It’s interesting to consider how a band is formed. Typically, the first “band” in life a musician joins is one made up of friends, by way of school/classmates or neighbors/proximity. Mostly because of convenience. A lot of times these bands progress no further than a garage, jamming for themselves, or maybe landing a chance to play a friend’s party. As a musician grows, some desire to play with a band that is more serious, wanting to elevate their game in the local scene. At that point, how do these more serious musicians find each other?
Forming bands in the local scene is unique to every situation. Some come together because of existing friendships. Others may form through audition. As players enter or exit the band over time, which is inevitable, finding replacements is never easy. Chemistry plays a huge role both musically and interpersonally. There are bands who have the objective of finding the very best musician possible to fill a void because of musicianship, and there are some that want little pressure and prefer to enjoy the bond that is formed as they become friends. Finding solid bandmates is always a moving target and never easy to solve.
Like in business, networking is key to finding musicians to join a band. For those searching to join a band of complete strangers, audition is probably how it will happen. Postings in social media, the flyers hanging on the bulletin board of every rehearsal studio and music school out there, and visiting open jams become important to identifying opportunities. There are times when you have friends who are already in an established band, so letting them know you are looking to join one yourself is suggested. People know people.
When looking to form a band or join an existing one, whatever you do, talk to musicians in your local community. And be honest about what you’re looking to gain from being part of a band. Are you striving to “make it” professionally? Are you simply looking to become part of a musical gang to make new friends? Whatever your objective, be up front. It will help improve your chances of finding the right fit. You never know when or from where an opportunity will come.
If you play in a band, how did it come together?