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Tips on How to Start Your Own Band

Your love of music and playing instruments may have started at an early age, in school or because a family member took the time to mentor you. But now you've reached a stage in your life where you want something more. You want to start a band.Performing in a band can be one of life's most memorable and fulfilling experiences. Working with others to achieve mutual goals, being creative, having fun and forming lifelong friendships are just some of the benefits of being in a band. It can also be a lot of work. If you're thinking about starting a band – no matter what type – this article offers helpful tips, a brief outline of what to expect, and lists some difficulties you can avoid during the process of creating your own band.

Starting a Band

Much like any other serious project you take on, ensure you have lots of planningtimebefore starting your band. Work out as many details as you can from the beginning, no matter how trivial you may think they are. More planning done first means fewer problems later. When plans and goals are distinctly laid out, understood and agreed upon by every band member, things run more smoothly and the music keeps playing.

First on your list should be what type of music you want to play and where you want to perform. Obviously, bands consisting of friends who just want to jam a couple of times a week will have needs and wants completely different from musicians interested in increasing their income or hoping to launch a career.Planning every minute detail for now and the future when starting a band, allows you to comprehend the full scope of what you're trying to achieve, and hopefully, gives you the opportunity to be honest with yourself about your level of seriousness.

It's important to decide from the beginning whether you want to start a band just to make music or to generate income. Creating a band that's also a business comes with a high level of obligation and commitment if you want to be financially successful. You'd be taking on responsibilities not only for yourself, but for your band mates as well, so that's something to keep in mind during the planning stage.

Having a band agreement similar to a contract at the very beginning helps to avoid a lot of misunderstandings and disagreements. Be sure to include matters like equipment ownership, who gets to keep what if someone leaves the band, and what the protocol will be if and when the band starts writing songs. Sorting these things from the start can help prevent future disputes.

While the preferred number of musicians needed to create a band is usually 4 or 5, you can start with only 2 people and just add members later. Most bands need a rhythm section so guitar, bass, drums and keyboard players are the usual quartet players. You might want to add a horn section as it provides depth and color and you can't deny the emotional range a vocalist brings to any band. Another detail to consider is whether you'll need sound reinforcement at some of your venues. If so, you'll want a good PA system to take to your performances.

When selecting the people you want in your band, it's best, but not necessary, to choose musicians you've worked with before. You'll be one step ahead because you'll already know their work habits as well as their level of compatibility with your goals. Having a collection of songs you want to play is also helpful.

Charting the musical roles is the next step. Knowing the skill strength and capabilities of each performer is advantageous in the making of this chart. This allows you to see what positions you already have and what musical blanks you need to fill. For example, when looking for an experienced bandleader, you'll need to know if you want someone who can write charts and work out arrangements, or a multi-instrumentalist who can give your band added versatility and broaden your repertoire.

At every stage of building your band, it's important to stop and ask yourself if all the choices you've made thus far will increase the likelihood of your band staying together. If the answer is yes, then you're on the right path. There are enough things that can force a band apart and you certainly don't want to add to them. Much like planning, making the hard decisions at the beginning saves you from making harder choices later.

Practicing with your band

Practicing is also a very important factor to consider in the planning stages. Is everyone available and as committed as you are? This is when you build rapport as a group and create a bond that will withstand hardships, or you discover who's not going to make it. Practicing also helps tighten performances too. And just as essential to practicing is having a good practice venue. You'll want to have a list of places you can choose from. That way, you'll always have a backup if your number one practice venue isn't available.

You also need to check that everyone in your band can show up with their instruments in good working order, and make sure you have all the sheet music or charts for the songs you want to play. The Woodwind & Brasswind's sheet music selection is spectacular, and your band will definitely find the Hal Leonard Real Books ] very helpful. Real Book Volume 1 - C is a great choice for your rhythm section and keyboardist, and these same books in B-flat or E-flat are ideal for your horn section.

Once you've created your band and feel confident that you've rehearsed enough, book a venue, get the word out through friends and social media and start performing. But most all, have fun!


Woodwind & Brasswind is proud to offer high-quality musical instruction materials to help musicians from professional to beginner improve their skills. Many of the books, videos, and practice aids we sell can be shipped overseas. They are all backed by The Woodwind & Brasswind's 110% Price Guarantee, assuring that you won't find musical instruction materials at a lower price anywhere else.

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