Starting a Band – Do It Right or Experience A Lot of Pain

by Chad Nellis on December 13, 2017

The band above “U2” now one of the most iconic bands in the world struggled through its share of disputes and if you plan on having long-term success pay heed to the wisdom of this article as it may be just the advice you need to get to the top.

It may be everyone’s dream to front a band and live an exciting life that comes from celebrity, fame, and audiences that love your work night after night. However, starting a band is really about hard work, long hours, and sometimes having to put up with each other when you want to be far, far away. It helps if you start a band the right way and here are a few tips that will help you avoid many of the issues that cause bands to break up before they really get going.

Who’s the Boss

Great bands have a single leader that sets the tone and keeps things together. With most bands, that’s the person who formed it or the leading songwriter. It’s helpful if the boss is the one that does the booking and promotes the band until you can get the right management. Once you have decided who is the boss, you’ll need to follow these steps;

  • Keep Playing: The more gigs you play, the more control the band has for its future
  • Make Changes Quickly: In other words, if something needs to be changed, do it sooner rather than later. This includes expenses, getting representation, and how the money will be divided.
  • Royalties: If your band gets a recording contract, then the songwriter gets the royalties. There are exceptions that will need to be discussed.

For example, if someone contributed to the song, they may deserve a cut as well. Whatever the case, you’ll want to discuss this when royalties become an issue and not later when it can tear the band apart.

Set the Rules

You don’t need to belabor the point, but you do need to figure out right off the bat the rules so that your band avoids many of the issues that have broken up other bands in the past. Here are some things you will need to cover:

  • Practice Schedule
  • Expenses
  • Management

You may need a lot of practice, a location to get together, an agreement on expenses, and someone to handle the financial aspect which includes setting up gigs and the like. Worry about royalties later when that happens.

Understand What Your Band Needs

If you are starting a band, then you should have the part you play covered. The next step is figuring out what your band will need to succeed. For example, if you are a good drummer and your buddy is a great lead guitarist, then you probably need a bass player, a keyboardist, and perhaps a singer unless one of you can cover that as well. Do not add someone with a skill that is not needed, even if they are better than who is there already. Your goal is to match the right person to the right position and ensure that they will play together when needed.

Basically, once you form your band, keep in mind that dealing with issues should be done quickly to avoid long-term resentment from building up. While you cannot avoid all disagreements, it’s far better if they are small ones rather than big ones.

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