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Starting off a band the "right way."

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Luke S Mouse, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Luke S Mouse

    Luke S Mouse

    Jun 5, 2009
    Well, it's back to square one again for me.
    My guitarist is leaving in a few months for the military, (happened in a previous band too, love the military and all, but stop it you're ruining my game XD) so it's just me and two halves of the three drummer revolving door we have set up.
    We're trying out a friend of a drummer who allegedly plays various instruments and we'll see how that works out.
    I guess the question is how can I get a band that's gig ready and such started. I've always had a sorta "if it sounds good, that works," demeanor when putting songs together, is that what I need to change? What have you guys done attitude and otherwise to start off a band and have it work out?
  2. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Vocals, people hear & know good singing.
    Most of them can't pick out a good solo.
    After that, proper tune selection for your crowd.
    If the band is not making any money you will have a constant turnover
    of players.
  3. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    I say get the domain name, website, and basic promotion sorted. Take time to figure out the setlist and write (simple) charts for ALL the tunes - you want it to be as easy as possible for a new member to come in, learn the tunes, and be able to play out. Set aside money for recording a basic demo, as well as a reasonably-professional photoshoot. If you get you ducks in a row well enough, you can have a spinup time of two weeks (that's 'first rehearsal to first paid gig') once you find the right cats.
  4. Octaves


    Jun 22, 2012
    Good idea ^. I am after similar advice.

    I was also thinking I might have separate band rehearsal without singer, so we can get the "music" together. I'm even thinking that in a 3 hour rehearsal, allocating 1-1.5 hours to instrumental jamming only.

    But, yeah, having all your paperwork and business stuff ready to go is important.
  5. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Rarely does someone get it so right!
  6. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Don't take it out of the practice space until the band sounds awesome.
  7. If you can’t front (lead vocals) the band and if you don’t want to be in an instrumental band - I recommend first just start with joining a preexisting band.

    Also one of the first questions you should be asking yourself is - where do you want to work and target your image, material, etc towards getting that work.
  8. Bassnoise


    Jul 24, 2013
    There's also a difference between playing something to purposely get a crowd reaction and playing what you really love and getting a crowd reaction.

    But it can and if your lucky will overlap with the right group... I recommend playing with people who have a similar direction as you to avoid conflict... Even out side of style and taste if your direction in life is def music (pro on not)... It's only going to have a finite life with some one who's doing it temporarily or for fun... I don't mean to sound heavy tho anyway you do it.. It doesn't matter as long as it works for you.
  9. It would also help, if the new members actually enjoy the music you're playing. I'd rather play music I enjoy playing. Rather than playing music that doesn't move me. Also give them a little freedom to make it their own. Within reason. The most fun I've had in bands is when they say, this is the song, these are the notes I'm playing, play what you want.
  10. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Join The Black Keys. lol
  11. Luke S Mouse

    Luke S Mouse

    Jun 5, 2009
    Sign me up!! XD
  12. Had a similar thing happen to me recently. Ran into an old friend from high school. We got to talking about music, and he said he's been wanting to start a band and be the singer. The guy was a good singer in high school, in choir, etc, so I figure he can't be terrible, let's try it out.

    So I get my old band back together, we have a couple practices to get up to speed so that we're ready when the new guy starts rehearsing. Then, he gets a call saying he's being deployed to Afghanistan (currently National Guard, formerly active duty Army. Has been to Iraq already). Regardless of what I may think of the politicians who run our country sometimes, I always have the utmost respect for our servicemen and women, and wished my friend well. But it really is a bummer, because we were sounding good and having fun. We had some gigs lined up that we cancelled.

    He'll be gone for a year. Poor guy just had a baby girl shortly before he deployed. Maybe we'll pick up where we left off when he gets back, but more likely we won't.
  13. robertusf


    Jul 19, 2007
    This ...plus

    I suggest having players/singers that can play at the level you hope to achieve or are comfortable with. I only say this because we have a keyboard player in our band that can't keep up and learn material plus flubs a lot on stage. Don't settle for anyone just to fill shoes. It'll save you the drama of releasing him later on.
  14. Luke S Mouse

    Luke S Mouse

    Jun 5, 2009
    Still being in the "old enough to be an adult, but under 21," demographic a lot of people have been joining up just cause college costs are really outta hand right now.
  15. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    Disagree with this. Nothing like a scheduled gig to get everyone focused and playing their best.

    In my experience bands that practice and practice and don't gig lose steam and never leave the practice room. Usually because of lack of talent or someone is too big a wussy to get on stage.
  16. get some structure and discipline into what you are offering to other players....

    have the vision already created for others to follow

    band name
    web site
    set list
    practice times
    roles and responsibilities
    gigs for the future
  17. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I agree with everything you said. I've been in plenty of bands that only want to rehearse. I would never recommend that anyone delay their debut for too long, but to me the only thing worse than not gigging is getting on stage with something that sounds half-baked.
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    And by photo shoot we do NOT mean pics of the band on the freakin RAILROAD tracks or in front of the BRICK WALL that has been vandalized. I was in a band not too long ago that was going to have pics done. The photographer showed up and said "You guys follow me cuz I know a great spot for band pics." Sure enough, we got out at a railroad track and the photographer said "I thought we would do a few here and then go do some "edgier" ones over by that brick wall." I pulled out my wallet and said "Here's a hundred bucks for your time. We won't be needing your services". :rollno:

    OP, is this a cover band or originals band? Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to not only answer the question but edit your original post to include that info. the advice for each situation would be very different in my view.
  19. +1.

    OP: We may be able to help you more if you give us more info.
  20. When we were first starting our band at age 18-19, our drummer actually left us for that very reason. He had no idea what he wanted to do, and the endless possibilities overwhelmed him, so he joined the Marines. We had a big going away gig/party for him in my parents barn, and that video from that night is still one of my most prized possessions. He was actually at boot camp during 9/11/01, and we were all very scared for him. But he ended up staying stateside.

    However, we got a new drummer who was much better, and grew and developed with that guy. When our original drummer's time in the military was done, he move back here, started college, and expected to come back into the band. The fact that we didn't let him really pissed him off, and feelings were hard for awhile.

    Not sure what the point of that story was... ;)