Suggestions for putting a decent “dad band” together?

JustABluesGuy

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Almost every time I've played an open mic, I got fished to join a band or some jam group.

Open mics are a fantastic way to meet other players in the wild.

It's a great way to audition 'em without auditioning 'em. It also gives you a pretty good indication of how they interact with other players, e.g., they really pay attention to other players and leave room for 'em (or not), diva behavior (or not), etc.

Excellent points. I realize that putting myself out there is the best way, it just been a bit difficult to find decent open mics around here. That, and the fact that I don’t really have a solo act together yet.

That is probably the best way to meeting other players. Thanks.
 

JustABluesGuy

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They might become your friends in time though if you jam frequently.

That’s always a possibility and I would hope so. I guess what I should have said is that if we don’t get along from the get go we will never find out.

I’m a fairly good judge of character, and if someone is a jerk on first meeting, I don’t really expect then to get better over time. I always give people the benefit of the doubt though.
 

JustABluesGuy

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I'm lucky enough to be in a Dad band, although. it's more like a Grandpa band, as we're all over 60. I was in a cover band, Moms and Dads, for a while too, but the C thing ended that.

I met the other guitar player through a mutual friend, we've been playing together for 6 years or so. We've gone through several drummers, bass players, and keyboards. We used to try to hit an open mic jam 2-3 times a month, that's the best way to meet a variety of Dads, interested in music. We got our bass player, who is awesome, from the open mic circuit. He plays out 3-5 nights a week, and still seems to like goofing around with us every Tuesday night.

Our "regular" drummer has been getting flakey over the past few months. I was at our local music store and was chatting with a man there, he had just moved here from NJ, and agreed to play with us the next Tuesday. He's frikken awesome. Turns out he's a pro, a teacher, and has done several national and international tours. Now he's a Dad. Last night was a total blast, we played for 4 hours solid.

I guess my point is, decide what situation you want, then keep your eyes and ears open. Go to open mics and introduce yourself to everyone and announce you are looking for a group. Remember, you are not there to be impressed by the acts, you're there to get hooked up with some enthusiastic music peeps. Advertise in CL, and on music store bulletin boards; also check them out often to see if there's people looking for a second guitar. I would think there's lots of Dads in Houston looking for someone just like you. Keep us posted, good luck!

Good tips, thanks! The ads around here seem to be mostly for genres I don’t delve deeply into and are often seeking only 18-22 year olds with pro gear and transportation. 😜
 

JustABluesGuy

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It varies. The place I worked at was a coffee shop. Nobody was three sheets to the wind crooning through Wonderwall. A couple of notable examples: one night an elderly gentleman and his blind friend showed up with accordions and blew the lid off the place they were so good, doing songs with enough euphemisms in them to make a sailor blush. There was a couple of silver haired ladies who did duets of old folk songs and their harmonies were incredible. One moved away so the other joined up with a couple of the guitarists and formed an outstanding group. Being a coffee shop, it was all ages. Some outstandingly talented kids in their late teens would show up and play. Some of those young people went on to make a name for themselves locally.

Were they all good? No. But the ones who were trying had a good community of people around them. There were a couple of big egos of course. That comes with the territory. But the audience quickly figured out who was a blowhard.

As the sound person, the truly talented individual or the person struggling but doing their best were always a pleasure. It was the self proclaimed top guns who were a hassle.

Good advice, thanks. I have been to a fair number of open mics in the past, and realize it’s probably the best way to network.
 

JustABluesGuy

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Open mics can be jams.... Get 4 songs that you can sing...3 chord boogie or folk songs like girl of the north country... Its easy for others to follow... Go do it. You lead the song don't try to follow them they should follow you. You will meet others that way .... I did this exact same thing not looking for a band but the jam nite/open mic guy liked how easy I was too follow that I was asked to join the house band for the jam...I play once a week for 2 hours and all I have to bring is my guitar.

Sweet!

Open mics and jams seem to be harder to find around here these days, but that’s really what I need to do.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

Old Smokey

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There's a numbers issue here also, namely that old, intermediate guitarists who want to be in a band with friends and not gig too much probably outnumber similarly-minded bassists and drummers 5 to 1.

