Starting a band, It's not too easy

Shaking the Tree

It's not as easy as it sounds.

Try getting four or five people in the same room at the same time. Now try doing that with four or five people who have knowledge and skill on the same subject. After 24 years of playing in bands, I still face the task of getting the right combination together. It can be done, or no one would do it.

A recent band I played in took four years to really get the formula right. Then we lost our drummer. We did have a solid year to perform. We played bars and clubs regionally. Several owners said we broke the club record on alcohol sales. I felt rather proud. It was probably worth it. 

Here are some key points to remember that I have found to be helpful.

  • Keep an open mind. If you limit the scope of your search for members will exclude people who have a lot to contribute.
  • Listen to their music. The prospective members will probably want to play what they listen to a lot. If you can't stand what they're liking, you won't like what they bring to the table.
  • Convene for practice at least once a week. The longer you go between sessions will make it harder to remember what you did last time. When a gig is coming up, twice a week might be better. I know great bands that hit it 4 or 5 times a week before gigs.
  • One can't make it? Get the rest together anyway. You can tighten up with the bass player while the singer or other member is on vacation. Use those opportunities to cover new material. even if only two can make it, just do it.
  • Get a web presence. Myspace, FaceBook, and other networks will be helpful in dropping ideas to the public, notifying fans of gigs and recordings.
  • Record the practice. I use my cheap laptop to get a quick recording for my own listening. You can use a tape recorder, MP3 recorder, anything. You can identify things that sound good, things that could use improvement, and things that just don't work. 
  • Audition and interview. These are people you are going to have to play along with. They'd better know their stuff. Also interview them. You do have to spend a lot of time with them. You'd better like them.

Now go out there and get that band!

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Comments 5 comments

Jim Bryan profile image

Jim Bryan 6 years ago from Austin, TX

Rated "up" and "useful."

I was in a band for a while, our lead singer made one and only one practice--ever. I filled in for him the best I could during practices. He'd show up to gigs and I'd have to stand to his right and sing /over/ the amps and drums while playing my guitar so he could keep up. When he didn't show up, I ended up singing. Now I run karaoke shows, funny how life works, huh?


Portamenteff profile image

Portamenteff 6 years ago from Western Colorado, USA Author

Karaoke is fun too. I know people who make their entire living on it, just run Karaoke 6 nights a week.


TheOneWhoKnows profile image

TheOneWhoKnows 6 years ago from Croatia

I know that it's not easy, but if we try we could find. Nice site mate :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

This is a right fine Hub. I played in professional rock bands for 20 years. Finding the right guys and keeping the lineup together is hard. You gave good advice here.


Portamenteff profile image

Portamenteff 4 years ago from Western Colorado, USA Author

Yeah. Getting 5 guys in the same room, at the same time, sober enough to play....

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