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How To Start Your Own Band


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#1 blue

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:58 PM

Why don't you start your own band?

This has been proposed as a solution to those frustrated by not being able to find the right existing band. However little has be discussed on how you go about starting a band.

Let's hear your ideas and processes for starting a band.

Let's say it's a four piece rock band with the goal of doing paid gigs 3 times a month within a 6 month time span.

Let's start with determining whether or not you even have the ability, skills and resources to start your own band.

Blue

Edited by blue, 15 March 2017 - 08:59 PM.


#2 Kev

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:13 PM

Are we looking at Originals or Cover band? One very much an easier proposition that the other for a 6 month regular paid gig turnaround!
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#3 blue

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:21 PM

View PostKev, on 15 March 2017 - 09:13 PM, said:

Are we looking at Originals or Cover band? One very much an easier proposition that the other for a 6 month regular paid gig turnaround!

It doesn't matter whether or not the band is originals or covers. It does have to be a band with the goal of having paid gigs within 6 months.

Blue

#4 skankdelvar

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:39 PM

View Postblue, on 15 March 2017 - 10:21 PM, said:

It doesn't matter whether or not the band is originals or covers. It does have to be a band with the goal of having paid gigs within 6 months.

Well, that'll be covers then unless we're talking a seriously vertical genre with a throbbing live scene.

Anyway, starting a band:

* Look at your local / regional music scene and establish which genre or type of covers is most popular. Scout some venues, find out what they want, etc

* Place wanted ad - band to do ^

* Weed out flakes, losers, time-wasters, drama queens, deluded fantasists, drunks, junkies (unless they're interesting junkies) and people who like the idea of being in a band but don't want to do the work of being in a band

* Get some relatively competent, sane people in a room, draft a setlist, work up some material

* Put up ad for replacement drummer

* Weed out etc

* Get drummer, do gig, do next gig, do next gig, do next gig

* Put up ad for replacement frontman

* Weed out etc

* Rinse and repeat

Two years Six months later you will have a reliable, seasoned gigging band with a bulging roster of pre-booked gigs and a developing fan-base of lissome chickies and their dork boyfriends.

Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy!

.

Edited by skankdelvar, 15 March 2017 - 10:51 PM.


#5 blue

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:28 AM

Skankdelvar,

Agreed, I think finding out if there is even a market for what you want to do is the first step.

A step many forget to take.

So, if we can get a few more in agreement, we have the first step in "Starting Your Own Band"

Blue

Edited by blue, 16 March 2017 - 02:32 AM.


#6 Leonard Smalls

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 08:51 AM

Personally, I wouldn't "check the local market" to see what punters like because I want to play what I want to play; if other folks like it that's a bonus!
So I'd look for like minded others, and get them together for a jam.
This is easier said than done, especially if you're in a very rural area like I am!
I put an ad in our local listings mag - "The Broad Sheep" - for musicians to start a band somewhere between Parliament, Motorhead and Ornette Coleman.
I got 1 reply from an appalling singer-songwriter, who was basically looking for an audience to play his "song" to (i.e. me), and from 2 blokes who wanted to start a Beatles tribute band...
Now, quite a few years after just writing my own songs and ploughing my own little sad furrow, I happened to put my local village into JoinMyBand, and found a drummer and guitarist looking to form an originals band playing funky metal, influences Rage, Chillis etc. Then quite by chance - during a conversation at the butcher's shop - the drummer found a singer who'd just left a quite well established metal band. He'd left due to being a bored bored of playing straight-ahead metal and wanted something a bit more syncopated.
So we're now jamming, and sounding somewhere between Primus, 24-7 Spyz and Skindred!
We're expecting to take a lot longer than 6 months to get paid gigs! But we're rehearsing in my garage, so no rehearsal room fees, we've all got the kit and all are very competent indeed.
So my advice - at least if you want to play your own stuff - is keep looking, keep practicing, and keep visiting your local butcher.
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#7 Les

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 08:58 AM

I would probably draw from people I know as much as poss.

