Being in a band

Electric guitar

Almost every boy during his school years dreams of establishing a music band or at least being made a member of one. Rock bands can make you popular very quickly and they also guarantee a lot of good mood and outstanding experiences. There are a few catches, however. You need a few things to happen first:

  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Find Funding
  • Compose songs
  • Market

None of the above are easy to come by and there is no way around them if you are looking to be successful. Before we head into the challenges we are going to acknowledge how cool it really is if you manage to get yourself in a band. You will be able to visit many different places and meet great people. This is because there will be a lot of touring involved. Before you are popular enough to have your own workers and movers to transport your equipment you will need to do that yourself. Once you gain enough fans do not forget to pay them attention also. You will need to sign autographs and give press conferences. Many artists from the older generation resent doing this and avoid it. But remember, they can afford it because they have established themselves and their status allows them to be fairly cocky. Here are some of the best-selling albums in the world:

Artist Album Copies (millions)
Michael Jackson Thriller 65
AC/DC Back in Black 50
Pink Floyd Dark side of the moon 45
Meat Loaf Bat out of Hell 43
Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever 40

You need to be careful with what you do and how you look like

DrumsYou should be humble (at least initially) and do whatever your producer asks of you. You need to act in such a way as if everything you do is good for the band. In that spirit, teamwork is another essential aspect of your character that you will improve. A band needs to work together as one organism. In order for this to happen all of the members need to be on the same page and think alike. This means that there is no room for ego but unfortunately the history of music is full of examples showing the opposite. Many great bands have gone on hiatuses or have been disbanded because musicians could not get along or could not share the spotlight. This is one of the challenges we are going to discuss. Whatever happens within the band must stay there. As far as the public is concerned everything must look fine. When members are relatively young they do not seem to grasp that. They are usually very ambitious and easily lose their temper. With their big expectations if fame comes quickly it just might go to their head and affect their attitude. From there things can quickly deteriorate and before you know people might start leaving.

The really bad thing is that usually there is some sort of a contract between the band and the producer. Most of the time it will have a provision against members leaving and this means that that it will definitely lead to damages for the whole group. If the producer loses money, the band does too. This takes us to the next big challenge – the producer. A young band will be lured by a number of promoters and businessmen. They will all promise fame, quality records and a lot of money. Nothing ever comes free, however, and this means that you better read your contract carefully. Most of the money will go to the producer but this is not all. They will also try to alter the way you look and behave individually and as a band. Your identity might get compromised if your producer does not allow you to just be yourself. Certainly if any members stray from the right road you can count on the boss to talk to them and return them to the right path. If you grow big enough as a brand and as a name you can try producing yourself. This way you will be able to funnel a lot of funds your way but don’t think it comes easy. You will need to organise and promote not only your albums but every concert as well. You cannot rely on anyone else and you will need to meet with people and pick up the phone every time somebody wants something from the band.

Let’s not underestimate the musical aspect of maintaining a band

Electric guitarAnd now we will talk about some basic musical aspects which usually go without saying but we will mention them anyway. In order for you to become a musician you will need to learn and improve from a very early age when it comes to playing your instrument. You cannot expect to be on band if you are not good enough. You must be able to read notes and play according to them. Being a rock star requires a lot of effort which usually remains unseen by the public. You must also think about how many members you will have. Most bands consist of 4 or 5 musicians. Of course some have 3 and others more than 5. What types of instruments you will have added to your music is crucial as it will define your identity. You cannot be a metal band with a clarinet for example. You are going to need a vocalist, a bassist, a drummer and a guitarist for sure. Anybody else is a bonus and if it works nicely get people who play on more instruments.

And the most important aspect concerning your product is composition. Somebody on that band must have the skills to write music. Nobody else can to that for you. You need to have a songwriter so that you can actually play something. You can rely on covers early on but then in order to make a name for yourself you will need to come up with new content. Promotions and phone calls will be handled by your producer. But they will usually demand that you work quickly and that you rehearse every day. At least try to ask for a decent rehearsal room to make the process easier.