Suggestions for putting a decent “dad band” together?

Dennyf

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Posts
1,753
Location
Mt. Holly, NC USA
Hmmm, sounds more like Granddad band than Dad band?
Grandpa guitar player seeks ambulatory grandpa lead singer front man?
Correct me if I'm wrong!
Sounds that way to me too. BTW, I'm 65, not tryin' to diss anyone.
I retired from gigging a few years ago. I now live in a 55+ "active adult" community. A few has-beens and never-weres like myself formed a "music club" which entitles us to community facilities for rehearsals and jamming, and the opportunity for some of us to play some community events as well.
Anyway, the "club" aspect is nice in that I can participate as much as I want to, without feeling obligated like I would to colleages in a band.
Perhaps this is an approach you could take in the senior community in your area that would open the door to participation without the intimidation of commitment that a band implies.
 

chris m.

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Posts
10,213
Location
Santa Barbara, California
I am super lucky. I have been playing in a really good band for over 10 years now. (I just realized we are over 10 years together when I recollected that my drummer and bass player did a birthday party for my 50th birthday where we rented out a venue and invited a whole bunch of friends as well as the public, and now I'm 59!) We gig once or twice a month, and people really dig us. But I have been in the OP's shoes.

As mentioned, bluegrass and folk people often have hootenannys and other informal get togethers that are really easy to join into. Also, I play clarinet and so when I had a dry spell in the electric guitar scene I started playing in local community bands. We would rehearse once a week and work up to playing for the city July 4th festivities or for the Christmas parade, and also play in old folks' homes. Being a band we could play popular big band hits of the 40s and those folks would just love it. This was super challenging, though-- even as 3rd clarinet I had to practice at least 2h a day to keep up.

Anyway, seems like other genres of music have an easier informal music scene that is pretty easy to get into. Other ideas, some of which have been mentioned:

1) If you have a good local music store, some of them have a small stage and host various sorts of open mikes, jams, get togethers, etc.

2) Taking lessons from your local music store and getting to know the teachers there can sometimes lead to opportunities.

3) If you have a local community college they often have various music programs such as a jazz band that you can potentially join. Of course they typically only need one guitar player so that can be a hard seat to earn.

4) Jamulus and JamKazam are two on-line apps that make it possible to jam with other folks over the Internet. But you need a really good, hard-wired Ethernet connection to avoid unacceptable lag. I tried it but gave up on it just because I couldn't get fast enough Internet to minimize the lag sufficiently. And I wasn't as motivated to solve it because our band just solved the problem by rehearsing outside during Covid.

5) Social media can be your friend here. All the cool kids (and cool grandpas) are connecting and networking over social media as much as anything else. I guess by starting on TDPRI in a sense you are doing just that. But start posting what you are looking for on sites like FB, Craigslist, etc., and ask people to share it around, and the Internet may help you find like-minded folks to try it with.

6) If you are good enough to teach guitar, that's another way to network.

7) To scratch the itch, participate in the Midweek Backing Tracks on TDPRI. Sure, it's not live, but you still get the challenge of playing to music made by others and making it all work and sound musical. And you get some virtual interaction which is better than nothing.

8) I don't know if you belong to a church, but many have worship bands these days. Some of them are getting to be pretty pro with crazy high standards, but I think some are a still little bit more low key and not quite so demanding.
 

keithb7

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Posts
5,246
Location
Western Canada
@JustABluesGuy your original post pretty-well described my current band situation to a T. 2 members are in their 60’s, retired. I’m 50 still working. Acoustic guitar plugged in. Mic’d cajone percussionist. Plugged in electric bass. Low volumes. We play covers and make them our own. We practice at home together way more than we play out. We gig about 8 times/year. Locally only. We are practicing diligently, weekly as a band. Getting 3 part hamoniea dialed in. Not easy but sure is fun.


Sorry I can’t advise you where to find band members like mine. And no you can’t steal them either. Good friends we are. Having a good time together.
 

markal

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Posts
1,279
Age
47
Location
Colorado
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.

Open mics and local jams (blues jams and one more general, eclectic jam) is how I‘ve met people. The one band I’ve played in came together through networking with people at a jam. And a local blues jam I used to go to (the bar closed now) led to another group that never quite came together for gigs, but we jammed in a garage a bunch of times over a few months.

I’m feeling ready to jam and gig again, so that’s what I plan to do - get back out to the local jams and open mics. Thankfully, there are many here, even with the lingering effects of the pandemic.
 

