Something wrong with my ad for a musical partner?

Barquentine

Member
Messages
2,947
After a three year break from gigging I decided I'd like to get out there again. I placed this ad in a local FB musicians group and in Gumtree (like Craigslist):

Guitarist looking for partner for duo​

I'm 64, retired and have gigged for many years in blues and rock bands. I'd like to form a duo with a vocalist who plays acoustic or electric guitar or bass to do mainly blues stuff but with other songs in the mix with me providing accompaniment on electric. Ideally someone available daytimes and with transport but not essential. Any age, gender etc.​


There are lots om musos in my town which has a population of around 300,000. I've been advertising for a week without a single bite. What do you think?
 

JWDubois

Member
Messages
8,180
I don't see anything wrong with your ad.

But you're not going to get any young people, and speaking as a 64 year old, unless you're just talking about casual jamming, I don't know how interested I'd be in that myself.
 

Turi

Member
Messages
11,048
Yeah, there's a few.

The world is pretty ageist. I'd remove "64" and "retired" from the ad.
Sure it's transparent, but you'll get ignorant pieces of crap like me before I grew up a bit that will cruise straight past that.

"Guitarist looking for duo" isn't appealing either - come up with something a little quirky that will grab the readers attention.

Consider flipping the perspective to place more emphasis on the reader too - instead of guitarist looking for duo, why not something that speaks more to the vocalist, like:
"Are you a killer vocalist? Want to get out there and show 'em what you've got?".

Anything along those lines makes the reader feel more like they're the special one that could use your assistance, rather than you being the one that needs their assistance.

"I'd like to form a duo...." too passive. Rephrase it to be more active.
"I play guitar. You sing... and play guitar or bass or whatever else you got."

You get the picture.
What you've got is a bit too passive and not appealing to the reader.
Make it sound kinda clickbaity if you want to, y'know, get clicks.

Something like this might work better:

--
I NEED YOUR VOICE

I play guitar, but I can't sing to save my life. You can sing. You sing so well.
You also play guitar or bass too, right?

Blues/rock is my jam!
Reach out.
--

Don't bother about the transport/daytime thing - sort this out in conversations with them after they reach out. There's no reason to put anything in the ad that might strike people out - it's amazing how much more flexible people become once you actually speak to them.

Suddenly, people who could only jam 7-8pm on Wednesday nights are available to jam 6pm-midnight any night of the week, because you're both fans of the Allman Brothers. People are weird like that - we've all got our own little defence mechanisms/walls etc that are more flexible than we'd like to think they are, depending on the situation/context.

Keep the ad as simple as possible. Make sure you've got a call to action at the end, it's what prompts people to actually do the thing you tell them to.

Your current ad ends with "Any age, gender etc" - so what? What now?
Hold their hands and make it easy.
 

icr

Member
Messages
2,982
Haven't you heard, the LGB crowd has repurposed the word 'partner.' They are OK by me, but just sayin'...
 

SavingThoreau

Member
Messages
202
I’m 42, and I’d play with you. The age thing doesn’t bother some musicians, specifically your chosen genre. I teach in public schools, and I know teenagers playing in blues rock bands with their dads, uncles, and grandpas.
 

bayAreaDude

Member
Messages
3,368
Not clear to me what you're looking to do specifically. No mention of gigs or the types of places.

The 'available daytimes' part is also confusing to me - does it mean you plan to get together with the person only during the day? Daytime gigs? Practice? Not many people besides retired or unemployed would be available during the day.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
24,750
After a three year break from gigging I decided I'd like to get out there again. I placed this ad in a local FB musicians group and in Gumtree (like Craigslist):

Guitarist looking for partner for duo​

I'm 64, retired and have gigged for many years in blues and rock bands. I'd like to form a duo with a vocalist who plays acoustic or electric guitar or bass to do mainly blues stuff but with other songs in the mix with me providing accompaniment on electric. Ideally someone available daytimes and with transport but not essential. Any age, gender etc.​


There are lots om musos in my town which has a population of around 300,000. I've been advertising for a week without a single bite. What do you think?

The pool of musicians starts off wide and young, and gets smaller and smaller with age. Most of the active musicians in your area are under the age of 35 and don't have any interest in playing with a retiree. The small number of active, or would-be active musicians in your age group either need to hear about money in the opening sentence, are in the same boat as you (non-singing guitarists looking for a singer), or are terminal hobbyists.

I'd drop the mention of age and expand on the material you want to play and your activity plan--is this just committed playing at home, are you planning to gig, what sort and frequency of gigs.

Ever notice the paucity of ads for singers looking for accompanists?
 

mbargav

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,598
My dad is a few years older than you, retired, sings, plays acoustic and electric, and would pretty much be exactly what you're looking for. But, for one one I can't imagine him looking on FB/Craigslist for anything, and for the other, at his age he already has plenty of retired friends into music and when they want to scratch that itch, they just get together to jam, have drinks, eat dinner, etc. (plus the wives are all friends too, so everybody can participate). Maybe that's another challenge with the demographic that'd be the perfect target for your ad.
 

stratton

Member
Messages
1,013
Momentum is attractive. Can you do anything as a solo act? If you could book some shows, even if it’s a half hour of instrumentals, It would get you “out there”, possibly increasing your chances of meeting someone else to perform with, while removing the hurdle of startup inertia. Good luck!

