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How To Start Your Own Band

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[quote name='bassjim' timestamp='1489659580' post='3258676']
Covers band:

Contact anyone you know, musically speaking, on a personal level first to see if they would in principle be interested and to what ends are they prepared commit. Anything positive keep on file. Explain you are also advertising and if they know anyone who may be interested, send them your way/ get contact details.

Put an ad up in your local join my band ect website.

State at least half the tunes for a proposed set list in the ad. State what type of band it is. "Funk soul/ Blues/ general covers / Rock ect." To play "pubs , clubs with the view to go on to private functions." Add the statement : "are you currently in a gigging band but not happy with your lot? maybe you are happy but would like to be doing more gigs as well as your current band". ( If this new band is a winner they may turn their backs on their current band. Its the music biz and the music biz is fickle.)

Ask all applicants if possible to send you a youtube or simular link of them performing in a band/gig ect.

Be honest about what you intend to do to start with, ie: put a set together, learn set and gig locally for cheap to get things up and running with a view to up the ante if all is going well. If you go blasting straight in with " we're gonna get £500.00 a gig " its unrealistic. Experienced players will know better and the not so experienced will be expecting it to happen.

Most good experienced players will want to rock up, play and get some lolly, which is ok so keep these on file if you get any " I'm interested but just wanna rock up and play" answers. Some of these guys and girls in reality may only gig once every other month due to delusions or grandeur and feel this is all beneath them having not let go of past triumphs. They may end up joining your ranks once things get going.

When auditioning its worth bearing in mind: Someone with great enthusiasm could, with a bit of practice turn out really good and not ever let you down. So don't be a musical snob. Ok if they are enthusiastic bit really really sh*t dont bother but if there are signs of hope try going with it.

To be up and gigging from scratch within six months for most people with day jobs/kids/ect either everyone is already an experienced player with a history of regular gigging or you are going to need to rehearse as much as possible.[/quote]

Bassjim,

Recruiting members would not be my first step, I'll explain why soon.

Blue

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1489683223' post='3258982']

You bring up another really good part of the early process if forming your own gigging band. Having the resources to acquire your own PA and lights

Blue
[/quote]
One of the main things that has prevented me from trying to set up my own.

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1489682805' post='3258975']
Leonard.

Usually owners don't hire based on what music punters like, they hire based on what keeps cash flowing into the till.

Also the goal in this scenario is to gig. If there is anything that are polar opposites it's gigs and playing what you want. Playing what you want usually means "no gigs" IMO.

Blue
[/quote]
Absolutely this!

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Posted (edited)
[quote name='ivansc' timestamp='1489666576' post='3258752']
STEP ONE

Find someone who is will *and able* to go out and harangue publicans, pub entertainments secretaries, etc, relentlessly till they get enough gigs to be worth starting a band in the first place!

This is without exception the main reason why most new band startups flounder, assuming at least a minimal level of musical competence by the players..


P.S. Much to my amazement, I got asked to join a band last night at a semi-jam session. They have gigs, too!
Not bad at 73 in June, eh?
:lol:
[/quote]

BINGO!

Ivansc in my opinion this is the first step. Booking the gigs before you have put the band together.

Folks, remember we're talking about a band with the goal of playing paid gigs. When you apply for a regular 9-5 job most of us are concerned with what the job pays

When the ad reads; "We have the initial 12 paying gigs already booked starting the first weekend in September" you will have a lot more leverage on who you hire as well as attracting better people.

Remember a lot of new band failure evolves around no gigs and guys quitting for that reason

IMO, were now ready to discuss the second step.

Other 1st step ideas are still welcome.

Blue Edited by blue

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[quote name='Skol303' timestamp='1489682707' post='3258971']
Oh way ahead of you on this... Functionally, it works surprisingly well in winter, [i]within reason[/i] - providing the radiator is working and my wife doesn't have friends round.

In summer, the leather seat cover just gets too, well... 'claggy' :blink:

Hence underpants uber alles.
[/quote]

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

[frantically tries to scrub image out of brain with bleach]

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Posted (edited)
[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1489662198' post='3258700']


Every single band I've formed or joined has been done in a different way. I've been in bands that lasted over a year without ever getting out of the rehearsal room or even finishing a single song.
[/quote]

Bigredx, the scenario here is when success is based on forming a new band with 12 initial paying gigs in 6 months.


A band lasting for a year without leaving the rehearsal room or finishing one song might be a success. However, it would not be a success in the scenario I have outlined.

