Post Reply Most Useful Info in Starting A Band
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Posted 6/7/09 , edited 6/8/09
I found a website that tells you step by step how to start a band, and which direction you should be heading. So if you're a little lost, this is really helpful to refer back to. I found this at feel free to check it out yourselves. I've also posted the information bellow to help you guys out.

Another helpful tip i'd like to throw out there, if you're still looking for band members, try searching through craigslist because you can search by location. Good luck everyone!

Now here's the info from (This information is in no way mine, all rights bellong to their original owners).

How to Start a Band Article
Playing in a band can be a lot of fun and can even turn into a career. But the more you get into it, the more you realize that there are countless factors to take into consideration while putting your band together. This page will give you the rundown of How to Start a Band.

How to Start a Band
Playing in a band can be a lot of fun and can even turn into a career. But the more you get into it, the more you realize that there are countless factors to take into consideration while putting your band together. This page will give you the rundown of How to Start a Band.

Playing in a band can be one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of your life. The camaraderie, creativity, exhilaration, and fun involved makes starting a band an exciting prospect. But how do you go about putting one together? What do you need to do for your band to hit the ground running and be ready for the challenges it will face down the road?
Many people might not realize how much hard work goes into forming a band whether you want to stay in the garage or be the next Muse. Because music often involves a serious time, emotional, and sometimes monetary investment, it's important to do everything you can to assure it will be a positive experience.
This page is the first in a two part series that will give you a step-by-step guide to everything you need to consider while putting and keeping a band together—all while having a good time in the process. Are you ready to put down the video games and take the step from Rock Band to a real band?

Conduct the Initial Brainstorm
OK, so you're really ready to start a band. What should you do first? The answer: nothing but think. Before you do anything, you'll need to establish as many details about your future band as you possibly can. This way you'll know exactly what you're looking for in a bandmate and what direction the band will take. You wouldn't walk into a car dealership before deciding what kind of car you're looking for, right?
What musical style will you play? Punk, metal, jazz, ska, country, a combination of many styles?
What will your instrumentation be? Would you prefer a stripped down trio of guitar, bass, and drums, or would you rather have multiple guitarists, a keyboard, and/or a horn section? How many vocalists will there be?
Original songs or covers? Would you rather play only music that you write yourselves, or cover other artists' songs that you enjoy? You could also do a combination of the two.
What will your band's image be? Like it or not, these days image matters. Will your band have that grungy, shaggy-haired, flannel shirt look? Will you all wear glasses, ties, and slick your hair back? Or will you go the KISS route and wear makeup during your complex stage show spectacles?
How serious are you about starting a band? This is a very important question, because you're going to want everyone in the band to be on the same page. Whether you'd like to rock out in your basement, become regulars in the local club circuit, or tour arenas around the world, you'll want to establish your general goals now if you can.
The brainstorm stage is not an exact science. You don't have to answer every question, and none of it is set in stone. It is simply the best launching pad for you to start from. And, as we'll find out later, the only way to accomplish a goal is to set one first.

