HOW TO START YOUR OWN BAND (PART 1):
FORMATION & FOUNDATION
Bands are a prime source of inspiration for many guitar players out
there, both young and old.
As your guitar skills progress, it is often a logical step to start
thinking about forming a band, especially if you know people who have some musical flair
as well. So how does one start a band?
There is no set way to start a band, as bands like The Killers, U2, and
Hanson, have all proved.
You can start a successful band in a variety of different ways
- Putting an ad in a newspaper
- Playing with your mates
- Getting the family involved!
However, all good bands have one thing in common -- a solid
Creating a solid foundation for your band is important to prevent
structural failure (commonly known as splitting up!) down the track.
Continual success for the band (whether you judge that by the amount of
gigs you play, the enjoyment you get out of jam sessions, or the amount of hits on your
website) is largely dependent on getting all the components right from the start. This is
Building on a faulty foundation will produce a shaky structure at best.
It is therefore wise to iron out even the smallest issues in the band from the very
beginning. Here are a few tips to getting a band started and building a solid foundation.
The first components to think about are the people, the music, and the
They all need to meld together seamlessly for your band to get off the
ground. Decide what music you would like to play, decide on the people you would like in
the band, and know what instruments those people play. Difficulties will arise if the
people in the band don't want to play similar music, or you wind up with three drummers
and no vocalist, or if you all have different ideas.
Talk in depth with the people you would like involved in the project.
Once you have that sorted, do you have the minimal instrumental requirements for a band?
The basic band will have a vocalist, a guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer. At the very
least, do you have these covered? When you have the right people, and have sorted out
their roles, it's time for a jam session.
The jam session is where creative difference, individual playing
styles, and personal thought processes will become apparent. It will also be one of the
most crucial times for the band, as differences of opinion frequently arise. Be patient!
Your first jam session could be difficult as you learn each others styles and habits. Take
notes on the events of the jam session. Also allow solo time for each individual member,
letting them voice their thoughts as well.
Finally, you need to open up channels of communication between band
members now! Band members should have the opportunity to express their thoughts on the
other members playing styles, as well as the general direction of the band, and the music
that the band is playing. It will be impossible to survive if you take each others advice
and suggestions as criticism. Don't site Oasis as a reason to continually feud. It is only
a very special kind of relationship that can turn feuding into productivity!
When the band feels harmonious, and the jam sessions are going well, it
is time to belt out some tunes.
Avoid doing original material first! Producing original material is a
complex task at the best of times. It should not be attempted immediately by a fresh band.
Instead, get a list of five simple cover songs that everyone in the band likes. Get band
members to write a list of five simple songs on a piece of paper. From each list, allow
the band to vote on one song to play. Everyone will then have a song from their list, and
everyone will be happy with the songs chosen.
Finally, take it one song at a time. Allow plenty of time to get a song
right. If one is clearly not working, move on or leave it for another day. But be prepared
to put what you learnt in your jam sessions to good use. Take notes, keep communication
lines open, make suggestions. You're band should now be well on it's way to belting out
some solid tunes
you're thinking about performing live now right?
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