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Are college bands more successful and easier to form than high school ones?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by petchimps123, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. petchimps123


    Mar 28, 2009
    I'm going to wait until I'm in college to start a band, but for right now I've just been jamming with some friends I know. I'm going to be a senior very soon and I know a high school band won't last too long. Not a lot of people are serious about forming bands around here.

    Also how would I advertise to people that I am willing to jam? What should I know in order to make jamming successful? I'm really not sure how I would set things up.
  2. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Perhaps so. A few things come to mind:

    - College students are older and more likely allowed to play in drinking venues. Depends on the state. In California, 18-year-olds can play under certain conditions. Under 18 and there's no legal way. So there are perhaps better gig opportunities.

    - HS students in their final two years are pretty pressured to make the grade for college entry; this limits time somewhat.

    - High schools, a likely gig venue, are not the easiest gigs to book.

    - A college environment brings together diverse students, with diverse musical interests.

    - Students living on campus have fewer entertainment options than HS students living at home; as a result, impromptu musical events may be more common.

    - A college campus provides informal musical venues, many of which can spawn an impromptu jam, most without requiring administration permission.

    You can put your HS musical time to good use. Play every different style you can find, to get a good taste of music. Use the time to improve your listening and playing skills. Listen to every type of music, from Sinatra to Stones to Smashmouth. Everything you hear eventually helps form your ability to play, and your personal style.

    Out of curiosity, where's "here?" You can update your profile.
  3. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    There really is no point in waiting to form a band. Some high school bands go on to become successful college bands, and some break up and lead to experiences that can help with later bands.
  4. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    If you're in a college town, there will be all the students, but also some people who are not in school but are part of the scene.

    The best bands I saw in my college years had a mix of students and non-students, including some people that were a bit older than the student players.
  5. Beyer160


    Dec 20, 2008

    You don't want to get to college and be a "noob" trying to play with people who've had previous band experience. Even if it's just jamming in a basement you have to learn how bands work, both musically and personally. Even if the band doesn't "go anywhere" it's good experience. Get out there and do it!

    It reminds me of my first day in college, when several thousand freshmen were packed into the basketball arena listening to speeches by the senior faculty. The university president warned us "college is not the place to experiment with drugs and alcohol"- to which someone behind me replied "yeah, that's what high school was for!"

    Plus, I don't know about you, but I just plain enjoy playing music with people.

    As for meeting other musicians at college, back in my day (pre internet) there were bulletin boards all over campus where people stuck fliers- desk for sale, ride to Cleveland wanted, looking to form/join band, etc. I imagine you young whippersnappers today will have an online version of that. That'll be a good way to meet people until you make connections of your own.

    Good luck!
  6. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    +1 to not waiting till college; I didn't mean to imply that. I was just offering reasons why a college band could work better than one in high school.

    Definitely play now. Play everything, not just the top 5 songs on the radio.
  7. lorenk


    Apr 8, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    lol this thread can soooooo be tied into some abstenence (spelling?) joke...

    anyway, don't wait. the experience you can have will pay off later (plus having the (hopefully) finiancial support from your parents in gear buying will come in handy once you're in college).
  8. thudfromafar


    Dec 12, 2007
    definitely play now. even if your band ends after high school, in the meantime you could have a lot of fun and good experiences, musical and otherwise. go for it!

    try putting ads around your school or local music stores. as for venues, they may be more limited, but they are out there for sure.

    you dont have a lot of responsibility right now so take advantage of that. write music, be creative, have fun.
  9. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I agree with Lorenk. You don't want "your first time [in a band]" to be when you go off to college. Get as much experience as you can now. Form/join a band, PLAY SOME GIGS, write as much material as possible, improve on your instrument, take some theory classes while they're still free, play in the jazz band @ school, etc. Do some recording, too. Learn how to sound tech/roadie by getting some practice in now. The more experience you have, the better. Do not wait.