Find Your Bandmates
Finding some fellow musicians to play with can be the hardest and most important aspect of forming your band. You're going to need to find people that you have musical and personal chemistry with. You are, after all, likely to spend quite a bit of time with them. A good band will become a family of sorts, so you'll want to surround yourself with good, like-minded, talented people.
Determine your requirements
Is gender an issue? Keep in mind that while discriminating against a good musician simply because of their gender is unreasonable, tensions among mixed-gender bands could potentially reach a whole new level above those of same-gender lineups (think of Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal dating and breaking up while in No Doubt).
What do you need musically? You know what you can do, so you need to find musicians who can fill in the spaces of what you can't do. Do you need a songwriter? A vocalist? A sideman who simply plays the part you give them? A collaborator? A lead guitarist? An experienced bandleader?
What do you need non-musically? You'll probably require the person to have their own equipment. But do you also need them to have their own car? To have connections within the music industry?
Think of any other specifics regarding age, experience, location, etc.
Where you can find them
Bands often come together almost by accident when friends get together and start jamming and having fun. For some people, this can be a simple and fun way to get the lineup together, but it is not necessarily the best way.
Always keep in mind that being in a band with friends can be a lot like going into business with them; it could potentially lead to serious arguments and possibly lost friendships. Conversely, many great friendships have been formed in bands as well.
If your intentions are mainly to fool around in the garage and play the local talent show, starting a band with friends is usually a great idea.
If you intend to be very serious about the direction of the band, you'll want to find some like-minded musicians instead of simply calling up a few buddies.
Try advertising online on sites like Craigslist and on bulletin boards in local music stores.
Lay out as much detail as you can about what your band will be and who you are looking for (without writing a novel).
Include the style of music you want to play, some artists who have influenced you, and what you expect out of the player.
Example: Bassist wanted for serious rock band in the style of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Must be punctual, have a passion for loud music, and have reliable transportation. Age 16-21.
If you're posting a flyer, make it eye-catching so it isn't lost in the mix of other bulletins. Include a drawing or your band logo if you have one already.
Don't forget to include your contact information! Your e-mail address is usually the best.
Always use good common sense when advertising online, and don't reveal any personal information.
While you await responses to your ads, look for other people who are also hoping to start a band on the same bulletin boards and websites that you posted on. Also be sure to ask around among your friends or any musicians you know; they may know someone who is in the same situation as you.
Once you've made contact
When someone contacts you about your band, ask them if they have any demo recordings of their playing/singing that you can hear.
Now would be a good time to ask more detailed questions to see if you have a similar musical vision. A phone call can reveal whether or not you have chemistry.
If you like what you've heard so far, have them "audition." This doesn't have to be as formal as it sounds. It could simply be a quick jam session to see if you "click" musically.
Always stay safe when meeting strangers for the first time. Make sure a friend knows exactly what you're doing, where you are, and how long you'll be gone. If they were recommended by a friend, you probably have less to worry about.
If you'd like, ask the person for a reference from a former bandmate.

Choose a Band Name
Ah, the band name. Surely you've been talking with friends when somebody says an interesting word or phrase that made you think, "that would be a good band name!" Well, now it's time to get together with your new bandmates and put those creative juices to work for the real deal...
Although it may not be the most important decision you'll ever make, just remember that a band name is your identity, your brand.
It's also good to keep in mind that this is a decision you'll have to live with for as long as the band exists. You can, of course, change your name, but if you begin establishing yourself, this can be a tough task. Because of this, sleep on band name decisions overnight. Many times, a name that seemed funny or clever yesterday just doesn't have the same impact today.
Simple band name ideas can come from the names of band members (think Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Fleetwood Mac).
Come up with pop culture references from movies and TV shows you all like. If you all like South Park, for example, you could name your band "The Dead Kennys."
Many bands name themselves after songs written by other artists, such as Radiohead and Godsmack. Your band could be "Rainy Day Women."
Try looking up random words in the dictionary or encyclopedia, or finding phrases in your favorite quotes or books. Your band name could be "Fear Itself."
Your name should be memorable and, preferably, easy to spell. Therefore, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" is a poor choice. But it should also be unique so that people searching for you online can find you easily. If you name it "Soda Pop," it will be easily lost in the mix of Internet search results.
After choosing a name, look it up to make sure another band hasn't beaten you to the punch.
If another band had your name before you, they can force you to stop using it.
Even similar names pose a problem; "The Dead Kennys" is probably too close to "The Dead Kennedys."
Search online using Google and look through sites like MySpace and UBL for bands with the same name.
For more officialdom, you can go through the U.S. Trademark Office.
If you or someone you know has artistic skills, try designing an eye-catching logo to go along with the name. You can use this logo on flyers, posters, T-shirts, etc.
If you can't agree on a band name right away, sit on it for a while. There's no rule that says you can't start playing music before you have a name.

Set Goals and Assign Roles
You have your name, band members, and a general idea of what your band will sound like. Before you start jamming, you should figure out a little more about your goals as a band and the role that each member will play.
Now is the time to bring up your initial brainstorming ideas from above to the rest of the band. Fill in the blanks for questions you didn't already answer, and discuss any other ideas or concerns the band might have.
Who will write the songs? Will they be the work of one or two people, or a full-band effort?
If you're doing covers, how will you decide which songs to do?
Will band decisions be made democratically, or by one or two people? Must all decisions be unanimous, or does majority rule?
If you have multiple singers, who will be the lead singer? Will you switch off singing duties between members?
Where do you want to be three months from now?
Some goals might include practicing regularly, a repertoire of 10 songs, playing your first show.
How about 6 months from now?
Goals might include a regular show schedule, a demo CD, or local radio airplay.
One year and beyond?
Do you want to be signed to a record label? Go on tour? Make a living off of your music?
Although goals and roles can change over time, the only way to stay organized is to establish them early on. Get into a habit of regularly sitting down to go over your goals and how they may have changed.

