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Career Corner
Ways to Form a Band

(By Richard Morales)
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Forming a band can be a challenging task. Many of us dream about what life would be like, if we stood in front of an audience under a vivid spotlight singing songs we created from our own minds. To achieve this accolade, individuals must devote plenty of time and effort toward their goal. This is easier said then done. The world is a tough place to earn a decent living and forming a band is at the pinnacle of this pyramid.

Many individuals, who want to form a band, usually do not know where to start. Forming a band in your mind is rather simple, but actually putting these thoughts into action is a different story. The best place to get some headway is to locate the right people, who are going to make up your band. You have to ask yourself these questions: “What are my intentions, if I form this band?” “Do I want to go all the way to the top?” or “Do I just want to play for hobby reasons?” By answering these questions you will know where to start looking for other people like yourself.

The Internet is a great tool to locate band members. You can log on to one of the major search engines and type in specific information about what you are looking for (the focus is on specific here). Don’t just type in something like “Looking for people to start up a band.” Be more specific. For example, if you live in Los Angeles you can say something like “Looking for a drummer in Los Angeles”. Focusing on specifics will lead you to better ads about an individual’s qualities and skills. Read these ads and find out everything you can about this person. Find out what type of music they like, what their goals are, if they join a band, and what genre of music they may want to play, if they are accepted into the band. Try posting your own personal information in the many music forums on the Internet. You can also set up a podcast for web surfers. This will give people a better idea of what you are searching for in a new band member.

Consistency is the key here. Chances are that you will not find people right away, but keep trying. Also check out local magazine’s classified ads section. Many musicians pay to have their articles published in this domain and are usually more devoted to the long-term success of the band.  Finally, don’t limit yourself to your hometown. Augment your search, if you can, by traveling to other cities or urban regions. This will increase the chances of locating quality band members.

Once you find the type of band members you are looking for, have each member choose a position within the band. Make sure there is an agreement among all members that the positions chosen are the right ones and work toward the benefit of the band. Create a good name for your band. Get everyone’s input on this topic and maybe limit the list down to a few that are worth using. Drawing the best name from a hat is a fun way to give your band a new name. It also lets the other members know that their ideas were not overlooked. In addition, hold regular band practices. The old adage of “practice makes perfect” is very true in the music industry. Becoming a good band takes time and effort, so the more you practice the better you will be. Once your band gets good enough you can start putting your song thoughts on paper. Get input from all the band members on this. Creative minds, which work together, are more productive than those, which work alone. You may want to copyright these songs also for your own protection.

Once you feel like your band is good enough, start checking out your local area for some gigs. Gigs are a great way to obtain a following and put some extra money into your wallet. You should also start a mailing list, in order to promote your band. This will help your band get a foot in the door to start playing regular gigs. Finally, try to search for other people, who can expand on the successful prospects of your band. Accountants and managers bring in a business aspect to the music industry and can help take your band to the next level.

Updated: February 18, 2008

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