How to Find Musicians to Play for You | The Importance of Working with Good Musicians
The importance of working with good musicians: As a singer, your only instrument is your vocals, which you will want to accentuate as much as possible. That is why it’s really important that when you are performing or recording music that you work with good musicians.
Finding good musicians is important, and collaborating with other performers or hiring sessions musicians is vital if you want to record your material and highlight your voice to its best potential.
Looking for good musicians to perform or record with? In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of working with good musicians and show you where to find them, including the best apps to use.
How to find good musicians to play for you
A “good” musician doesn’t just mean that they are technically advanced or experienced on their instrument. That is important, but it also refers to your compatibility with them.
What are the qualities that make a good musician?
As a singer, you need your accompanying musicians or band to work around you. If you make a mistake a good musician should be able to improvise around it making the mistake appear intentional.
Experienced musicians who share a good rapport know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and know how to work around them.
How do you jam with other musicians?
Communication between singers and other musicians is also really important. Singers need to be able to indicate when the musicians need to slow down, speed up or stop the music. This can often be done through signals that can be integrated into the performance so that the audience is unaware of their directions.
Singers need to be able to indicate their preferences with a nod or a look and the musicians need to take action to the new direction whilst keeping the flow of the song.
Building relationships can often take a long time but working with good musicians is essential to giving the best performance you can.
The importance of working with good musicians
You must have synergy
This is important on several levels. Firstly, find a musician that can be part of your act on stage – there must be a synergy of image i.e. they look part of your act.
Secondly, there should be a synergy in the performance, that they do perform and they feel part of the act. On stage, it is important visually to have an engagement and understanding between singer and musician.
The above will all come together if you practice hard, communicate well and have the ability when you find a musician that is right for you.
Show a connection on stage
There is nothing worse than seeing two or more performers not connecting. It just feels like you are watching solo performances and that one or more of them doesn’t want to be there.
This falls back to the same disciplines we keep mentioning; keep practicing, analysing and practice some more! This needs to be kept forefront when you find a musician.
Find a musician
You’re only as good as your fellow musicians
Performing with a musician who plays out of tune or who is inconsistent with timing is only going to reflect on you and in most cases put you out of tune or mess up your timing.
Further, you could collaborate with a musician that is the best in the world, but they also need to be as committed as you. So they need to be always on time, motivated to practice and willing to do gigs and performances at the drop of a hat, otherwise you will always be chasing them and it will become draining and tiresome.
Want to collaborate? Check out this article here:
How to find a good musician to play with
How do I find people for a band?
Put up ads at rehearsal spaces
Rehearsal spaces often have a wall dedicated for ads of bands looking to find band members. Everything from jazz bands, to rock covers, to original bands. You can find pretty much anything, so be sure to check this out if you want to join a band.
Ask your teacher or local music industry people
You’ll know at least one of these. Teachers love to see that students are excited about making music, so they’ll be happy to help.
They might have a student or know someone else who would make a good jam buddy for you. They might even be up for organising a ‘jam night’ with other students for everyone.
Use social media
Get the word out on Facebook. The average post is seen by hundreds of friends. Don’t forget that those people also have hundreds of Facebook friends who might be a good fit. The total reach in that regard could easily be upwards of 10,000 people if everyone mentions it to their friends!
You can even try other online sites such as craigslist to find band members. If you do this though, always make sure that you have proof that the person is who they say they are!
How do I start a band?
Future band members hang out at open mics! Find some open mic nights near you.
Joining a band with no experience
If you’re looking to have a great live set and you don’t know how to find a great band, it might slow your process as an artist. We have plenty of ways to find musicians near you and the reasons why they’re important to play with.
Performing with a musician who plays out of tune or inconsistent with timing is only going to reflect on you and in most cases put you out of tune or mess up your timing.
Before we continue, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into if you’re creating a band.
Are you looking for a permanent band (like Hayley Williams fronting Paramore), or are you looking to be a solo artist and have a backing band (like Avril Lavigne)?
In the music world, there is a huge difference – they both have their benefits and drawbacks, and we’ll discuss some of them in detail.
Wondering how to find a session musician? Check out this article here:
What is a session guitarist?
Session guitarists (or any session musicians for that matter) are musicians hired to perform in recording sessions or live performances. They aren’t normally permanent members of a musical ensemble or band.
They work behind the scenes and rarely achieve individual fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders.
Top session musicians, however, are well known within the music industry, and some have become publicly recognised. Examples include ‘The Wrecking Crew’ and ‘The Funk Brothers’ who worked with Motown Records.
What are the advantages of having session musicians?
Session musicians are great because they’re often professional musicians in their own right. Many of them make a living out of playing music for other people.