Money Matters
The final piece of the preparation puzzle is the least fun to talk about: money. Nothing can destroy a lifelong friendship quite as easily as monetary matters, so even if you're not particularly serious about your band, it's important to talk about finances even before you make a penny.
If you legitimately are not planning on ever making money, that's fine. But as soon as the prospect arises (a paid gig, talent show prize), you should discuss it before it happens.
Decide how money will be split up. Will it be divided evenly? Will the frontman or songwriter receive a higher percentage?
Income from different sources can be split in different ways. Maybe performance earnings will be split evenly, but the songwriter will make more from CD sales.
If you have a manager, they typically make 10-15%. This should apply even if your manager is just your friend. If you make money, they should, too! Keep in mind that most bands don't need a manager when they're just starting out.
Discuss band savings. There are many possible expenses for the working band (rehearsal space, recording studio), so you may want to save a percentage of your earnings to put towards those investments.
You can legally make your band its own business. This would allow you to start a bank account in the band's name.
Decide who will be spending money, as well. If you need to pay for a rehearsal space, whose account will that money come out of? How will you split these expenses up?
If necessary, contracts and lawyers can make terms official and protect everyone involved. Don't ever be afraid to bring up the possibility of a contract—it is extremely common in the music industry for a reason.
When it comes to money, the more you know going in, the fewer surprises there will be. The fewer surprises there are, the less possibility there is for fallout.

Step 2: Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse!
Congratulations, you've gotten through all the drudgery of preparing to be in a band. Now it's time to start actually playing some music... Finally!
Gear You'll Need Besides your instruments and amps, you're going to need a PA system for the vocals. This includes a microphone for every vocalist, a mixer, amplifier (often combined with the mixer), and speakers.
As we'll discuss next, some rehearsal spaces will provide a PA, but most will not. A small PA system will run you at least a few hundred dollars and can be purchased from your local music store. To save a few bucks, try finding one secondhand.

Find a Place to Play

Before you can plug in your Les Paul and start cranking out power chords, you're gonna need a place to do it that:
Has enough space for your band and all of your equipment, and
Won't get you arrested for playing "Won't Get Fooled Again" at 150 decibels.
So, what are your options for rehearsal spaces?
If you live in a house, you could be in luck. Many bands practice in the garage or basement. But check with your neighbors first. They may not appreciate the noise, especially late at night. Don't forget that you'll need your own PA system if you play at home.
If you live in an apartment, you're not likely to get one hit of the snare drum out before the boys in blue come knocking at your door. You'll need to rent out a space elsewhere.
Rehearsal spaces (also called rehearsal studios) are usually one of two options: hourly rentals and lockouts.
Lockouts usually work like apartments in that you sign a lease and pay a monthly fee.
The room is yours and yours only, so you can leave all of your equipment there.
Many lockouts are 24 hours, allowing you to flick on that power switch any time your creative juices are flowing.
In most cases you will need to provide your own PA system.
Sharing the room with another band can cut down on costs. Finding another band with their own PA system can be strategic.
Prices vary greatly depending on location, just like apartments. Expect to pay at least $200-500 per month on average.
Hourly rehearsal studios charge a fee for every hour you use them.
They almost always provide you with the PA system, and sometimes even other equipment (such as amplifiers).
If you're not rehearsing a lot or have a tight budget, you aren't forced to spend a large amount of money every month.
You're on their schedule, so if all rooms are full, you're out of luck.
Some places allow you to reserve a certain time each week, allowing for a regular practice schedule.
You're not likely to be able to practice for long periods at a time (a couple hours on average).
Costs can range anywhere from $10-30/hour on average.
Look for local rehearsal spots online and in the phone book, and ask any musician friends where they rehearse. Once you're all settled into your space, it's time to get rockin'. Set up the band so everyone is comfortable and can hear one another well. Decorate the walls with posters or tapestries that help you feel more at home. The more at ease everyone is, the easier the process of rehearsing becomes.

