Electing a bandleader?


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12-18-2009, 09:22 AM
So having seen a few threads where there appears to be a definite bandleader I started wondering how common this is. Now i'm more than aware that natural bandleaders arise in every band but I was interested as to whether you actively elect someone to do it. I've always found myself as the bandleader but it's never been set in stone or even talked about.

So.. basically.. do you elect a bandleader/have an elected bandleader in your band?

(give me a second to sort out a poll)

12-18-2009, 09:31 AM
We don't have an officially elected one, but I think it's me who's trying to bring the band to a higher level. I'm searching for gigs and I write the songs. It's just a natural envolevemnt within a band, I don't think there is a band in whch really all members are totally equal.

12-18-2009, 09:37 AM
no.. we handle things more democratically in my group.

12-18-2009, 09:39 AM
well band leader must came naturally... if you elect him there will be no point.. Like in my band im founder/leader now but no one elected me.. they just obeying me like their leader..

12-18-2009, 09:39 AM
I don't think there is a band in whch really all members are totally equal.

disagree.. all four members in my group has equal significance.. onstage and when it comes to decision making.

12-18-2009, 12:51 PM
I've never had a bandleader, I've had a band memeber who booked gigs without telling everybody, I've had a band mate who felt that it would be nessicary to have three opening bands and then us play for a gig, but no I have never had a band leader.

12-18-2009, 03:06 PM
no.. we handle things more democratically in my group.

More democratically than an election?

12-18-2009, 03:11 PM
Well... Actually there's always a founder of the band you know... but in my band everyone is equal, when it comes to make decisions we do it in group and we listen to everyone's opinion about.

12-18-2009, 06:43 PM
In my experience, I've never been in a project where someone has an official title of "band leader." Thus, never any election, etc.

What happens is that one person will lead through action moreso than title, and that person, by their actions, will continue to lead. That person will take initiatives. They will solve problems. They will promote the band to fans and media. They will facilitate communication. They will engage in the writing process, and the business side of things without being told to do them - just because that's what they want to do.

Once that person emerges as a leader in action, others will (without any real need for discussion) identify that person as a leader, and generally continue to look to that person for continued leadership.

That's not to suggest for a moment that anyone is above anyone else. I have, at times, even overtly stated that it is not MY band. It is OUR band. Without them, I'm just some other joker writing and recording songs in his basement that will never see the light of day. Even though I'm the leader, I NEED them to make it happen. I make them feel like I NEED them to make it happen.

When people don't feel necessary, valued or appreciated, they lose interest and quit. When they do feel those things, they become, and more importantly *remain* committed to the project.

Too many people make the mistake of trying to establish that title of "leader" without earning it, and in related actions/inactions, wind up neutering themselves in the process.


12-18-2009, 07:25 PM
Yeah, I guess I screwed up the question slightly.

What I meant more was.. does your band completely recognise a bandleader? Screwed this one up lol.

My mistake.


Maybe I didn't..

bah, fuck it whatever.

12-18-2009, 07:42 PM
I've been in bands where I am the "leader" and I'm not.

I have never been in a band where we "elected" someone though

The leader will arise on their. Its the person that is getting more gigs, networking, handling the networking sites, writing new material, scheduling practices, etc. In many cases there isn't a leader, and everyone contributes to the over all goal of the band. But more likely that not, there is someone in the band that will want to better the band, and take it upon themselves to do so.

12-19-2009, 03:17 AM
Once that person emerges as a leader in action, others will (without any real need for discussion) identify that person as a leader, and generally continue to look to that person for continued leadership.This is pretty common. The person starting a band is by default the leader. But that often changes over time. If a person is naturally adept at gaining a consensus or managing schedules, they become the leader.

I'll add a sidenote here. The leader in one aspect of a band isn't necessarily the leader in all aspects. More than half the bands I've been in had one leader. The others had a one handling scheduling / business matters and someone else leading when it came to the music itself.

I played drums in several bands and was always the leader in them. Not in the business/scheduling/creative aspects. During performances. It's an instrument naturally suited to that. As a drummer, you're more than just a metronome. You can dramatically change the mood/environment with careful attention to dynamics, accents, use of open spaces and metric nuances. Like any good leader, it's still important to listen. But you provide the platform that others in the band build on.

