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So You Wanna Be A Rock Star?  Part - 3 Getting A Band Together

8th June 2003

When you feel that you are ready to take the step into ensemble playing, you can do one of two things - join a band, or form one.  For most of us, our first experience with group playing is with friends, getting together to jam on tunes that everyone likes. Sometimes these groups stick together to become performing bands, and sometimes each member goes his or her separate ways, to pursue individual goals.  There are a number of factors involved in getting a group of people together to create music... all are important, though some more difficult than others.

The obvious first step is to find musicians who share an interest in the same style of music. If your dream is to form a jazz combo, but the singer turns up to rehearsal dressed in spandex and leather, wearing a Motley Crue T-shirt, you may have a problem.  It is also important to have players who are at a similar level of expertise. Not only is it frustrating to have to wait around for a band member to get their part down, but also it can create friction that will only be detrimental to the project as a whole.

Another, sometimes not so obvious thing to consider is the chemistry between the members of the band. Whether the group is a democracy or a dictatorship, the members are more likely to stick together and make good music if they respect and like their fellow band members.  If the guitarist is a latter-day Mozart but hates the world, get another guy.

These are all valid points, although before you can work through these matters, you must first find these people. There are a number of ways you can do this.

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First of all is the old tried and true method - advertise.  Most local papers have a classifieds section, where people advertise goods and services. Most likely, you will find a 'musical' subsection, where you can either advertise for musicians who share your musical interests, or find bands who are looking for members.  If your town/city has a music magazine, even better. 

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Another common way that musicians find each other is the local music stores, many of which have notice boards, where bands and individuals can post their requirements, with a contact phone number or email, etc. The same would apply to rehearsal complexes, where bands and musos in the area would cross paths.

Once you have the necessary players assembled, you decide what material you are going to learn, and practice, practice, practice. Work on your songs, and get them as tight as you possibly can.

You should also think about your show, if you intend taking the act onstage.  The frontman of the band - usually the lead vocalist, or main soloist - should be at ease with presenting the show while maintaining optimum musical performance. No small task, and the band that has a great showman out front has a greater chance of being noticed, and the band as a whole should present some sort of image that compliments their sound. More on this in my next instalment, when we look at getting gigs, and maybe even getting signed!

See you at the Pantera/Sepultura/Avril Lavigne Tribute to The Wiggles.

Remember, you can email me with any questions you may have, and I will answer them right here in Behind The Scenes.

Graham Greene

 

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