Girl with Guitar | Patience

Catherine Elms

Catherine Elms

My last column was over a month ago. The truth is that in that time, nothing much has happened. I uploaded an advert to Join My Band. I received two emails since posting that advert, neither of which were suitable – one ad required a 5-string bass (I play a 4-string), the other was from a city 25 miles away. I joined a few Facebook groups dedicated to local musicians, but unfortunately no one was looking for bassists at the time. I heard a band was looking to replace their bassist, so I sent them a very enthusiastic email asking if they’d be interested in hiring me – but they replied a week later saying that one of their male friends got the job instead.

That’s the problem with the music scene – you can push and push and push, but ultimately if there’s no demand for band members, then there’s nothing more you can do, short of relocating and trying your luck elsewhere. So I waited patiently, played some more bass in the meantime (I’m still working my way through Red Hot Chili Peppers’ back catalogue, by the way – I’m currently learning “Around the World”!), and hoped that things would fall into place if I waited long enough.

I’m not sure if that was the right thing to do – should I have kept nagging, or taken matters into my own hands and tried to form a band instead of trying to join one (what a scary thought!)? I felt dejected, and I worried if anything would happen at all. After 2 months without success, I started to wonder if joining a band was harder than I’d originally anticipated. But my patience paid off – a week ago, someone wrote on the Carmarthenshire Musicians Network page that he was looking for a bassist for his covers band! I emailed him, we got talking, and we’ve now arranged to meet up for a jam this week! What’s more, the band are based in a neighbouring town, so meeting up for band practices would be fairly easy (I was preparing myself to have to travel 40 minutes to the nearest city for band practices when I started looking for a band, as the vast majority of musicians are based in the cities rather than the suburbs).

We’ll be playing some pop rock cover songs – Kings of Leon, The Killers, that sort of thing. I’m not into that kind of music, so it’s not ideal. But the more I think about the situation, the more I realise that it’s unrealistic to expect to come into the music scene as a newcomer and be able to walk right into my perfect band. Just like any other job, you have to start somewhere and work your way up to where you want to be – only the lucky few get a direct pass to their ideal gig. So while I’ll be playing music that I’m not really into, it’ll be fun to play something. And I’d rather get my foot in the door than wait for someone to open it wide for me.

Catherine Elms

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