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Starting Your Own Band

Oct 9, 2007
Once you've decided on a career in music, pursue it!... and don't give up! With enough practice and proper management, you have a decent chance at becoming successful. It doesn't happen overnight. There are bands who've played together for years and not hit the big time. Others who have never given up on their dream have been rewarded with record contracts. It's just like most everything else in life that's worth pursuing. The harder you work at it and the longer you stick to it, the better you become and finally, one day the call comes and you've made it!

Even though your music may be an esoteric expression of you, played from your heart and soul, there are some practical matters in the real world that need to be attended to before you can strike up the band.

Things you'll need to consider:

Where will you practice? When will you practice? You'll need to coordinate these things with your bandmates. Scheduling practice and keeping everyone on the same page may be one of the hardest tasks a new band will have to contend with. But if you get the right group of people who see the same dream as you and are just as committed, you have a big part of the battle won.

To start off, you need to tell people. Check out the local classifieds to see if there's a band who needs your skills or put an ad in the paper yourself, get the word out on the street. You may be surprised at how many people share your dream. Post to blogs or other personal web pages. The important thing is to find people who you can work with and have fun but they must be as serious as you when it comes to their music and their future. Not everyone will think exactly alike, but find people who are creative and determined but friendly and flexible enough to listen to another's ideas.

Once you've assembled the right mixture of people, the next obstacle you face is where and when to practice. Maybe you or your bandmates will have a place at home or a garage. If that fails look for a place to rent. A unused warehouse or storage area but try to find a a place that charges a reasonable rate. Not having a place to practice is terrible reason to trash your dreams.

Ok, so you've got the band assembled, a great place to practice and everyone's committed. You or even some of the band members may already have songs written so you'll be ahead of the game. Let that be a starting point for writing more songs. Not everything you and your bandmates write will be a Top Ten hit but the point is to keep the creative juices flowing.

Next step is easy:

It's something you already enjoy doing - PRACTICE! The more you practice as a group, the better feel you'll have for one another's playing style, sense of timing and on-stage personalities. It makes for great music when a well practiced, cohesive band plays and that only comes with time, familiarity and practice. It's also a good idea to record your practice sessions. It will provide instant feedback and you'll know when you start sounding good and where you might need some improvement.

So you've practiced, practiced, practiced and you're sounding really good. Look around for potential places you can play, maybe houseparties, family get-togethers or a local party spot. Contact local bands and volunteer to open for them. The value of feedback from a live audience is immeasurable. The experience will help polish your band's stage performance and get you more exposure. The more people that see you and enjoy your performances, especially in nightclubs, the more likely you are to get more gigs.

While you're playing these great gigs, record the shows. Make demo tapes and mail them out to the radio stations, give them to friends and family, load them up to YouTube. Get your music out there! You've worked hard to get to this point, be proud and show off your accomplishments!

Armed with this advice, your "I won't quit 'til I'm there" attitude and your six-string, go out there and beg, borrow, scratch and fight until you get to the top of the charts. You have the dream, do you have the will?
About the Author
Ron Berry is a freelance journalist who writes for Essay Street - For more information and resources visit Apollo's Harp
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