How To Join a Band In London

London has one of the most vibrant music scenes in the world. The city offers some truly unique opportunities, but also a few challenges for new bands.

If you are looking to get involved in the London music scene and start playing live, perhaps the easiest option open to you is to look for a band with a vacancy for the instrument you play. People come and go from lineups all the time and most bands will find themselves auditioning for a replacement member at some point in their lifetime.

1. Find bands with vacancies

When a band has an opening in their lineup, the first thing they will do is advertise to their network that they are looking for someone. This could be simply a case of asking their friends and fans, and finding people via word of mouth, but more and more in 2020 bands are using the internet to advertise their open positions.

Stay on the pulse. Make sure to keep a regular eye on sites like joinmyband, gumtree, Facebook and, in London, right here on Rhythm City. Facebook groups are another great way to find bands looking for members.

2. Prepare a portfolio

You don't need a CV or physical portfolio to apply to join the majority of bands, but you will most likely be expected to provide links to clips of you playing. Videos are much more successful at showcasing musicianship than audio tracks, so if you have any, compile a list of YouTube videos ready to send out to promote yourself. Remember, being in a band is about a lot more than just being able to play an instrument, sing or write music. Stage presence, confidence, even fashion sense are all important factors in the 21st century (no matter how much we wish it wasn't so!). So get a couple of YouTube links ready.

3. Contact the band

In this respect the best advice is to treat applying to join a band like applying for a job. Include a nice covering message to make you stand out (don't forget to spell check it!). Add your links from step 2. On Rhythm City the average time to hear back from a musician wanted post is 4 hours, so be prepared to wait a little while, but anything over a couple of days you may be best off moving on to another advert.

4. Audition time

Depending on the band you are looking to join, and the style of music, an "audition" can be anything from a formal studio affair with pre-rehearsed material, to a quick pint in the pub after work. Don't be shocked if a band are more interested in sussing out your personality than your playing. If you sent links to your playing as described in step 2, that can often be enough to convince a band you know your way around your instrument.

5. Remember the relationship works both ways

The very last step is to make sure you are happy with the band you are joining. It's much more difficult to leave a band after some time when you've forged friendships and written material together, so if you have any reservations about the group you are joining, make sure to address them at the very beginning. And good luck!

Still struggling?

Create a musician available post right here on Rhythm City and let bands find you.