Good luck, though. I pretty much gave up the idea twelve years ago and have not played with other musicians since then.
 

JustABluesGuy

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That's want-ad-speak for "I only have a Line6 Spider and my mom drives me to and from rehearsals". 🤣

Right!? I’ve been check guitar wanted ads for years and that’s the wording of about 80% of them!
 
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JustABluesGuy

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There's a numbers issue here also, namely that old, intermediate guitarists who want to be in a band with friends and not gig too much probably outnumber similarly-minded bassists and drummers 5 to 1.

Good luck, though. I pretty much gave up the idea twelve years ago and have not played with other musicians since then.

Thanks for bringing me right down! A large part of the problem is that geezer guitar players are a dime a dozen.

I have gladly switched instruments just to play with others.

I was invited to play bass in a gigging band before I even owned a bass! I bought a bass, and used the band leader’s amp. I fill in on percussion as well, but I am not great at either.
 

Flat6Driver

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That’s always a possibility and I would hope so. I guess what I should have said is that if we don’t get along from the get go we will never find out.

I’m a fairly good judge of character, and if someone is a jerk on first meeting, I don’t really expect then to get better over time. I always give people the benefit of the doubt though.


Have you ever employed people?
Some folks get along great at the interview, and the first couple of weeks and then their true self comes out. They WANT to be in a band, but DON"T WANT to do the work, etc. You might still like them as a person, but they aren't contribution to the overall vision.

RE: open mics. I used to attend a lot before the 'vid. They all vary. You don't have to play at one, just attend and make notes of who is good or not.

Regarding ad. I have a general email account I use just for that. I don't want people googling my name if I reply. I have had some replies you think come from inside a prison. Word an ad carefully, screen carefully and then call folks to discuss (your discretion). If you set something up, pick 5 songs and tell the group to ensure they know them. Or pick two and let them pick the other three. Prepare to be disappointed. I had a guy talk this up great, and he came prepared to play none of the songs he picked. W T F
 

JustABluesGuy

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Yes, I used to hire and fire at one point. Some not so great applicants will always get through, and not be as good as they presented themselves.

I’m talking about the people who don’t present themselves well in the first place. I have had that issue before. I don’t wait to see if they will get better. I would actually prefer to play with a mediocre player (that’s trying) than a pompous jerk, no matter how great of a player they are.

I have quit playing with a couple of people who were excellent guitarists, but were not likable people. It’s always a compromise of some kind.
 

JustABluesGuy

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Have you ever employed people?
Some folks get along great at the interview, and the first couple of weeks and then their true self comes out. They WANT to be in a band, but DON"T WANT to do the work, etc. You might still like them as a person, but they aren't contribution to the overall vision.

RE: open mics. I used to attend a lot before the 'vid. They all vary. You don't have to play at one, just attend and make notes of who is good or not.

Regarding ad. I have a general email account I use just for that. I don't want people googling my name if I reply. I have had some replies you think come from inside a prison. Word an ad carefully, screen carefully and then call folks to discuss (your discretion). If you set something up, pick 5 songs and tell the group to ensure they know them. Or pick two and let them pick the other three. Prepare to be disappointed. I had a guy talk this up great, and he came prepared to play none of the songs he picked. W T F

I have also been turned off by people who oversold themselves. I talked for a while with a guy who was talking about casino gigs he had lined up soon. Someone else I had played with recommended me to him so he called me.

I couldn’t commit to that, so I turned him down. I found out later than the guy didn’t have any casino gigs lined up. Apparently he was just trying to impress me enough to get me to audition for his band.

I turned him down because he oversold it!
 

Flaneur

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Jams are indeed, a place to find like minded souls. When I ran them, I'd insist on putting folks up with a variety of others, rather than just letting them trot out the same three party pieces, with their buddies. It stretched them- but more importantly, obliged them to meet new folks and work a bit harder, socially as well as musically.

:)
 

Flaneur

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If you do start going to local jams/open mics- maybe offer to help out, with the organisation? One of the bands I currently work with, started out as the house band, at our jam. We got tired of running the jam but enjoyed playing together.
 

telemnemonics

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Yes, you are wrong. I’m a grandfather, but am not seeking a geriatric front person. Thanks for attempting to add some levity though!
Well note that among the folks I know who ran with the Devil, many under 40 have breeding age kids, and @35 one is Grandpa qualified.

