So you want to be a rock star, huh?
You've been playing your instrument for a while now in your bedroom and you are ready to assemble a band that will show the world what you're all about, but before you begin, you must take a step back and think about a few things.
In this two-part series, we will go over everything you need to know about starting a successful band.
Part one will go over the basics of starting a strong band, and part two will go over gaining exposure and fans through marketing and promotion, as well as playing shows effectively.
Outline Your Goals
Do you just want a jam band that gets together once a week to mess around?
Do you want to get signed and make tons of money?
Think about what type of music you want to create, but don't get too specific.
If you want to make pop music or heavy metal that's fine, but don't limit yourself to a subgenre in order to allow creativity to shine through without too many rules.
Find The Right Band Members
This can be a somewhat difficult step.
You may already have a few friends that also play instruments, and they may have expressed interest in creating a band with you. They are friends that you have a lot of fun being around, they play their instruments well and there is great chemistry between you, so it's a no-brainer that you should invite them to join your band, right?
Actually, starting a band with friends could run the risk of ruining your friendship if any power struggles or complications arise. If you end up realizing that your friend's musical skills are not a good fit with your band, firing them would certainly be awkward and put a strain on the friendship.
For this reason I recommend looking for members elsewhere, like your local music shops, websites or even forums.
What you are looking for is people who have reliable transportation, a steady income, decent music equipment and know how to play their instruments. Nothing is more annoying than stopping an otherwise productive practice just to show your guitarist how to play his part correctly.
Once you finish assembling the ultimate dream team, there are a few things you must do before we can continue on to the next segment.
- Come up with a band name that everyone in the band is happy with
- Find a songwriting process that works for your band
- Create about a half hour's worth of music
- Practice makes perfect, so practice, practice, practice!
Once you have some songs written and practiced to perfection, start working on your stage show.
Pretend that you are all at a live venue and just go wild. Film it and play it back to see what you need to work on, and what looks great.
Music is only the first part of having a successful band; the second part is performance and how your band advertises itself, both onstage and off stage.