So you're finally ready to follow your dreams and start a band, huh? If you're not sure where to start, or need a little guidance, these 7 tips will help you get started and on the path to make those dreams become a reality.
#1 Pick The Right Bandmates
While starting a band with your best friends sounds like a no-brainer, it can lead to difficulties down the road if not everyone meshes. Things to ask yourself include: Is everyone at similar skill levels, like-minded when it comes to the direction of where the band is going, and willing to dedicate the time and commitment necessary? The last thing you need is a drummer with no rhythm, a singer who is always late to rehearsal or a guitarist who also plays in 8 other bands and will never make your band a priority.
#2 Figure Out Your Signature Sound
Whether you’re an original act, or a cover band, putting your signature spin on your sound is critical to gaining interest in a music scene that may be oversaturated, or ultra competitive. Originality should always be important when honing your sound and live performances.
#3 Have a Practice Space, and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
Jamming in your drummers bedroom may be okay in the beginning, but eventually you’re going to need a proper practice space where the entire band can dial it in, and get comfortable performing together before booking that first gig. Practice is key. Once you have songs, perfect them in the practice space. These practice sessions are also where many song ideas are born, and where many songs and entire albums are written, re-written and perfected.
#4 Come Up With a Memorable Band Name
While some may think a band name shouldn’t be high on the priority list, keep in mind that once you’ve established your band, and you’ve built a following, having to change your name later can really bring any momentum you had under that original moniker to a startling halt. So put some real thought into it when coming up with your name. It will represent your brand, your music, your merch and your studio releases. Make it both relevant and memorable. Think of it as the vehicle that will take your band from your first gig, through your recordings and your overarching career.
#5 Have an Online Presence
People should have a way to find you, learn about you and follow you. These days, social media presence is probably the most important aspect of this. Websites are also a great medium to build your brand online, and offer a way for fans to sign up to an email list, look up tour dates, and buy your merch.
#6 Go To Local Shows
You’re about break into the local music scene. Get to know it. The best way to do this is to start going to a lot of local shows around town, at various venues. These are the places you’ll eventually be playing, so check out the bands that are already gigging at these venues. Getting to know some of the people in these bands and the staff at these venues will be super helpful in the future when you’re trying book shows or get added to bills. Networking is crucial.
#7 Delegate Responsibilities and Have a Band Agreement
Sometimes, one person in the band takes on the responsibilities for bookings, merch designs, your socials, your website, running the merch table, managing finances, driving the band van and everything else. That’s a lot for any one person to take on. Delegate when possible based on each members strengths. Or hire professional help if financially possible. A band agreement should be considered early on if it makes sense. This agreement basically lays out a plan for who manages what, instead of starting out aimlessly and hoping for the best.
These strategies will help you begin your musical endeavor with a plan, and clear vision of where you want it to go. So go forth and melt faces!
🗣️ What piece of advice do you wish you knew when you were starting out? Let everyone know in the comments below!