Blue Edited by blue

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1489684341' post='3258997']
Ivansc in my opinion this is the first step. Booking the gigs before you have put the band together.

[/quote]

An intriguing and attractive idea. I'd imagine many of us might find the notion a bit counter-intuitive, possibly because we are accustomed to doing it the other way round.

So what might one say when a promoter / landlord asks 'Do you have a following?' or 'Where have you played recently?'. I suppose one just blags it.

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I've put several bands together, often by hooking up with at least one musician I like and then advertising around. My current bands are both ones who I joined but I think if you are prepared to put the work in people will come to you,

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[quote name='Burrito' timestamp='1489698671' post='3259123']
I think if you are prepared to put the work in people will come to you,
[/quote]

Very much this,

This thread is about starting "your own" band. You need to lead from the front.

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Posted (edited)
[quote name='skankdelvar' timestamp='1489697639' post='3259110']


An intriguing and attractive idea. I'd imagine many of us might find the notion a bit counter-intuitive, possibly because we are accustomed to doing it the other way round.

So what might one say when a promoter / landlord asks 'Do you have a following?' or 'Where have you played recently?'. I suppose one just blags it.
[/quote]

It won't work for everyone, remember I don't think bar owners know a good band from a bad one.

You probably have to be known in a particular community and be an outstanding sales person. Interesting when you think about it. Most bands that struggle for gigs don't have a good business or sales person.

Again the reason many attempts at starting your own band fails is, you have nothing to offer except the possibility or chance you'll get paying gigs.

That possible or chance is not enough for me and many others to sign on.


But, if you have 12 initial gigs already booked, I'm interested, tell me more.

Blue Edited by blue

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Any other first steps before we open this up for step 2?

Blue

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Posted (edited)
I'm thinking step 2 will be how you recruit the best candidates for your band.

I should say the best people for your band not to be confused with the best musicians. I know really good musicians that would be awful to be in a band with.

Should the second step be writing up an ad or will you want to use a different recruiting method?

Blue Edited by blue

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1489704325' post='3259176']
I'm thinking step 2 will be how you recruit the best candidates for your band.

I should say the best people for your band not to be confused with the best musicians. I know really good musicians that would be awful to be in a band with.

Should the second step be writing up an ad or will you want to use a different recruiting method?

Blue
[/quote]
Personally the thing that attracts me to join a band is the chance to play with quality musicians that I want to play with and who are capable of sustaining being in a working band. If they have a decent track record of being in working bands then the gigs will come in soon enough.

I would say that Step 1 is finding a suitable vocalist, establishing a musical direction and type of music that they can sing convincingly and how you will market the band / what gigs will you be looking to play to what type of audience.

Step 2 would be getting good musicians together who can convincing play the type of music you want the band to do and who can stand being in the same room as each other...!

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Posted (edited)
[quote name='peteb' timestamp='1489706526' post='3259195']

Personally the thing that attracts me to join a band is the chance to play with quality musicians that I want to play with and who are capable of sustaining being in a working band. If they have a decent track record of being in working bands then the gigs will come in soon enough.

I would say that Step 1 is finding a suitable vocalist, establishing a musical direction and type of music that they can sing convincingly and how you will market the band / what gigs will you be looking to play to what type of audience.

Step 2 would be getting good musicians together who can convincing play the type of music you want the band to do and who can stand being in the same room as each other...!
[/quote]

Hi Pete.

Agreed, I think finding the right front person / lead vocalist is crucial. However, I want to take it a step further, not all lead vocalist have "star" quality. I would want to recruit an experienced front with "star" appeal.

Also, now your offering a band with gigs and a vocalist with star fronting capabilities. IMO that's an attractive offer.

Just a side note, it's been my experience that actual gigs keep flakes and fakes away.Those types tend to be more into drama and nonsense than real paying hard work.

Blue Edited by blue

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buy a lottery ticket, both have the same chance of success :)

If you're gonna try originals, give yourself two years before your first gig, I KNOW

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Posted (edited)
[quote name='skankdelvar' timestamp='1489617570' post='3258483']
...Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy!
[/quote]

Are you stalking my band because that's pretty much mt last five years.

That said, the Johnsons started off as two mates and a guitarist we found online. Five years later, we're pretty much the musical equivalent of Trigger's broom; I'm the only original member and we've/I've been through three drummers, three guitarists and to complete the set, three singers.
Edited by NancyJohnson

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1489714457' post='3259216']


Hi Pete.

