I've had my List-Alert (an awesome website made by the creator of YouThink.com) set on Craigslist for quite some time in search of a band. Anytime a craiglist add is posted with "bassist" or "bass player" I get an email. I click eagerly on the page, hoping to find an interesting band that is seeking to play some generic rock music. Rarely has this worked out for me. I'll be honest... part of the fault is mine. If I had spent more time practicing my bass in high school and less time writing or browsing the web, I probably would be much more adept at it. Yet, at the same time, maybe music isn't the best path. I would say that I am much more likely to find success as a writer, because I've written a lot more than I've played music, and there are a lot more jobs that involve writing than playing music.
But when I look at myself, I feel disappointed that I haven't made any contributions to music. I have perfect pitch, and a great vision for the style of music I'd like to craft. But it just seems like something is holding me back. And worst of all, most of the people I've connected with on Craiglist are quite flaky when it comes to meeting to play music. It would be much easier, of course, if I had a car. There is little worse than carrying a bass guitar in a large case on a bus... you're pretty much always going to have to put it somewhere that requires you to waste the bus driver's time when you've reached your stop.
The first guy I connected with regarding playing bass for a band seemed promising. I had found it randomly by typing in "Lifehouse" on a List-Alert query, and this one band popped up, saying they wanted to create a band with sounds like "Lifehouse, Incubus" and a bunch of other bands that I don't remember. But seeing Lifehouse and Incubus on this post intrgiued me enough to email the guy, and we began writing back and worth. A couple weeks later, we finally got to meet with our potential group. Two guitarists, this guy singing, and me as the bassist. All we needed was a drummer.
But it just didn't feel right. The main guitarist would just play random chords and have no idea what the names of them were. I'd figure that out and play along with it, as would the other guitarist. I had identified the chord as some sort of jazz chord, like a diminished seventh. But the guy just seemed to play what he thought sounded cool, without any desire in figuring out what he was actually playing. We had put together one song that was recorded on a low-quality camera, and had a second that was coming along nicely, but that would be all there was for me.
Early the next morning, my hard work of bassery had netted me just one email stating that he had liked what I was playing, but had gotten a "weird vibe" and didn't think anything good would come of it. And I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was a little. I mean, I do tend to give off a weird vibe. I'm a little more intense than most people, and I focus on things that other people ignore, and don't care about what many others value strongly. Certain ignorant people have given me the label of "imperceptive" simply because I did not do what they (or society) expected me to do in various situations. I would say that I am very perceptive... just that my value system is not always in alignment with others. The weirdest part of the email, though, was that it had a different name (both email and real name) than the person I had talked with for the past two weeks. He had been "Brandon" before, and suddenly he had become "Scott."
After that wasted Saturday night, I put up my own Craigslist ad as a bassist seeking a "melodic rock band." The first response I got did not particularly interest me. The guy sent me a link to his music and said "picture this with an electric guitar and distortion." I found that phrasing as a sign that he'd be less than creative, or that his music would feel like it didn't quite flow correctly or have a coherent vision. A couple others responded to me and their interest seemed to wane after I informed them of my lack of any samples.
But one guy, Nick, talked with me for a while and we met up and played. It was good fun, and I liked the sound we were producing. However, again, it did not work out, but at least it was closer to a success than my prior group. He said that I had a great ear for music but he was looking for someone at a "higher skill level" and for me to contact him again after a few months and to keep practicing. I am not sure if that would have worked out, but my no longer being in San Francisco certainly didn't help that situation.
The most recent group was probably the most frustrating. They posted on craiglist describing their style as metal influenced by Tolkien. As they posted a phone number, I began texting with them right away. It took me a couple weeks after I had moved to my new place to finally record a sample for them. We met that week and then I received a vague email saying that they (Scott and Corina) were just going to keep doing the bass parts with just the two of them... and then he (Scott) texted me later realizing we never had a chance to "jam."
We arranged to meet that Friday, and this part is surely my fault, as I forgot exactly what the address was and my dad and I wandered around San Jose for a few minutes before going back . I emailed them to reschedule, and we agreed to meet on the next Tuesday. I took a couple of busses to get there, bass in hand, and walked a couple more blocks to their house. I had been about twenty minutes early, but I knocked and no one answered. I stayed until it had been a few minutes past our supposed meeting time and then walked back to the bus, giving up in frustration.
I don't understand why people have to be so flaky about these sort of things; music should be important to them, and they should take potential musicians for a band seriously. I'm still hoping to find a band to play with, but from the looks of it, I'd have better luck just composing MIDIs and then singing into my headset along with them. But if anyone wants to start a band, feel free to email me.
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