How To Start A Band: Part 1

Photo credit: Vanity Heist

Photo credit: Vanity Heist

The power of music is a mysterious thing.

What is it that sparks inspiration to express our inner anguish through the majesty of song?

Most of us find out pretty quick that we aren't any good at singing or writing songs then give up... but some of us stick with it.

We were determined to write the songs that would inspire future generations to pursue music, like our favorite bands did for us. So, we rallied anyone else we knew with a passion for music & this is where our journey as a DIY Musicians began.

When most of us decided to start a band, the first thing we did was run down to our local music shop or hopped online to buy an instrument.

I remember my first instrument, it was a knock off Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar & Amp kit, you know, the starter kit for beginners.  At the time i had no idea how to play guitar but i sure wrote a lot of songs with that guitar in my early years.

Music is a collaborative art.

You can only do so much as a solo artist before you realize you need to collaborate with other artists. Music is a collaborative art. When you feed off the thoughts and energy of other people, it helps to write even better songs! So the logical next step for most young musicians is to start a band.

When it came time to start a band, I did what most every other musician will probably do and start searching through good old Craigslist… or other sites of that nature. 

You can find just about anything on Internet, everything is just a few clicks away, and there is no shortage of musicians looking to join or start a band.

Start by scouring the musicians classifieds for bands seeking members or individuals looking to start something new. Then, if you still don't find what you're looking for, you can post your own ad.

Please resist the urge to include this as your subject line, 

"No Flakes! Serious inquiries only!”.

Photo Credit: SugarBuzzMagazine.com

Photo Credit: SugarBuzzMagazine.com

All you need to create a successful classifieds ad is make sure your message is clear and concise. Spruce it up with an engaging image that make people want to join your band just by the look of your ad. First impressions are key, so If you follow the steps below you’ll be off to a great start. This will get the ball rolling for your project & all you need to do from here is filter through the surge of emails you are going to receive and then schedule auditions.

Here are 5 steps to a great classifieds ad. 

  1. Describe the type of music you want to play. Here you should list your favorite bands as a reference for the musical direction you’d like to take this project. If you've already written a few songs of your own, you should post a link to where people can hear your demos.
  2. List what positions you’re trying to fill. Are you looking for a guitarist, a drummer who can sing or a female bassist? The more detailed you are about who you’re looking for & the skill level they should have, the better chance you have of finding them.
  3. Be clear on any "Must Haves". Do band members need to be of a certain age? What kind of equipment should they already own? Do they have a job or transportation? Again, be detailed about what you’re looking for and stick to your guns. Don't waste time on people who don't meet your criteria.
  4. State your Mission. They biggest waste of time is joining a band only to find out that they aren't working towards the same goals as you. Do you plan on touring or are you a weekend warrior? Whatever your goals are, let us know before we get in too deep.
  5. Include Pictures. If you want your ad to stand out among the others you should include a picture. Some sites, like Craigslist, have the ability to filter posts by those with pictures. Adding a picture to your ad will substantially increase the probability that it will get read. Whether you use your band logo or even a custom image you created, you want to entice people to click that link and actually read your ad. Check out our resource page for more info on photo editing. 

Good luck out there! I know you've got potential to start a great band. With hard work, a little guidance, there's nothing you can't do.

I'd love to hear from you! Tell me the story of your first band in the comments below.

Talk to you soon! - Drew @diygarageband