Setting Up a Band: It’s All About Communication
Are you thinking about setting up a new band, or already trying to manage one? Being in a band is like being married to three or four people at the same time. It’s important to choose wisely and then your communication skills will need to at least equal your talent.
Finding possible bandmates is probably the easiest part. Ask around at your local music store and check their bulletin boards. Check classified listings in local music publications. Look at various Internet forums and websites like BandMix.com or Craig’s List. Finding the right bandmates is more difficult. Before inviting potential members to a practice or jam session make sure you are on the same page by defining your intentions.
What is your goal for the band?
What type of music will you play?
How often would you like to practice?
How many gigs a week/month would you like to eventually have?
Once you’ve nailed down these specifics it’s time to invite them to practice with you. Aside from evaluating talent and ability to play the music you want to play, consider their personalities. Do you honestly think you can get along with each of these people? If you can’t imagine becoming friends with someone, that person is probably not your best choice. Remember, you will be spending a lot of time together.
Once you’ve selected the musicians, before you’ve actually booked any gigs or made any firm commitments, it’s time to lay down some rules and define the band’s decision making process.
How will you select the songs to play?
What will your practice schedule be?
Who will be in charge of accepting
and scheduling gigs?
How will band expenses be handled?
How will any money from paid gigs be handled?
If you are able to answer all of these questions to the satisfaction of each member, you just may stand a chance of succeeding! Remember as you move forward to keep the lines of communication open so everyone stays on the same page. One way to do this is to set up routine meetings outside of your practice schedule to talk about the band. This is an opportunity to solve any small issues that may arise before they become big ones.
Need advice on band or music performance issues? We’ll put the question to the experts. Write to: Advice@MakingMusicMag.com and you may see it answered in print or online.