Most musicians must have started their career around the age of 11 – 13 with their small boy/girl band group. True, isn’t it? Some of them evolved to become established bands. Starting a band now can be an intimidating thought, given to the number of competitions already present in the industry. However, we believe the key to becoming successful in the music industry, especially the bands, is taking the road not taken and being creative, in both performance and genre.
Getting the right people on-board is also a serious task. If you do not set the band right from the very beginning, you will be caught in an endless rollercoaster of replacing players. Today, we will walk you through the steps you need to follow to start a band.
First, understand Who You Need –Figure Out What Your Band Needs
One, it is important to develop a taste for music. Two, you should know your genre choices and cultivate your passion towards it. Only then will you be able to choose the people for your band. For instance, if you love Hindustani classical and plan to pursue it, you cannot choose a band player whose passion lies in rapping. You will only later realize your blunder and spoil everything. Therefore, the earlier you find your genre, the dynamic will your band players be.
You have to find out what your band needs before you choose your musicians. You cannot hire an extra keyboard player just because you like him. Understand how many players and singers are needed to make a great performance. Figure out each person’s role in the band, including yours. Your goal should be playing together and creating a concert-breaking performance. You are not here to fill in a classroom of musicians.
Step 1: Choose Your Bandmates
It is not necessary that you need like-minded or similar genre band members. If you are thinking big and creative, you can put together multi-instrumentalist and build an out-of-box band. However, you can form your band with a drummer, a guitarist, a singer or two and a bassist. And, you can later add on more players, such as synth-player, horn player, pianists, and flutist.
You should start with two must have instruments, such as the drum set (either acoustic or electronic) for beating up the high notes and either a piano, bass guitar or a synthesizer to hold up the lows.
Of course, if you are the musician then you will have to hunt down one or two great singers who will be willing to perform with you.
You can put up posters in your college newsletter board, circulate your details among your friends, and use social media to find your band members. Ask your closest circle of friends and relatives; see if you can dig up an unused talent and pursue them in participating.
More than anything else, your bandmates should be team player first and performer later. You should form chemistry together and build a kinship kind of rapport.
Step 2: Find Your Music
This may take some time and the search will eventually end up into something nice and catchy if you are persistent enough. However, you can get a good idea from the very beginning itself.
Do some research! Find out from your influences about their favorite artists, the kind of songs they all have been listening to if they are interested in any specific genre, and any other question that strikes your mind.
You have to find your sound and get accustomed to it. If you have other songwriters in your group, go through their songs or sit together and work out new compositions. Make sure you bring out a genre that is not forced upon your band members but that comes and feels natural to them. If you are not the singer, make sure you pick a genre that your singer can sing effortlessly.
One classic way to find your music is by jamming regularly. Jam together, every day, devotedly, for inspiration and new song ideas.
Step 3: Find Your Jamming Place
Your place of practicing music should be as disturbance-free as your place of worship. You do not need to rent a house or buy a place initially. Your home may have a lot of options, such as the garage, backyard, and basement, or look for a music venue, professional rehearsal space, church, or any other unused place where you can jam and go loud for hours without being disturbed or without annoying your neighbors.
If you are planning to practice at home, in a room, try to make it soundproof.
Step 4: Start by Writing Songs
Writing songs together can be very exciting. The words play a vital role in most genres. Especially if you choose to rap, your lyrics can break or make the song. If you want to break free, go wild.
Your creativity should occupy the front row. Few bands’ songs represent a particular topic, incident, or anything trendy. You could follow that too.
However, before you begin, it is important that your group practice with few covers. Coordination is as important as creation. So, you have to learn to play together nicely before diving into creating something.
To perform in a show, you will need to ready around 6 – 10 amazing songs.
P.S.: Once each song is complete, copyright it to take complete ownership.
Step 5: What is Your Band Name? Have You Thought Something Cool?
Your band name will play a humongous role in popularizing your band. Unlike other industries, the music industry is craved for very cool and appealing band names. Keep brainstorming until your last song is ready to come up with your band name. Think of different combinations of words. Even if it sounds ridiculous to you, it may not to the audience.
