7 Tips For Selecting The Right Musicians For Your Band

by Tom Hess


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Selecting the right musicians for your band can be a big challenge. It’s hard enough to find musicians who are skilled enough to play in a band. It’s even harder to find people who are 100% committed to making your band successful.

Here are 7 tips that help you select the right musicians for your band:

Tip #1: Don’t Select Musicians Based Only On Musical Skills.

Your band members’ personality & mindset are far more important than their musical abilities. It’s much easier to take the right person and improve their musical skills than it is to change one’s personality.


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More bands fall apart because of personality clashes among band members than because of lack of musical skills.

Here are the most important qualities to look for:

  • Congruency of goals - every band member needs to be equally committed to success. Equally committed does not mean that everyone has to want to be a rock star.

    It means that everyone has to have a clear goal for their music career and these goals need to be congruent among all band members.

    This makes it more likely that the band will work as a team to achieve an outcome everyone is committed to.

Find Musicians For Your Band

  • Work ethic - It takes a lot of work to make a band successful. The work required goes far beyond the basics of writing, practicing and performing songs. Everyone in the band needs to be willing to put in the effort required to achieve the band’s goals.
  • Commitment to success of the band - this means each band member has to see the band’s goals as congruent with their personal music career goals.

To help you remember what to look for in potential band members, download the free band member selection checklist (no email address is required). Print it out and study it, so you know the best selection criteria to use when searching for musicians for your band.

Tip #2: Do Your Research On Each Band Member Ahead Of Time.

Research any potential band member before you audition them or talk to them about joining your band. Researching can take many forms. For example:

  • Watch videos of them performing on stage.
  • Look at their social media pages and personal website(s).
  • Talk to other people who know them.

This gives you a great sense of their mindset, background, world view and reputation. Your research also tells you how much value the new member is likely to bring to your band (such as helping your band get more new gigs).

Tip #3: Do An Informal Interview With Any Potential Band Member You Consider Working With.

There is a difference between an audition (where you assess one’s musical skills) and an (informal) interview where you get to know them as a person.

Ask them about their music career background, their goals and challenges they’ve overcome in their life so far.

This conversation tells you if you would want to be around this potential band member for long periods of time.

Tip #4: (Covertly) Test Every Potential Band Member.

Plan specific questions to ask a potential band member to test their loyalty, commitment, attitude and mindset. Ask the questions covertly, so the potential band member doesn't know he/she is being tested!

Here are some examples:

Example 1: Talk about a hypothetical scenario where one’s loyalty is being tested. Ask the potential band member what he/she would do in the given scenario.

Example 2: Ask your band member to bring a specific item with them to the interview or audition. This tests their attention to detail and ability to follow directions.

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Tip #5: Weigh The Pros And Cons.

Make a list of all the potential value and risk the new member could bring to your band. Here are great questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the band member someone you (and the rest of the band) wants to be around with for long periods of time?
  • Will the new member help you sell more records and merchandise? (If so, how much more?)
  • Will the new member help you get more gigs?
  • Will the new member help you get more new fans?
  • What risks are there about the potential band member?
  • What is still unknown about the person?

Use your risk/benefit analysis to make your final decision about accepting the new member.

Tip #6: Be Objective, Not Emotional.

Put your band’s goals and priorities above your personal feelings. Anyone you bring into the band must bring value to what the band is trying to accomplish.

Remember that your own reputation is attached to the band (and to the musicians who play in your band). Avoid lowering your standards to accept musicians into the band who will bring the band down.

Tip #7: Become The Person You Want To Attract Into Your Band.

The best way to attract the right musicians for your band is to become the type of musician (and person) you want to attract.

Determine the qualities you want your ideal band member to have and develop them within yourself. This is the best way to attract musicians with similar personalities to work with you.

Now that you know how to select the right musicians for your band, the next step is to learn how to get more gigs and grow your band’s career quickly. Download this free eGuide on how to book more gigs & become the most successful band in your area.

Tom HessAbout Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He trains musicians how to leave their day jobs and build successful fulltime careers in the music industry.

Become a massively successful musician by developing a long-term music business plan.

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