Too many people make the mistake of trying to establish that title of "leader" without earning it, and in related actions/inactions, wind up neutering themselves in the process.Always a recipe for disaster.

When you think about it, leading can be a lot of extra work and headaches. Easier if you're working with reasonable people who don't have ego problems. But even then, you have less freedom. You have to be the one to solve problems that don't get resolved between the other members themselves. You have to keep track of schedules and repair any collisions. You're the one responsible for creating a harmonious environment. It's more work.

It's much easier to contribute in a well led band than to actually lead it. A good leader allows that to happen. If the rest of the band should be following your creative input at certain times, a good leader makes that happen seamlessly. A good leader will allow others to shine.

People with ego problems fight to be heard, putting the importance of their contributions ahead of others. People quickly tire of a person like that, as their dominance taints the creative environment.

Contrast that with a leader who checks his own ego at the door and you can readily see why people will gravitate toward a natural leader over one who's in it for their own self-gratification.

Wanted: Leader. Petty tyrants need not apply.

12-19-2009, 11:36 AM
Nah. Usually when you start to do things, the band leader emerges as the one doing, well everything. It's better getting the guy that will do stuff then electing someone that might not.

12-19-2009, 12:59 PM
Not in my band, but lead guitar guy seems to do all the organizing, and being the face of the band

12-21-2009, 05:49 AM
My drummer said last week, "ha! If you' quit, we're #*%@ed, because you ARE the band!"

So basically the label "bandleader" would be more on me. I do call everyone when booking shows, but I'm kinda the one with connections, experience, and the know-how. There's a lot of respect in this band though, and I would never look down on any of the other members.

12-21-2009, 03:05 PM
electing a bandleader could hurt other peoples feelings, they gotta come naturally.

usually the band leader is seen also as the frontman and vice versa

for example while 90% of people can name all four beatles 95% know john and paul because they were more frontmen then george and ringo, and behind the scenes usually it was john or paul calling the shots.

also the bandleader is always the one trying to get things together

as a 15 year old and being in a band with everyone younger than me i am always the one saying we gotta have practice this week, ive also always been to practices, always been there when we write originals (unless someone wrote one by thereself) always the one making sure we get stuff done at practice. Therefore i see myself as bandleader, if the other people in my band dont it doesnt both me cause at least someone is taking charge to get stuff done, even if they notice it or not

12-23-2009, 04:14 AM
There is always someone who eventually will take the command, it will happen naturally.

In my band it's the drummer, he started the band, got me into it, found us a practice space, got fundings for a bass rig etc. Though creatively I would say that I'm in charge, mainly because I have more musical experience than the other guys.

12-23-2009, 12:17 PM
I find it best to have two leaders. The two that started the band.
That way no one person is in charge, and if the "leader" leaves, the band doesnt have to break up.

12-25-2009, 05:39 PM
The band leader is the person in the band who leads the others, unsurprisingly. It's usually the founder of the band, but I have been in situations where I'm more experienced than the other band members and naturally became the leader, despite being called in.

12-25-2009, 08:28 PM
One thing to avoid though is just doing things to become the leader. I mean, if you are only lining up gigs and all that stuff so that you will get more of a creative say in things, your bandmates will be able to see right through it.

12-25-2009, 10:51 PM
The leader is the one who is outgoing in the band... which can mean many things but for the most part our singer is the leader.. main reason being he does majority of the booking and knows the sound system the best... but at the same time I am more musically inclined then he is so I have an easier time coordinating the band during practice or when learning songs...

12-29-2009, 03:23 AM
There is an interesting book that talks about ones "positions" in a band. Its called "bandalism" lol. It has a quiz were u can find out what kind u are. lol. This thread reminded me of it

12-29-2009, 03:35 AM
band leaders comes natural

12-29-2009, 11:54 AM
I'm the leader of my band.

Not because I want to be, I'd love to have someone else call the shots, but because the other 2 are ****in' layabouts, and I have to drag them along.

God it's depressing. :mad:

01-02-2010, 01:59 PM
the bandleader comes naturally

01-03-2010, 07:26 AM
We all have our roles, but we all contribute to every aspect of the band so we all lead different parts of the band so to say.