Most of these under 40 folks who were busy breeding in their teens were not busy practicing Classic Rock tunes in their bedrooms though, so there's that.
I actually know a hobby drummer who's under 40 and has kids who are in long term live in relationships but like many, he's not interested in playing out AFAIK.

Am I confused in associating Rock musicians with racy lifestyles?
Probably yes, and that's MY problem.
But I also have your problem of having lost my musician community to whatever folks do when they wonder if it's time to grow up and be responsible adults.

Adulting is many things including some basic skills, a cliche of giving up, maybe a community college course name.
I kind of suck at adulting yet no longer enjoy the bennies of being free as a bird running with the devil like a rolling stone.

I know another older feller drummer who decided to "get back into music" and I guess formed a Jefferson Airplane tribute band.
Neither of us ever suggested we get together to jam, maybe a mix of it being like going on a date, and maybe also we both knew our goals were incompatible.

As "a musician", we tend to "have goals", which is kind of control freak material.
More than finding players that have the same goals of scheduling and organized hassle free enjoyment structuring, maybe it's more finding nutty creative fun "older/ no longer younger" people we could enjoy semi organized unreliable forays into music making with?

I'm really clueless here and just as frustrated as you so not being judgemental.
Just keep seeing all us older players making our long list of all the things that annoy us about musicians, to a degree where we can't stand spending time with OURSELVES.

Sure I've found fellow musicians maddening and an endless source of frustration and internal strife.
But maybe all that negatively identified stuff is part of making art, of Rock 'n' Roll, of collaborating with others who also have opinions and personalities, and of crowbarring unpaid employees into our company?

Just running off at the arthritic fingers here!
Gotta ice my hands now!
 

JustABluesGuy

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There's a numbers issue here also, namely that old, intermediate guitarists who want to be in a band with friends and not gig too much probably outnumber similarly-minded bassists and drummers 5 to 1.

Good luck, though. I pretty much gave up the idea twelve years ago and have not played with other musicians since then.

I don’t know if I could do that. I tend toward being antisocial, except when it comes to playing music. I really enjoy playing with others more than playing alone.
 

String Tree

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I’m a retired, early 60s guy who has always had friends, neighbors, co-workers or relatives to play with (literally from the day I started playing 20 years ago). Gradually they have all moved, died or just quit playing. I still get to play with some of them on occasion, but I want to play with others more often.

I’m working up a solo acoustic set to do some open mics, and maybe I will meet people that way, because I still l love ensemble playing as much of a pain as it can be to make it work. When it works it’s… well I’m sure you know!

Anyway, I have tried answering other people’s craiglist adds, and so far the ones that were of interest me have been very few and they have fallen through. Has anyone here posted an ad seeking players? Did you have good results?

I’m in an odd position to be seeking. I’m a decent, and pretty versatile player, but I am old, and don’t really care to front a band. I much prefer a support position. I also don’t really care to do a ton of gigging, especially if it involves much travel.

I basically would like to find guys who are a bit better than me, but that don’t ‘need’ to play for a living, and who are willing to play for the love of it with a few sporadic gigs here and there.

Basically I can’t commit to a working band, and I don’t want to play with people who aren’t good enough to gig. Unfortunately most people who are good enough to gig, are already doing so (or are planning to) and won’t be satisfied headlining a garage or my living room.

Sorry about the rambling, but I don’t see many ads for “Older, intermediate guitar player who doesn’t want to gig much seeks position as sideman in a pro band!” for a reason I’m sure.

Suggestions?
You and I are destined to be put in a Home for Musicans such as ourselves!
I am currently spread out between Four Bands because of the lack of work.
We are all a bunch of old guys but, we can still bring it.

Best of luck.
Hope the Good Word gets around about you.
-ST
 

JustABluesGuy

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You and I are destined to be put in a Home for Musicans such as ourselves!
I am currently spread out between Four Bands because of the lack of work.
We are all a bunch of old guys but, we can still bring it.

Best of luck.
Hope the Good Word gets around about you.
-ST

Thanks! I’ll find people to play with. Hopefully before I end up in the home for old guitar geezers!
 




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