Start a Band

Tips, trials and thoughts about starting and building a band in Australia

So you want to start a band?

The first thing you want to decide is covers or originals. I’m guessing you don’t need too much help with this because for me, this was a no-brainer. Personally, I love writing music. I love writing lyrics and I want to play my own tunes.

The next thing you need to think about is if you want to start a band from scratch or if you want to join an established band. If you’re an individual, you can almost guarantee there’s a band out there looking for someone with your interests and at your skill level. If you’re like me, the idea of starting a band probably started with the words “dude, we should totally start a band” and you have half your band already. Both options have their pros and cons and either way, finding the musicians that best suit you won’t always be easy.

Before you decide you’re “doing this band thing” with someone, it’s important to be clear about what you want out of the band. Treat the band a little like a business and try to decide early on about how things will work.

Here are a few things to consider

  • How flexible is everyone stylistically? (If you’re a punk rock band, is Electronic Punk okay? What about Hardcore? What about Pop?)
  • Where and how often will practice be?
  • Is it okay to cancel or shuffle practice?
  • How much is everyone willing to spend money on rehearsal, gigging equipment, recording etc?
  • How busy is everyone and when are they available?
  • If someone leaves the band, can you still use songs they’ve written?
  • How much should band members be practicing between group practices?
  • How long are you willing to wait before gigging?

Don’t forget, you’re there because you love music so don’t let this stuff overwhelm you. Before you get to this stage it might be a good idea to have a few jams first. Jamming is fun, so do it!

This is a lot for one post so I’ll leave it to brew for now. In my next post I’ll go over what my current band and previous bands did when it came to the above with a few specific examples of the right and the wrong.