3 Tips for 'Doing It Right' as a Band

author: mbrill date: 01/06/2014 category: the guide to
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3 Tips for 'Doing It Right' as a Band
As a musician and band member for many years, I have learned a few things. These are my three tips that I would tell anyone asking for advice about "doing it right." I hope they are helpful.

1. Don't Rush It

When I first became a musician in a band, it felt like it was all about "getting out there." My first gig was my high school talent show, and it was awesome. I loved every minute of it. My goal was to get on stage and play shows as much as possible.

I still felt the same years later after many failed band attempts. With every new band, the first order of business was to get a set together and play a show. Why? Who said that was the most important thing? At some point I absorbed that it was all about the show, not writing good songs.

Can't afford a decent recording, so you have your friend do it for free? Bad idea (IMO). Just wait and save up, or record one song instead of seven. Spend money on artwork, and pressing. It's okay to wait.

Now that I am in a studio project, a great weight has been lifted. I write songs when I have time. I record when I have money. There's no real rush. Take your time. You'll get to where you're going eventually.

2. Get Told "No"

If you haven't been told no, then you're doing it wrong. When you get told no, it means you asked for too much. That's okay. But the most important thing is that you asked. Learn to ask questions and expect to be told no.

I have learned that if you get told "Yes" one out of every ten, or hundred times, then you're doing great. I have been told no (or not been responded to) by album reviewers, promotions pages, record labels, and all kinds of people. But at least I asked.

The upside of being told no is that sometimes you get told yes. That could mean a record deal, a new venue to play, or free promotion from getting an article posted on a website. You get told no so that sometimes you can be told yes.

3. Don't "Tolerate" Band Members

Being in a band is a choice. You made it because you wanted something that you thought being in a band would offer you, whatever that may be. Some want to play shows, others want creative expression, or status but no matter what, you gained something. But what about when being in a band feels like imprisonment?

This can happen a few ways. For one, a member stops carrying their weight; the drummer stops loading and unloading their gear, or the guitarist skip practice. Or maybe you joined with promises that you would be able to write new songs, but the other members won't listen to your ideas. Maybe you are all going in different directions.

Don't be a victim of your own decision. No one is making you stay in your band. No one is keeping "Bill" or "Fred" in the band but the other members. Address issues instead of secretly being mad about them. If you're unhappy, then leave. If someone else is making everyone miserable, kick them out. It may be difficult, but it's simple. Being in a band should enhance your life. When it starts making life worse, do something about it.

I hope tips helped!

Micah Brill

This Divided World
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