Seven Dos and Don’ts When Forming a Band
Not everyone is lucky enough to go to high school with their musically inclined buddies or meet compatible musicians while attending college. Sometimes, a musician must actively recruit members for a band.
It doesn’t matter if you form a band organically or through planned machinations. What matters is finding like-minded musicians and getting the most out of your experience.
There are probably as many ways to form a band as there are bands. Regardless of how you put your group together, there are some dos and don’ts that you might want to consider. Below are seven tips for artists looking to form a band.
Do Be Professional
Being a musician conjures up images of licentious groupies and wild partying. In reality, it’s a lot of hard work. Being in a band is like starting a business with one or more partners. That means you’ll need to show up on time, be prepared, and stay sober—that includes the formation process. You can be wild and crazy on stage, but before and after, you should act like a professional.
Do Know What You Want
Before starting a band make sure you know what kind of music you want to play and what type of career you’re hoping to achieve. This will help you find like-minded musicians. When discussing your project with others, be clear and honest about goals and expectations. You’re going to encounter plenty of personal issues while in a band. Don’t let simple misunderstandings be one of them.
Do Consider More Than Just Talent
You’re going to spend a lot time with your bandmates. Do you really want to hang out with a bunch of jerks? Sure, you want musicians with talent, but don’t let that be your only deciding factor. Before joining forces with another musician, get to know them a little to see if you’ll enjoy their company. You’ll still have conflicts, but it will make being in a band much more enjoyable.
Do Get a Dedicated Email Address
Perhaps you’re going to find musicians on the internet. Perhaps you’re going to find them at jam sessions, local music gigs, or record stores. Whatever method you choose, consider getting a dedicated email address that you can give to potential bandmates. This prevents someone of dubious character from having your personal email address.
Don’t Be in a Hurry
You’re probably very excited to form a band, but be patient. Don’t necessarily pick the first musicians that come along. It may take weeks, or months, to find like-minded musicians you’re comfortable with, but when you do, the wait will have been worth it.
Don’t Pouch Musicians from Other Bands
Some music industry insiders recommend pouching musicians. You attend a gig, find a musician you like, and steal him or her away from their current group. The problem with pouching is the musician you steal is likely to be stolen from you. If they’re not loyal to their old band, why will they be loyal to their new band? A better route is to occasionally check in with the musician to see if they’re still in a band or let them know that you’d like to work with them in the future. If the fates are kind, you’ll be jamming in no time and without burning a single bridge.
Don’t Stop Practicing
Throughout the process of forming a band, don’t neglect your chops. It will be easier to recruit like-minded musicians if you’re constantly improving your skills and challenging your musical abilities. It will also show potential members that you’re serious about music and forming a band.
Bert Gordon is a writer living in Vancouver, Washington. He has been writing about music and the music industry for nearly a decade. You can read more of his articles at Clickitticket.