You’ve been playing the guitar for years. You may have occasionally jammed in cafes and bars, and occasionally played at a Christmas drink with a house band from your work. You will hear from people around you that you can enjoy playing. And maybe it starts to itch, maybe you want to start a real band …
I can speak of my own conviction that playing in a band next to work is really a fantastic hobby and outlet. But make no mistake. A band is more than just making music. Many starting bands will run into it: the arrangements, the hassle around it. And this often leads to many nice musical initiatives.
Running a band takes effort. In this blog I will give you some tips about things that I have experienced from my own experience. How do you maintain a band?
1. Band bonding
This is very important. Of course there has to be a musical click. But besides that, a band should just become a close-knit group of friends. You have to be able to count on each other, you have to know each other as well as your wife. Organize evenings to get to know each other well in addition to your musical activities.
Take the time to get things straight together. Don’t bother with this at rehearsals, but make it an official moment: a band meeting in which minutes are also taken. The structure starts with a fixed rehearsal moment at a fixed time, which should be a sacred moment for everyone. Regularly discuss your vision and goals with your band. This can be about the genre, repertoire, number of gigs, duration of the set, et cetera. Where is the priority: new music or improving the show? Make sure everyone is on the same page and every rehearsal is well spent working towards that goal.
3. Dividing tasks
Then make sure everyone does something to keep things going. Within the band you undoubtedly have a musical genius and / or sheet music guru. But you will also need someone for finance and accounting, for promo, for logistical plans per gig, for external contact, to actively search for gigs, to manage all documentation, and so on. Divide these tasks between each other fairly and dare to address each other if someone is not doing their job properly.
4. Make your band visible
Invest in good promotional material. Firstly, these are good recordings from your band that give an idea of your performance live and music style. In addition, this is social media: spread your name on as many platforms as possible. And keep this active: post messages about your performances, but also side activities or rehearsal insights. Finally, you also have visibility on events themselves. Provide a good banner with your name or a beach flag at the entrance of the venue where you play.
It is not for nothing that professional bands normally have a manager. There is a lot involved. And you will have to take on these tasks among yourselves. But if everyone is passionate about the band, you’ll be fine!