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Forming and keeping a band together

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Yup, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Yup


    Mar 20, 2019
    I am a high school student and have formed two bands in the last two years, both of which have broken up. The first because the singer and drummer sucked:roflmao: and the second cuZ the drummer was a dooche and the singer moved. I am on good terms with one of the guitarists that was in both of the previous bands with me, and we play really well together. The problem is he has joined two other bands, one of which has minor fame at the school and he joined to be their frontman. Also he likes funk and blues, which I have no problem playing and I love, but, I would like to start something to play alternate rock/ punk kind of stuff (which is my favorite). I have found an amazing drummer and just need a guitarist/singer (I can sing if need be, but would like if the guitarist could sing so I can play a bit busier basslines). The guitarist that is in the other two bands does not want to be in this band and would like to start a separate blues/funk trio with me, but he is so busy with his other bands that I doubt it would happen. So, I would like to find a different guitarist for this group. I would like to get this band up and running and find a way to play real gigs and not just the schools battle if the bands. I figured that many of you have started countless bands before and am looking for your advice. It's very frustrating to find people that want to play this type of music. Please help me.

    Sorry for the long rant.
  2. sludgetail

    sludgetail Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    Orange, CA
    what's up man, and nice work putting in the time to get something solid running while you're still in high school. for us, it was a little different -- there were plenty of players who wanted to play punk and hardcore as well as alternative, but less guys interested in blues or real funk. i was in 2 bands for the majority of high school, a lot of the same members in both, kind of like you... people do drift and it's such a new and exciting time that you get to explore what you love to play, find new mediums that make you happy, and take advantage of not having as many responsibilities, etc... so expect a little shifting...

    not sure what part of the world/country you're in, but have you checked out the site Bandmix -- here in SoCal & Orange County, there are a lot of young cats posting both there and on CL. not sure if you're looking for ideas in solidifying other members, but for me, there was a lot of networking -- even at that age -- going to parties where other bands were playing, chatting up other players, finding out who the players were at other local schools and would even wait for them after school or try to catch them at a party to see if I could steal their drummer, etc.

    good luck man, and don't stop playing or trying -- so long as you keep going and are actively putting out feelers, this stuff usually fits into place eventually... the catch is you gotta keep trying and trying new things if the old ways aren't working.
  3. Yup


    Mar 20, 2019
    Thanks for the encouragement and ideas. I'll look more at other schools. My drummer is already from another school. Everyone at mine has kinda gotten into their bands and are stuck there.o_O
    sludgetail likes this.
  4. sludgetail

    sludgetail Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2018
    Orange, CA
    For sure man, we did a lot of flyering other schools and of course the all girl’s catholic schools every time we threw a party... definitely network and if you meet girls from other schools, we would alwys ask them what bands were good at their school and who was in ‘em!

    Good luck
  5. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Bands are like paragraphs. You need to start a new one every so often to keep
    the interest moving forward.
  6. First, partner up with another musician and have a conversation about what the vision/goal for your band is. Originals or Covers? What genre? How often do you want to gig? Do you want to be famous, or just play some local clubs? How many people in the band? Where will you rehearse? How often do you want to rehearse? Who is providing the PA? Etc.

    Once you have these answers go out and find people who are in agreement on ALL of these issues. You will find people who say, "I'll play in your originals band, but I want to do a bunch of Led Zeppelin covers too." It might be tempting to give in to that just to fill the spot, but fight the temptation. If you want a band that will stick together you all have to all start with the same vision. You will likely have to look outside of your school to find someone that is a complete fit.

    IF you just can't find people to fit that vision, then start again and adjust. Say to yourselves, "We can't find enough people who want to play originals, so we will be a cover band instead." Now go look for people that fit the new vision, but don't start with the new vision and then try to change it to the old one. That just leads to problems.
  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    It's extremely hard (and rare) to keep a good band together just based on a shared love of the music. It helps to start a band with musicians who—musically speaking—all want to scratch the same itch. But even if the band takes off, once the musicians feel like they've scratched one itch, they start developing a new itch that needs scratching.

    Q: How do you get musicians to complain?

    A: Give them a gig.

    In my experience, Duke Ellington had it right: "To keep a band together you simply need a gimmick. The gimmick I use is to pay them money."

    That is, if you offer a band enough good gigs, you have the best chance of finding a corps of players who'll keep your band as their primary gig, while finding smaller projects to fill in their calendars with work that lets them scratch those other itches.
    SoCal80s likes this.
  8. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I played my first real gig in my first real band in 1969. I can't count the number of bands and other musical ensembles I've played in. I've never been in the "perfect" band.

    I would encourage you not to limit yourself at all. Be versatile. Learn music theory, notation, and maybe composition. Practice! Play everywhere you can, from dive bars to pit orchestras, any genre from jazz and country to Broadway musicals and punk.

    You might play in a lot of bands until you find a good group of similarly minded musicians who share a common vision. You will be the one to decide how your musical career shapes up. Do you want to be a rock star? Do you want to be a sideman in a touring group? Do you want a house gig at a big Las Vegas show? Just keep networking, keep meeting musicians at festivals and other gigs, maybe hit some jam nights, etc. It's quite a journey but it's not a race. Just enjoy it as best you can and always keep improving.

    I've found the best way to keep a band together is to keep them working, preferably with lots of paying gigs. Remember musicians are kind of weird so be prepared for all personality types, from flakes, stoners, and drunks to dependable, honest, hardworking, talented people. I'm sure you'll find some good ones to make music with. Keep the faith!

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    JRA and crucislancer like this.
  9. THIS!

    Musicians, in my experience as well, are a breed all of their own. Maybe it's because when others are practicing team sports we were alone at home practicing, I don't know. I've heard that there's some different brain "connections" being made in the brains of musicians compared to other skillsets, don't know about that either.

    But this trumps all other things, in my opinion, you can all agree on the band vision, the setlist, the pay, the schedule, the transportation, the promotion, the apparel, the equipment, everything you can think of will be discussed, reviewed, revised and agreed upon and someone will still not be happy.

    Probably a fact of life but it just gets so frustrating because music should be fun!
  10. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Gigs keep the band.
    derrico1 likes this.

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