Playing with other musicians

How long had you been playing before you answered up to an invitation to come play


Have not had one yet😞

But I was, well, am, sort of, trying to get a group of US to get on Zoom and play together, or help each other, and, well, meet each other, sort of, you know, Corona safe jamming.

There is a thread started and a poll. I just had stuff to do right after we were getting somewhere, and it’s been left stagnant.
I am up for it, just having a hard time organizing it alone.
See, my daughter was in the hospital from March 3rd til beginning of May. Due to Covid I could not see her after Mid March. After she got out, she was at her moms for a week and I saw her for about 4-5 days. Then she went to a treatment canter, and, cuz of Covid, I couldn’t see her.
Then a week ago Tuesday, I met her at her Dr. where she got her Prosthetic, and took her first steps.
Last Friday she was moved, within the treatment center, to a section where she can leave. So I picked her up Friday, Sat and Sunday, and spent all weekend, including Father’s Day.
It as awesome, but left me, ignoring this thread, therefore, not following up and organizing it enuf for it to happen.

But I am able to do this almost anytime of day or night, but could use help in organizing it.


If I don’t count the try and fail 5 years ago, I have been playing for about 6 weeks now.

Last week a colleague who saw me taking my bass to work and talking to other colleagues about it, told me that they will have a gathering of several music enthusiasts at a park next weekend. I got super excited about it!

I don’t know what to expect. It sounds super casual and most of them might be very young (20-25) but let’s see! They are bringing some sound systems to have open mike moments etc…


I’ve been on the lookout more or less since I have finished B2B but I am still nervous about it. I contacted a band on a musicians market place. They are looking for a bassist and they invited me to band practice 2020-07-14.
They send me notes and is a little bit above my skill to be honest but I still have 2 weeks to practice so I hope I manage until then.

Although I would have been happy to play with someone earlier but in that case only people I already know and not total strangers.


we are just now coming out of HP CON C and into HP CON B which means I can be in a group of 5 people, not my family, as long as I maintain social distancing and wear a mask. So I was thinking of calling up a drummer and/or a guitar player to let me test the waters. As long as no one has the expectation that I’m going to reproduce the bass line from a recording I think I’ll be OK.


Sounds awesome, congrats. Have a great adventure.

Dooooooo it. Sounds like a great way to improve your skills.


They did that here, and now we have some of the highest numbers of new cases and deaths going. But what did they expect.
Plus there were all sorts of demonstrations and riots. People yelling at each other and at everybody that walked by, getting in each other’s faces, fighting…
What the heck did they expect.

I stayed home and played bass.

Too many People around here are dumb.
They want their shopping, and haircuts, and nails, and facials, bars open, they don’t like to be inconvenienced, so Now we pay, and the virus is around.


I guess it depends on what you expect to get out of this experience!?! If you put some thought and planning into it, you could get out of it what you hope for - otherwise, it could turn into a needlessly frustrating experience, which might hinder future attempts…

If it is mainly about testing whether you could jam with someone, make sure you have “jammed” a lot with a groove trainer (drum/groove software) before or with simple chord progressions and grooves you prepared yourself in, e.g., GarageBand.

If you have such (simple) chord progressions that you have practiced with, take them along and hand them out, together with some “instructions” to the type of jam/song, e.g., slow rock, straight eights rock, shuffle feel, swing feel, whatever.

Or, if there are indeed entire (well known) songs you already know, bring those along.

If you can plan ahead, do it! If you just show up and hope that magic will ensue, this might turn into a more sobering experience…

I started playing with other people after I had learned to play the bass for about 8-9 months. I got some material from the band beforehand that I could prepare for. And, it was perfect for my level - challenging enough, but not insanely difficult. Also, these dudes are about the same age as myself and mostly interested in having fun (if we get gigs at some time, fine; if not… no big deal; time will tell… - that kind of attitude). So, in a way, I was lucky!

Good luck to you as well!


thanks for the advice…I’ll talk to them before hand one to avoid the “what do you want to play” awkwardness and to get an idea of their expectations. Good stuff!


For sure good advice. I was a complete beginner, took B2B, did some covers by myself, and felt ready to try to play with others after about 6 months. I put an ad on Craigslist (local free classifieds online), and also answered some ads there looking for bass players. Weeded through a number of people before feeling like a few clicked over the phone, then, set up a time / place to meet, with some suggested songs from both sides to learn. It’s worth the experience! This was all before coronavirus, however, so, some logistics may be different now.