When it comes to using session musicians live, it’s good because you can always have someone to play your gig. What we mean by this is that you can have multiple guitarists, drummers, bassists, etc.
The benefit of this is that it decreases the likelihood that you’ll be without a guitarist for a gig. If you have three guitarists who know your songs, you can call on all of them, and it’s very unlikely that all three of them won’t be able to make it.
There are, however, some drawbacks of having session musicians.
The people you get in will know that they aren’t permanent members. This means that they may be less inclined to stick around in the long run. If you do well though, they’ll want to stick around!
You’ll probably have to make sure that you pay them every gig. This does mean that it might be tricky to do unpaid gigs unless your musicians can see a way in which they benefit from playing or free.
What are the advantages of having permanent band members?
The best thing about having permanent members is that you’re all in it together. This means that they might help you in the managing of the band, getting gigs, and growing as a musician.
They’re also much more likely to be committed to your gigs if they know that they’re getting as much recognition as you are.
The drawbacks of having permanent members, however, include the fact that if one member can’t do a gig, it’s trickier to find someone to fill that slot.
If a member drops out of your band, it can mess things up – you may have to stop gigging for a while until you get someone else in. They’ll have to learn all of your songs from scratch too!
A great way to strike a balance with this is by having permanent members, and then have ‘deps’ just in case one of the members can’t make a big show that you’re looking forward to.
UK musicians forums
There are so many other sites that you use to find local musicians in the UK, such specific pages include:
Facebook ‘UK Musicians Wanted’
On Facebook, UK Musicians Wanted is home to an active musician’s forum. Find musicians for an existing project or advertise yourself as available.
UK Musicians Wanted is all about connecting musicians from the UK. The main focus of their website is the ‘Musician’s Forum’ where you can post or view ads from all sorts of other musicians
Band Mix is a free service connecting local musicians. Join the thousands of seeking musicians and bands! BandMix.co.uk is the highest-rated and largest musicians wanted and musician classifieds online. With thousands of musicians in your area, you have thousands of opportunities to connect.
Join My Band
This is a forum where anyone can talk about everything music. It’s also a brilliant opportunity to find other musicians around the UK to network and make music with.
These all serve the same purpose – for you to reach out to likeminded people who are looking to form a live band to perform with.
Best apps to find musicians to play for you
There are so many apps out there that can help you find musicians to work with. They can also help you meet industry individuals who might be able to take your music career to the next level!
This one is a great, interactive, open space for musicians and promoters to help them get together, collaborate. They can often come up with jamming sessions and gigs for local musicians.
It allows budding musicians to get more gigs, attain industry exposure and network with other musicians.
Sonicbids helps other people find talent on this platform, get in touch with those musicians and advertise playing opportunities this way.
Additionally, independent musicians can also connect with promoters and music-loving audience to expand their music careers. The music industry is a growing industry which is in the process of expanding and reaching out to an ever-increasing audience.
Jambro is referred to as the ‘Tinder for musicians’, the app’s goal is to be the best possible solution for musicians at a time when quite often they are not given.
Since one of the major obstacles musicians face is the lack of space to get together and play music, the founders of Jambro decided to help musicians get over this major obstacle.
The makers of this app spoke about the vision behind Jambro. They said that they want local musicians to get out of their comfort zones and get together as a community that loves and creates music.
Jambro is easy to use – whether you are a guitarist, singer or pianist, all you need to do is search the app to find other musicians in your vicinity.
#3 Indaba Music
This app is more like an online community that brings musicians, the general public publishers, and radio stations, together. It’s a wonderful platform for new and old musicians to collaborate. You can work on music recordings, and interact with music professionals and fans alike.
Users of this app can also add new tracks or work on existing ones in an attempt to make music with people all around the world who share similar interests.
Providing musicians with an opportunity to market themselves for free on a broader stage, GigTown brings musicians, venues and party planners together.
The real power and strengths of this app are in its ability to connect musicians, fans, and venues brilliantly. With the option to search musician profiles, this app is a great way to establish connections beyond the already established world of music.
The app allows musicians to upload audio tracks, video performances, and personal information. Besides helping them promote themselves, it also connects them with other artists who share similar interests.
This app presents a new way to local musicians to collaborate by providing them with a great opportunity to jam together. The app detects your location and shows you possible matches who share your skills, interests and favourite music styles.
Even if you are new to learning an instrument and are an upcoming budding artist, the app still lets you connect with others to study and learn the instrument together.
BandFriend also has SoundCloud and YouTube integration which lets the musicians show off their talent online. You can also watch videos and listen to songs by other artists in an attempt to help you find the perfect match.
Have you ever played with other musicians? How did you find it? We would love to hear about them in the comments below!