How to find musicians to play with (2018 update)

 

 
Find Musicians to play with title image

Backing tracks, loopers, youtube videos... They’re great, but there’s nothing like playing with other musicians. Whether you want to form a band, collaborate on original songs or just jam.

Find Musicians square

Playing with other musicians is extremely satisfying and fun. It's also one of the most effective ways to become a better musician.

However, it can feel a bit daunting to find musicians, jam buddies or band members in your area. You might think ‘I don’t know any musicians’ or ‘I’m not good enough’.

Don't fret. There are always bands and musicians of all levels looking for someone to jam or collaborate with near you. All you have to do is find them! So, here are 22 ways to find musicians to play with or find a band to join in your area!

Section 1: Finding Musicians In ‘Real Life’

Notice 2

1. Put up an ad or notice at your local music store

It works. Incredibly, U2 was formed after drummer Larry Mullen Jr. put up a notice... When writing a notice, be sure to be clear about what you're looking for (drummer, bass player...) and name a few genres or bands you like.


Notice Board

2. Check your local rehearsal rooms

Rehearsal spaces often have a wall plastered with musicians wanted ads of bands looking to find band members. From Red Hot Chili Peppers cover bands to jazz combos looking to play standards. You can find pretty much anything, so be sure to check this out if you want to join a band.


Group Lesson

3. Take group music lessons

Whether it’s band lessons at a music school, a music production course or group guitar lessons. Group lessons are a great way to get to know musicians who share your interests and are working on the same things you are.


new open mic red

4. Go to open mic nights and jam sessions

You don’t even have to play. Just mingle and talk to other music enthusiasts. It'll come up naturally that you're looking to play with others more. You might run into a future band mate this way or meet someone who can introduce you to the right people.


Ask2

5. Ask your guitar or music teacher

Teachers love to see that students are excited about making music, so they'll be happy to help. They might have a student or know someone else who would make a good jam buddy for you. They might even be up for organising a ‘jam night’ with other students.


Friends

6. Get your oldest friends together

Chances are they'll be up for it and it'll be loads of fun. Step up to lead vocal or lead guitar if necessary.

Notice 2

1. Put up an ad or notice at your local music store

It works. Incredibly, U2 was formed after drummer Larry Mullen Jr. put up a notice... When writing a notice, be sure to be clear about what you're looking for (drummer, bass player...) and name a few genres or bands you like.

Notice Board

2. Check your local rehearsal rooms

Rehearsal spaces often have a wall plastered with notices of bands looking for musicians. From Red Hot Chili Peppers cover bands to jazz combos looking to play standards. You can find pretty much anything, so be sure to check this out!


Group Lesson

3. Take group music lessons

Whether it’s band lessons at a music school, a music production course or group guitar lessons. Group lessons are a great way to get to know musicians who share your interests and are working on the same things you are.


new open mic red

4. Go to open mic nights and jam sessions

You don’t even have to play. Just mingle and talk to other music enthusiasts. It'll come up naturally that you're looking to play with others more. You might run into a future band mate this way or meet someone who can introduce you to the right people.


Ask2

5. Ask your guitar or music teacher

Teachers love to see that students are excited about making music, so they'll be happy to help. They might have a student or know someone else who would make a good jam buddy for you. They might even be up for organising a ‘jam night’ with other students.


Friends

6. Get your oldest friends together

Chances are they'll be up for it and it'll be loads of fun. Step up to lead vocal or lead guitar if necessary.


Section 2: Finding Musicians Online

There are also a whole bunch of ways you can find musicians without even leaving your house. Or even get out of bed! So here's a round-up of the available options to find musicians online.

Note: I am not associated with any of these sites or apps in any way. Just wanted to give an overview of the options!

Facebook Logo

7. Facebook

Get the word out on Facebook. The average post is seen a couple hundred times. And all those people have hundreds of (facebook) friends who might be a good fit. You can also look for local musician groups and see if anyone there’s interested there.

Craigslist

8. Craigslist

It might be a hit or miss, but many people find jam buddies or band members through Craigslist. So it might be worth checking out!


JamseekLogo_Orange

9. Jamseek (London)

Jamseek is focused on beginners or hobbyists learning music, guitar and other instruments who are looking to find musicians to jam with, have fun and learn. This sets them apart from other platforms like join-my-band or bandmix that include (semi)-professional groups looking for band members.

Jamseek 2Close to half of all their users are based in London (about 2000, and growing fast), so if you're based in London you can be sure there are plenty of musicians around that actually use the app and will reply to your messages. If you live outside London, there are better options at the moment.

I checked out the app, which has a pretty neat map that makes it easy to see who’s around you. You can also use the search function that allows you to filter by instrument, genre, age and distance.

As for future plans, a website version is in the works and Jamseek plans on getting more users in Birmingham, Manchester later this year.