Agreed, I think finding the right front person / lead vocalist is crucial. However, I want to take it a step further, not all lead vocalist have "star" quality. I would want to recruit an experienced front with "star" appeal.

Also, now your offering a band with gigs and a vocalist with star fronting capabilities. IMO that's an attractive offer.

Just a side note, it's been my experience that actual gigs keep flakes and fakes away.Those types tend to be more into drama and nonsense than real paying hard work.

Blue
[/quote]
I have to be realistic and make a few compromises where necessary. A decent singer is often the starting point. If you are looking at a working band rather than taking the charts by storm then star quality is a bonus. If they have any live experience then they should have an idea of fronting a band - whether they're any good at it is another thing! Sometimes it's better to go for a superior frontman over a better singer.

I've found that plenty of flakes make it through to gigging but after a while the better players don't want to be in a band with them, no matter how good they are...

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[quote name='bassjim' timestamp='1489683566' post='3258987']
Great book!! :)
[/quote]

Thanks Jim.

PS - Step 2 is to re-read an amusing novel on the theme and try to avoid the problems laid out therein.
;) :yarr: :yarr: :yarr: :yarr:

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If I was to be starting a new originals band my process would be:

1. Pick a genre that I like that also has a dedicated ready-made following.

2. Sort out enough musical ideas for about 25-30 minutes worth of songs (enough for a supporting set) and get them down in a form to play to prospective band members.

3. Advertise and audition for a singer/lyricist. I don't sing or write words very well, so I need someone who can do these things so that we can get a songwriting partnership going and turn my musical ideas into finished songs. Record a decent quality demo.

4. Once that is done decide what other instruments we need to perform these songs live, and advertise for musicians to play them.

5. Get some gigs booked and get rehearsing.

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Having just recently formed a covers band, I would say that there is some excellent advice in this thread - but at the end of the day every band is different because it is made up of individuals, and individuals are different. Everyone has different skills, experiences, desires, expectations...

You'd think it would be simple, but no :unsure:

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Posted (edited)
[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1489746318' post='3259365']
1. Pick a genre that I like that also has a dedicated ready-made following.
[/quote]

Ah, but that's the awkward bit isn't it? Try something too "new" and it will be difficult to find your own niche. Make it too similar to existing bands and you will always be accused of ripping off someone else and will end up competing with them for gigs.

Also, to be fair, it is near impossible to tell how much of an audience a particular genre will have in your local area until you actually try gigging that material. By that time you could have invested months in the process of finding musicians, rehearsing and tracking down suitable gigs - not to even mention attracting/informing that potential audience and getting them there on the night.

It's one of the main reasons why I have decided to go down the covers route for now. Playing a few covers in my previous originals band gave me a good idea of the type of songs that went down well at gigs. Also, the covers circuit tends to have existing venues with their own "captive" audience - people who go to the Ferret and Firkin every Friday because they know there will be a band on, and in most cases they will be decent.

It is a massively frustrating business! :( Edited by Conan

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[quote name='peteb' timestamp='1489740878' post='3259305']

I have to be realistic and make a few compromises where necessary. A decent singer is often the starting point. If you are looking at a working band rather than taking the charts by storm then star quality is a bonus. If they have any live experience then they should have an idea of fronting a band - whether they're any good at it is another thing! Sometimes it's better to go for a superior frontman over a better singer.

I've found that plenty of flakes make it through to gigging but after a while the better players don't want to be in a band with them, no matter how good they are...
[/quote]

Having that really good front person will definitely help a band distinguish themselves from other similar local working bands.

Blue

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1489746318' post='3259365']
If I was to be starting a new originals band my process would be:

1. Pick a genre that I like that also has a dedicated ready-made following.

2. Sort out enough musical ideas for about 25-30 minutes worth of songs (enough for a supporting set) and get them down in a form to play to prospective band members.

3. Advertise and audition for a singer/lyricist. I don't sing or write words very well, so I need someone who can do these things so that we can get a songwriting partnership going and turn my musical ideas into finished songs. Record a decent quality demo.

4. Once that is done decide what other instruments we need to perform these songs live, and advertise for musicians to play them.

5. Get some gigs booked and get rehearsing.
[/quote]

With this method do you think you will have booked your initial 12 paying gigs within the 6 months time limit?

Blue

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[quote name='peteb' timestamp='1489740878' post='3259305'] Sometimes it's better to go for a superior frontman over a better singer.
[/quote]

Agree totally.

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