I basically took a similar online posting approach (local Craigslist). After playing at home for about a year, I found a rental rehearsal room and then just placed my own ad looking for people to play once a month. I think I said something like “calling all novice wanna be musicians and otherwise crappy players.” I was really upfront about my limited capabilities and lack of experience. (so that really got rid of any stress or intimidation of having never played with anyone before)

I got probably 20 responses, but was able to weed those down to what I thought would be good matches, and we have been going strong since then. (it will be a year in August) The nice perk of taking this DIY approach, is that I am strangely enough, the band leader (even though I have the least amount of experience)- but this allows me to have final say over song choices, scheduling rehearsals, etc. (it is a democracy of course but since this was my original thing, I get to keep things in a musical direction that I am interested in) We are a 4 piece, but just recently added a 2nd guitar player. (and I’ve been getting into synth lately so hope to eventually find a keys player that will put up with us)

The experience has been amazing. We are by no means making great music, but we may have 3 or 4 songs now that are getting decent enough to perhaps one day allow us to perform for an audience.


lee - That’s awesome- great story. Cover songs or originals?
How much $ is the rental space?
Do you have a singer or does one (or more) of the musicians sing, too. Or - instrumental?


Hey thanks… Our set list is maybe 4 covers and 3 originals so far. We normally introduce one or two new song ideas for each rehearsal, and then over time I will drop the ones that are not working out and keep the ones that are. Song ideas typically are sent to the singer first- because we ain’t even trying it if its not in her range. I try to steer things towards alt/indie rock. (and also look for stuff where the bass is not too complex for my limitations!)

I think this thing was somehow meant to be, we are a rag-tag group of old misfits! I’m late 50s, with no prior musical experience, and have been trying to play for about 2 and a half years now after finding Josh’s course and buying my first short scale. I still have not made it past about module 5 in the course! (although I was excited a few weeks ago to jump back in after who knows how many months and successfully play that fast version Ska song)

The singer was in many bands years ago, but suffered a brain injury and did not sing for 10 years- about 3 months before seeing my ad, she had started to try and practice again. The drummer’s last band was about 8 or 9 years ago. After one of the members died (a good friend of his), he quit playing completely and his kit was packed away. He had just got his drums out of storage, cleaned them up and was taking photos of them to sell everything when he saw my ad- and realized he was ready to get back into it. My guitarist is probably 10 or 15 years older than me, only plays sitting down, but is really talented. (he plays in a couple classic rock bands but wanted to do something different)

In retrospect, what made this even possible was finding the rehearsal space. I think its in other US cities as well. (The Music Box) They rent monthly rooms for bands that practice all the time, but they also have an hourly room. It’s got 2 guitar amps, bass amp, drum kit, PA, mics, stands, etc- so for $20/hr, its a great solution, since everyone can just show up with minimal load in. (3 hour minimum) Rate is $25, but once you rent, they always send me a discount code for the next time so it comes out to $60.

Here is one of my originals. (so far all the original stuff are instrumentals, but I do have a new one in the works that should have vocals) This is surf tune that just started out with my bass using surf drum track, and then the guitarist added a track and also wrote the bridge part. I also got a midi keyboard and added some synth- it gave it a really cool retro feel and I hope to start incorporating more synth in future stuff.


Great experience shared there, and, I found, from doing a similar thing, that there are lots of musicians of various skill levels out there, but very few “organizers”, so doesn’t surprise me - pretty awesome you’re still going strong after a year too - they probably need you to hold it together like that, and, sounds like the beginnings of a band. Hoping that as more places open up, you’ll get to do a gig or two, somewhere. You’d be surprised, if you just ask venues, and don’t expect to be paid, that some will go for it, without too much expectation! Keep us posted!


Heck yeah! I should revise my above post to say that you all are already a band! I ended up in two “semi-bands” from my Craigslisting, but, things eventually fell apart. Your bandmates sound reliable, and sounds like you all have good chemistry.

There is a similar place where I live- and it helps if no one has a basement or room to jam in, that everyone can get loud in. Pretty affordable too, if you pay hourly, and the bandmates split it.

I’d say to anyone looking to play with other musicians - if you think you’re ready to try, you are. No minimum amount of time or experience needed. Take the plunge.


lee - That is a great story to share. That original is very cool!
I agree with Vik - keep us posted!


Looking forward to post-COVID and have some time to get a strategy. I do want to find others who enjoy playing and, as a recent retiree in his early 60’s, I have the time to put into it.

After reading this thread, I think I picked up two main methods for finding band mates:

  1. Social connections
  2. Craig’s List.

Are there any other well-known sites or methods for finding people?


Try this link, @gary.paice

Cheers, Joe


Thanks, Joe. I will definitely look into it. Likely a little later due to COVID but planning ahead!


Getting the itch again to find some band mates myself, though covid lockdowns are probably going to put a wrench in it this winter. I think you’re right though, distilled the two big ways to find people. Within CL, try both posting yourself, but also responding to posts, you get a nice mix that way. And within social connections, they don’t have to be existing ones, sometimes seeing a band play, you end up finding people that could use a bass player. Good luck, keep us posted, and, who knows, maybe there are some new avenues of finding band mates, people have certainly gotten creative this year with technological use cases!