Rock Band 101
I've been playing the drums for about three years. When I first started, there was no way I could imagine playing in public. My experience on drums just consisted of messing around on my electric kit to the songs on my ipod. I had zero confidence, and I really just needed to get out of my apartment and play on an acoustic kit with other musicians.
Enter the Hollywood Academy of Music! On a whim, I enrolled in their School Of Rock Band 101 adult class, which met once per week in the evening at their location on Melrose. I think that the lessons were $40 per lesson, or $160 per month.
This was the perfect no-pressure environment for me, and I felt very comfortable with our group. The term "adult class" was misleading.. Our group actually consisted of two young kids (on guitar and keys), an older gentleman (guitar), our teacher (bass), a guy around my age (singer), and myself. We looked like an odd bunch, I'm sure, but it was so much fun.
After eight sessions, we performed on stage with a bunch of other groups enrolled in the program. It was my first show, and I was pretty nervous. My friend and Brad came along for support.
I stopped after those eight sessions, mainly for financial reasons. A short time later, I joined a band I found on craigslist, and then in three months we recorded an album. Right after that I played my first real gig. I don't think I could have done any of that without the Academy of Music--it really boosted my confidence.
So if you've always wanted to play an instrument or be in a rock band, you can do it! Try an adult class either at Hollywood Academy of Music or at the other School of Rock in Santa Monica (see #35 School Of Rock). Pretty soon, you'll be up on stage rocking out :)