Starting your Own Band

by Andrew M. Lee

If you learn to play guitar, drums or bass for example the next step that many of you will want to take is to start your own band. This has been the dream of teenagers for years but just how do you go about undertaking this? Well there are a number of avenues that you can explore; you could advertise for other members or you may know people who have friends or family who are also interested in starting up a band.

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In my experience however one of the main ways that bands come together is friends. If you are learning guitar and your best friends are learning bass and drums it comes pretty naturally that you will form a band together but deciding to be in a band is one thing, making it work is another…

As your skills with a particular instrument, such as the guitar progress, it is a logical step to then go on to form or join a band, especially, as I have mentioned above, if you know people who have a musical flair. So what is one of the most important aspects of a successful band?

It has to be a solid foundation. This is key to preventing disagreements and ultimately the break up of the band. You need to get all of the components for the band correct at the start in order for you to have success.

Without this your band wont be held together, meaning failure is bound to strike. The key components to any band are the members within it, the style of music and the instruments involved, when this is sorted you are free to get creative and start writing your songs.

Song writing is a process that should involve all of the members, and everyone should agree with what is being produced because as well as achieving the right mixture you also need to ensure that the lines of communication are open.

When you are in the process of writing a song you need to allow for time to get the song exactly how you want it, this may take a few practice sessions to complete or it could be done in one day, the important thing is to not rush the creative process.

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Your songs are the most defining aspect of your band, if your songs fail to make an impression then so will your band, which is why getting them right is of so much importance, just like practicing is. Its no good having a song list perfect if you haven’t learn the songs, so in order to do this you should set aside at least two or three nights a week where you can all meet up and practice.

There is a lot more to starting your own band than simply learning to play and forming the actual band and writing some songs. You need the right equipment and the right promotion. Where your equipment is concerned you should already be armed with guitars, bass, drums etc as well as amps.

So what else is important? A good PA system. All of your speakers, including large small and fold-back ones should be all plugged into a sound mixer. Equipment can however be expensive so it is a good idea to gradually build up the equipment that you have for your band.

So what comes next? Well as I have previously mentioned: promotion, use the Internet, friends, family etc to get your name around a bit and book live shows; get your music out there to people; support other local more established bands with a similar music sound to your own as this will grab the interest of people with a taste for that particular genre and it will also get you good contacts through the band you are supporting.

There is so much good, undiscovered talent around but the key to getting yourself noticed is to get yourself established in the local music scene. So get to know other bands, put on shows and get on shows and keep the live music scene alive.

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