Do you want to start your own band but don’t know where to start?
Don’t worry – we will provide you with useful tips on how to start a band and help you make a solid plan.
Forming a band and entering the music industry is not easy, but it’s also very exciting and rewarding.
And if you follow these important steps, you’ll start making music with your bandmates in no time.
How to Start a Band – 10 Essential Steps
Honestly, forming a band and making music from scratch can be quite challenging.
You need to find the right people, and even if you do, you can’t be sure how everything is going to turn out in the end.
But you’ll never know if you don’t try, right?
So without further ado, let us take you through your first steps of starting a band.
1. Find other band members
Of course, one of the first things you should do when starting a band is choose your band members.
If you don’t already have someone in mind, this can be a tricky task – but it can also be a very exciting one.
However, if you aim high and want to enter the music industry, you need to choose carefully.
First and foremost, you need to choose people who you get along with.
A band is a collective, and you’re going to spend a lot of time together, both in rehearsals and on tours.
Now, you don’t necessarily have to be best friends (although you’ll probably become one), but you do have to trust your bandmates and you have to feel comfortable around them.
It’s important to have a relaxed, friendly atmosphere during the creative process of making music – this way, you can easily brainstorm and say or play whatever’s on your mind without the fear of being judged.
And that’s why it’s also important to find people who understand you creatively.
You’re a creative team of musicians before anything else, so you can’t ask your friends to join your band unless you share similar views on music.
Last but not least, you need to find band members with good musical skills.
And since you and your bandmates will define the sound of your band, it’s important they’re interested in the same type of music as you.
But how do you find like-minded musicians who are interested in starting a band?
Well, although that might seem elusive, you just need to put the word out.
There are several effective ways of finding musicians for your band:
- Post on social media – there’s a high chance people will share it and continue to talk about it until someone reaches out to you
- Talk to musicians in your area – spread the news that you’re starting a band and talk to people while attending local concerts and events
- Put out flyers – turn to old-school marketing and put out flyers and posters at places you usually visit
2. Find a rehearsal space
While searching for people who will join you in this exciting endeavor, you should also think about a place where you can get together, create music, and practice.
You don’t have to find rehearsal space right away – there’s a chance another band member will have a good solution.
Nevertheless, having a couple of options ready will make you feel more confident, and other members will take you more seriously.
When looking for a rehearsal space nearby, make sure it’s easily accessible, heated, clean, and secure.
Most bands start playing in garages, warehouses, and barns, depending on their budget.
Finding a good place might be a bit challenging, but keep looking.
And once again, spread the word, and someone might get back to you with some ideas.
3. Make a plan
When you find all the band members and rent a nice rehearsal place, you should get together and discuss how things are going to work from now on.
It’s better to be clear about your expectations right away.
So although you’ve already agreed on ideas and music genres you want to opt for, you need to develop a solid plan and define your goals.
During this casual but important band meeting, you should create some kind of a band agreement – this doesn’t have to be formal, but it’s important to set some ground rules and wishes you all agree on.
For instance, you should talk about the responsibilities of each member and decide who will handle marketing, PR, booking, and so on.
You should discuss ownership of music, time commitment, and costs.
And you can see how you feel about finding a band manager.
During the early stages, a good music manager will help you move your music forward and get a label or distribution deal, and when things get busier, they will help you book gigs, plan album projects, and handle finances.
All in all, when you and your bandmates gather around for the first time, you need to agree on how your band is going to function and you need to define your values and priorities.
Furthermore, before starting to write your own material, you need to find your groove.
Of course, it will be easier to develop your unique sound once you start playing and writing songs, but it’s important to talk about the overall tone and sound early on.
You can start with jamming sessions and discuss your favorite artists, influences, and ideas.
If you and your bandmates haven’t made music before, you can start by forming your sound around styles and music you’re familiar with and twisting it a little bit by adding your unique touch.
The more you practice, the easier it gets – so, get ready for long jamming sessions, experiment, and get your creative juices flowing.
4. Choose a memorable band name
After brainstorming, jamming, and talking with your bandmates, you’ll have a clearer vision of what your band should be like.
And now the fun part begins – you need to pick a name for your band.
So how do you come up with a band name?
First of all, you need to find a name that resonates with your music and represents the style of music that you play.
And this doesn’t have to be so literal – the most important thing is that it feels right.
Once you start brainstorming, you’ll probably come up with a great name very quickly.
But in case you run into writer’s block, there are several techniques that you might find helpful:
- Find inspiration in your personal life and experiences – think about your childhood nicknames, pet names, or favorite cartoon characters
- Reference the place or area
- Think about the phrases you frequently use
- Play with words
Regardless of how you decide to approach it, your band’s name needs to be memorable and unique (check if your name is already taken!) and it needs to reflect the right mood and imagery.
