Finding other musicians in London - is it really such a desert?

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  • jeztone2jeztone2 Frets: 1634
    Old thread, but I'll add my twopenneth worth.

    i moved to just outside London in 2011. I had false start after false start with various bands. Then finally in 2015 I joined a Classic Rock 4 piece playing originals. Our influences were Skunk Anansie meets Fleetwood Mac. 

    Sadly in 2017 I relocated to Nottingham and they folded. 

    I think the trouble is music genres. No one wanted to do the sort of stuff I'm into. If your into Metal or Punk, it seems a lot easier.
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  • I agree, but also it depends on what style of music you are planning to play. hence why I didn't have much luck...
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  • DominicDominic Frets: 9102
    Try wanting to start a decent Modern Country band ...........too many Indians ,not enough Cowboys !
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  • kongodoomkongodoom Frets: 1
    My experience of London is THIS! Moved from the US 3 years ago where Could start bands easily. Craigslist etc. Here on Gumtree all I seem to get are uncommitted or just cover guys. Any idea where one goes to start a plain old loud rock band in their 30s? 

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  • dcgdcg Frets: 121
    We are a cross-genre band of old guys (guitar/bass/baritone sax/drums: no vocals) playing jazz at its intersection with the Meters, Bill Frisell, and Jerry Lee Lewis...really.  Wanting to find that drummer who was a combo of Tony Allen and Tony Williams, we advertised on Gumtree and got a very good response.  But most turning up to auditions were very generic players, and/or didn't want to put in the time with the arrangements.  We found the perfect guy, rehearsed for 3 months at which point I was really hearing in my head that band I'd always wanted to be in - and then our new drummer's shiftwork changed and we lost him.  If you hold out for what you want, it still doesn't mean you'll get it.  Music can be cruel.  And even in London finding good musicians is really hard.
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  • I think the best chance is networking.  About filtering out the masses and being in the area of those of a like mind (e.g. gigs/parties). 

    Even though I know I need to get out there (well, before Covid kicked off) I don't really do it which leaves me very frustrated and quite depressed about finding that partner.  To me having a writing partner can be like a marriage and we know how difficult that is to facilitate.

    The last person I had success with I met at a wedding.  He was sitting next to my wife and after they discovered some things in common we got chatting. That was super rare but it does happen. But only if you are out there. Sitting at home looking at the computer doesn't really help - though at the moment what else (apart from write and record) can we do?

    As a musician I know that although it is always easy to become disheartened we must never give up, even if only for our own satisfaction and/or mental health.
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 960
    edited June 2020
    There's a lot of people out there who talk a good band. Sometimes I think I've spend more time wading through crap than actually playing and enjoying it.

    But I continue to do it. Rock and roll is as much sadism as hedonism.
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 6485
    edited June 2020
    Have to disagree that it’s hard to find musicians in London...

    it’s hard to find musicians to be in a “band” full time with the commitment that goes with it... or be as enthusiastic about your project as you are...

     It’s not hard to find musicians to gig with... paying gigs that is... just don’t expect them to pitch up at a rehearsal every fortnight.

    it’s like any profession, you’d be hard pushed to find a plumber to work on your house just for the fun of it... but pay him and he’s round like a shot!...
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  • SPECTRUM001SPECTRUM001 Frets: 630
    When I was younger, we got bands together (in London) through hanging out in record shops and gigs, and generally living a life that revolved around music.

    I still think that is possible (to an extent) now. I see quite a few notices up here in Stokey (local record/book shops). Or try visiting rehearsal and recording spaces and talking to the staff - I got to know someone interesting from selling a guitar - you never quite know !!

    Having said that, I struggle with the energy needed to play in a band. I also sympathise with how tough it is to be noticed if you are trying to get a foot on the ladder...
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  • BintyTwanger77BintyTwanger77 Frets: 1790
    edited February 24
    Just to bump this thread, I made a resolution this year (once restrictions are lifted) to break out from being just a bedroom guitarist and actually jam and rehearse (and eventually maybe gig?) with other humans. I played sax in a gigging ska/2-Tone covers band for 8-9 years, but as the singer/general band "leader" has now moved to Exeter, that ship may have at least temporarily sailed. I'm looking to play guitar in a band now, based in SE London currently, love a huge range of music and influences (though I'm very much a 90s "indie-boy", I also love soul, blues, ska/2-tone, shoegaze/post-rock... you name it, though I'm not equipped for metal, sadly!). In short, I'm just looking to start jamming on the guitar with some lovely folk. Please, do get in touch!
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