do not know that more music could be made.

    Stretch your boundaries as well from the beginning, try atonal music and just jam away, play play play, do not let yourself down because one single jam went not so well. Every jam is learning, and eventually good ideas will emerge. Good luck to you all!
     
  17. ZXIIIT

    ZXIIIT XIII

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    That pretty much sums up my band's shows :hbang::cool:.
     
  18. SnowfaLL

    SnowfaLL SS.org Regular

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    Yep, i would KILL for a great drummer/bassist within 10 mins of me. Those are hard to find.

    Sounds like you need to look at music as more of a business. Realize what your "product" is, weither that be music itself, your services as a session musician or teacher, and go about advertising your product to the masses, wiether that be craigslist, website, facebook, twitter, etc. Make short term and long term goals and take the steps to achieving those goals.

    Look at branching out musically, its hard to get out there if you are only known as a metal kid or something along those lines, the more genres you play the more recognition you will get.
     
  19. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    :agreed:

    First off, music is a business. If you want to progress further than the odd gig or two, that fact must be accepted. You can only go so far with great songs. Just as JohnIce said earlier. Promotion is key. You have to get in everyone's faces. Regular gigs, myspace/facebook/twitter, the odd paper or radio interview, everything. A recording is important as well. With all of that said, none of them come cheap... All of the above will cost a large sum, and finances are what make and break a band's insentive to go further. It's not easy but that's reality.

    Network with friends/associates/online buddies etc. Make friends with as many musicians as possible (granted that they're good and friendly). At the same time, nobody likes a tool, so make a good lasting impression. Social skills are important and you gotta make some good friends both low and high places. Charisma both on and off stage is also important.

    Jam with everybody and play other styles of music. Just like networking, it's good to play with many many different musicians in different styles. I'm currently in 4 bands and working on solo material as well. Sure I'm broke and get little sleep out of it :lol:, but it's what I love to do.

    People need to realise that music is more than just the art side of things.
     
  20. alexmurphy

    alexmurphy Banned

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    thanks for all the tips, guys!

    i have a question though - if i were to post a musician ad on craigslist (ex. "guitarist for hire") what section would be a best fit?

    edit- nvm, i got it. Community - musicians.
     

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