Your band name can be a reference to the music you play. You can get inspired by your own song lyrics as well. Pick names that are short and that can easily show up on Google search.
P.S. Make sure your potential band name has not been trademarked by some other band. Even if you find a name on social media (not trademarked), check how many followers it has. If it is anything less than 250, the name is safe to take over.
Step 6: Establish a Band Agreement
Sign a contract with each member of the band. Fights and misunderstandings are two reasons for a band break-up. Make sure your contractor band agreement minimizes the possibilities of any argument related to the band creation, music, and roles and responsibilities.
The contract should state the responsibilities of each member. Some of the elements you should mention in the agreement include:
– Time commitment (commitment of each member; schedules; general expectations)
– Finances (who pays what; equipment you need to buy; how each member gets paid; future savings; who owns the songs)
– Band responsibilities (bandleader; the rehearsal director; equipment responsibility; financial manager; public relations manager; accountant; marketing responsibilities)
Step 7: Record a Demo Song
If you know a recording studio, go there, book a session and record a demo or two to hear your own composition. Make two to three attempts.
Event organizers would like to hear you out before they sign you. Make sure you have a few songs recorded and edited that you can send out to different venues for gigs.
Your audio clip should be short. You can, in fact, create a 1 – 2-minute mash-up that comprise different variations.
Your songs should sound like radio-ready mixes for marketing and promotion. You can go through the different demos on YouTube for inspiration.
Nowadays promoters prefer songs that are radio-ready. Therefore, creating it should be your band’s aim.
Step 8: Choose Your Band Look
Every band has a unique aura around it. You look at a group of people and you instantly recognize their band – that is an aura. Your band look will comprise of the way you style your outfits, the way you do your make-up, your shoes, your hair, your accessories, and your overall personality.
As a beginner, you don’t have to think a lot about your style and clothing. But the key here is to stay consistent. Or else, it may look pretty jarring to the audience. For instance, if you opt for leather pants and boots, the rest of the band members should choose to wear the same.
Your band is a walking and singing show in itself. Your performance will pave way for future opportunities and you can achieve it only when the audience is able to understand you, your outfits, and your style and connect with you. Your style and your look should personify your songs and creation.
You have to create a character of your band through your look; commit to it whole-heartedly.
Step 9: Find Suitable Gigs
You have to market your band to start playing in different gigs. You will have to tactfully convince venue owners to let you play.
Your first step in marketing should be building an Electronic Press Kit (a music band resume in the form of a website).
Develop a website and include the following:
– Music you have created
– Band profile (about company)
– Introduction to each band member
– Photoshoot of the band
– Any released album art
– Music videos if any
– Videos of your band performing
– Contact info page
– Links to social media accounts and other sites from where your music can be bought
Don’t spend heavy on your website; a simple and attractive design is more than enough.
Make sure you have all the necessary equipment to support your gig, such as amplifiers for electric guitars and basses, pickups for acoustic guitars, mic clip-on, horns and so on. Make sure your electronic instruments are properly tuned and synched.
Lastly, if you have the money, you can hire a PA who would bring to you a lot of gig opportunities in the beginning.
Step 10: Spread Word about Your Gig
Once your first gig is in line, it is about time to spread the word to the public. Put up posters, create events on social media, tell your family and friends, and promote about it in as many ways as possible.
You have to bring in as many audiences as possible for your first show. First impressions are always the best in the media industry remember that. If you bring in more people, the venue owner will show more confidence in you, meaning they will invite you for more gigs.
However, you should not lose confidence in your gang and yourself, and definitely not lose your originality. Both elements have both direct and indirect impact on the band success. Starting a band with the right people can be worthy in more number of ways than you can imagine. And, having a cooperative team is one of the best ways to grow in your career, regardless of what you do.
There is no reason why you should not start a band unless you have no knowledge about music or probably are worse than a bathroom singer is. Jokes apart, all the best! Let us know about your band in the comments below. We would love to hear them and spread a word.