What instrument should I learn?
Firstly, heed this advice: learn how to play an instrument. You must know how to play an instrument, whether a guitar or piano, to start a band. Think of it as if you’re in a solo act. You must be able to perform something to start a band. I had an experience when starting my first band, Hogarth, where one of our members, a good friend, couldn’t play an instrument. They would show up and be there for the vibes while my other bandmates and I were trying to craft the perfect song, so please, please be able to play an instrument.
How do I find band members?
Second, find another person who plays an instrument and would be interested in playing with you. In my experience, many people can play an instrument, but not everyone will match your writing, performance, or creative processes and styles. There is such a thing as too many chefs in the kitchen. The folks are hard to work with, or if styles don’t match up, it may not be worth starting a band with them, but always be on the lookout for artists you’d be willing to collaborate with. Be sure to fill out your team composition. If you play keys, look for something other than another keyboardist. If you play guitar, find a bassist. Read more on How to Break Into the Indie Scene to find great artists and musicians to collaborate with in your area.
Where is the best place for my band rehearse?
Third and most importantly, find a dedicated rehearsal space. If you live in an apartment, you may need to return to your parent’s garage to host a band, especially with a drum kit. If not a garage, maybe a basement will work as well. The cellar will keep most of the sound in and be slightly less annoying to the other residents and your neighbors. If you don’t have a home rehearsal space, you can always rent out a rehearsal space or play in a park or any other public area where police and or local Karens will not harass you.
How does our band write a song?
Next, you will need to craft a song with your bad mates. Many different bands have so many different writing styles and creative processes. Some bands will create the song and then add lyrics as an afterthought. Others will write the lyrics first and then music to accompany it, and other pieces will be born in a jam session, where chords and lyrics go flying, and the good ones stick. Bands like South Jersey’s very own, Swansun, employ all of these song writing styles to various degrees. Be sure that your bandmates all have a similar creative process and that you all work together. This can make or break friendships and bands alike.
Where should my band perform?
Lastly, once you’ve learned an instrument, curated a group of like-minded individuals, get a rehearsal space, create a song or two or many, and practice. You’re finally ready to play and show playing. Your first show can be complex, especially if the area you live around is desolate and or there isn’t a big appetite, but trust me, there is always an appetite for live music. Check out local bars and see if they have an open mic night. A local brewery may have an open mic night for you, and your band can perform a song or be sure to chat with the owner and try to lock down a dedicated slot, where you and your crew could perform for a few hours and maybe even get paid this is a great way to start. Besides going to bars, there are local shows where other bands perform, and you can hop on the list and jam with them. Independent music and entertainment groups like The Tooth Fairy Collective in the Philly/ South Jersey area, for example, are always looking for new acts to put in front of the masses. This is a great way to curate a following and familiarize yourself with the scene in your area.
Creating a band is a pretty straightforward process. It would help if you first learned an instrument. Then, find other musicians through live music, events, or your friends. Find a dedicated rehearsal space, day, and time where you meet weekly to rehearse and create songs. Then perform. It’s just that easy! Just follow the steps and heed my warnings, and too will be able to create art everlasting.