If you want to start a band but aren’t sure where to get started, you’re not on your own. Unless you have already been a part of a few bands, creating one can be overwhelming and intimidating. It can be difficult to figure out how to select the right members for your band or how to get gigs. Thankfully, it can all be easier than you think. In this guide, we’ll take you step-by-step through the things that you need to do to get your own band set up and start making music together.
Find Your Bandmates
The first thing that you’ll need to get started is the members of the band. Traditionally, a band has a guitarist, a singer, a bassist and a drummer, but remember that you don’t have to stick to this. These days, bands are made up of pretty much anything, with synth-players, pianists, horn-players, and other musicians making up many different popular bands today. Some bands don’t even use a guitarist anymore.
Two instruments that you should definitely consider having in your band are an electronic or acoustic drum set, and an instrument such as a bass guitar, piano, upright bass, or synthesizer to hold down the low end. You might be lucky and be able to find people in your social circle who can be a member of your band. Otherwise, it’s time to start advertising. Hang posters in local music spots and advertise for band members online.
Figure Out Your Sound
Once you have gotten your bandmates together, figuring out your sound is going to be something that you’ll discuss at your first band meeting. Naturally, it’s unlikely to happen straight away, but the more you play and practice together, the easier it will be to find your band’s sound. Talk with your bandmates about your influences.
Figuring out what you all listen to on a regular basis and who your favorite artists are will help you figure out what kind of music you’re going to make as a band. When you play together, notice the sounds that come up the most naturally. When writing songs for the future, it’s important to pick a genre that feels right for everybody in the band. The most important bandmate when it comes to this is the singer; it’s important to pick a genre that your singer is familiar with and can sing well.
Find a Place to Practice
Practicing together as much as possible will strengthen your band, inspire you to come up with new ideas and make new music. When it comes to practicing, there are plenty of options to consider. Many bands practice in basements or garages, or rent out community halls and churches that are empty during the week. Local music venues might be willing to let your band use the space for practice when there are no performances on. Wherever you choose, it’s important to consider the impact of the noise on your area and make sure that you are not practicing anywhere that could potentially get you in trouble.
Write Your Songs
You can get started with writing songs for your band almost immediately. Some bands write their own music while others prefer to get songwriters to come up with new material for them. For many bands, being able to write, practice and perform their own songs is the best part of the process. However, when you are just starting out as a band, it’s a good idea to perform some covers first to ensure that your group can get used to playing with one another and learn how to play well together before you move on to your own music. Use a recording space to record your band performing and listen back so that it’s easier to figure out the areas for improvement.
Name Your Band
You can name your band at any point during the process, but it’s a good idea to decide on a firm name that you are all in agreement with before you start performing in public and starting to make a name for your group. Coming up with a name for your band can sometimes be a tricky part of the process as it might not always be easy to get everybody to agree, and thinking of catchy names that fit your band well can be harder than you think. In addition, you will need to search for the name and make sure that it does not already belong to an existing band or business. If you’re wondering how to choose a band name, check out Pirate for more tips and advice. Along with recording studios for musicians in the US, UK and Europe, Pirate offers a wide range of tips and advice on their website for how to choose a band name and more.
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Discuss Your Expectations
It’s important to discuss everybody’s expectations as early as possible when starting your band, to ensure that everybody is happy with the level of practice that you are going to be putting in, how often you will be performing gigs, and anything else that you need to discuss and agree on before you get started. Members fighting about these types of things is one of the most common reasons why bands break up, so the sooner you can come to an agreement that you are all happy with, the better. Making these agreements will help to resolve conflicts easier in the future and avoid any resentment between the band members.
Make a Formal Agreement
After you have discussed expectations and everybody in your band is in agreement with one another, it’s a good idea to create a band agreement or contract for everybody to sign. While signing a contract to play in a band with your friends might seem a little excessive, it can be good practice to avoid issues further down the line. This contract will help you divide the responsibilities of everybody in the band, make sure that everybody is aware of what they are responsible for and what is expected of them as a band member, and provide a reminder of what’s been agreed to along with a way of relieving tension before it even begins.
Record a Demo
Now that your band is all set to get started, it’s time to think about recording a demo. Recording a demo will be important if you want to get your band featured on the radio, play gigs, or get signed to a record label in the future as you will be handing them your demo CD to make a decision about your band. When looking for gigs, venues will need to listen to the demo to find out more about what your band sounds like and determine if you’re offering the kind of music that they are looking for. One good demo idea is to record a few different songs and put them together in a mash-up of around thirty-seconds. A short demo may be more likely to get listened to. Be sure to use professional recording equipment to get the best possible sound results, as a low-quality demo could bring your band’s reputation down even if you sound awesome live.
Starting a band from scratch can be intimidating. Whether you’ve got friends ready to become members or need to find people for your band, follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful musical group.