How do you start a band?

How do you start a band?

Postby Randumbz » August 16th, 2014, 10:10 pm

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I need some help. This is something I've always wanted to do, but I'm not really close with anyone who can play an insturment. I sing and I've been learning how to play guitar for a while now. It seems like it would be fun to have other people to jam with. How do you find band mates? I'm still in high school, so I don't feel comfortable looking on Craigslist or anything like that. Also, should I get a microphone now if I want to be a lead singer?
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Re: How do you start a band?

Postby FourStringFingerSting » August 17th, 2014, 12:23 am

Being in a band has always been a fairly easy task, for me at least. I always had lots of friends who had the know how to play instruments and were able to have jam sessions/write songs collectively. I can't say I've ever had to worry about finding people to play with, but I imagine it wouldn't be too difficult. If you're still in high school, anyone in band is a great place to start looking. Lots of people in band typically have an instrument of choice that they like to play outside of class and have a passion for. Depending on what kind of band you're trying to form, having people who play brass and wind instruments is always a good thing too. For my band, finding someone to consistently play trumpet for us for live sets is worth our weight in gold, but sadly no one we have immediate access to could fit the qualification.

I'm sure your school wouldn't be opposed to letting you put up flyers to get the word out there. If your school has daily announcements, having a spot put in for that wouldn't be a bad idea either. Good luck with your search, just be social with people! Someone always has a friend who's looking to collaborate musically.
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Re: How do you start a band?

Postby Randumbz » August 17th, 2014, 2:04 pm

FourStringFingerSting wrote:Being in a band has always been a fairly easy task, for me at least. I always had lots of friends who had the know how to play instruments and were able to have jam sessions/write songs collectively. I can't say I've ever had to worry about finding people to play with, but I imagine it wouldn't be too difficult. If you're still in high school, anyone in band is a great place to start looking. Lots of people in band typically have an instrument of choice that they like to play outside of class and have a passion for. Depending on what kind of band you're trying to form, having people who play brass and wind instruments is always a good thing too. For my band, finding someone to consistently play trumpet for us for live sets is worth our weight in gold, but sadly no one we have immediate access to could fit the qualification.

I'm sure your school wouldn't be opposed to letting you put up flyers to get the word out there. If your school has daily announcements, having a spot put in for that wouldn't be a bad idea either. Good luck with your search, just be social with people! Someone always has a friend who's looking to collaborate musically.

I'm not in the school's music program, but I guess it won't hurt to put up a flyer near the music room. Thanks for the advice. Also, I listened to some of your band's songs on bandcamp and I really liked them (especially Sticks and Stones).
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Re: How do you start a band?

Postby FourStringFingerSting » August 17th, 2014, 6:31 pm

Randumbz wrote:I'm not in the school's music program, but I guess it won't hurt to put up a flyer near the music room. Thanks for the advice. Also, I listened to some of your band's songs on bandcamp and I really liked them (especially Sticks and Stones).


It's worth a shot! And thanks, I appreciate the listen! Sticks and Stones is one of my favorites also! I just wish we had the manpower for our live sets that we did for recording so we could have that super rad bridge section with all the horns.
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Re: How do you start a band?

Postby Vitotamito » August 19th, 2014, 9:59 pm

You could always go down to your local Guitar Center and put up a flyer saying, "I WANNA START A BAND!" with pull-tabs and your phone number.
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Re: How do you start a band?

Postby Randumbz » August 20th, 2014, 7:26 am

Vitotamito wrote:You could always go down to your local Guitar Center and put up a flyer saying, "I WANNA START A BAND!" with pull-tabs and your phone number.

The nearest Guitar Center isn't very near, but I might try that anyway. Thanks haha
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Re: How do you start a band?

Postby Master_72 » August 20th, 2014, 9:58 am

Some step by step stuff from a guy who used to band jam with some pals fore we left after our first album. That was freshman highschool, so about 2 years ago, but I'm still good at the Keytar. (translation: UNDEFEATED!).

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1. How many band members are gonna be in your team? This is more important then it sounds (pun intentional. Laugh at me here), because when you're picking out guys you wanna make sure everybody's getting an equal slice of the cake and has an equally important Job so your band isn't too heavy on instruments but also not lacking. I recommend the traditional 4-member team (guitar, Drums, Bass/keyboard, vocals). However, this also depends on the kind of band you want. The suggestions I just typed were for a normal rock band but jazz bands, classical bands and dance bands all have different requirements (Saxophone/trumpet, violin and those small drums that have cymbals that I'm forgetting here).