Find a guitard who can sing a bit, maybe 2 guitards and share the vocals with him/them.

Sort drummer out.

Have meeting to sort rough idea of set out, I would impose my will a bit on this as I want it audience focused

Sort keys out so no one is struggling to sing, bin songs that can't be altered well

Buy an active sub (or2) to go with my active tops and desk so I know the PA is sorted and I own it..

3 or 4 rehearsals in quick succession.

Put 1st few gigs in about month after we're all happy with the way it's going to focus the bands attention

Do gig ready or not, There'd be enough experience in the band not to fall apart if the wheels come loose a bit.

Take rebooking form 1st gig move on to second gig and polish it continually.
I play in a cover band for money, so anything I post about bands is coming from the viewpoint of a cover band that plays for money.


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#8 Yank

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:36 AM

Watch the movie "The Commitments". Roide Sully Roide.

#9 bassjim

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:19 AM

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 so ask if the applicants are willing to do 2 rehearsals a week or a regular get together at someones house. I would make this clear in the ad that you intend to have an intense startup phase as the aim is to get up and running quickly.

Anyone with the right attitude or experience with the actual time to do it hopefully will recognise this is the way to do it. If you are really really lucky and get a response from all band members stating that they are fed up with their current band and like the idea of something fresh, you could be up and out within a couple of weeks, never mind six months. ( and then you could use the extra gig money to help fund hay for your unicorn).

#10 HengistPod

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:25 AM

I did this a couple of years ago, after having not been in a band for 10 years or so.

Started when my old drummer (who plays in a wedding band too) suggested the possibility of getting back in the saddle.

So I advertised on Gumtree for a guitarist and singer. A guitarist appeared fairly quickly, with tastes very similar to ours, so that was a bonus.

A singer, who I half knew, and who also plays in another local band, offered his services as a singer because he fancied singing without having to also play guitar.

Rehearsed up an hour's worth of stuff over a couple of months, once a week, and played at a local barn dance / mini festival thing.

It then became apparent that the singer liked his beer a little too much, and he didn't turn up for our first "proper" gig, claiming illness. We got a bloke in at short notice to do the gig, which was consequently a minor disaster. We've not been booked back there ... :)

An ad on Facebook produced a singer who'd done the rounds in lots of local bands. He soon turned out to be unreliable, hence the number of bands he's been in.

So, back to Facebook and Gumtree. Facebook produced a lady singer, who's been with us since. this despite her throwing a strop recently which led to us cancelling a few gigs and looking for someone else. Auditions were utterly horrendous, with no-one suitable turning up. In the meantime, our singer decided she'd actually like to be in the band again. So she is.

I'd think that identifying your market is pretty easy for most pub bands. Are there pubs that put on live music in your area? Are the bands vaguely similar to what you plan to do? Market research complete.

The first serious step is finding others with a similar level of commitment, and a similar vision of what they want to play and how often they want to gig. Never overestimate someone who says they already know the songs you mention to them. They may sing along, or play along, with the record and not have a Scooby how to play them in a band situation.

#11 HengistPod

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:36 AM

I agree with bassjim - ask for youtube clips, or sound files that highlight your potential band member. If they can't produce anything, be slightly (but not completely) wary.

Also ensure that they have appropriate gear for the level of gigs you're planning. Many singers have no PA gear, and others don't even own a microphone. Guitarists without a decent amp aren't much use to anyone.

And transport. They need to be able to get to rehearsals, and - depending on whether there's a band van - to gigs.

