- Entertainment and Media»
How to Start Your Own Rock Band
If you’ve been playing an instrument for at least a few months, you’re ready to start your own band! In this article you’ll learn exactly what goes into a good rock band, along with how to easily start your own.
Being in a band takes dedication. You’ll have to spend many evenings each week rehearsing with your band members, practising new songs on your own, and organising performances. If you want to be in a band, you need to make sure that you are willing to put in enough effort to succeed – after all, it can be a long time before you see financial returns.
However, don’t let that put you off – being in your own rock group is great fun, and although it’s something very few people ever manage to make a lot of money out of, it is definitely worth it. You’ll meet new friends, have fun playing your favourite songs, and develop great team working and networking skills.
The first step is deciding what you want your band to be like. Look at your favourite groups and take inspiration from them – how many members are there, and what instruments do they play? You could opt for a simple four-piece rock band consisting of a drummer, a bass player, a guitar player and a vocalist, or you could try adding additional instruments and sounds like keyboards, extra percussion, or even a harmonica or violin.
Be creative, and remember that the secret to a great sound is making everything work together – a larger band is not always better than a smaller one due to the fact that there are more people to coordinate. Listen to your favourite songs and make a list of the instruments used – this is often a good place to start. Remember that you need to be flexible with your choices as other people will often prefer different set ups to you, so get an idea of a starting point but don’t worry if it changes further down the line!
"You'll meet new friends and have fun playing your favourite songs"
Next, it’s time to look for other players. At first try asking people you know if they play any instruments, and then get anyone who does to meet up with you when you are all available. Try learning a few songs together and playing them to see who you’d like to start your band with – the most important rule is that you all get on well. It’s much better to be in a band with people you like than people you don’t, even if your friends aren’t the best musicians; when deciding on band members, personality is more important than musical ability! After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time together so make sure you’re going to have fun. It’s also important to make sure your members are as dedicated as you are – being in your own group requires a lot of effort and a lot of time.
Another vital thing to remember is that every member of the band is important. You might think of yourself as the band leader, but make sure that everyone agrees on any big decisions that are made. You are a team, so don’t leave anyone out!
If you’re having trouble finding band members, try putting an advertisement in your local music shop – add your phone number and name to the ad so that people can contact you if they’re interested. You could even try going to local open mic events near you to find other people who play instruments and enjoy performing.
"Try going to local open mic events near you to find other people who play instruments and enjoy performing"
The next step is to get rehearsing! Search the internet (or ask people you know) for a rehearsal room near you and book your first practise. Get everyone in the band to agree on which songs you are going to learn and learn them before practise – see if you can play along with the record perfectly! That way you’ll all be able to turn up to practice and play the songs together straight away. Once you’ve got your first three or four cover songs together, look around for open mic events happening in your area. These are evenings where anyone can go along and perform for free to show their music to local people. Open mic’s are a great way to get used to performing together, and they also serve as a way to get yourselves known in the local area – a key step to getting your first few paid performances.
Once you’ve got about 90 minutes’ worth of songs together, it’s time to start looking for your first paid performance! Give your details to as many local venues as possible, and if you can, get a short demo CD recorded to give to potential performance locations. Ask other people who you know that are in bands for recommendations. You could even offer to be a support act for other, more established bands in order to show venues what your music is like.
The key here is to be persistent – it may take you a long time to get performances booked, but keep at it and soon your whole diary will be full! You will be rejected a lot at first, but don’t let that put you off – every band has been through the difficult initial stages in order to get where they are now.
Be persistent and soon you’ll have your very own rock band!