One of the main reasons anybody learns to play the drums is to one day play music with other people. This is one of the best ways to make strong friendships and musical connections. Depending on where you live and how old you might be, it can often be difficult to find musicians. I’ve had students of mine hit this roadblock many times. They range from kids to adults to seniors. I’d like to share with you some advice that I shared with them.
Music Is Usually First
There might be someone in your family or a friend of yours that plays a musical instrument. If you’re already friends with someone and they play an instrument, get together with them and jam. If this is you, consider yourself lucky. I would say that it usually happens the other way around. Most of us go looking for musical connections because we don’t have any among the people we know. When we find someone to play with and it grows into a positive experience, it can often lead to solid lifelong friendships.
The first thing you need to do is be prepared to get yourself out there to meet new people. If that kind of thing makes you a little uncomfortable, just remember that you don’t have to meet everyone in the room. Meet one person and you never know where that could lead to. You have so much more to gain than just playing some tunes and absolutely nothing to lose by meeting some people.
Explore Your Options Online
Here is a brief list of places you can search for information, chat or post an ad to find musicians in your area.
- Facebook, Instagram
- Classified Ads such as Craigslist, Kijiji, Gumtree, etc.
It may feel a little awkward to invite a stranger you met online to your house for a jam session. When you strike up conversation ask them if they know of any places that feature live music. You could meet somewhere in person for a drink to chat about music first. See what they are into and don’t be afraid to talk about your musical interests. You may not share the same musical interests, however, they might know other musicians to introduce you to.
Where To Find Musicians Locally
Here is a brief list of some places you could go to meet musicians and most of them are found right in your local community.
Live Music Venues
Many local bars and coffee shops have an open mic or jam night. Attending one of these is one of the best ways to meet musicians. You can play a tune or just watch if you aren’t comfortable enough to sit in and play.
Musical Instrument Stores
Visit the store if there is one nearby and talk to the clerks. Ask them if they know of any places that might have an open mic or jam. Ask if they have a community board where you can post a paper ad looking for musicians. They may know something themselves or from having heard about it from their customers.
Even if you aren’t religious, many churches have a band of musicians for the worship music. It might be worth it to visit one day (even after the service has ended) and meet the musicians. If you tell them that you’re looking for other musicians, they might suggest a place to go. They could even introduce you to someone in the congregation.
Almost every school has a music teacher. If you call or drop-in and introduce yourself, they might recommend you to someone they know (student, colleague or friend).
Library / Community Centres
Almost every town has a Library of Community Centre of some sort. These places usually have a public message board. You could leave a “looking for musicians” or “drummer available” paper ad posted with your email or contact info.
I know it sounds funny, but everyone goes to the grocery store and many of them happen to have a community board as well. This is a great place to post a paper ad with contact info.
Hopefully these suggestions point you in the right direction and help you to find other people. Who knows, there could be some great and lasting musical friendships just ahead of you. At simpledrummer.com we have a ton of lessons on songs by the greats in every style of music. Each lesson comes with practice play-along videos, downloadable notation, a progress tracker and more.