Thinking of starting a band? Thinking of joining one?
Let’s suppose for a moment that you’ve just had the best idea of combining kazoo playing and hardcore death metal, or you’ve just mastered playing the guitar, you may be asking what’s the next logical step in this musical journey?
Either starting a new band or joining one would be the best option of course! When those ideas that have been swimming in your head about what type of music you’ll make and what the band will be called just keep popping up, it is definitely time for action.
Now, when deciding to start your own band it can be quite the daunting task, but when taken piece by piece it becomes much easier to complete. Which is why we’ve broken it down into several easy to digest steps/guidelines:
-Pick an instrument/style:
First things first, this should come as no surprise, but you’ll have to pick an instrument and a genre or style of music beforehand. It’s something that must be thought about and selected in order to set the tone for the rest of what you and your band will do. This can be any mix of instruments, a blend of genres or even a mood/style that hasn’t been made yet. The idea here is basically to get the creative juices flowing and give yourself some guidelines to follow. Will you be the multi instrumentalist or will you lead the vocals and lay down some piano on occasion? Have an idea of what your sound will be like and the instruments you want to play. This makes it much easier once you bring on band members and will lessen the confusion for yourself and others. Pick something and run with it for now, you can always change your mind later, but have a starting point and a goal for your sound in mind.
-How to find band members:
Here’s where things get fun, now I know it may seem like an impossible task to find the right people to start your musical journey but there are many ways to find and screen these people you’re looking for.
You can start finding band members on websites like craigslist, facebook groups, and of course by going to the #1 Resource for musicians, Band-It.co, where we can help you meet a wide range of musicians from all over the globe. Not to mention we also have all the tools and resources you (and your future band) will need to succeed.
Now, we recommend reaching out to your desired band mates with a well thought out and personalized message or by posting a Band Members Wanted Ad. Now this is where your pre picked style and ideas will come into play. These messages/ads will need to give your prospected band members an idea of what they are getting into and what they will have to do in order to join or what type of experience. You can mention examples of other bands or musicians that may give them an idea of what it is you’re trying to create or post images, drawings, etc. The point is to be creative and descriptive as possible in order to give everyone the best and clearest vision to avoid confusion later. Think back to your pre set ideas, these will be your guide.
-How to Start your band:
Ok, so you’ve found a few members and they all know what they are getting into, what type of band it will be and the music you want to make. You’ve also sent some messages and posted a few wanted ads and goten a few responses. So now you’ll want to start by interviewing and getting to know these potential band mates. What helps is to know what you’re looking for, skill level, education,personality, style, instrument. Etc. These are just as, if not more, important that knowing what type of music you’ll make. So you have all that in mind, and it is time to start interviewing, really getting to know these candidates so you have an idea of what your band will be like as a group, ask them questions, have a conversation with them. If after you talk to these members, and know that certain people won’t be good together or there will be unnecessary drama, then it’s good to make arrangements for avoiding that. This is also time to figure out schedules so that rehearsals and shows can be planned when the group has time.
This would be a good time to mention that you will need to figure out who will handle the financials, will you use an outside bookkeeper or will you use a trusted band member to divide up the spoils for everyone and keep things on track.
-How to Join a Band:
Ok, so with joining a band it is actually a bit harder than starting and recruiting your own, where you have complete control over the say, look, and feel of the band. With joining you have a lot less say in matters, especially when you’re just a newbie joining the Band for the first time. When you’ve decided that you’d like to join a band, the easy thing to do would be to reach out to the band members and ask them if they are looking for “(insert your instrument here)” or for anyone to join their band. You’ll be surprised at how many bands are looking for “bench players”, someone who can fill in at a moments notice and will be a bit of an intern until needed on stage. If you aren’t looking to do any of that and want a more stable position then you’ll have to put your money where your mouth is and ask for that specific position and title. Be prepared to send a sample of your musical abilities and be able to sell yourself. Know what it is that you specifically bring to the table and make sure that you represent that when talking with, and auditioning for any bands looking for members. (You can find a lot of these bands on websites such as ours –BAND-IT). Be confident, be concise, and be prepared to showcase your skills. You got this!
Quick note on rehearsals, we recommend having a central location that everyone can get to and practice live and in person. It could be an Air BnB you rent, or a studio that can be accessed with relative ease, or a band mates open garage. Be weary, if its a mission to get to and from practice then you may want to reconsider, for when times are tough and money is short (speaking from experience). I highly recommend that all practices be in person and live, with the equipment that you would use when at a live show or on stage performing for millions. This way it will train you to be ready and know your equipment for when a live show is actually performed. It will help the band to avoid and technical difficulties that can impede or stop your performance entirely. trust me you do not want to get on stage and have to leave because you don’t have certain equipment or know how to set up. It’s unprofessional and could lead to a lost show and definitely not a good look.
Money definitely makes the world turn, it greases the engines of industry and is part of our everyday lives, it’s no different with starting or joining band. It’s good to have an idea of how the Band will be funded, where will new instruments come from? How will you split the money from booked shows and gigs? Who’s gonna drive to the show? These are all part of the financial equation that should be thought about at the very least. Have an idea of who will be responsible for what. Will the band be responsible for their own items or will you start a fund for the band where everyone in the group pulls in cash together in order to have it when needed? You could also fundraise, ask family to help, or even crowdfund. There are many ways that a band can get funding and finance itself, be creative but please think about and try to plan a loose plan at the very minimum. This is something that can make or break bands, so better to have a general idea of how things will go. Also have a plan B, C, D, E, F….. you get the picture.
Your band of Avengers has now been assembled, but what is the public image that you will present? How are you going to have the public know who you are? This includes social media profiles and outfits when performing live. You must have an idea of this and a way of getting your music out to the world. Using platforms such as instagram, facebook, linked in, youtube, and even tumblr can help a fledgling band gain its wings. These will take time, and have an amazing return, by having distribution and marketing from a respected company, although it will cost a bit of money to do so. (another reason budget is so important).
You must consider as well, will you use Band-It for Marketing and Distribution? We have many tools that can make these processes a lot easier, so what are you waiting for?
It is a large task of creating a band, or any musical group for that matter, it will take time and planning, a lot of reaching out to others and showcasing of skills as well, but it is one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences you can have in this life. Focus and continue to learn as much as you can, reach out to everyone you can, and plan plan plan!
Here at Band-It we are looking to help artists create bands and make the entire process of making music and becoming a success in the industry as easy as possible. We are creating the largest community of musicians from professional to beginner and everywhere in between, we also provide a plethora of professional grade tools that will speed the process up and make being a musician a cake walk.
Check us out, and feel free to reach out to ask us any question you need!