How to Start a Band

(Last Updated On: February 27, 2021)

Starting a band may sound like it a pretty straightforward endeavor to take on, but it more complicated than you might assume. The importance of setting your band up all together at the same time cannot be stressed enough. If you don’t nail down who your band members are going to be as soon as possible, you are going to end up continually replacing band members. Every time that you have to get a new band member, you will also have to teach them all your songs and techniques. Bands are notorious for being a bit on the dramatic side, which is why you should save yourself the trouble and set your singing group up right from the get-go.

Pros and Cons Associated with Forming a Band

Pros

  • You will have creative control over the work that you create.
  • You will have the power to choose who you play with and where you play.
  • You can pick out bandmates that have the skills that you find desirable.
  • As the founder of the band, you will have total creative and dictated control over the direction that your band takes.
  • Being a part of a band is cool, no matter what kind of band you are in.
  • You will have a venue to express yourself creatively.

Cons

  • Founding members of a band often face the most responsibility. Founding a band puts a lot of pressure on you to exhibit leadership qualities.
  • The startup costs of starting a band can be a lot more than you originally anticipated.
  • You will be faced with the pressure of coming up with new material and songs.
  • You will have to find a manager if you don’t want to be responsible for booking gigs, finding venues, and other management duties.

Before Making a Final Decision

Before you make a final decision about whether or not you should start a band, you should consider what you hope to get out of creating a band. Ask yourself what goals you hope to achieve by taking on such a big endeavor. You should consider reaching out to local bands in your area to ask them some detailed questions about what it is really like to be part of a local band. Touching base with a local band can give you a significant amount of insight about what it is really like to be a band member.

Suggested Steps for Starting a Band

Step 1: Figure Out Who Fits the Image of Your Band

 It is essential to understand the type of person your band needs to fit the image you have established in your head. Just because someone can play the guitar doesn’t mean that they fit the style you are going for. Don’t just start a band with your friends because you all play instruments. You need to create a style and a sound, and to do that, you need to have a general idea of what you want your band to be. Find musicians that play the instruments you want to have part of your band. You will also want to find musicians that share the same sound that you do. A band that vibes well together is more likely to achieve success than random musicians who are thrown together. You are responsible for the style, sound, and overall brand that your band conveys.

Step 2: How to Find Musicians

Finding musicians is not as easy as it sounds. You can put an ad out on the internet and get an impressive response, but that does not mean you are going to get quality musicians. You want to seek out individuals that best suit what you think your band should be. Putting an internet ad out for a guitarist does have its benefits, but you are more likely going to have to sit through multiple interviews with musicians that don’t fit the style or sound of your band type. Sure, you can specify on your internet ad precisely what you are looking for, but that won’t prevent unqualified musicians from seeking you out.

Consider stopping by a local club’s amateur night to see the musical performances. You can check out how talented a performer is without making a big commitment. You will have the freedom to introduce yourself to musicians who you think will be a good fit for your band. You can easily avoid musicians who you don’t think are a good fit for your style. Check out local bars, pubs, and open mic nights at various venues in your location. You will be surprised by how easy it is to find talent for your band using this method. For band members, you can’t find using this method; you can use online resources such as Whosdoing or Bandmix. Both of these online resources can help you connect with people who are hoping to become part of a band.

Step 3: Assign Band Roles

Once you have figured out who is going to play in your band, you have to assign the roles each member is going to play. For example, you might have multiple musicians that play the guitar. You will need to figure out who is going to play lead guitar and who is going to be the backup players. You will also need to designate a band member to be the official primary contact of the band. If a band member can’t make it to a practice or gig, there needs to be one designated person to receive these calls. By assigning the main contact, you will avoid any future communication problems that might arise. Plus, assigning roles in the band will give everyone a clear idea of what their job is in the band and what they are expected to do.

Step 4: Creating Your Brand, Style, and Sound

Your bandmates are not always going to agree on what type of songs to play and what venues to book gigs at. Again, this is why it is important to pick bandmates that have the same general style and sound that you had in mind for your band. By picking out band members that share the same musical values, you are less likely to disagree about the style or artistic approach that your band should take. If you should disagree on playlists or songs, consider compromising and playing a bit of both. You could even consider mixing two styles together to create your own. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box to create a sound and style for your band.

Step 5: Christen the Band with a Name

Finally, you have gathered the musicians you deem worthy enough to play in your band. You have decided on who is going to play what instrument and what songs you are going to play. It may seem like you are ready to start entering the world as a fully functioning band, but you would be wrong. A band without a name is just a bunch of musicians jamming together. If you want to get booked and be taken seriously by the public, you will need a band name that fits the brand you have developed for your band. Choose a name that everyone agrees on and has a nice ring to it. Don’t be afraid to mess around with wordplay to come up with a clever name that is original and unique. Remember, the name of your band is what the crowd is going to be chanting when they demand an encore. Make sure it is an epic name.

Step 6: Develop a Band Agreement 

You will need to develop a band agreement that everyone signs. A band agreement is where you can document each band member’s earnings and other terms that are important to agree on as a group.

Step 7: Time to Play

First, you will need to practice the songs that you want to present to the public. Make sure that everyone knows their role in each song. Keep practicing until you perfect your sound.

Step 8: Start Booking Gigs

Once you have all come to an agreement on terms, you should start putting yourself out there as a band. Try to book open spots at clubs and bars in your area. Put online listings up that make it clear that your band is available for bookings. Ask your friends if you can play at their party or barbeque. Play a few open mic nights at clubs to see if you can stir interest in your band.

Additional Tips

  • A band without musical chemistry will likely flop, so make sure that your bandmates vibe with one another.
  • When picking out band members, make sure that you pick people you can get along with because you will be spending a lot of time together while you cultivate your sound.
  • Don’t be afraid to tweak your sound if you feel that something else would work better. Toy with your band’s sound until you feel it fits.
  • Don’t avoid picking musicians that haven’t perfected their sound. You all can practice together as a group and get better together.
  • Make sure that you are having fun while you try to achieve your dream of starting a band.
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