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How To Start Your Own Band


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#31 blue

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 05:38 PM

View PostBigRedX, on 16 March 2017 - 11:03 AM, said:



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.

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, 16 March 2017 - 05:48 PM.


#32 skankdelvar

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 08:53 PM

View Postblue, on 16 March 2017 - 05:12 PM, said:

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


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.

#33 Burrito

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:11 PM

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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#34 Les

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:30 PM

View PostBurrito, on 16 March 2017 - 09:11 PM, said:

I think if you are prepared to put the work in people will come to you,

Very much this,

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

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:46 PM

View Postskankdelvar, on 16 March 2017 - 08:53 PM, said:



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.

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, 16 March 2017 - 09:53 PM.


#36 blue

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:05 PM

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

Blue

#37 blue

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:45 PM

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, 16 March 2017 - 10:45 PM.


#38 peteb

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 11:22 PM

View Postblue, on 16 March 2017 - 10:45 PM, said:

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
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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#39 blue

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:34 AM

View Postpeteb, on 16 March 2017 - 11:22 PM, said:


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...!

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, 17 March 2017 - 01:45 AM.


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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:35 AM

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 17 March 2017 - 07:59 AM

View Postskankdelvar, on 15 March 2017 - 10:39 PM, said:

...Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy!

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.

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#42 peteb

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:54 AM

View Postblue, on 17 March 2017 - 01:34 AM, said:



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
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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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:20 AM

View Postbassjim, on 16 March 2017 - 04:59 PM, said:

Great book!! :)

Thanks Jim.

PS - Step 2 is to re-read an amusing novel on the theme and try to avoid the problems laid out therein.
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#44 BigRedX

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:25 AM

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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#45 Conan

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:51 AM

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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#46 Conan

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:57 AM

View PostBigRedX, on 17 March 2017 - 10:25 AM, said:

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

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, 17 March 2017 - 11:59 AM.

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#47 blue

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:09 PM

View Postpeteb, on 17 March 2017 - 08:54 AM, said:


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...

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

Blue

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:10 PM

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#49 blue

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:13 PM

View PostBigRedX, on 17 March 2017 - 10:25 AM, said:

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.

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

Blue

#50 Conan

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:13 PM

View Postpeteb, on 17 March 2017 - 08:54 AM, said:

Sometimes it's better to go for a superior frontman over a better singer.

Agree totally.
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#51 Conan

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:16 PM

View Postblue, on 17 March 2017 - 12:13 PM, said:

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

Blue

To be fair Blue, that is your arbitrary measure of success. I'm not sure many others on here would be so specific. What if it takes seven months? What if there are only 11 gigs? Or if one of them is not paid? Would that make the band start-up unsuccessful?
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#52 blue

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:24 PM

View PostConan, on 17 March 2017 - 12:16 PM, said:



To be fair Blue, that is your arbitrary measure of success. I'm not sure many others on here would be so specific. What if it takes seven months? What if there are only 11 gigs? Or if one of them is not paid? Would that make the band start-up unsuccessful?

It's merely a hypothetical scenario of posibly ways to mitigate bands folding before they ever gig.

There are tons of ways to measure success, This just happens to be one where it's measured by pre- booking 12 gigs.

11 gigs would also be an ok exception ,so would 7 months.

Blue

Edited by blue, 17 March 2017 - 12:24 PM.


#53 bassjim

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:32 PM

Blues' point about booking the first 6-12 gigs up front: ( Hi Blue!)

Yes and no........


Yes = recently I have been offered a string of dep gigs. Because they are all paid and are in fact actually gigs Ive said yes. If they were "can you come and jam/rehearse because we intend to get gigs " would be a most likely "No" because I already have a gigging band. Booking gigs upfront is great way of asking the right minded people to join up. It makes sense, there is purpose, a common goal......But

No = So recently my regular gigging band starts to look around for even more gigs to add to existing ones. This is an established band with a good rep. We have had from " fully booked till next year" to "I'm not paying that" (and thats' the for the discounted first gig see how it goes rate!)
They also want to see proof of the bands existence and quality via you-tube promo ect. They want to know what they are going to be paying for and will thier punters ,in their opinion, like it.
In our last get new gigs campaign, we were successful in three out of ten venues. The rest we have dropped due to piss take money on offer or have to wait till the next booking is available, which is into next year.

I guess the exception would be if the gig getter is a well known on the scene muso, that is already respected, and has already done plenty of good successful gigs either at or near the venue in question.

#54 peteb

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:44 PM

View Postblue, on 17 March 2017 - 12:13 PM, said:



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

Blue
The thing is that for an original band it is all about the getting the right people to hear your material and see your performance - the right support gig for little or no money may be far more beneficial than 12 decent paying gigs. BRX is spot on in his post of how to start an original band.

The difference is that a covers band is all about working regularly.

Edited by peteb, 17 March 2017 - 12:47 PM.

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 03:59 PM

View Postblue, on 17 March 2017 - 12:24 PM, said:



11 gigs would also be an ok exception ,so would 7 months.

Blue

Not for me I'm afraid.
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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The Snakes
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Vince Reno and the Sabres
Switchgear

Motorbikes

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#56 toneknob

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 04:14 PM

Decide on the band name before doing any recruitment.

#57 RockfordStone

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 04:27 PM

View Posttoneknob, on 17 March 2017 - 04:14 PM, said:

Decide on the band name before doing any recruitment.
don't forget sorting out a logo, website etc

#58 skankdelvar

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 04:32 PM

When it comes to recruiting I'd be looking for basic competence, reliability and flexibility over technical virtuosity and bug-eyed enthusiasm. For example, I'd prefer an experienced front person who can learn the words quickly and more or less hit the notes over an excitable, technically-gifted diva with no presence.

Rather than two guitars, keys would be nice - they make everything sound a bit more tasty and open up wider repertoire possibilities.
.

Edited by skankdelvar, 17 March 2017 - 04:32 PM.


#59 blue

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:18 PM

View Postpeteb, on 17 March 2017 - 12:44 PM, said:


The thing is that for an original band it is all about the getting the right people to hear your material and see your performance - the right support gig for little or no money may be far more beneficial than 12 decent paying gigs. BRX is spot on in his post of how to start an original band.

The difference is that a covers band is all about working regularly.

Well, I see your point. However I did not want to differentiate between covers and originals bands because I have been called out in the past for making the assumption that originals bands don't gig much and don't get paid.

Remember in this exercise the goal was to find and discuss methods of putting a band together and not have it fall before the first gig regardless, original or cover band.



Blue

Edited by blue, 17 March 2017 - 08:19 PM.


#60 blue

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:22 PM

View Postskankdelvar, on 17 March 2017 - 04:32 PM, said:

When it comes to recruiting I'd be looking for basic competence, reliability and flexibility over technical virtuosity and bug-eyed enthusiasm. For example, I'd prefer an experienced front person who can learn the words quickly and more or less hit the notes over an excitable, technically-gifted diva with no presence.

Rather than two guitars, keys would be nice - they make everything sound a bit more tasty and open up wider repertoire possibilities.
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I'd also take keys over a second guitar. I would also like backing vocals/ harmony from everyone.

Blue





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