If you love music, there’s nothing more rewarding than playing with a bunch of buddies in a band. When audience members watch a band perform, it’s obvious to them the musicians are having a great time, but what they don’t see are the long hours of practice and preparation involved to take the show on the road. Here are seven essential items every start-up band needs to have:
1. An Identity. The most important step in forming a band is deciding what style of music to play. Do you want to play rock, country or some hybrid of the two? Try to narrow the focus of your new group to market it effectively to local clubs.
2. A Lead Singer. It may seem obvious, but the success of your start-up band is going to be determined in large part by your lead singer. The front man for the group must not only be a good singer but must have an excellent stage presence. Great musicians are important to back him up, but their talents will be wasted if the lead singer is weak.
3. Instruments from eBay. Starting a band can be very expensive. The cost of an electric piano, guitar, bass and drums can add up very quickly. Even if the other band members have their own equipment, it’s often not suitable for use in public performances. An easy way to save money is to buy musical instruments on eBay.
4. Sound and Lights. Many of the places where you perform may have house equipment you can use, but it’s best if your group has a sound system of its own. It’s critical that all of the musicians can be heard, and rehearsing with your own sound system will help. Special lighting effects timed to your music will also add an element of professionalism.
5. Rehearsal Space. Whether you’re a band just starting out or a well-established group, there is no substitute for practice. Rehearsing a couple of times a week is essential to developing the sound you hope to achieve. Ideally, a band member has a garage or basement where you can gather and work out the kinks. If not, rent rehearsal space.
6. Gigs. Lining up dates to play your music is the ultimate goal of any band, but to earn well-paying gigs, you may have to do a few freebies. Play some fundraisers or school dances first to get experience and start to build a following. Once you get some concert dates, use social media sites like Facebook or Twitter to promote your group.
7. Dedication. Don’t get discouraged. It can be a challenge to form a band, so stay committed to the effort and keep practicing.
Performing in a band can create a lifetime of great memories, so get things started on the right note. Do you have some other ideas on how to start a band?