Build your Repertoire
Before you can really do anything as a band, you're going to need to build up your repertoire, which is just a fancy way of saying "song list."
Many bands start out by covering the songs of artists they like.
You can learn these songs using printed transcriptions, by finding the music online, or just by ear.
You can also play original songs.
Write them as a band at rehearsal, or have one person write music beforehand and bring it in for the rest of the band to arrange.
Try to get the songs sounding "tight."
Music sounds tight when everyone knows their part backwards and forwards, and really "locks in" with one another while playing.
Learn to listen to each other while playing rather than just yourselves.
If something doesn't sound right, discuss what is not working, and adjust it until it does.
Committing to a regular practice schedule once or twice a week will make the process smoother and easier.
Recording your rehearsals with a tape recorder or camcorder can give you perspective on how the music is really sounding. These recordings can also be used as a demo for booking shows.
Learning songs takes time.
Don't get frustrated when learning songs. If you feel like you've hit the wall with the tune you're working on, move on to another for a while.
Original songs are constantly evolving and changing.

Create some Setlists
As you build up your repertoire and start thinking about playing shows, put together some sample setlists that you might perform live.
A setlist is simply the song order of a live set.
Because different shows will require different set lengths, put together sample setlists that last 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and an hour.
If you don't have enough songs to fill up longer set times, you'll know not to pursue longer shows until you're ready.
Account for time spent talking and tuning in between songs.
It is important that sets begin and end strong. Experiment with different song orders to see where each song fits best in a set.
Practice performing the setlists during rehearsals as if you were playing them in front of an audience. Invite a few friends to a rehearsal to hear you perform (don't forget to warn them about the volume level).

Step 3: Play Your First Show
The music is the most important part of your band, and if you've been following the guidelines of Step 2, you will be getting pretty good at it in no time. When your band feels ready, it's time to take the next step: playing your first show.
Try organizing your own show.
If you have a garage, basement, or backyard to set up in, you can put on your own concert.
Invite your friends, provide refreshments, and ask any other bands you know if they'd like to play.
Get permission from the neighbors beforehand, and look into any neighborhood noise ordinances that may end your performance early with a visit by the police.
Play at someone else's party or event.
Ask a friend if you can play at their graduation party, birthday party, or other special event.
Once again, be aware of any possible neighborhood noise issues.
Keep it appropriate; people attending a quiet dinner party probably don't want to hear a Sex Pistols cover band.
Sign up for a talent show or battle of the bands.
Some talent shows and battles have potential cash prizes, although they also usually involve entrance fees.
This can be a great way to play your music for many potential fans and network with other bands that you could play shows with in the future.
Play an open-mic night.
Many coffeehouses and smaller venues have open-mic nights where anyone can perform.
Some of these places are a bit too small for a whole band to play in, but are great venues for acoustic sets.
Find a venue that will book new bands.
Most music clubs and venues require a certain level of performance experience in order to book a show, but some will give new bands a chance to play.
Contact some venues in your area and ask who you can speak to/e-mail about booking a show for your band.
Persistence is key; these people get many bands trying to contact them, so be sure to follow up more than once.
Don't waste your time trying to book a venue that's way out of your league; stick with the easier shows and work your way up.
However you find a show to play, here are some things to keep in mind.
Be prepared to make no money from early shows your band performs.
Although you could charge a fee for certain shows (such as playing at a graduation party), it's best to offer to play for free early on. Your first shows are all about exposing your music to new people and gaining the experience of playing for an audience.
Be wary of "pay to play" venues.
These venues make you buy a certain number of tickets ahead of time to ensure they make enough money from you that night.
Unless you know you can sell those tickets, you may want to avoid these situations. They often result in your losing some cash.
Don't forget to promote your show. The only way people will know you're playing is if you tell them!
Hang up posters, hand out flyers on the street, promote online, and use word of mouth.

Stage Presence and Preparation
Mahalo's Guide to How to Overcome Stage Fright
Before you hit the stage, you'll want to be fully prepared to captivate the crowd.
Whether you sing or play an instrument, you should warm up before you perform. This will ensure you are comfortable and at 100% from the first note of the show.
Stretching beforehand will help keep you lose, especially if you're playing an instrument.
If there is no green room or backstage area at the venue, warm up at home before you leave for the show.
Arrive at the venue early. Any bad impression you give to the person running the show is reason for them not to book you in the future.
If you suffer from stage fright, it can be hard to relax before the show.
Listening to music that pumps you up can get you in the zone.
Try learning some basic meditation techniques and relaxation breathing exercises.
Think positive—the more you dwell on the things you could mess up, the more likely you actually will mess them up. Picture yourself executing a flawless performance.
Don't forget that when it comes down to it, it's no big deal! You're there to have a good time, and there's no reason to worry about mistakes. Just have fun!
Having a band pow-wow right before the show starts can help everyone focus and get on the same page.
Once you're on stage, it's time to wow the audience.
Make eye contact with the crowd. It may seem distracting at first, but it's better to get used to it than staring at your feet the whole time.
If you're in a dark club, try looking at the wall on the far end of the room. This way, you're looking up at the crowd, but you won't get distracted since you can't see any audience member's face from that distance. This only really works if there are people standing in the back.
Don't be afraid to let loose and move around a little. The crowd wants to know that you're having fun, so let your inhibitions go and let the music take control.
Just like in rehearsals, be sure to listen to your bandmates. The sound onstage can make this a difficult task, but do your best.
Don't forget to talk to the crowd during and after the show. If someone asks for an autograph, sign it!