For us older folk, make sure their Mrs doesn't mind! We recently had to pass up on a great singer because he'd gone behind his wife's back to audition and she simply wasn't having it. Some ladies still seem to think that being in a band means you have flocks of girlies flying at you legs akimbo. :)

#12 Barking Spiders

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:41 AM

Over the last coupla years I've put up three ads on Join My Band and a couple on Gumtree to form a band playing funk, jazz-funk, Stax, acid jazz and hip hop covers across the Gloucs -Worcs-north Wilts region. Had two replies :dash1:. One bloke seemed a bit unhinged and the other was already in about 10 other bands. I decided this prospective band didn't have legs. Cirencester and Chippenham weren't ready to embrace tha funk. Now I just pretend to people I'm in a band :biggrin:

Edited by Barking Spiders, 16 March 2017 - 10:41 AM.


#13 BigRedX

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 11:03 AM

I don't think there is any one way to form a band. It depends entirely on your age, location, type of music you want to play and a whole host of other factors.

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. OtOH The terrortones went from being an idea that Mr Venom has to our first gig in 8 weeks - including auditioning guitarists and drummers and writing a whole 7 song set. Another 8 weeks on we had 5 more gigs under our belt including supporting The Meteors and 6 track demo recorded that we were using to get gigs all over the country.

One thing I try and avoid when starting a new band is asking musicians you've played with in the past to join. IME bands are like relationships and there's normally a good reason why your still not playing with those people any more. That's from an originals band perspective. Maybe it's different for covers bands?

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#14 T-Bay

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 11:25 AM

As said above there must be loads of different ways. Being new to all this stuff I don't have a great deal of experience and our band is made up of work mates. The advantage of knowing the people beforehand is that there isn't the issue of personality clashes as much. We know each other anyway and get on well to the camaraderie is there already. I am lucky in that I work somewhere that there is a pool of talented musicians (I do not include myself in that group) and I appreciate it won't work for most people, but knowing your band mates well seems a good way to do it if you can.

#15 SpondonBassed

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:03 PM

View PostYank, on 16 March 2017 - 09:36 AM, said:

Watch the movie "The Commitments". Roide Sully Roide.

I wasn't going to dignify this with a response. I changed my mind because I lived in Dublin when that film came out. I was in a small band at the time. Don't believe anything you see on screen that has been made to turn a profit at the box office. My considered response is therefore BAH!

Seriously though;
Put yourself out there at open mic nights where possible. Since I did that, I have been forging links with other musos in my area. Whilst not yet ready to form a band of my own, it has got the ball rolling in the right direction.

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#16 ivansc

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:16 PM

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:

Edited by ivansc, 16 March 2017 - 12:17 PM.


#17 Dave Vader

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:49 PM

I would say do your research by reading a humorous novel on the subject, available from amazon (link in sig)

That would be the best thing to do first...
:)

;)

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#18 Skol303

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:08 PM

Here’s my approach…
  • Replace human band members with a computer and some gadgetry - think like Skynet
  • Set up said computer and gadgetry in a room with a lockable door to keep the kids out
  • Retreat to room; make music with the involvement of as few other meatbags humans as possible
  • Release music online

...all of which can be done whilst wearing nothing but one's underpants. Just' saying.

I never set foot on stage - and know for sure that I’m missing out on that experience (I have gigged in the past and know how much fun it is…). But it’s zero stress; it avoids me falling out with my mates; it fits nicely around family and work; and I do get some satisfaction from entertaining an audience, albeit remotely - my music has been played on the radio, in clubs and received 20,000+ plays online to date (small fry really, but it’s more than I’d reach on my local pub circuit).

And my gear doesn’t stink of stale beer and sweat :)

Ok, so it’s not a band. And it’s not gigging. But it’s performance of sorts (cue Sinatra singing ‘My Way’).

#19 SpondonBassed

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 03:20 PM

View PostSkol303, on 16 March 2017 - 01:08 PM, said:

Here’s my approach…
  • Replace human band members with a computer and some gadgetry - think like Skynet
  • Set up said computer and gadgetry in a room with a lockable door to keep the kids out
  • Retreat to room; make music with the involvement of as few other meatbags humans as possible
  • Release music online

...all of which can be done whilst wearing nothing but one's underpants. Just' saying.

