What Does It Really Take To Be In A Band?

AAt this very moment, teenagers all over the world are jamming in their garages with dreams of record deals and fame in their heads. Maybe if they keep practicing, they just might win the battle of the bands! After that, the sky is the limit, right?

I’m afraid it’s just not that easy. There are many factors involved in being in a band. Whether the drummer cancelled on practice or the singer’s throat is sore, it’s always something. All the talent in the world means nothing if something as simple as scheduling conflicts can get in the way. Maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Who’s to say you are even in a band yet?

On the photo: Rugged Fantasia. Image credit: Dave Shearn on Flickr

First things first – finding other members. Assuming you are the guitarist, you need to round out the other members of the band. Want a second guitarist? You better hope that he is on the same page as you musically or the fur will really start to fly. Next thing you are after is a bassist. It’s quite a shame that in this day in age most bassists consist of failed guitarists. Bassists were once aplenty; any music store corkboard you could find would be littered with bassists looking for a band. The days of Geddy Lee, Steve Harris, and Stu Hamm seem to be in the past. So now that you have your “bassist”, let’s move on to acquiring a drummer! YouTube certainly has made it easier to screen auditions; setting up those big drum sets in your garage can be a pain if the drummer is a dud! At this point in time you were going to look for a vocalist but realized most are all egomaniacs, and who wants to deal with that? You announce to the rest of your motley crew that you are going to be the vocalist as well! Let’s hope that sits well with them.

Now you’re in a band. Time to start rehearsing, recording demos, playing shows… the whole nine yards! It’s going great for a while. Your friends are coming to your shows week after week. Pretty quickly, the only people you’re playing to is the doorman, and even he doesn’t look happy. This unfortunately is the reality for most bands trying to get themselves off the ground. Is it luck? Is it talent? I don’t know what the key to being in a successful band is, but what I do know is that it takes a hell of a lot of patience just to stay in one.

In my opinion, being in a band can be a very rewarding thing. If you really want your band to get signed, it’s going to take dedication, determination, and time. So get ready for the ride of your life, but beware, it may be paved with a few bowling alley shows.