You are a functioning adult. You have talents and interests. You have a job, maybe even a career in mind. You manage to feed and dress yourself with regularity.
Why are your communication skills so poor?
This topic has been on my mind lately thanks to Craigslist, specifically thanks to the Musicians Classified.
See, I'm trying to start a band, and I don't want it to be boring. In fact, I have some fairly specific ideas. So, I ran this ad:
"Drummer -- with 30+ years of experience playing punk, garage, goth, even Americana -- is looking to do something a little different: a trio with a *huge* groove. I'm thinking something like Morphine (sax, bass, drums) but it could be more Minutemen too (guitar, bass, drums). I don't have a rigid notion of where this'll go. All I know is that I don't want to do a standard-issue rock band. I want a groove and an edge. If you think you might fit the bill, or have a similar vision, email me and we'll figure it out. A solid bass player is critical. The other instrument could be a sax, a guitar, whatever can handle the lead. You tell me. Let's do something cool. (And, BTW, I don't care how old you are, whether you are male or female, etc. Just bring the talent and the willingness to push the musical envelope a little). "
The first email response I got? Don't worry... This won't be taxing; you only need a few brain cells to focus on it:
"Play guitar here. Would be cool to get together for some jamz [yes, he used a "z"]. Hit me up if interested."
And then I got a few more, none of which were any more detailed, articulate, etc.
Not one made an effort to either: (a) "sell" the person's talents, or, frankly, even describe them, or (b) attempt in any way to relate to my ad, y'know, maybe by telling me why a Morphine-ish band, or at least a bass-heavy/groove-heavy one, sounds cool to you.
Put differently, and a bit more bluntly, maybe you could indicate to me why the fuck you bothered to write to me, and why the fuck I might be interested in trying to play music with you. Music tryouts are an undertaking which are, by and large, a giant pain in the ass for you and me. I have to book/rent a practice space and we have to coordinate schedules, figure out what songs we are playing, practice them beforehand (although maybe *that* is an assumption I shouldn't make), etc. You would think that, even out of self-interest, you would want to make sure to find out more about me to see if I am worth *your* time.
And, yes, everything I just said applies to the "real" world too. If this is how you approach a fun endeavor, like a band, what the hell do you do when you are trying to get a job? Or get into a school you want to attend? And do you often sit around bitching that your job/life sucks and that you can't figure out why you can't find something better? I do not envy hiring coordinators who deal with this juvenile shit all the time.
But, there's a silver lining to this cloud: it seems that there *are* good people out there who will crush your shitty efforts with real ones.
Amidst all this tomfoolery, I got two coherent, articulate reasonable responses from two bass players. One of them even plays sax. It appears that we are getting together soon. Both of them respond to questions in a prompt and detailed way. They even ask appropriate questions, and, get this, I respond to those in a prompt and detailed way. We talk about bands, influences, experience, etc. and exchange mp3s of songs to practice.
So here I am, still stunned by the stupidity of the majority of the responses I got, and, yet, *really* excited at the musical possibilities of the trio that is just beginning to coalesce.
I really hope that none of this hits home for you in a negative way. In other words, I hope you are way beyond the morons who starred in this tale. Because, trust me, if you are not, it will be a futile search that you are engaged in as you try to "get together for some jamz."
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