JustABluesGuy

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Posts
3,887
Location
Somewhere
@JustABluesGuy your original post pretty-well described my current band situation to a T. 2 members are in their 60’s, retired. I’m 50 still working. Acoustic guitar plugged in. Mic’d cajone percussionist. Plugged in electric bass. Low volumes. We play covers and make them our own. We practice at home together way more than we play out. We gig about 8 times/year. Locally only. We are practicing diligently, weekly as a band. Getting 3 part hamoniea dialed in. Not easy but sure is fun.


Sorry I can’t advise you where to find band members like mine. And no you can’t steal them either. Good friends we are. Having a good time together.

That sounds ideal. My cousin is doing almost the exact same thing down in Costa Rica.
 

sax4blues

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Posts
5,763
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
I basically would like to find guys who are a bit better than me,….,
This is the conundrum isn’t it. Everyone is looking for better players who will add to their weakness.
… with a few sporadic gigs here and there.
Suggestions?
I’ve found this to be problematic because I need focus group rehearsal to provide a worthwhile performance.
 

chris m.

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Posts
10,213
Location
Santa Barbara, California
This is the conundrum isn’t it. Everyone is looking for better players who will add to their weakness.

I’ve found this to be problematic because I need focus group rehearsal to provide a worthwhile performance.
Having an upcoming gig does help focus rehearsals. But it could just be a house or block party, doesn’t have to be a paid gig.
 

GreatDaneRock

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Posts
1,161
Location
Central FL
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?
This is the ad I run when mates decide to quit, which only happened once with bass, and I can't keep singing lead, voice is stained as it is from my professor/lecturing regular job.

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this. We are an established Orlando band (YouTube and Facebook channels) with a good number of original songs already written; the project is all originals. We're primarily a rock band with diverse influences like blues, hard rock, metal, indie, soul, funk, and many other flavors mixed in. We all listen to diverse music and we believe that's important too. I have an awesome practice space with drums, amps, and PA. For reference, I live in Casselberry.

We’re looking for a solid bass player, and a charismatic pop/rock singer with a sense of showmanship and an ear for melody, so we can all vibe it out. Singers, you must provide your own mic, Covid and ****.

Let me be candid here: we’re seeking for established grownups with steady jobs and a stable life. The idea is to do something original and different from what's out there with like-minded people. The bottom line is we do not want nor need the pressure of performing for money, aka bars, corporate events, having to play just covers, etc.

We’re goal-oriented and like structure, so rehearsing with purpose, performing, and recording the material is all part of it. We do have good demos of the songs, and we would love to hear some of your work too. Here:

Thank you and rock on \m/ \m/
 

JustABluesGuy

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Posts
3,887
Location
Somewhere
If all else fails, become part owner in a bar and host the mic nights. Then hire yourself to play.

My cousin did that. He opened a restaurant with a stage and live music. It was great, but he never made money and finally had to shut down. A bar would probably be more profitable, but owning even part of one seems a bit like work. I like being retired so far.

It is an option and would definitely give me plenty of opportunities to play with others. Thanks for the feedback!
 

JustABluesGuy

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Posts
3,887
Location
Somewhere
This is the ad I run when mates decide to quit, which only happened once with bass, and I can't keep singing lead, voice is stained as it is from my professor/lecturing regular job.

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this. We are an established Orlando band (YouTube and Facebook channels) with a good number of original songs already written; the project is all originals. We're primarily a rock band with diverse influences like blues, hard rock, metal, indie, soul, funk, and many other flavors mixed in. We all listen to diverse music and we believe that's important too. I have an awesome practice space with drums, amps, and PA. For reference, I live in Casselberry.

We’re looking for a solid bass player, and a charismatic pop/rock singer with a sense of showmanship and an ear for melody, so we can all vibe it out. Singers, you must provide your own mic, Covid and ****.

Let me be candid here: we’re seeking for established grownups with steady jobs and a stable life. The idea is to do something original and different from what's out there with like-minded people. The bottom line is we do not want nor need the pressure of performing for money, aka bars, corporate events, having to play just covers, etc.

We’re goal-oriented and like structure, so rehearsing with purpose, performing, and recording the material is all part of it. We do have good demos of the songs, and we would love to hear some of your work too. Here:

Thank you and rock on \m/ \m/


Thanks for the tips and ideas. I appreciate it.
 

Milspec

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Posts
7,088
Location
Nebraska
My cousin did that. He opened a restaurant with a stage and live music. It was great, but he never made money and finally had to shut down. A bar would probably be more profitable, but owning even part of one seems a bit like work. I like being retired so far.