Jamseek is available for iOS and at the Google Play Store.

Flint - Find Musicians Logo

10. Flint

Flint was created by two musicians with a single goal: help you find musicians. It is set up like a dating app where both sides need to say yes, after which you can send messages, share images and upload music. What's cool is that each profile has a play button, so you can immediately listen to someone's music. As far as I could tell, there's no way to filter by location, so this app might be more suited for online collaboration than finding musicians near you. That said, 80% of their users are based in the US, mostly in San Diego, which is where the Flint team is based.

Flint has both a website version and an iOS app.

11. Hendrix (US)

Built in Brooklyn, most Hendrix users are based in New York City, though there are growing communities in musical cities all across the US. Their focus is on quality. In the founder's words: "Quality app + quality musicians = quality connections." Their matching system gives preference to users who are more active and post higher quality content. They also have very few 'ghost' profiles: people who signup but never use the app.

Hendrix is working on matchmaking system to connect musicians and venues, as well as other tools to help musicians run their business as independent artists and make money. They'll also be organizing real-life meetups across the US this year (2018).
 

12. Melloplot (France)

Melloplot is built around the idea of blind auditions. You flip through profiles like on a dating app, but your decision is purely based on the music you hear. No name, no gender, no picture. Just swipe right on music you liked and swipe left to pass. Only a match will lift the anonymity.

The app is available in French and English, but most of the users are based in France, where the app was created. Since launching a year and a half ago, the number of users has grown to 8000. The app is available for iOS and at the Google Play Store.

e3U9T-ua

13. Fleeber

Fleeber’s mission is to help musicians in absolutely all their needs. From finding band members, to studios, stores, luthiers, roadies, venues, or even selling tickets to a concert. They’re developing both for web and mobile in their quest of creating the ultimate tool for musicians.

Fleeber has grown a user base of over 63,000 users in just under two years, which is impressive. They’re based in Brazil, which is where they have the largest part of their user base, but they also have communities in the US, Europe and the rest of Latin America.

So, though Fleeber isn’t focused solely on finding musicians, it still might be a interesting option for you. Just enter where you live on their homepage and you’ll know how many users are around!

Fleeber Search

14. Musolist

Musolist has been around since 2003, making it (one of the) longest running musicians classifieds sites on the net. They have a large worldwide community of over 250,000 users, which is strongest in Australia, UK and the USA.

Musolist Screenshot

In addition to finding musicians, they're also moving towards helping musicians showcase their careers. Part of that is Musolist Radio, a daily commute podcast where host Nick plays music that was uploaded to Musolist. So, a cool opportunity there to get your music heard! Their goal is to attract more people to listen to great "unsigned" bands and musicians by offering it in a familiar format. As for other plans, Musolist will also be releasing a mobile app soon!

15. Vampr


One of the newest apps to find musicians is Vampr. It offers 50 categories you can tag yourself with or search through. Think hip-hop programmer looking for a classically-trained trombonist. The app has a clean design and offers swipe discovery (yes, like Tinder), suggesting potential collaborators based on your search preferences and of course your taste in music. About 40% of their users are based in the US at the moment, though they have users in 175 countries and counting. They recently passed 1 million connections made on the platform.

Vampr is available both as an iOS app and at the google play store.

16. Bandmix

Bandmix is perhaps the largest network of online musician classifieds with dedicated sites for the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, France and Spain. Another solid option to look into.

imgres-1

17. Meetandjam.com (UK)

In their own words, Meet & Jam is focused building on more than a faceless classified ads, but a real and personal community. They have over 12,000 musicians on the site and regularly organise jam nights in the UK. Here's a direct link to their classifieds.

18. Community section of Gumtree (UK)

Gumtree is a UK classified ads site, but has a section focused on bands and musicians. A few thousand ads of musicians either looking for a band or band member are posted here each month.

19. JoinMyBand.co.uk (UK)

If you live in the United Kingdom, you should definitely check out JoinMyBand. Heard a bunch of good stories about this one! They’re also supposedly working on an international site, but judging by the lack of updates, I think it may never come.

bandfriend-icon-512-120

20. Bandfriend

BandFriend is an app focused on finding musicians with your taste and interests. It was created by a team of app-developers for hire that were unhappy with the mobile options available at the time. And it shows. The app looks and feels great. You can search by music style, instrument and location, but you can also use the 'best match' function.

When you find someone, you can get in touch easily using the in-app chat function, which is a real nice touch. It seems their main user base is in the US, so if that's where you're based this might be interesting option to check out.

21. Bedroom Bands Subreddit (Online)

The BedroomBands subreddit was created to bring together musicians who are writing and recording music in their bedrooms. (A subreddit is like a mini-forum, if you've never been on Reddit by the way.) The subreddit is completely focused on online collaboration. So if you're working on a track but need an upright bass player, singer or tuba player, you can post here to find musicians who are interested in collaborating. Of course, you can also check if there are any projects you'd like to join, or create a post with the [LFG] tag (meaning 'Looking for a group).