    Edit: One more thing... When you get your band going, MAKE FANS NOW. When they all go off to other colleges over the next year or two, you can call on them to help you book gigs at their new schools, and to be your street team captains there to bring in fans when you get there. Start compiling a mailing list (Facebook group, whatever) NOW so that when they all go off to other places, you can reach all of them easily. Waiting is a terrible waste of a great opportunity! Don't do it :bassist:
  10. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Getting ready to be a senior... good times, good times.

    Ok, so here's how you find some people. Go hang out by the band room and jam on your acoustic. I guarantee that within a week, you'll have gained at least one more guy- probably another guitarist or a bass player. Since you're hanging out by the band room anyway, poke your head in and pick out a drummer.

    Gigs? Birthday parties are your friend. Also try high school functions. When I was a young college student, I was in a band with some high school seniors. One gig we did was at a forensics meet, while the judges were tabulating scores and the students just sat around being bored. If it's a clean/religious band, you can also take advantage of the church youth group scene, where opportunities are numerous. You can also try battle of the band events, and jump in with local town festivals (they LOVE music performed by youth).

    Another great opportunity (and low pressure) is a junior high school dance. Usually the kids will love you no matter what or how well you play. Plus, you can play the three songs you know or an entire full length set. The DJ will fill the rest of the time.

    Just make your opportunities, man. Make it work, and by the time you hit college, you'll be an old hat.
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    As a college student, it`s been harder to start a band now in comparison to back home. Back home I knew all the local players and I had all the connections and I was already a pretty well known player myself. Going to college 6 hours away from home has basically made me have to start over. Not that that really is a bad thing, but it`s made finding players much harder(especially when I`m basically unknown here).

    I`d say that it`s a good idea to keep playing while you`re still home. Even if nothing too important comes from it, you`ll at least have gained experience which will help you down the road.
  12. S Sanders

    S Sanders

    Feb 15, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    ^ That's how you find folks to jam with in high school. High school is all about cliques. Put yourself in the musician's circle and you'll find the folks you are looking for.
  13. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    In college, the answer is two words- open mic. I know of a lot of full bands that go rock the OM night. Show up, do a few songs on your own, or just sit in for a while. Do this for a few weeks, and (if you're a decent player) you'll start getting into the "circle".
  14. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    to College. the College band experience was great (as was the HS band((s)). I needed the coinage and was addicted to gigging.
  15. kennydakid


    Jan 8, 2009
    Amesbury, MA
    I played in a band in high school (an early incarnation of my current band). Then I went to college 1500 miles away. I continued to play with my "High School band" during the Summer, and my college bands during the school year. I graduated college and returned home to attend Law School. I left my college bands behind and returned to my "High School Band" then two guys I played with in college cam out this way a year latter. Now I am in both my "High School Band" and my "College Band"

    Moral: You never know what will happen in the future so jam out in the present
  16. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    It was definitely more work getting bands together/getting people to jam in high school than it was in college. In HS I often used band competitions to meet musicians from other schools, encouraged friends to pick up instruments and went to the venues I was allowed in to find older guys to jam with. I found people to play with, but it was work.

    In college, especially the first year in the dorms, there were jam sessions everywhere. Usually low key deals with practice amps, but it was so easy to find people to play with. All three of the first bands I played with in college came from meeting people in the dorms.

    Just my experience.
  17. MistaMarko


    Feb 3, 2006
    I was in high school with three other guys, and we started a band in late 2006. The keyboardist and I had taken piano lessons since age 4 together, and are still in a band today, and the drummer and the keyboardist are neighbors, and the guitarist and the drummer were on drumline together throughout junior high and high school for a total of 7 years. We've all been playing music together since basically middle school, and we all attended the same elementary school and everything, literally.

    So, point is, start at anytime.

    I must admit being in HS in the band was much easier. We would walk to the guitarist's house after school and jam almost everyday.

    Now we're all in college, and it's merely a bunch of phonecalls and emailing. Rarely do we have time to practice.

    The good part is, we managed to get a full album recorded and professionally produced, and it's selling very very well considering we're an independent band. We just sort of sit back and promote it and network our band, and are doing most of our tours/gigs in the summer.

    If you're tl;dr -- bottom line: Start ASAP.


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