I never set foot on stage - and know for sure that I’m missing out on that experience (I have gigged in the past and know how much fun it is…). But it’s zero stress; it avoids me falling out with my mates; it fits nicely around family and work; and I do get some satisfaction from entertaining an audience, albeit remotely - my music has been played on the radio, in clubs and received 20,000+ plays online to date (small fry really, but it’s more than I’d reach on my local pub circuit).

And my gear doesn’t stink of stale beer and sweat :)

Ok, so it’s not a band. And it’s not gigging. But it’s performance of sorts (cue Sinatra singing ‘My Way’).

If you were as hard core as you try to appear you wouldn't need the underpants. Just saying.

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#20 inthedoghouse

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:04 PM

Don't be like the guy whose ad I answered on JMB this week who is trying to start a classic rock cover band. In his ad he posted an extremely done-to-death set list which I thought it might be fun for a while and a few easy ££. But he refused to give me any details about himself, his experience or even his name despite several requests to do so. Information flow was certainly a one-way street and absolutely not the way to start to build rapport with a potential band member.

I asked him if he had any videos of himself - his reply was 'you show me yours and I'll show you mine'. Very childish for someone who said he wants mature players, I thought. So I sent him some of my vids, but then he said that his vids are a few years old and don't matter now. Also that it doesn't matter what I've (or he) has done previously because 'this is now'. I suppose he's playing a delusional game of mystery with himself. FFS what an idiot!

Ten minutes of looking around online last night and I worked out his identity, a decidedly third rate guitarist and singer. Anybody who turns up 'cold' to a rehearsal with this guy is going to be very disappointed. I won't share his stuff on here though.

Edited by inthedoghouse, 16 March 2017 - 05:05 PM.


#21 Skol303

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:45 PM

View PostSpondonBassed, on 16 March 2017 - 03:20 PM, said:

If you were as hard core as you try to appear you wouldn't need the underpants. Just saying.

Oh way ahead of you on this... Functionally, it works surprisingly well in winter, within reason - 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.

#22 blue

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:46 PM

View PostLeonard Smalls, on 16 March 2017 - 08:51 AM, said:

Personally, I wouldn't "check the local market" to see what punters like because I want to play what I want to play; if other folks like it that's a bonus!

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

#23 T-Bay

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:47 PM

View PostSkol303, on 16 March 2017 - 04:45 PM, said:



Oh way ahead of you on this... Functionally, it works surprisingly well in winter, within reason - 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.
Underpants over everything? You are superman aicmfp

#24 blue

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:53 PM

View PostLes, on 16 March 2017 - 08:58 AM, said:

I would probably draw from people I know as much as poss.

Les,

Agreed, if you can draw from musicians you know and trust, well, I think that's a good way to bypass flakes mitigating early turnover.

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

#25 bassjim

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:59 PM

View PostDave Vader, on 16 March 2017 - 12:49 PM, said:

I would say do your research by reading a humorous novel on the subject, available from amazon (link in sig)

That would be the best thing to do first...
:)

;)

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Great book!! :)

#26 blue

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:59 PM

View Postbassjim, on 16 March 2017 - 10:19 AM, said:

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.

Bassjim,

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

Blue

#27 inthedoghouse

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 05:08 PM

View Postblue, on 16 March 2017 - 04:53 PM, said:


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
One of the main things that has prevented me from trying to set up my own.

#28 inthedoghouse

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 05:09 PM

View Postblue, on 16 March 2017 - 04:46 PM, said:

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
Absolutely this!

#29 blue

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 05:12 PM

View Postivansc, on 16 March 2017 - 12:16 PM, said:

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:

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, 16 March 2017 - 05:19 PM.


#30 SpondonBassed

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 05:33 PM

View PostSkol303, on 16 March 2017 - 04:45 PM, said:

Oh way ahead of you on this... Functionally, it works surprisingly well in winter, within reason - 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.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

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

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Lekky parts:
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Trace Elliot 1818T
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