How to Find Quality Local Musicians For Your Band

So you just moved here from another state and you want to start playing shows and you don't know any musicians? Maybe you are finally realizing your dream of becoming a professional musician, you been offered a gig, but you don't know where to find quality musicians that don't flake? You've tried craigslist and you've found musicians with no gear or a scheduling conflict? Perhaps you've found quality musicians but you just can't afford them. 

Fear not. There are ways around this. I have been a performing musician for over 12 years and I have had all of these issues myself. Where many people make a mistake is that they do not develop meaningful relationships with their local music scene. Just like in Wall Street business, the music business relies on that saying "Your network is your net worth." So building your network by participating in the local music scene is not just cost effective but it brings more business in the long run. 

The better idea is to go to local jams instead. Jam nights are events usually held weekly where you can sing or play your instrument in the genre of the house band (Due to the limited number of songs offered, it's best you go to a jam with music you're most familiar with to start.If you aren't that familiar with any genre in particular then write down songs you know on the list and sign up to perform those). 

Once you're at the jam, introduce yourself to everyone and start to the mental notes of which instrumentalists/vocalists you like, then introduce yourself to them immediately after they get off stage. I prefer to do it immediately because people at jams are used to playing and getting no acknowledgement. A simply high five or "great job bro!" can be all the difference between getting to work with this world class player or not. Try to get them to join you on stage when you go up to perform your song. Don't worry so much about the performance, you're there to network and make yourself known in the local scene. That being said, if you nail your performance, you're much more likely to get these folks to want to work with you so Practice, Practice, Practice! Often times, folks that go to jams are producers or composers and could be looking to use your specific talent on a particular record. The often can end up referring you to other musicians looking to start a band or that need band members.

You don't have to stay the whole time but get the contact info of your favorite musicians you meet during the evening. If they are having a show soon, go to it and support them. This shows that you are invested in them as a friend as well. These artists can also end up working with more well known musicians pretty quickly sometimes so it helps to actually build meaningful relationships in jam circles. 

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