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Common Challenges of Band Management

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by ChelseaFaye, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. ChelseaFaye


    Oct 8, 2013
    Hi there TalkBass/Guitar/musicians/managers,

    I am conducting a research project on the management side of the music business and would like some input on what TWO common challenges music/band managers are facing.

    If anyone could help me out, that would be great. I'm having trouble coming up with an answer to this question. I have directly e-mailed managers as well but would like to expand on it.

    Thank you!!!

  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Define "music manager".
  3. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Are you talking about Band Leaders or Agents?
  4. ChelseaFaye


    Oct 8, 2013
    Band manager. The manager of a band.
  5. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Two Common challenges of Band Managers:

    1) Finding the right players
    2) Breaking kneecaps to ensure they stay
  6. ChelseaFaye


    Oct 8, 2013
    Ha, I'm sure my professor would get a kick out of the second one. But I don't have a ton of time to gather this stuff. Thanks tho ;)
  7. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Ok, heres a substitute:

    As the band manager of an originals band: Finding good promoters/bookers to work with.
    Most care only about the number of people you can bring to a show (how many $ you can put in their pocket).

    I'll pop back in with more.
  8. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    Before I could provide any advice it's worth asking what level is this research project at? Are you in secondary/high school still or is this a tertiary project?

    If this is a tertiary research paper you might want to refer to some Management textbooks. The basic concepts of business management apply to music as well. Perhaps look at some HRM and Communications theory texts as well as trying some Music Business texts. There are some great ones out there. Anecdotal evidence from anonymous sources (ie. what you can get from an internet forum) isn't a solid avenue for tangible research purposes, but I'm sure it you're doing research at a tertiary level I'm sure you're aware of this already.
  9. It's the same as any business - see business 101A.

    #1. Making Money!!!
    #2. Keeping everything working!!!
  10. jsbachonbass


    May 16, 2006
    Denton, TX
    How about:
    1) you can't book good gigs unless you have reliable players
    2) you can't keep reliable players unless you have good gigs

    That's about it.
  11. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    My biggest hassles booking a large-ish (8+ players) cover band is:
    1) Booking gigs
    2) Maintaining players good enough to handle the material.

    Right up there is "getting players to walk into the rehearsal room with the tunes for that night learned and ready to play", but that might rightly be defined as a subset of 'finding good players'.
  12. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011
    1. Having artists that understands let alone APPRECIATES the business aspect of the music "business". At the end of the tour, there are no receipts, the band can't account for dozens of CD's and a dozen or so t-shirts, etc... Accounting practices of musicians can sometimes present a challenge. They are not accountants for a reason; their talents are music and performance.
    2. Keeping motivation and spirits high when talent is pushed to their physical, emotional and mental limits on the road.
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Keeping the band together and all of the members not hating each other.

    Just read the first few pages of this forum.

    OP: "My guitarist gave me a funny look the other night at a gig. What should I do?"
    TB: "Fire him. Or quit..."
  14. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I've never been a band manager per se but from the work I've done in "self managed" bands I would say that making the economics work is overwhelmingly the biggest challenge today. When you've got venues paying 1980's prices and you're trying to offset 2013 expenses and still get everyone in the band enough $ on a regular basis to stick around... that's a tough nut.

    Finding/keeping good players who aren't jackazzes is the 2nd biggest challenge but a lot of that is tied in with the money thing. It seems like you can get musicians who are good players, musicians who are good people, or musicians who work cheap but you have to pick 2 of the 3.
  15. 1. Booking gigs that are economically viable, i.e. the pay is more than the cost of transportation, missed work at day jobs, wear & tear on equipment, etc
    2. Managing a group of people with different creative visions, different levels of commitment, different levels of ability, etc.
    3. People who can't follow simple directions, such as "list two challenges"
  16. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Problems of Band Management:

    1. Venues don't pay what they used to. The scene has been dying for years.
    2. There are far more bands than venues, so you have to compete to get lower paying gigs.
    3. You need to own and maintain a decent PA system, lights, and other equipment, unless you are willing to give half your paltry pay to a subcontractor.
    4. You need to have a tight, professional group of people who can communicate, and come to agreements together, and solve disagreements.
    5. Most musicians are total flakes, with oversized egos.
    6. The color Red.
    7. Music is always changing, so you either have to be in touch with what audiences want to hear, or risk playing to empty rooms, which will make it very difficult to compete for the limited, lower paying gigs.

    In short, there is no reason to play music in a band, and anyone who does is most likely a lunatic.
  17. Slade N

    Slade N Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    ahhh...thats explains a lot

  18. BryanM


    Dec 15, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    As a partial manager of an originals band here are some of the challenges we are currently facing. You can choose the two that most fit your needs:

    I. Building a following in distant and diverse markets
    -A. Contacting and promoting to radio stations
    --1. Seeking out suitable radio stations
    --2. Submitting industry standard quality recordings to said stations
    --3. Arranging promotional appearances/interviews with radio stations
    -B. Maintaining a relationship with press and media outlets
    --1. Providing press releases and press materials to print and digital media
    --2. Conducting written interviews with band members to provide to outlets
    --3. Arranging band members for phone interviews
    II. Continual proliferation of music
    -A. Managing songwriters to steadily produce songs of a consistent quality
    -B. Managing finances in order to steadily issue releases of said songs
    --1. Holding to a semi-rigid recording schedule
    --2. Continually adapting to ensure recording quality meets demand of market share
    -C. Steadily growing demand for said releases (See subsection I)
    III. Organizing band schedule and mediating conflict between band members
    -A. Planning and scheduling practices/rehearsals
    -B. Booking shows/tours
    --1. Negotiating payment for shows and ensuring agreements are upheld
    --2. Organizing transport for band members and equipment
    ---a. Securing backline if not being transported
    ---b. Arranging lodging/accomodations for band members if possible
  19. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    1. guitarists
    2. drummers
    3. singers
  20. Octaves


    Jun 22, 2012
    Finding the right players in terms of skill and personal fit.

    Making sure they stay.

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