Starting a band takes more than grabbing your instrument, your mates, and having a jam at the weekend. If you want to break into the successful artist space, you need to get it right from the start. If you’re sat there filled with dreams of being in an indie band, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we have thrown together a step-for-step guide on how to launch an indie band today.
You can’t have a band without members to fill it. Typically, you will need to have at least a singer, drummer, guitarist, and bassist. However, depending on your sound, you may want to throw in pianists and other musicians. When it comes to recruiting band members, you can create posters and look on social media. Once you’ve found potential members, you need to get to know them by having a jam session with them. After all, your band experience will be better if you’ve all got chemistry.
Now that you’ve assembled your team, you can get together and decide on a sound. Talk about your influences and pick out common trends. Typically, your sound will sit in a happy place in between them. For example, if your favorite artists include The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, and Neutral Milk Hotel, the chances are their sounds will ring out through your music. When you’ve decided on a sound, you should see if any members have any songs written. Then, you can have a jam and fine-tune your sounds. The most important thing is finding a sound that makes you happy – you don’t want to hit success and part ways because of artistic differences.
You’re going to need somewhere to bring the noise and practice together. There are plenty of solutions to this including your parent’s garage, the local community center, or finding a professional band rehearsal space Dallas. When you’re first starting, choose a rehearsal space for bands in Dallas from Pirate.com. You will have 24/7 access to soundproofed rooms. What’s more, if you need to borrow gear in the early days, you can rely on their professional amps, mics, drums, and PA systems.
To play shows, you need to have a band name. With all of the awesome names out there, this can feel like a daunting process. You should all get together in a room and come up with several pages of band names off top of your head. If you need inspiration, look to your favorite lyrics for help. When you’ve got your list, you can narrow it down until you decide on a handful.
With your shortlisted names, you should put them into Google and make sure there isn’t a band already out there with the same name – you don’t want a copyright dispute before you get off the ground. Further, you should avoid using names that are terms Googled regularly. After all, you need people to find your band through search engines.
Part of being in an indie band is songwriting. However, before jumping into creating original material, you should play cover songs together. It might sound mundane, but it will allow you to play as a unit. Once you’ve mastered playing together, the writing process will be much easier.
When you’re ready to start writing your songs, you can take advantage of writing prompts to guide you through the process. Although you need to have your own material to play shows, it’s important not to discard quality for quantity. You will get on better having a small collection of tight songs than a large catalog of weak sounds.
If your band members are your mates, it can feel odd drawing up a contract. However, one of the most common causes of band destruction comes from internal fighting. Therefore, the contract is designed to split up responsibilities and put healthy processes in place from the start. These are some vital contract parts to agree on:
- Responsibilities. To take assumptions out of the game, you need to decide who will do what. You will need a leader, public relations manager, rehearsal director and a bookkeeper.
- Finances. Money is fuel to potential fires. To put them out before they gain traction, you should decide on everything finance. Who will pay for what? What equipment do you need? How much will you get paid? Who owns the songs? These are all essential questions to ask early on.
- Commitment. You should detail how often you will practice and for how long. Further, decide on whether members are expected to learn materials before rehearsals. This way, if a member isn’t pulling their weight, you can call them out on it diplomatically.
When you’ve written songs and got your contract ironed out, you should record a couple of demos. If you don’t have the tech, you can book out a recording studio. This is an important part of your band’s early success because you will need samples to send to venues when booking shows. If you can, you should edit your track into a short mashup clip – a short clip is more likely to get listened to.
Band image is important, so make sure you get it right from the beginning. This doesn’t mean you need to wear the same clothes, but there should be a clear consistent style across your members. Keeping your image consistent will help you to put on killer shows and create successful merch when the time comes.
Now that you’ve ironed out the finer details of the band, signed an agreement, and created some music, it’s time to get yourself out there. You need to contact music venues with your EPK to try and get shows. Also, you need to get yourself on social media platforms, create flyers, and play as many shows as possible.
Creating an indie band takes hard work, and these are only the basic steps. If you want to find success, this is a great place to start. Remember, you need to be serious, but have some fun along the way.
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