28th Oct 2014

Starting up Your Own Band

So, you’re a drummer. And, not just any drummer. You’re a fabulous drummer. You eat, drink, and breathe drumming. When people think of impressive drummers, you come to mind. And, now, you would like to take yourself to another level. You want to start a band.

Before starting your band, first decide what role you would like to play. Of course, you want to be the drummer, but do you have the leadership skills to be the band’s front "man?" Do you want to be the contact person for gigs? This decision is an important one, because a lot of how the band’s dynamic works depends upon the energy present during its formation. Also, since the drummer is responsible for keeping the timing and beat during the band’s performances, understanding the roles you want to play will only increase the likelihood of your band’s success. The drummer is already a foundational piece in a band and this position becomes more apparent when the drummer is also the person starting the band. Think Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters.

After you have decided what role you would like to play in the band (other than the drummer), feel free to look for band mates. Place advertisements in the venues in which you would like to play, on the internet, in instrument stores. If there are studios or rehearsal rooms in your area, let the people who run them know that you are looking for band members. That way, you may attract musicians who already exercise regular practice habits. Your advertisements should tell what kind of music you want your band to play and include an email address or phone number specifically for the task. It’s easy to get a free email address or pay-as-you-go phone to use for this purpose and doing so keeps your private information from getting into the wrong hands.

Once you have people interested in joining your band, have some jam sessions. Get to know your prospective band mates. Make sure you actually like them. Keep in mind that the relationship among the members is the most important thing in the beginning. Band members who actually enjoy each other’s company will get farther than members who play well but dislike one another. Use these jam sessions to mesh out how the band wants to work. Discuss practice schedules, roles, and expectations. Decide the band’s goals with regard to gigs. Implement problem-solving strategies.

As a drummer, it may be easier to start a band because you already have someone with skills to keep the beat. Many of the problems that occur when beginning a group, regardless of type, are rooted in a lack of introspection. Make sure you know your skills, your position, and where you want to go as a band. Then, go out and find people to take the journey with you. Since a drummer can make or break a band, you know you already have one foot in the door to success.