The subreddit was created in the first couple of days of 2018 and grew to 6000 users in no time. So, if you're looking to collaborate online, this is definitely worth checking out! (Also, check out the tips in this post.)

22. Meetup.com

Meetup.com helps you find likeminded individuals in your area. 'Meetups' are organised for people interested in topics such as guitar, songwriting, and most interesting to us, musicians. As you can see there are meetups for musicians all over the world, so if you're looking to get to know some musicians in a more casual setting, you might want to check this out.

Meetup map

Facebook Logo

7. Facebook

Get the word out on Facebook. The average post is seen a couple hundred times. And all those people have hundreds of (facebook) friends who might be a good fit. You can also look for local musician groups and see if anyone there’s interested there.

Craigslist

8. Craigslist

It might be a hit or miss, but many people find jam buddies or band members through Craigslist. So it might be worth checking out!
 


JamseekLogo_Orange

9. Jamseek

Jamseek is focused on beginners or hobbyists learning music, guitar and other instruments who are looking to find musicians to jam with, have fun and learn. This sets them apart from other platforms like join-my-band or bandmix that include (semi)-professional groups looking for band members.

Jamseek 2Close to half of all their users are based in London (about 2000, and growing fast), so if you're based in London you can be sure there are plenty of musicians around that actually use the app and will reply to your messages. If you live outside London, there are better options at the moment.

I checked out the app, which has a pretty neat map that makes it easy to see who’s around you. You can also use the search function that allows you to filter by instrument, genre, age and distance.

As for future plans, a website version is in the works and Jamseek plans on getting more users in Birmingham, Manchester later this year.

Flint - Find Musicians Logo

10. Flint

Flint was created by two musicians with a single goal: help you find musicians. It is set up like a dating app where both sides need to say yes, after which you can send messages, share images and upload music. What's cool is that each profile has a play button, so you can immediately listen to someone's music. As far as I could tell, there's no way to filter by location, so this app might be more suited for online collaboration than finding musicians near you. That said, 80% of their users are based in the US, mostly in San Diego, which is where the Flint team is based.

Flint has both a website version and an iOS app.
 

11. Hendrix (US)

Built in Brooklyn, most Hendrix users are based in New York City, though there are growing communities in musical cities all across the US. Their focus is on quality. In the founder's words: "Quality app + quality musicians = quality connections." Their matching system gives preference to users who are more active and post higher quality content. They also have very few 'ghost' profiles: people who signup but never use the app.

Hendrix is working on matchmaking system to connect musicians and venues, as well as other tools to help musicians run their business as independent artists and make money. They'll also be organizing real-life meetups across the US this year (2018).
 

12. Melloplot (France)

Melloplot is built around the idea of blind auditions. You flip through profiles like on a dating app, but your decision is purely based on the music you hear. No name, no gender, no picture. Just swipe right on music you liked and swipe left to pass. Only a match will lift the anonymity.

The app is available in French and English, but most of the users are based in France, where the app was created. Since launching a year and a half ago, the number of users has grown to 8000. The app is available for iOS and at the Google Play Store.
 

e3U9T-ua

13. Fleeber

Fleeber’s mission is to help musicians in absolutely al their needs. From finding band members, to studios, stores, luthiers, roadies, venues, or even selling tickets to a concert. They’re developing both for web and mobile in their quest of creating the ultimate tool for musicians.

Fleeber has grown a user base of over 63,000 users in just under two years, which is impressive. They’re based in Brazil, which is where they have the largest part of their user base, but they also have communities in the US, Europe and the rest of Latin America.

So, though Fleeber isn’t focused solely on finding musicians, it still might be a interesting option for you. Just enter where you live on their homepage and you’ll know how many users are around!
 

Fleeber Search

14. Musolist

Musolist has been around since 2003, making it (one of the) longest running musicians classifieds sites on the net. They have a large worldwide community of over 250,000 users, which is strongest in Australia, UK and the USA.

Musolist Screenshot

In addition to finding musicians, they're also moving towards helping musicians showcase their careers. Part of that is Musolist Radio, a daily commute podcast where host Nick plays music that was uploaded to Musolist. So, a cool opportunity there to get your music heard! Their goal is to attract more people to listen to great "unsigned" bands and musicians by offering it in a familiar format. As for other plans, Musolist will also be releasing a mobile app soon!
 

15. Vampr

One of the newest apps to find musicians is Vampr. It offers 50 categories you can tag yourself with or search through. Think hip-hop programmer looking for a classically-trained trombonist. The app has a clean design and offers swipe discovery (yes, like Tinder), suggesting potential collaborators based on your search preferences and of course your taste in music. About 40% of their users are based in the US at the moment, though they have users in 175 countries and counting. They recently passed 1 million connections made on the platform.

