Getting started


View Full Version : Getting started

01-21-2011, 01:15 PM
Background, I'm just 17, only been playing for a couple years but quickly became obsessed with it and I practice ALOT to the point where I could probably lie about how long I've been playing and get away with it.

I never for a second went into it thinking I wanted to make money, but I'm already living by myself and I could really use a source of income beyond being a cashier. I still have my plans for forming this 'dream band' that everyone wants some point in their musical career. But again, to be honest, I really need some money. I'm not naive in thinking that it's gonna be much, or maybe even that I can make money at all, but I just flat out need some money. I realize that is a terrible approach to start a band with, I do. And I realize keeping all my best ideas in my back pocket for this dream band is also a terrible idea.

From Mid-Michigan, 17, I'm in the blues-rock realm but I'm really willing to play anything that I don't find obnoxious. And really, I'm going to be entertaining people, I think I'll find it hard to not enjoy it. Beyond this, I haven't played for anyone before so I think that experience and just the experience of playing with others and the whole deal will be good practice. Willing to be a cover band or play my own stuff. Willing to do anything.

What do I need to consider? Would a cover band be a safe option? If I'm looking to play at local bars and clubs and things, what age (and style) should be my focus group? Is it not a good idea to bill myself as a 17 year old playing the blues for 45 year olds? What questions I need to ask myeslf? Directions I should take? I'm completely lost, thanks.

01-21-2011, 01:39 PM
The biggest problem you may have is that you are 17 and depending on where you live, you may not be able to play at certain venues. If you are looking to make money, a cover band is a perfectly viable option.

01-21-2011, 02:01 PM
Thank you, and I realize it will be impossible to get gigs at some places being 17. But I figure it will take atleast a few months to get something formidable together anyway.

I'm sure it obviously varies, but what kind of audience am I playing for at bars?

01-21-2011, 02:19 PM
I would play mostly 80s stuff. Everyone likes it and you can get people to sing with you. I would also sprinkle in some newer popular stuff and some older stuff as well. Think boston, journey, bon jovi, foreigner, and stuff like that with a little black sabbath, kiss, and motley crue thrown in.

01-21-2011, 03:40 PM
If you get a tight cover band together you can end up getting a fair bit of cash and potentially become a venue's house band and stuff like that.

Also, in terms of your age and not being able to play certain venues, venues prior to me turning 18 (everywhere's fair game to 18+ in the UK) never even looked at me, you're there to provide the entertainment and help them make their cash so they wont' chuck you out!
And I'm gonna assume a couple of your members will probably be of legal age, making you seem of legal age, if that makes sense!

In terms of the audience it really depends from venue to venue.
For example, in my town there are two notable venues, in one, blues rock would fit in so much that you'd have a great audience, where a harder rock band might not, but in the other venue anything from hard rock and heavier is all that is accepted near enough!
But if you play a pub gig or like a club, what you'll need is songs people know. It doesn't matter on the genre too much but play what people know and they'll like you.

You'll need to resaerch which places would be prime for you to gig in when you define a direction. Personally I think a generic rock covers band is the way to go, because then it won't look out of place if you jump out of genre a little bit, you can always get away with some blues, some harder rock, some pop, etc etc with a rock covers band.

Though with covers bands you need to be tight as a band and you need to have the whole band have some good stage presence if the audience were there purely to listen to some Bon Jovi or something they'd go for the real thing! :p:
You need to make it interesting so that people will remember you, covers bands are all over the place, you need to make yourself memorable to separate yourself from these.

Another decent idea for making a bit of cash, similarly to the covers band route, is the tribute band route.
Specifying in one band, these can make a lot of cash and get endorsement deals and stuff like that, because it's much cheaper than seeing the real thing! The only problem here is you need ot devote your style, appearance, etc to one band/artist.