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How to start an original band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jakemackattack, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Jakemackattack


    Sep 21, 2013
    Well, I'm 17, and I know this may be late in my life because I'm going to college next year but I want to start a band. I'm not expecting to get big, but I do want to have fun and advance my skills. I just would like advice and words of encouragement. My friend and I just started writing a song together and I actually wrote another today by myself. If you have anything to say I'd love to hear it!
  2. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    Dude, there is no "late in life" when it comes to music but even if there was 17 is not "late in life".
  3. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    Write more songs. Rewrite them. Record them, tweak them, rearrange them. Perform them and gauge audience reaction.

    Then write more songs, rewrite, etc. for the rest of your life.
  4. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Its hard to get started. To find the right mix of guys with commitment, with the right musical skills, and to accumulate all the right equipment.

    I am not sure what kind of music you are playing, but I would start small. For example, guitar and two voices if that fits your music. Or a keyboard player and drummer (since keyboard players can handle the bass). Or do a keyboard singer arrangement.

    Find some places to play so people can hear you, and get a feel for whether the music is good enough to interest people. If its encouraging, consider expanding the band.

    Another alternative is to start with a recording. Make a good recording with musicians who will come in and play, or contribute something to the quality of the music. Record it, and get your friends to listen to it, put it here and get opinions, and if it's pretty good, consider expanding the band.

    I have found the hardest bands are the ones where there is no set leader and everyone has a say. It takes forever to make decisions, and a lot of your ideas get quashed by others who may nor may not have an informed opinion.

    IN short = figure out a way of testing the musical quality of your work before you make a huge investment (time, or otherwise) in putting together a band.

    Good luck!
  5. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    For real. though ill be honest, when i picked bass up at 17, I felt like i was late to the game. Some people had been playing for a whopping 3 years!!! (Well i also knew people who'd played guitar since they were kids but they're still pretty rare). Also my favorite band at the time had their first record out they were 18. So I did feel old. I know. Insane to think about now. Now that it actually feels late in life to be in a band....at 35 (which is youth for the 50+ here)
  6. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    You're 17 and you think that it's late in life?

    I started playing guitar at 16, bass at 18 and keys at 40. Since then I have toured, played with and opened for many well known classic rock artists.

    I also started playing ice hockey at 13 and played varsity at the age of 14 then went on to play in "A" level and Pro-Am leagues and also competed in tournaments in the United States and Canada.

    If you really enjoy it, there is no such thing as late in life to do anything.
  7. Jakemackattack


    Sep 21, 2013
    Thank you very much, it means a lot. And I was aiming for more punk rock if you were wondering. I guess it feels late because all of my friends started learning guitar around 2nd grade and I never did. I got my bass for my 17th birthday and flipped ****. Best present ever. I'm going to take all of your advice and put it to good use. Thank you for the encouragement I'm glad I have found people who understand
  8. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Frst off it's alot of work starting any band so know that right away. Tell those trying out that you are an original band and if they are into covers this might not be where they want to go.

    Work behind the scenes writing and working on the music so practices go smooth. Do not come to practices and say "let's jam and see if we can write something". If you do this don't expect people to hang long.

    Know what you want to play and where the band is going. Being so young you will play parties and maybe a few clubs that cater to young bands. You will not get paid so don't say you will. Learn to work together and have fun.

    It never hurts to do a few covers to break the ice or gain ideas and styles from them. Good Luck.
  9. taikatsu


    Oct 3, 2012
    17 is not a late start, and college is a great place to meet other musicians. Besides, in a year or two your musical tastes will expand, shift or change, and it will be good to have a large pool of people to look to. Just remember to keep it fun. It can get serious, and even stressful, but if the sense of fun and accomplishment isn't there, it'll be hard to stay motivated.
  10. Hi, way cool. Yeah, keep having fun and "record the songs".

  11. chebaby77

    chebaby77 Texas Blue Dirt

    Dec 1, 2013
    I picked up the Bass at 44 & was in a band 2 1/2 monthes later, playing all originals.
    2 1/2 years later we are performing as a lobby band in local hotels, doing dinner shows & playing coffee houses - still doing only our originals.
    We are (finally) making enough money to afford recording time, scheduled in January.

    It is a labor of Love, keep to it... Great things can happen!!
    GOOD LUCK MAN!! ~Vanessa
  12. I hate to say the same thing as everyone else, but...17? late in the game?!, not even close. I am 32 and started an original band last year. Being a musician, means that music is always a part of your life, no matter how old you are. I started playing bass at 10, and drums at 30, and I can tell you it only gets better with age :)

    Now, as far as HOW to do it, here is my process:

    1. Determine that you're going to do it no matter what. (persistence is gold)
    2. Find creative individuals who can actually play their instruments. Especially a good drummer, and a guitar player that isn't all flash and no substance.
    3. Make sure all individuals are on the same page. Define goals, set expectations, develop friendships, ensure all know how to communicate musical ideas. (Theory knowledge etc.)
    4. Shut up and play. If you can get a drummer, guitarist, and/or keyboardist, vocalist, kazoo player, etc into a room, and you can just play skillfully, its a win.
    5. Record your practices. Worst case scenerio, you end up having something "allright" to listen to later. Best case, you reverse-engineer a beautiful song or riff that came from pure creativity. Freely exchange ideas.
    6. Get to know other bands, go to a bunch of local shows (as a band if possible), get to know the scene you'll be playing in, foster relationships with other bands, meet show promoters, owners,etc.
    7. Set a firm goal for how many songs you want to do live, write & practice, deconstruct, let everyone have a chance to experiment with the songs.
    8. Once you've got an hour worth of material, or whatever your goal is down SOLID, look for gigs.
    9. Craft a set list of the songs, and put them in order for maximum crowd effect. Also think about what you will do between songs.
    10. Be on time, and play them gigs!

    Good luck to you.
  13. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales
    Read my award winning thread here:


    Take from it the things you want. The biggest thing when starting an original band, even at your age, is make it clear what your purpose is (just for fun, writing and performing together, get a major label contract, etc.) and also make it clear how someone comes and goes in the band and who gets the band/name if one leaves or you break up. Even at your age, ego and "Hey, that is mine, I did all that stuff" syndrome sets in quickly.

    For the rest, just have fun.