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Starting your own band


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This has been done on other forums, and here we have ConnieZ's thread, which I will be looking into later today ...


But here's the thing: the band I'm with now is becoming a nuisance rather than fun, and I'm not in it for the nerves to get wrecked. But I'm expecting a huge fight to erupt next rehearsal, as there are some internal stirrings ... Partially because they are adopting the same mentality as my previous band: arrive late for rehearsals, hardly rehearse properly, simply DON'T show up for rehearsals etc. Some of us are beginning to get annoyed by this.


So, as I stated elsewhere, I think the time has come to do the thing where I start my own band. Mind you, it won't be for a while, because I've decided to (at least temporarily) take on lead vocals myself, until we find a really good singer (ever noticed how many bands have lousy singers?) and that will require some training on my part :)


So here are a few tips I've gathered from posts on other parts of this here forum. Feel free to add, it'll help all of us :thu:


1. Choose a band setting

How many musicians and which ones?


2. Choose a style of music and make a reference repertoire

A tape (or cd) will help your fellow musicians to have some idea of the direction you want to take this band in - easier to do if you play covers, of course :)


3. Find musicians



4. Determine your role in your band and handle accordingly

Are you going to be the boss? Then be prepared to make the hard decisions, give the speeches, do the preparatory work and take all the blame along with little credit :D


5. Set up some basic (and reasonable) rules and ask everyone to follow them

This comes with n°4. And YES, it is supposed to be fun, and rules don't sound like fun but really, if you get people showing up half an hour late or not at all every single rehearsal where is the fun in that?

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes


The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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As I'm soon going to a new city, this topic is near to my heart, as well.


I'm particularly interested in step #3, how to meet other musicians. I met the musicians I play with now, at church; but I'd also like to start playing some classic soul stuff, & that'll probably mean hitting the street.


There's advertising, in a paper or on a bulletin board...I've never had any experience related to folks met that way that wasn't a total waste of time, though. I suppose there's open jams; doesn't seem my scene, but maybe that's just how it is...anyway, seems pretty random.


Surely there's gotta be a better way?

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dcr, try hitting the clubs and bars and introduce yourself to the local musicians with a "Hi, I'm a new bass player in town..."


I guess it depends on the music scene in the town as well as you (I'm not a bar/club going kind of person).


Also introduce yourself to local college music teachers and tell them that you're looking for musicians to make music with...not necessarily students. Teachers are musicians too ;) They know people. Or maybe they'll want to jam with you themselves.

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I usually meet all and every band I audition for through the internet ...


BTW, my problem has solved itself: the singer quit today :D And my dad is going to replace him, which will be cool because he is an AWESOME singer.


This does mean I'll have to practice my vocals more from now on :)

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes


The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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i put up an ad in the local music shops. got some good responces. that is how i found the guys i play with now.


when we started looking for a new singer we went online and posted ads in music stores. finally we had to beat the street to get our new singer but we did get a lot of responces. craigs list has worked for us.


if you go this route i suggest an interview process where you don't have to drag your gear down. meet at a pub or something and see if you are on the same page.

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I've been in the same spot, as I'm sure we all have.


Here's a few ideas, ones that have worked for me, even though I might not have realized it at the time.


1.) Definitely hit local jams and open mic nights. Never know what you'll find. Some of it will be horrid, but you'll run into some cool, worthwhile people, too, who might be in the same boat and share your musical convictions.


2.) Hang out at the music store. Same reasons.


3.) Once you meet a few people, make them aware you want to -- and will -- play. Take fill in gigs, whatever, even if it's not 100% your stlye of music. It can be lucrative $-wise and will toughen you up as a player. It's been a really valuable source of experience for me. Nerve-wracking at times, but you come to appreciate it, and you'll build both connections and friendships if you have a good attitude and get the job done.


Overall, I'd stress the "networking" end. Build up a "Black Book" of band/music contacts, and go from there.


When it comes to deciding on a new band's makeup, don't limit yourself. A couple of the most "fun" and rewarding projects I've been part of (but hadn't planned on being part of) have been three-piece classic rock/acoustic rock outfits. Tons of room to move, improvise, explore, write, sing, etc.


May the Schwartz be with You.


"When it comes to havin' a good time, nothing beats 'fun'. . ."


-- Stefan Johnson

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Well, for pretty much all of my bas playing life I've been the guy that plays bass. Most people aroudn town know I play bass, and when I start to play with people they tell other people. By this point I'm prett much the best player in town. It's not that I'm all that great. I'm definitely not any where near marcus, victor, and bootsy. And I know most people could probably show me up in a second. But, I've always been willing to try something knew. I've played shos on 4 hrs notice. I've played shows with people I don't know. I've jammed with people that came up to me after a show and expressed a willingness to play. I've played shows in my classrooms. I've played shows in other high schools. I've played shows at chruches. I've played shows at parties. I've played whenever I get invited. BUt, for a while I was exclusive to one band due to a hectic schedule. Recently that band broke up. Now I fin myself busier than ever. I've done more new things recently and messed with more styles than I ever have before. But the biggest change doesn't involve the bass very much. I began to write. I had always taken an idea and expanded it in thebands, but it was more of a group process. Right now I enjoy writing in solitude and pushing my self to create. Of course that has pusshed me to find musicians that are open and talented. I've been playing with more people than I ever thought I would. So far the list includes

4 guitar players

4 drummers

3 bass players

2 bands

1 violinist

1 keyboardist


All different people on different occasion in the span of about a month and a half.

I guess you could say I'm jamming with people and taking mental notes, seeing who is a good choice...good band material.

My path has been



3. audition musicians

4. choose musicians

5. start band

It's working so far, and its something different. SO far I have 6 complete songs and 1 that is nearing completion, by the time I get all the musicians I'll pretty much be ready to play a show and down the road, make a cd.

Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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Lots of good ideas.


IF you can get yourself into any type of school, that should open a few doors. If your kids are in a school, talk to the music teachers there. They may know something directly, or through someone they are giving lessons to. If you are involved in education yourself, seek out the music/arts dept.


I've made tons of contacts at work. Find your IT department and start asking everyone what instrument they play.




Acoustic Color


Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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My last attempt at getting a band happening...


I think it's important to differentiate between starting a band (covers or originals) 'just' to get out playing music, starting a band to work as a (semi-)professional covers band, and starting a band to fulfil either a collective vision (led by yourself but with carefully chosen band members) or your own personal vision. They each have their own challenges, but I'd say that they're arranged in approximate order of difficulty, in terms of getting the right people and getting it happening. The covers band thang, although easier to get people that fit, has far more challenges in terms of scheduling, professionalism, musicianship, etc (and thus then finding that the players are lacking in those areas) whilst the specific originals band are just waiting for artistic difference problems.


Making the band itself a success is a whole other thang and if there was one particular way to do that then it'd be bottled and sold.


My band at Uni went well because we didn't really have a clue so we all went with the flow (within the overall very vague concept). It started out as a metal band and ended up as a funk rock pop thang. With the recent bands the problem lay in agreeing on what we were doing because the musicians involved were much more mature and had clearer ideas about what they wanted.


Many of the greatest bands since the dawn of rock 'n roll seem to have happened almost by accident - a group of young players getting together and something magical 'mysteriously' happening. Whilst the so called supergroups rarely live up to their promise, Cream and Led Zep excepted...


Ah, and you may have to suffer for your art; the question is, how much are you willing to bear?



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