Vampr is available both as an iOS app and at the google play store.
 

16. Bandmix

Bandmix is perhaps the largest network of online musician classifieds with dedicated sites for the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, France and Spain. Another solid option to look into.

imgres-1

17. Meetandjam.com (UK)

In their own words, Meet & Jam is focused building on more than a faceless classified ads, but a real and personal community. They have over 12,000 musicians on the site and regularly organise jam nights in the UK. Here's a direct link to their classifieds.
 

18. Community section of Gumtree (UK)

Gumtree is a UK classified ads site, but has a section focused on bands and musicians. A few thousand ads of musicians either looking for a band or band member are posted here each month.
 

19. JoinMyBand.co.uk (UK)

If you live in the United Kingdom, you should definitely check out JoinMyBand. Heard a bunch of good stories about this one! They’re also supposedly working on an international site, but judging by the lack of updates, I think it may never come.
 

bandfriend-icon-512-120

20. Bandfriend

BandFriend is an app focused on finding musicians with your taste and interests. It was created by a team of app-developers for hire that were unhappy with the mobile options available at the time. And it shows. The app looks and feels great. You can search by music style, instrument and location, but you can also use the 'best match' function.

When you find someone, you can get in touch easily using the in-app chat function, which is a real nice touch. It seems their main user base is in the US, so if that's where you're based this might be interesting option to check out.
 

21. Bedroom Bands Subreddit (Online)

The BedroomBands subreddit was created to bring together musicians who are writing and recording music in their bedrooms. (A subreddit is like a mini-forum, if you've never been on Reddit by the way.) The subreddit is completely focused on online collaboration. So if you're working on a track but need an upright bass player, singer or tuba player, you can post here to find musicians who are interested in collaborating. Of course, you can also check if there are any projects you'd like to join, or create a post with the [LFG] tag (meaning 'Looking for a group).

The subreddit was created in the first couple of days of 2018 and grew to 6000 users in no time. So, if you're looking to collaborate online, this is definitely worth checking out! (Also, check out the tips in this post.)

22. Meetup.com

Meetup.com helps you find likeminded individuals in your area. 'Meetups' are organised for people interested in topics such as guitar, songwriting, and most interesting to us, musicians. As you can see there are meetups for musicians all over the world, so if you're looking to get to know some musicians in a more casual setting, you might want to check this out.

Meetup map

Become a better band player

Playing with others or joining a band is a blast, but it’s not without its challenges. That’s why I put together a 5 day email course with some nuggets of wisdom I’ve heard over the years. Among other stuff, you’ll get:

  • This list of 22 ways to find musicians for future reference
  • 27 easy songs to play on your first rehearsal
  • What you need to know before your first rehearsal (FAQ)

I’ll also go into questions like:

  • How do you maximise creativity when writing music with others instead of arguing?
  • What makes people want to have you in their band?
  • When does playing become overplaying (and what can you do about it)?


  • If this sounds like something you’re interested in, let me know here:

    Also, I'd love to hear about any experiences you have with these apps and if you have any other suggestions for finding jam buddies or band members. Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts!

     

  • Josh says:

    You should add Vampr to this list - we've only been around for a year but are kicking ass in this space by offering our users over 50 categories with which to search through or identify as (ie. you're a hip-hop programmer looking for a classically-trained trombonist).

    We've also got swipe discovery - so flick through potential collaborators, and we'll suggest people based on your search requirements, but most importantly, based on your shared taste in music.

    Across iOS and Android, and in 109 countries our users have made over 25,000 unique connections on Vampr... come hang with us! http://www.vampr.me

  • Enrico Mariuzzo says:

    Enrico Mariuzzo is looking for a bass player, singer, drummer in Seattle WA for original band. Google his name:)

  • john says:

    Great post guys, really helpful for musicians, I hope you don't mind I have referenced it in a post I wrote, as thinks its a great piece. String Kicks a great site, thanks

    http://www.musicandgoodshit.com/guitar-tips/10-reasons-no-good-playing-guitar/

  • Just says:

    Hi John, thanks for referencing it! Cheers, Just

  • john says:

    No problem Just.

    Glad to mate.

    John

  • Neil says:

    Hi, great blog! I've just launched a new FREE classified website aimed at the more 'mature' musicians amongst us. It's UK based at the moment and is the first and only website to focus on us older guys. I couldn't find anything like it so I decided to create my own. Please take a look and spread the word to help me get started. Thanks. Neil http://www.fancyajam.co.uk

  • Just says:

    Hi Neil, sounds good. Haven't heard of anything focused on that audience. I'll add it soon!

    Update: I see there are no listings on this site yet, so it doesn't make sense to add it for now.