Forming A Successful Band
Alan David Gould
It Ain't Gonna Be Easy: Putting a band together is no easy task; the odds are against it. The music business can be cold and
unyielding. There are personality differences to negotiate, various levels of musical proficiency sometimes at odds with each
other (on and off stage), dominance for the spotlight, outside influences threatening to pull the band apart in
insidious ways, differences in opinion regarding equipment, transportation issues to and from gigs, limited
income and much, much more. In this article, I will discuss some helpful ways to minimize the hassles and maximize the chances
for a positive outcome in forming a successful band.
The Right Mix: In any potential band setting there is both a musical quotient and a personality quotient. Harmony within
the group depends on the correct mix of these two. Good musicianship is important, but equally vital is the chemistry
on and off stage. How many stories have we heard of bands, whose music we loved, who simply could not tolerate
each other off stage and ultimately split up. Musicians can be great players, but if their oversized egos just serve to disrupt
the fragile solidarity of other band members trying to form a cohesive unit, they can ultimately destroy the band. The key
is to assemble the musicians that work well with each other..and can therefore aspire to make great music together.
positive and Keep Moving Forward: One of the key factors
in forming a band and getting it off the ground is a dedication to forward movement. When rehearsals seem bogged down with
the prospect of a steep learning curve and snags of other kinds, it is vital to think positive and keep going. It helps to take small achievable steps in a methodical way. Arrive at
a tentative set list. Determine keys and write preliminary charts. Tackle tunes one at a time. Try not to get caught
up in space and equipment inadequacies. Make the most of what you've got. Schedule regular band rehearsals and keep the continuity
going. Try for the feel of each tune and don't concern youself with the final details. Work methodically section by
section. These tips are all helpful ways to facilitate progress.
Democracy is not necessarily all good: It is useful to have a pivotal band member, either in the form of a leader, accepted
by the other members of the group and under whose direction the band can gel, someone who simply harmonizes well with everyone
and can help to promote an atmosphere of tolerance and equilibrium. Everyone needs their say, but "too many cooks"..and
you know the rest. Someone needs to take charge, but not dictatorship. A band, like any group, needs to coalesce in
an atmosphere of reasonable tolerance and mutual respect. Every band member needs to be recognized for making a vital contribution,
but in the end, there needs to be direction which moves the group unilaterally.
Happens Overnight..but daylight is inevitable. Don't be
impatient to hurry a process that needs a while to unfold in an organic way. It is good to have faith in the age old maxim
that the right thing happens, especially given half a chance. Music, when its elements rest on a solid foundation, stands
a much better chance of evolving to inspiration on stage. Successful performances are made up of many ordinary factors which
have taken their due time to work themselves out.
©2012 Alan David Gould. All Rights Reserved.