Part II: How to Succeed with your Band
Now you've started your very own band and gotten a taste of how much fun it can be to play rock star on stage. But this is only the beginning. Maintaining and furthering the career of your band is a whole new monster. When you're ready to take it to the next level and play better shows, go on tour, hire a manager, and get signed to a record deal, read on to Part II: How to Succeed in a Band.

Resources for How to Start a Band
Craigslist: Find musicians in your area
MySpace: Create a band profile
Sonicbids: Electronic Press Kits Ultimate Band List
United States Patent and Trademark Office:
Wikipedia: Talent Manager | Public Address | Microphone | Decibel Hearing Loss in Musicians Advice on How To Start A Band
Expert Village: How to Start a Band
Hal Leonard Publishing: Stretches
Grooveshark Blog Post: How To Start a Band (October 22, 2007)

Again, all this information came from:
1642 cr points
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Posted 4/4/10 , edited 4/4/10
Oh and also, i read this article yesterday that about Visual Kei bands and the industry that said, Visual Kei bands are all about the image and the fantasy. If there is no image, if there is no fantasy for the fan, then it will probably not be successful.

Take that advice for "a grain of salt" it might be true or not... but considering all VK bands, most have an image that they portray. So when forming your band, one of the more important things to agree upon, develop, and sustain is your band image.
1680 cr points
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23 / F / Hell
Posted 4/8/10 , edited 4/9/10

NewLight wrote:

Oh and also, i read this article yesterday that about Visual Kei bands and the industry that said, Visual Kei bands are all about the image and the fantasy. If there is no image, if there is no fantasy for the fan, then it will probably not be successful.

Take that advice for "a grain of salt" it might be true or not... but considering all VK bands, most have an image that they portray. So when forming your band, one of the more important things to agree upon, develop, and sustain is your band image.

Sorry but what do you mean by..... IMAGE ? >,<
1642 cr points
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Posted 4/9/10 , edited 4/9/10

_-koreanholic-_ wrote:

NewLight wrote:

Oh and also, i read this article yesterday that about Visual Kei bands and the industry that said, Visual Kei bands are all about the image and the fantasy. If there is no image, if there is no fantasy for the fan, then it will probably not be successful.

Take that advice for "a grain of salt" it might be true or not... but considering all VK bands, most have an image that they portray. So when forming your band, one of the more important things to agree upon, develop, and sustain is your band image.

Sorry but what do you mean by..... IMAGE ? >,<

Just look at any picture of a Visual Kei band... that's mainly what I mean by image (clothes, hair style, fashion themes etc). Whenever you see VK bands, even if they are just goofing off in a YouTube video, they are still in a VK style, with VK hair.... An example of something that would ruin image would be if you went to a 7/11 grocery store/gas station and saw one of your favorite Visual Kei members working the night shift in a normal white T-Shirt and jeans. Basically, you always want to think of the visual kei members, just as that, visual kei members... rather than "normal" people. If they were normal, then it wouldn't be visual kei.
To get the point across a little more, say there is a Visual Kei band who dresses up in more of a gothic style, and they always have vampire teeth, and there hair in long spikes, with dark mainly black makeup. This gives the fantasy (or image) that the members are undead vampire rock stars. Now if you go to the 7/11 and see them looking normal (as i described above), that image that you (as a fan) had of them (as vampires) is completely ruined.

So basically I'm saying if you're in a Visual Kei band, make sure you only show the Visual Kei side to your fans.

Does that make sense?
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23 / F / Hell
Posted 4/21/10 , edited 4/21/10


Does that make sense?

Yes ! thnkyou. -clear as crystal-
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