Starting up a Band

Being in a band can be immensely fullfilling – Of course, there is the downside… Frequently, you are dealing with musicians’ frail egos, venues that try to rip you off, drunk/obnoxious audience members…
But for some reason – people still form bands

  1. Put together the band. – Usually, you have a core group of musician friends who you are comfortable playing with. Often, you will be missing a component. – So, you can go around giving other bands a listen and try to poach their members, post an ad and hold auditions, locate one by word of mouth, etc. – If you are already performing gigs, you may get lucky and find that one of your fans actually has the missing talent! Of course, this is the ideal situation. You can be sure this person loves the music and will have a strong comittment to the band.
  2. Name the band – this is always best done when everyone is toasted. You will possibly come up with some name that at the time was absolutely hillarious or deeply meaningful, yet when everyone is bach in his/her right mind the chosen name will be awful, flat, bizarre, etc. – Sorry, this is just how most band names are chosen.
  3. Draft a contract up – You should be able to download various templates off the web. It is very unlikely that a startup band will have the resources to hire an attorney to cobble up a contract
  4. Line up some gigs – Lots of times bars will hold open mic jams which do dual duty as auditions. – You are essentially giving away your music for free, but it’s a good way to parlay them into paying gigs. Deliberate over what type of environment you will be compatible with and pursue that. For instance, would you fit in at wedding receptions? – if so, start building up your network of wedding related professionals: DJ’s, Wedding stores, photographers, flowers, etc. You can collaborate with them and give each other leads. Or if you could fit into the corporate convention scene – line up those contacts. Try to think of other venues than just playing bars or coffee houses.
  5. Other issues: promoting your band, recording a demo, …

Most bands disintegrate – and probably, yours will too. – One preson usually ends up doing the majority of the grunt work while everyone else just shows up at the last minute to play. And you’ll have the unreliable screwoffs who will show up drunk or not at all or sub out the night before. – But you’ll almost certainly have some peaks – and will generate a lifetime of memories.

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