BTW, I’m your age and performing with people in their 20s in an acoustic/electric trio. Having a blast.
 

CGrisamore

Member
Messages
1,091
If you can do harmony vocals I think that'd boost your chances of finding a partner for a duo so if you do sing that needs explicit mention in the ad. If you're not a singer I think your chances would be better in a band setting where there's more room for a non-singing player.

No offense intended. I was a 'player only' for many years and had the luxury of being in bands where there were enough vocalists and I could just play. After we had a singer leave I stepped up to doing harmony vocals and found that I liked it and that expanded versatility was a benefit in subsequent bands. In a duo setting I think both parties need to be able to sing.
 

Cloughie

Member
Messages
480
Ever notice the paucity of ads for singers looking for accompanists?
Exactly.
This is nothing personal, its just my first impression upon reading. You mention "partner" but then go on to describe an accompanist. If I can sing and play well enough, I've probably already got a pretty full dance card, and would need a lot more info about your interests and level of ability before I even gave it a sniff.
 

DreamTheaterRules

Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,854
@Turi pretty much nailed it.

"I'm 64......" will disengage most readers.

"Ideally someone available daytimes...." disengages the rest.

To most, the ad essentially reads "I'm hoping to start a band in the retirement home."

And no, it's not fair.
It is interesting though. I'm not shooting the messenger, just replying to what appears to be a general consensus. I will distance myself from this response intentionally since it is only to make a point. I "know" two guys who play music together who are 61 and 60. I'll tell you point blank that at least 80% of the people who would answer a craigs list ad for a guitar player aren't good enough to be in a band with the two 60 year olds. Or at best would be the weak link... But yeah, I get it... when you're young and think you're cool, who wants to be in a band with two old guys? :cool:

One guy I know is mid 50s and a good guitar player. Plays in a band of all mid 30s or younger. He said more than once at shows he's heard people say things to other members of the band, like "your guitar player is old but he can still play" and things like that.

If this was basketball, I'd understand. I can't run up and down the court like I did in my 20s or 30s. Even 40s. But this is music. Heck, nobody under 40 even lived through the golden age of music.

Clearly, the moral of this story is: Fire up some Van Halen and Get off my lawn, you 3 chords and plaid flannel wimps! :rotflmao:rotflmao

(that was a joke, and not intended to offend anyone who wears flannel or plays grunge ;))
 

smallbutmighty

I do my own stunts.
Messages
11,242
It is interesting though. I'm not shooting the messenger, just replying to what appears to be a general consensus. I will distance myself from this response intentionally since it is only to make a point. I "know" two guys who play music together who are 61 and 60. I'll tell you point blank that at least 80% of the people who would answer a craigs list ad for a guitar player aren't good enough to be in a band with the two 60 year olds. Or at best would be the weak link... But yeah, I get it... when you're young and think you're cool, who wants to be in a band with two old guys? :cool:

One guy I know is mid 50s and a good guitar player. Plays in a band of all mid 30s or younger. He said more than once at shows he's heard people say things to other members of the band, like "your guitar player is old but he can still play" and things like that.

If this was basketball, I'd understand. I can't run up and down the court like I did in my 20s or 30s. Even 40s. But this is music. Heck, nobody under 40 even lived through the golden age of music.

Clearly, the moral of this story is: Fire up some Van Halen and Get off my lawn, you 3 chords and plaid flannel wimps! :rotflmao:rotflmao

(that was a joke, and not intended to offend anyone who wears flannel or plays grunge ;))

Yep, lots of older people who are plenty capable and crazy-talented.

Those in your examples are already out there doing it. They have demonstrable skills. They are already at the party, and they are supplying beer and burgers.

When you're on the outside and asking to be let into the party, you have to offer more than a bag of potato chips.

OP, by that I'm not saying you don't have the skill. I am saying that there are a million other guitarists out there who can "provide accompaniment on electric". You need to demonstrate why it should be you, and not one of the twenty (fifty?) other guitarists the singer already knows.

As others have said, contributing your own vocals would be the place to start.
 

tracyk

Member
Messages
888
I generally don't respond to ads without video or audio clips. Not that I'm some amazing player, but I've went through the trouble of learning songs to jam with people who turned out to be total beginners too many times.
 

CGrisamore

Member
Messages
1,091
I generally don't respond to ads without video or audio clips. Not that I'm some amazing player, but I've went through the trouble of learning songs to jam with people who turned out to be total beginners too many times.

Even this won't always save you. After one band ended I was shopping and made arrangements to audition with a band that included a female singer/keyboard player. They had audio recordings posted and asked me to learn 3 of the songs (one of which was 'Harden my Heart' by Quarterflash that the keyboard player sang). I had played the song in a prior band and was confident that I knew my part. When I showed up to audition I was waiting for the keyboard intro and they were all staring at me. Turns out the 'keyboard player' could barely play and the audio recording I'd heard of them doing the tune had their prior guitar player using a synth patch to do the keyboard intro. They were pissed at me because I hadn't learned the keyboard intro part and so it ended up being a total bust...
 




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