How starting a band and online dating are almost the same thing
When I first started at Blue Ion, I was one of the few folks in the office not married or in a serious relationship. So it came as no shock to my coworkers that I was very much single and “playing the field,” so to speak. I went on blind dates and got phone numbers when I was out with friends, but none of those dates ever turned into second dates because mostly the spark just wasn’t there.
So I turned to online dating. It was a refreshing change of pace to meet girls while not in crowded bars or loud concerts where we screamed at each other in hopes to be heard over the music and stand out from the other 12 guys that hit on them earlier. Online dating bios make it very easy to get to know one another and decide whether or not a date would be successful.
It just so happened that at the same time, I was also looking to start a band. I relied on music message boards, Facebook, and even Craigslist to find local musicians. As I met them, I found one thing to be true:
Online dating and starting a band are almost the same thing.
1. It starts with a message
“Hi, I saw your post online and it seems like there is a chance we could be a good fit.”
In both cases of dating or looking for a musician, once I would message them I would ask questions to find out more about them and if it’s possible we could have a future together. I would ask them about their jobs, types of music they liked, and musical abilities.
2. Then we meet for drinks
“Hey, let’s meet for a beer this week. You free on Thursday?”
Once we’ve messaged back and forth or had a phone call, I would ask them to meet up for a drink. You know, just to keep it casual. We’d sit at the crowded bar so as not to creep the other person out, and we’d dig deeper in the things we had discussed earlier, all the while listening for cues to find out if they’d be a good (band)mate or not.
3. Can we hang out again?
“I had a good time getting to know you, we have a lot in common and I’d like to hang out again.”
In both cases, once the first meetup went well, we’d make plans to hang out again whether for a dinner date or a jam session. This helps to weed out the weirdos since I a) want to get to know them more over dinner and casual drinks, or b) don’t want to invite random strangers to my apartment to play music.
It’s this time when you really find out more about your chemistry. Playing music together, you can quickly find out if you are at the same skill level and can riff off of each other comfortably. Much like dating, you can find out if the conversation is effortless and comfortable and if you have chemistry.
4. Then you get serious
“We seem to have great chemistry, I’d like you to be my (band)mate.”
Then we’d spend a few weeks or months together playing shows with the musicians and fun dates with the girl I met. We would make some fun memories and think nothing could be better. But then it takes a turn for the worse.
5. The breakup
“You don’t seem like yourself, is everything okay?”
In a relationship whether romantic or playing music with a band member, you hope things work out for the best, but that’s not always the case. You might lose the initial spark, or they may lose commitment and show up late to practices or dates. Ultimately there comes the “breakup” talk and you part ways.
6. Moving on
“Good to see you, you look well!”
You may see that person out around town and they may be with a new date or band, and you may be as well. You wish that person well and move on!
The take away
Although I’ve since found an amazingly beautiful woman and am playing with some incredibly solid musicians (shameless plug, www.rescueblues.com), it was hilarious to me how the two searches I was on paralleled.
Stay strong my friend, your (band)mate is out there, just keep looking!