This is the first in a series of posts on starting a band.
We’ve all been there --- visions of packed arenas fill our heads. We are onstage performing to thousands of screaming fans. We’re on a tour bus, travelling from city to city to play sold out concerts night after night. We are rock stars and life is good. Fortune and fame are ours all in the name of performing arts. Every Beatles has a beginning. Every Led Zeppelin started somewhere. Before you can headline Madison Square Garden, you have to practice your chops somewhere, with some other people. But how exactly do you get started? Where can you find like-minded people that are as dedicated and devoted as yourself? How do you get this dream off the ground? How in the world do you start a band?
Have Some Talent
It helps if you start off with some talent. Whether that is the ability to shred an exceptional guitar solo, play a few chords, keep a steady beat on the drums, sing, or write lyrics. Talent is important to get you off of the ground. If you have zero talent, no one is going to want to perform with you no matter how passionate you are. There needs to be at least the basic understanding of how to play your instrument and/or how to read music. Courses are available for this, use them. Practice a lot. No one mastered their craft without a lot of practice. Practice leads to better talent and talent is important.
Tap Your Friends
Who better than to embark on a lifelong journey with than a friend? A lot of great bands started off as some friends getting together to jam. Use your friend network. Most likely some of them are into music and want to perform. Find out which ones and jam with them. See if you have the same talent level or the same taste in music. Get together and see what happens. You might just be starting a long future together.
Use Your Online Resources
Can’t find any musicians in your local friend base? Then it may be time to widen your search. There are endless resources online to help potential band members get together. Craigslist has a section that pairs prospective musicians together. Bandmix (www.bandmix.com) is another site that helps musicians find one another. They also have a message board forum. Who’s Doing (music.whosdoing.com) is an additional site that offers music lovers the chance to get together and form a band. Their slogan is “starting a band has never been easier” and they provide the opportunity to place ads and search ads so that musicians can find one another. In this day and age it has never been easier to find people with the same interests as yours.
Look For Established Musicians
There is nothing wrong with a bunch of amateurs getting together and making a run at becoming a band. However, the more established the team members are, the better your chances are of having long term success. There are a lot of bands out there missing that one key ingredient and they are searching for it. Ads are everywhere for a singer, guitarist, drummer wanted. Reply to the ads. Attend open mike jam nights at your local club. Visit the scene. And then see if the group is right for you. And if you think they are, approach them. Tell them that you want to jam with them. Tell them that you want to join forces with them. And then show them what you’ve got.
Be Passionate And Confident
Passion and confidence will take you a long way. You have to be confident in your ability. If you lack confidence, you will never be able to perform in front of a live audience. And you need to have passion. Passion will take you far. Passion is what gets you through periods of doubt and uncertainty. Passion is what keeps you going when it seems like nothing is coming together. Passion is the driving force behind all successful people. Without it, you may never get over the hurdles that will come your way.
Patience And Persistency
Like most great things in life, being part of a band is a journey. Enjoy the trip! Most likely, your band will not join together overnight. All great things take time. You must have the patience and persistency to see this journey through to the end if you really want it to happen. There will not be any instant gratification here. You may go through several band members/groups before you find one that is the perfect fit. And that could take months or even years. If you don’t have patience and persistence, you might give up after the first failed attempt to get a band going. Hang in there! Finding the perfect fit takes time.
Any dedicated music fan has had dreams of being in the next mega popular band. And those dreams can become a reality, but they have to start somewhere. Perhaps today is the first day of your journey, or maybe you are months into it. Stick with it. Given enough time and dedication, your band will be formed and touring in no time. Then it’s up to your group to see how far and wide you can spread your music. Starting the band is the easy part. Getting the band out in the public eye is an entirely different challenge.