So You Want Me To Be In Your Band: The Basics

When you're approached by someone else to join their band you should know the answers on these 5 questions: what do you sound like, what's the plan, aspiriations/goals, what role do you want me to play and who's the leader?

Ultimate Guitar

It happens all the time, some person with stars in their eyes walks up to you and wants you to join his band. He/she is going to the top and they want you on board. Being a singer, I get approached all the time and (i'm sure this is the case for any musicians) these folks spend so much time trying to blow your mind with their unbelievable music vision they can't explain anything about what their music is so I figure I'd help you guys out. Here are the most important things you need to be able to explian if you want someone to join your band, group, or whatever.

  • What do you sound like?

    People there's no shame in saying we're a rock band that sounds like, or sounds closest to (insert band name here). It doesn't mean that you're copying (insert band name here) it helps whoever you're approaching make a decision. If you can't tell someone what you sopund like or what you hope to sound like then how do you expect them to buy into what your doing

  • What's the plan?

    This is a siomple question but when I ask it everybody gets vague. What are we doing? Dow e need more people to join? Are songs written? Do we need to write them? Are we going into the studio to do a demo? How soon do you plan on playing gigs? if this is your project and you don't have a plan you're gonna be waisting your time and mine.

  • Aspiriations/Goals:

    Probably the same as question 2 but I wanted to seperate cause this is important. How far do you wanna take this. Do you wanna be a local band, a regional band, a band that has a record deal on a major label, a band that sells out arenas all over the world.

  • What role do you want me to play?

    This I have to know before I even step in a room to jam/write with you. Do you want me to sing, sing and write lyrics, sing and write songs, etc. should I leave my guitar at home, these things are important.

  • Who's the leader?

    Who's in charge? I know the whole "this is a band and everybody's equal" thing is cool but when it all comes down to it there's somebody in every band (in some cases two people) calling the shots. I need to know who these people are.

    These are just five things I could think of off the top of my head, I'm sure there are more. But I know these are the things that I ask and things that are asked of me when I approach soemone. I do know with any questions asked it's important to be clear and specific with your answers, because if you shrug your shoulders at any of these questions, the person you're inviting (especially if it's a singer) will come in thinking anything goes and begin to take over. And it'll be your fault because you didn't tell them otherwise. I'm done ranting for now and I siad this all to say, let's communicate with eachother and stop waisting eachother's time.

  • 32 comments sorted by best / new / date

      wher i live sucks there are about 15 guitarists i no, the majority of them only can play riffs and powerchords, and one bassist and maybe 2 0r 3 drummers. good article tho
      good advice, most of it should come in handy to numbnuts: its mostly the same where i live, theres about 20 guitarists that are completely horrible, 7 that are decent, about 4 that are really good, and there is a massive drummer shortage. it really sucks
      great article, man. i'm looking forward to seeing more like this in the future!
      yeah but the thing about those people are is if you join their band they soon realize they suck and get booted out and you now have a brand new band hahaha!! XD im so sadistic! XP
      Great article. My band is looking for a drummer, but sadly all of them are already in bands. *sigh*, but if i ever run into one your column will deff. of helped.
      Geldof the Grey
      On the subject of typos, all the columns writers can take on the same view as early Christians when they were figuring out why the world what it was... "Zappp did it." And I know loads of guitarists but only two drummers and two bassists. Luckily, I've tagged my bassist and drummer so they can't run off and put them on a zoological breeding programme. If you get a big enough cage then you guys can adopt one.
      great advice. i encourage you to join the forums and post in the columns section. we need writers, dammit!
      This is a very good article! Everything you said is true. It is so important to be able to define these ideas to someone you might be making music with; whether you are being asked or doing the asking. Being in a band is like an intimate relationship, communication is key to making beautiful music together.
      one two many
      that was a good article, epecialy since my bands is close approachind the stage where we ma y need to drp/recruit a new member
      good article....but it would be nice if someone could do an article on why it's so hard to find singers and drummers?
      Tom Martin
      yea good... where i live there is one guitarist. me. there is nobody else in a 17 mile radius
      ^ yeah I found 2 or 3...but good article, needs a bit more info detailed but over all good article.~ ~Casey
      well, good article, perhaps some nice info for if i'm ever going to find a band :'(. But you have to pre-read your articles before posting it online, there are some grammatical mistakes in it. They're quite annoying but the story is pretty good
      I cant ask anyone where else to join where I am. there is no one, and the only one I would have asked and is good left town. It sucks to really stall in your progression.
      Geldof the Grey
      Not bad, but a bit sparse on details. Good do with being filled out a little. But an all-round useful column. I give it a 4 as it's useful, but doesn't go that little bit further and give advice, rather than rules.
      "my members are never serious ... they rather go clubbin' and shit like that ... argh!!" Go solo
      well done, good article with pretty good advice ... unfortunately my band hasn't done any of the following ... we're shitheads ... my members are never serious ... they rather go clubbin' and shit like that ... argh!!
      Just ran into this article, yeah i'm about to start another band and want to ask some people I know to join but I didnt know what to say. So this is a great article cause now I know. I think you should add how when asking someone to join a band they should be confident in themselves but not to snotty (Like "We want you to join because we need you and we want to sound better but if you dont join theres other fish in the sea")