It is an option and would definitely give me plenty of opportunities to play with others. Thanks for the feedback!
The key is to be a silent partner where you don't have to deal with the day-to-day operations yet have access to the stage as you want.

One of the places we played regularly was a small town bar / restaraunt across the river. The little town only had 3,000 people, but the turn out was close to 300 every time that we played there. The owners were very nice and decided to retire...put the place up for sale and my band became part owners for pretty cheap. We do nothing with the daily operation, but get to play there every weekend and thus far come away with a little profit in our pockets as well.

It isn't exactly Nashville, but the crowds are really great...and we don't get charged for drinks.
 

JustABluesGuy

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Posts
3,887
Location
Somewhere
Having an upcoming gig does help focus rehearsals. But it could just be a house or block party, doesn’t have to be a paid gig.

That is definitely true. My buddies and I have never done better than when we had a deadline for a performance. Any performance. We did a couple of parties, and we managed to focus temporarily, and we played at our highest possible level. We weren’t great, but we were fun and didn’t get boo’d once.

I’m think I am going to work up a good solo set and go hit some open mics. Thanks for the feedback!
 

JustABluesGuy

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Posts
3,887
Location
Somewhere
The key is to be a silent partner where you don't have to deal with the day-to-day operations yet have access to the stage as you want.

One of the places we played regularly was a small town bar / restaraunt across the river. The little town only had 3,000 people, but the turn out was close to 300 every time that we played there. The owners were very nice and decided to retire...put the place up for sale and my band became part owners for pretty cheap. We do nothing with the daily operation, but get to play there every weekend and thus far come away with a little profit in our pockets as well.

It isn't exactly Nashville, but the crowds are really great...and we don't get charged for drinks.

Congratulations! That sounds like a very nice gig! Where’s your club and what day and time is the open mic? 😜
 

JustABluesGuy

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Posts
3,887
Location
Somewhere
This is the conundrum isn’t it. Everyone is looking for better players who will add to their weakness.

I’ve found this to be problematic because I need focus group rehearsal to provide a worthwhile performance.

I’ve played with both more and less advanced players. I don’t mind being the stronger player as long as the other is showing progress, but I do prefer being the weakest player.

Playing with better players pushes me, and I always learn from them, especially if they’re kind enough to offer advice, or better a free lesson or two!

I’ve given and gotten my share of impromptu lessons, but I want MORE!
 

Colo Springs E

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Posts
16,606
Location
Colorado Springs
I will just say... it's seldom easy. To find 4, 5, 6 whatever people with similar goals, talent, desire, work ethic, taste in music etc is really just hard to find and keep. I played in an established cover band about 5 years and it was heaven--practically zero drama, and just some really good guys who got along well, had very similar goals, etc. But it ain't typically that easy.

Keeping the number down helps. The more people, the more variables.

Having a duo or a trio--in whatever kind of setup you are shooting for, electric, acoustic, drums or no drums--could be easier to work with as far as scheduling, rehearsing etc.
 

JustABluesGuy

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Posts
3,887
Location
Somewhere
I will just say... it's seldom easy. To find 4, 5, 6 whatever people with similar goals, talent, desire, work ethic, taste in music etc is really just hard to find and keep. I played in an established cover band about 5 years and it was heaven--practically zero drama, and just some really good guys who got along well, had very similar goals, etc. But it ain't typically that easy.

Keeping the number down helps. The more people, the more variables.

Having a duo or a trio--in whatever kind of setup you are shooting for, electric, acoustic, drums or no drums--could be easier to work with as far as scheduling, rehearsing etc.

Yeah, I would prefer a smaller group. I don’t care to try and put together a band with a drummer and a full kit. I would prefer a trio or combo setup more. Adding players does complicate things, often exponentially.
 

OmegaWoods

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Posts
1,401
Age
54
Location
East TN, USA
Consider contacting local music teachers who might have advanced students who could use some experience playing in an ensemble. You'd have a group of eager players who could greatly benefit from your wisdom and knowledge.
 

Geo

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
5,285
Age
72
Location
Hendersonville, TN
We or I found our granddad band of sorts folks from Bandmix. Needless to say there are plenty of odd balls
out there. Sometimes when contacting persons one wonders if they are still among the living. Then there
are the no reply ones, only want to do if serious gigging (lol!.. in Nashville and surrounding) or only to tour. :p
Keep in mind these are age 68 and up. One guy was really interested and called me after a few months when his
wife found the email cleaning out his Gmail accumulations.
 




Top