So many bands start up every year, and rarely is it done without any complications, arguments, and break-ups. Many people turned to their hobbies with much more dedication during the pandemic and playing an instrument was one of the top choices. Unfortunately, with social distancing rules and the temporary and sometimes-permanent closure of live music venues, the opportunity for bands to take that very important step into a professional career was dashed, putting many of those dreams on hold.
So, now that restrictions are lifting around the country and the world, you might be wondering if now would be a good time to start your own band. It’s hard to predict if things will get bad again or not, but for now, the chance is there. Read on for our tips on starting your band after the pandemic.
How It’s Different
As mentioned above, the music industry, particularly live music venues were hit very hard by the pandemic. Being unable to host guests let alone organise shows has had a devastating impact on profits and has led to some being unable to bounce back now that people are allowed to return to these venues.
During the height of the pandemic, without any end in sight, there were a lot of businesses that found ways to adapt to this new way of life and implemented innovative workarounds to the lack of live music opportunities. These ranged from outdoor, socially distanced sessions on a small scale, all the way up to world-famous artists performing a rap concert inside the online video game, Fortnite.
Livestreamed concerts are likely not going anywhere now either, as they have been shown to be quite a profitable option, so it’s wise to keep an eye on this constantly changing landscape and be prepared to adapt.
Finding Your Bandmates
If you’re the only person in your band, then you can’t really call it a band. Before even deciding on a specific style or theme, you should find some like-minded people that you can connect with on a deep level. A band is rarely a professional-only environment. Ideally, the people you’ll be playing with should like you and vice versa—after all, they’re called band mates, not band colleagues. Make sure you all get along well and have very similar interests, especially in terms of music taste. This will make things far easier when you’re deciding on a style and direction for the band. Search local venues for musically inclined folks and consider even searching online forums and social media if you don’t know anyone in particular to join you.
Identify Your Style
Once you’ve assembled your band and have decided on everyone’s roles, you’ll have an idea of what everyone is comfortable playing. Remember, the people you’ve chosen to play with should really have similar tastes to everyone in the band so this shouldn’t be too difficult a decision. However, if there are any disagreements, don’t shut people down. Remember that you’re a team and compromises sometimes have to happen. Spend plenty of time deciding on a genre as well as your overall style. Do you have a message to get across to your audience? Are you going to write humorous songs? What unique quirks will your band have? There are many things to consider so make sure you’ve thought long and hard about this.
Create Your Brand
One of the most important aspects of a successful band, like with running a business, is the marketing side of things. Making your band recognisable via eye-catching logos and a great name is essential if you’re looking to grow your audience and compete with other well-established groups. The ideas behind how to choose a band name aren’t easy to come across, and even the most creative artists struggle to find one that works for them. Sitting down with your bandmates to specifically decide on a name isn’t necessarily going to be the best way to do it. Try to let it come naturally, and let it be a good representation of who you are and what you play. It’s important to get your branding right so spend some time looking into how large businesses manage to entice people to buy their products. A good website, great social media engagement, and having an instantly recognisable image for the band are key to success here.
Prepare For Challenges
There are so many challenges that you can face as an individual or as a group, especially when starting out. But even famous bands have struggled to deal with major problems such as differences in opinion, and who should have the spotlight. The best thing you can do is promote a strong sense of unity within the band and try to agree that you all have an equal say in the operation of the group. Being punctual to practices and gigs is another thing that lots of artists struggle with, but this can be incredibly detrimental to the success of the band. Try to stay humble and accept that you’re probably not the next Rolling Stones just yet.
Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, it’s important to practice on your own to improve your skills and avoid your abilities from slipping but don’t neglect your group practice sessions, especially on the run up to a gig. Getting the whole band together to go over your setlists and perfect any issues you’ve been having is obviously very important. But the best thing about these sessions is you’ll be further solidifying the group’s cohesion and ability to work together without issue. It may have been difficult to arrange these types of practices during the pandemic, but now that these restrictions have been lifted, and there are even options to practice online using conferencing and recording software, you have far fewer excuses to not arrange a practice.
Arrange Some Shows
Whether you do this on your own or via an agent, you’ll want to line up as many shows as you can for the foreseeable future. There is a lot of competition out there and venues can get booked up quickly. Agree on some places to perform and get everyone to dedicate those time slots to your gigs. The best way to get your name out there is by simply putting yourselves in the spotlight, so make sure you’re lining up some popular venues with good footfall.