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!
A former band's myspace
- Shaking the Tree on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads
MySpace Music profile for Shaking the Tree. Download Shaking the Tree Rock / Funk / Blues music singles, watch music videos, listen to free streaming mp3s, & read Shaking the Tree's blog.