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2. Invite some people you know. It doesn't matter if they're not perfect at their instruments, it also doesn't matter if you're not particular friends with a band mate. Friendships can easily be formed over a rocking rehearsal or a standing ovation. However, I do reccoment doing rehearsals just in case you don't want to end up with a band that doesn't know how to play at all. Recommended is a peep who's had at least 2-3 sessions of practice on an instrument and knows the basics. Drums are harder to play than they look! Also, I they meet the requirements but don't want to join, try and give a convincing argument, or ask them to at least one rehearsal just to see what they think. It took some time before we got our electric guitarist to join the team, but he became a pretty crucial part!


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3. Once you've got a band, the main thing is making it a band. Get some instruments with whatever cash you're willing to pay, assign positions (I don't just mean instrument positions, we had positions back in my band. Songwriter, the guy who'd offer his garage to practice, social manager etc). Don't get too excited and try to book some gigs right away. Wait for a while. Practice for at least a month until you think you're solid, then show off your stuff to a mock audience (neighbors' kids, old lady from down the street, bypassers, Internet pals family members and such). Now would also be an appropriate time to think of a name for your band. Mine was called "Caliber Broomstick" (Like a shotgun but with an r that made it sound cool).


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4. When you do end up searching for gigs, don't search low, but don't search high either. Try some local events that are happening in your town or city. A traveling carnival, an event for a special day. Try and get into contact with the managers of said event and request a time frame for your band to play. Since the usual band recital takes around 10-15 minutes, chances are that you won't be denied, especially if you mention that you're from this town or that you've put up posters and become a pretty recognizable name in your neighborhood. Of course you'll also have to consider your own school, since that's your first ticket to getting well-known.


5. The most important step... DON'T BE LAZY! I cannot stress this enough. Be ecstatic about rehearsals and band practice and chances are your enthusiasm should rub off on your fellow bandmates.

Good luck getting on the radio Randumbz!
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Re: How do you start a band?

Postby Randumbz » August 20th, 2014, 12:17 pm

Thanks for all of the help guys
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Re: How do you start a band?

Postby mraab » August 20th, 2014, 12:21 pm

I've played in bands since I was a wee thing. It helps if you have people who have at least a passing knowledge of the instrument they want to play, but I've always found that ATTITUDE is more important than chops. Compatibility of personality is also pretty important, so I agree with Master72 about getting your friends in on the action, even if they have limited musical experience. In my opinion, if the drummer can count to 4 and the guitar players know at least the same 3 chords, you have a band.

GET SOME EQUIPMENT!!! If this is a rock n roll band and not one of those precious, twee, acoustic Americana-type hipster bullshit outfits, you're gonna need some electronical gear: TO WHIT:
1) the drummer needs drums. A bass drum, snare, two toms (one of which should be a floor tom) high-hat cymbal and one or two big ride or crash cymbals.
2) DRUMS ARE LOUD!!! So the singers are going to need microphones to sing into, which go into a PA amp/mixer (these can be separate components, but sometimes you can find a small 4 - 8 channel powered mixing board that serves both as an amp AND mixer), and at least one PA speaker so you can hear the singer over the drums and guitars.
3) DRUMS ARE STILL LOUD!!!! So guitars will need amplification, even if they are acoustic guitars
4) BASS GUITARS ARE DIFFERENT!!! Don't run your bass guitar through a small cheap guitar amp. It won't sound good and you blow the amp.

LEARN SOME SONGS!! Of course I recommend writing some songs, but some immediate success is important, so learn some easy cover tunes you like. I always found The Ramones to be particularly useful in this regard.

Here's where I disagree with Master72:
SET UP A GIG!!!! Nothing motivates you like having a deadline! Learn six songs in some rudimentary fashion, piggy-back on some other band's gig, have a house party where the band plays, invite all your friends, 'cause a sympathetic audience the first time out is SUPER IMPORTANT, then don't worry too much about fucking it up on stage. Just roll with the punches, know that a buncha stuff might go wrong and it's always the things you didn't plan for that DO go wrong, and get up there and blow everyone away with your enthusiasm and verve.

HAVE FUN!!! Because if it ain't fun, it sure as hell doesn't pay, and the steady diet of 'artistic expression' that is left tastes bitter and unfulfilling after a while.

BANDS HAVE A LIFESPAN!!! Usually sometime between 8 months to a year and a half into your band career, someone will get dissatisfied for one reason or another. I have no answer to this, as plenty of times it was my ego and my dissatisfaction that led to my untimely exit from otherwise perfectly good bands. All I WILL say on this topic is HAVE FUN WHILE YOU CAN!!! It should be enjoyable. Practice can be hard, but should be enjoyable. Gigs can be nightmares, but they should be FUN NIGHTMARES!!

Good luck,
Marc
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Re: How do you start a band?

Postby devil-wears-converse » January 17th, 2015, 9:23 pm

My boyfriends been in a band for about 15 years. Mraab is way on point. Just from listening to everyone in my bfs band and friends of his friends, having connections is reallly important. You start meeting all of these great people and suddenly you have more and more doors open to you.
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