So, you’ve taken the lessons, put in the time to practice, and have the dream of starting a band. But you don’t want to jam with some friends; you want to leave your mark – write original songs, book shows, perform, gain fans, and sell merchandise. While this may seem like a pipe dream for some, it’s a reasonable thing to accomplish if you utilize the right steps to boost your music career. Keep reading for ways to not just start a band but make it.
When searching for bandmates, it can be tempting to go with people you know or even call friends, but who is in your band will make or break your success. If you have people in your life who you already communicate well with and are on your same skill level, it’s worth a conversation, but chances are you’ll need to utilize social media, flyers, word of mouth, and other ways to get the word out that you’re serious about starting a legitimate band.
What Makes You “You”
Find your groove as a band once you’ve got the right members. The most successful artists, no matter the media, have something unique to them – once you find that, practice mastering it and make it your signature.
A great way to find this is to have regular jam sessions after you form your band to feel each other’s styles and influences. Experiment with each other’s strengths until you find your signature, then capitalize on that and create your own material together as a band.
What’s In A Name?
After you’ve found your sound, creating a catchy but memorable name is a key step in creating a band that will make a lasting impression on potential fans. A good name alone on a poster or social post can catch people’s attention and draw them to your show, even if it’s your first one.
Record A Demo
Before you can even consider booking a show, you’ll want to record a demo to send out to venues for them to consider you.
Even though studio equipment is almost always digital, it could be easier to email your demo to prospective venues, meet in person with venue owners or the people who book shows locally, and being able to hand over a physical copy makes a lasting impression. Products like CD duplicators are an efficient way to make 100s of copies and quickly get your name out there.
While some bands start out busking, and yours may too, casual gigs like friend’s parties and other small events are an easy way to get your name out. Most of these may be unpaid, but slow and steady wins the race.
Ask any successful musician or group; they only made it after some time. Even Jay-Z sold mixed cassette tapes out of his trunk in New York City, and he’s easily regarded as the best rapper alive. You may be on the skill and sound level of iconic bands, but you’re not there yet, stay humble and take gigs you can get to build a following.
Spread The Word
Utilize the power of social media to promote your band relentlessly. While you don’t want to post for the sake of posting, you do want to post photos of you and your band, reels, and stories of you performing and upcoming events. Please encourage your friends and family to share your posts with their stories to keep the momentum going.
Stay True To You
Being an artist, especially one trying to make a living through their art, can feel discouraging; it’s a humbling lifestyle until it isn’t. If you stay true to your signature sound, keep communication open within the band to maintain a healthy and productive relationship, and make new music, chances are, you’ll make it.
While you may not be the next Led Zeppelin or Tim McGraw, success is only sometimes measured in dollars and a sold-out arena. Knowing your music touched just one person, let alone thousands is a success. With perseverance, you will be successful by using the above ways to start and grow your band. Here’s to following your dreams and always reaching for the brass ring.
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