Every aspiring musician dreams of joining a band. You could join an already existing band or form your own. If you join a band, you will be performing immediately, but as a new entrant, may be accorded a minor role in concerts. Sometimes joining a band, rather than being your great musical dream, could just be synonymous to tagging along with the rest of the members. However, joining an existing band also has many advantages:
- The name and reputation of the band is already established
- You train under professionals and hone your skill
- The experience is invaluable
- You may, with time be elevated to the position of main singer/guitarist
But maybe you want to have your own band to sing or play the guitar/drums to your heart’s content?
First of all you have to make up your mind whether you want to form a band that includes your friends with whom you would perform periodically in clubs and social gatherings – an arrangement in which you could have loads of fun, or whether you would play along with professionals such that you could rake in some moolah as well.
Naturally, the best part of creating a band would be your significant role in it. You decide what to play/sing and you remain well in the limelight. The tough part is waiting for your band to get the recognition and popularity for becoming a successful venture. To make this success possible, there is a lot you have to plan and execute. It always helps to have a clear and comprehensive idea about what you have to do. Let’s break up your band-creating endeavor into a few achievable phases of action.
The Goal: First of all visualize where you will go, a year from now,..two years… five years from now. Within this framework (and with a reasonable allowance for contingencies) break up the contribution of every performer you plan to induct into the band. Also, think of what kind of music you would like to perform
- Jingles for commercials
- Background music for shows
- Computer games
- Background score for movies
- Live shows
Finding your band members: Next, who is going to be in your band? Let’s list the the possibilities.
- Your friends
- The local music teacher – ask him about his students who are keen to play in a band
- Advertising in the local paper for the kind of musician you want (keyboard player, vocalist, percussionist, , etc)
- Placing an ad in the papers, requesting applicants to send a recording along with their details
- keep in touch with other musicians you meet at rock shows or similar performances; approach them to find the right people for your band
- Placing a similar ad on the Internet
- Become a member in online musical forums, participate in discussions and post your request
- Interview the candidates, just as you were appointing them for a job. Ask all the important questions, about their ambition, playing ability, the probability of moving away from your city, why they want to join a band, etc
- The answers will indicate which of the applicants are committed to cause of the band. Select them prudently
- Do not compromise on the quality you expect from the applicants
Somewhere between visualizing the band and finding its members, try and find a nice name for your band. The name must convey your uniqueness and appeal to the public for its sheer ingenuity.
Writing songs: Writing songs and composing music is an ongoing task. You may have started writing the song long back, or maybe one of your band members is a gifted writer. For creating appealing songs you have to
- Read extensively to get ideas for lyrics
- Keep writing and writing, until you hit on the right words
- Keep a Thesaurus beside you for a greater source for words
- Buy a rhyming book to help you find the most apt words
- Listen to hundreds of CDs to help you identify the general style of the song
- Attend as many musical shows to get a feel of what is popular
However, limit the use of the these tools only to get you started; what you finally create must be
- Sincere and
Equipment: Plan and acquire the equipment as per your budget and requirement. Resort to attractive Special Effects or your music performances. Write down your plan of performance and practice schedule; make sure all members of the band have a copy of this. That way each of you could come prepared for every practice session.
Copywriting: Once the song is ready, apply for its copyright, if you plan to use it in a performance. Copyright gives you the sole right over the song. You have to register the song with the United States Copyright Office. If you have more than one song to copyright, solicit the help of a lawyer, who can help you get on with the work. The application form is downloadable from http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/
Your music is heard: The song is written, the musicians are ready, and you have practiced your routine through and through. Only the performance is yet to happen. This is how you get to be heard.
- Place a requisition for a slot in the radio station at the local band hour
- Give away superior quality recordings of your performance to the local music dealer, radio stations, producers of shows, etc;
- You could even request the music dealer to play your CD in his shop and revert back to him to get the feedback – Did his customers like the music? did they enquire about it? and so on
- Hook up with a charitable organization, and play for their special occasions; this way your band gets recognized
- Approach local clubs to allow you to perform on their premises
- Hand over copies of your music to local DJs, RJs to play on their shows
- Play in the local park to create an awareness about your band
- While you are busy with all these popularization endeavors, keep in mind that you cannot compromise the quality of music. You have to keep on practicing, creating more songs, and try to reach high levels of perfection.
Practice and perseverance lead to perfection that will bring in more invites for your band.
If a license is needed for the specific type of music you want to perform, get one without delay, and well in advance. As money starts coming in, you may need the services of a CPA (Certified Pubic Accountant) to help manage it.
There are scores of e-books and other helpful tools that can help you create a successful band. For instance you can access The Ultimate Music Industry Power Pack. This is a bundle of eBooks, software, and directories. This includes 101 Music Business Contracts software, volumes 1-6 of The Industry Yellow Pages (which reveals insider contact information to succeeding in the music business), and countless other eBooks and valuable reports.
Talent, foresight and hard work can take your band from one successful performance to the next. Now you are the leader of a music band, something you always wanted to do. Whether this would, in future become your career, or remain a much cherished hobby, is always up to you.