Also, choose a name that’s searchable – while some names that reference places or concepts are simple and effective, they are also not convenient because it will be difficult for fans to find you online.
5. Start working on your music
And now you’re ready to start writing your own songs.
This might be challenging in the beginning, especially if you’ve never written songs before.
Learning how to make music takes time and practice, but if you approach this as a team, you’ll start making great music sooner than you think.
Over time you will feel more comfortable playing and creating with each other, and you will come up with unique ideas for a song.
See also: How to Write a Song
But until that happens, be patient and persistent and respect each other’s opinion.
Making music with a band is a truly unique creative experience – wonderful, exciting, and overwhelming at the same time.
But as long as you respect and motivate each other, both as friends and musicians, everything will turn out fine in the end.
When you feel ready and proud of your first songs, you should record a demo.
A good music demo will demonstrate your skills and allow you to reach out to record labels, promoters, or producers.
To record a demo, you can hire a recording studio, or you can record it by yourself.
See also: How to Make a Music Demo
Recording songs at home or at your rehearsal space is now relatively simple and affordable – you just need to get the right equipment, including a good DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), microphones, headphones, and an audio interface.
If you’re proud of what you created and recorded, you can consider sending your demo to promoters, booking agents, and labels.
At this point, you should also start recording complete songs – you won’t get a record deal these days unless you have your music available online.
So, find a good way to distribute your music and release it on large streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.
And think about effective music marketing strategies and techniques that will help you find new listeners.
6. Perform live
If you want to make it in the music industry, you need to start performing live.
Playing gigs is arguably the best way to promote your music and get noticed.
Moreover, booking gigs will give you much-needed live experience.
You’ll play at smaller venues first, but as you gain more experience and become a familiar name, you’ll start playing at festivals, events, and larger concert venues.
But don’t expect things to happen overnight – building a good reputation takes time.
7. Develop your unique sound
The more you practice and perform, the more confident you will feel.
You will improve your performance skills as well as your playing technique and musicality.
Plus, you will feel more connected as a band – and if you want to play amazing shows, this is essential.
And as you keep making new music and honing your skills, you will probably notice some changes in your sound.
And this is a good sign – this means you’re starting to develop your own unique sound.
Developing a recognizable sound and image is crucial for every musician.
This is a very competitive field, and you need to stand out from the crowd.
And being honest, open-minded, and authentic is the best way to achieve that.
8. Create an EPK
If you want to get booked and find new opportunities, you need to create an EPK.
EPK (electronic press kit) is a pre-packaged digital resume that allows managers, booking agents, venues, journalists, and promoters to access and review your work.
Your EPK should include your bio, photos, videos, press releases, contact information, and any upcoming shows or tours.
So in a way, an EPK is a digital business card that will help you promote your music and communicate with music industry professionals.
9. Build an online presence
Once you have your EPK ready, you can include it on your website.
And creating an attractive website is an integral part of every music marketing campaign.
See also: How to Create a Music Website
You should also create an email list and start a newsletter – this is the easiest way to keep reminding people of your presence and share all the news about any upcoming gigs and single or album releases.
If you want to grow your audience, building a strong online presence is a must.
And this also includes social media – create Facebook and Instagram accounts for your band and consider developing a social media strategy that will help you grow a following.
Think about the latest trend but also stay true to who you are as an artist.
Your website and social media pages should reflect your musical identity.
So, choose the platforms and format that suit you best, but don’t forget to reach out to your fans, create engaging content, and post regularly.
You can also consider running paid promotions, organizing live streams, and collaborating with content creators.
Music marketing generally takes a lot of time and effort, but if you share the load with your bandmates, everything will be easier.
Reaching out to influencers, creators, and playlist curators is definitely a good way to get the word about your new band.
In this day and age, online visibility has a huge role in increasing the bands’ chances for success.
However, music is also a very networking-oriented business.
Therefore, you should also focus on making connections and meeting fellow artists, producers, agents, and other people from the industry.
Networking will help you advance your career, find new opportunities, and gain valuable knowledge.
Moreover, this is another way of spreading the word about you and your band.
If you and your bandmates share a dream of becoming successful and famous, you need to put the work in – and this includes making quality music, recording, building an online presence, and networking.
Don’t be afraid to aim high, but also don’t forget about why you started a band in the first place.
Making good music with good people should always be a priority.
How to Start a Band – Final Thoughts
We hope our tips on how to start a band gave you the encouragement you needed to start searching for your bandmates.
Besides finding like-minded musicians for your band, you should also find a rehearsal space, pick a memorable name, and define your goals.
And then you’ll be ready to work on your music, perform live, and figure out your next steps.
It’s an exciting journey for sure, especially if forming a band is your lifelong dream.
You may also like: How to Start a Record Label