#1
Well, about two months ago me and some friends started up a band. Our music is most likely going to be centered around hardcore, but is currently ranging between some heavy blues styled stuff to metal. Basically, we do whatever we want as far as genre is concerned.

We have 5 members, but it's somewhat weird. They are:

Bassist
Guitarist
Drummer
Vocalist
Vocalist/Harmony Guitar

How it works is that 95% of our stuff is played with one guitar and two vocalists, but for any harmonies we have to vocalist pick up a guitar. I feel like this gives us a unique sound.

Anyways, here's what I'm looking to ask. We've been together for two months, and have a full song done and the beginning of a second one started. We've faced a lot of adversity, such as going through 3 drummers and our practice space flooding. We are recording our first song tomorrow, and then are hopefully going to start progressing faster.

What should we focus on doing in the next few months? When do we go and get professional recordings, and when do we start gigging. When should we look into selling some merchandise, and traveling for bigger shows??

Thanks for any help.
Amps:
Crate Vintage Club 50
Epiphone Studio 10

Pedals:
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Digitech Bad Monkey Tube Overdrive
MXR 10 Band Equalizer
Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff w/Top Boost
Dunlop Original Crybaby Wah
#2
Merchandise comes later.
Get out there and play as many gigs as possible and get your name up!!!
Record a good Demo and send off to afew record companies and perhaps to some fans.
Just gig your butt's off man!
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#3
Once you feel like you're ready to start playing in front of crowds find some gigs. A lot of gigs. Get involved with the local scene as much as possible. Network with the other bands that come through (and everyone else), that's how you'll get gigs in different towns. You can start putting merch together (screen printed t-shirts, demo, CD, whatever) whenever you want, but the music and just getting as many gigs as possible is top priority. Once you've got enough songs and they're perfect (and you'd be able to sell enough to break even) record a CD and sell those at the shows.

Realistically though after only two months you should probably be in the garage for a little while longer before you move on. As soon as your ready though just gig and gig and gig and gig wherever you can whenever you can and network with all the other bands and anyone else who can possibly help you.

[disclaimer: this isn't from first-had personal experience (yet), just from helping out some friends and watching several local bands become relatively successful]
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”
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#5
You should write 10-15 songs. Not all of them are going to be great, or even good, but it will give you lots of material to choose from when it comes time to record a 4 song demo. Record on your own at first, even if you have crap gear. This will give you experience playing in time, and will also help you work out arrangements.
As for gigging, you obviously can't gig unless you have material, so wait until you have enough to fill half an hour (8-9 songs). Do a few gigs, see how it goes. Once that's done, record the songs you selected professionally. Nobody will buy a ****ty demo that you sell at your shows, it needs to sound good, production-wise.
This should take you about year, from my own experience. So that's when you can start thinking about merch, etc...
#6
Quote by ErikShep

Anyways, here's what I'm looking to ask. We've been together for two months, and have a full song done and the beginning of a second one started. We've faced a lot of adversity, such as going through 3 drummers and our practice space flooding. We are recording our first song tomorrow, and then are hopefully going to start progressing faster.


If you say your band is based around hardcore songs should be easy to create. Many hardcore bands like Terror and Hatebreed keep songs to at least 2 minutes and only have 2-4 riffs all together in a song. I would come up with a few more songs until you start recording though. Why and go record only one song when you can get a few done?

What should we focus on doing in the next few months? When do we go and get professional recordings, and when do we start gigging. When should we look into selling some merchandise, and traveling for bigger shows??


The thing is with many bands is that they think they have to get a demo out before they start playing shows. This is false, but you can create one if you want to.

In the next few months you shouldn't leave your practice space and work on at least 5-7 more songs down pat. When you have the songs down start searching for shows to play, you won't be accepted everywhere but keep looking. Once you have played a few shows and have gotten used to playing live then record a dirt cheap **** demo, doesn't have to be professional. Play more shows and sell the cheap **** demos until you have enough money to get some studio time to record a full lenght. Once the full lenght is complete and released then you can start looking into merchandise. Play more shows and when you get a lot of demos, full lenghts, and shirts sold, then you can start planning a tour in different states. This process should take over a year.

Hopefully I helped. Maybe Slacker and axmanchris can come in and give more and possible better advice than me, they've had more experience.
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#7
Bullet point of the above.

Next 3-4 Months
1. Focus on writing complete songs, as many as you can manage.
2. Rehearse the songs and any covers.

After 4 months
3. Gig as much as possible
4. Build your fan base
5. Record and make merchandise
6. Expand gigging to larger areas
#8
Write songs, learn covers. Work on getting yourselves really ****ing tight as a band.

Also, work on your friendships aswell, have a little band hang out time type thng y'kniw?
That way, in the future if you get to touring, you'll cope better with each other.

Just work your asses off to get as tight as possible. That way when you play gigs, you'll sound awesome (hopefully) and get more.
#9
Write more songs, a whole set list full of 'em, then gig 'em around for a while, then record 'em.
As new songs are gigged around, they tend to evolve slightly and get better and better, so if you wait until you have the definitive gigging version of the song before recording it, then you'll end up with a better recorded version of the song.
As for when to do things, the order it generaly goes in is write and rehearse material, gig them around (which is also when you have merchandise made for sale at gigs), record, add the recording to your merchandise for sale at gigs, repeat.
Start small and gradualy build up the band. Play small local gigs, then when you've got a bit of a name for yourselves in your local town play bigger local gigs, then start concentrating on surrounding towns, then when you get a following in these towns, play further afield again, ect, ect.
On a map, your gigging progress should look something like ripples radiating out from a central point. (your home town)
The point is, as you play gigs and gain a reputation in different towns, your reputation is often carried to towns slightly further away, making it easier to get gigs there and also allowing you to get paid more for your gig.
A prospective promoter will probably want to book a band that has a good rep and will fill his venue, and most promoters know that that it's usualy better to pay more for a band that will definately fill the place, than pay less for a band that might not.

See my blog 'So you want to be in a band?'
It basicaly tells you all you need to know to get you started, and covers the subjects;

Getting Together
Organising The Band
Songwriting
Gigging
Promoting Gigs
Talking Between Songs
Promotional Items
Band Attitude
Touring

I've left out 'recording' on purpose because although I've been around a bit, I'm not really that profficient on the technical side of recording (I've made plenty of recordings but it's always been someone else doing the engineering and mixing.)
For recording questions, (and any other music and band related questions) I'd advise you to ask axemanchris, he knows loads of stuff.
#10
get a full setlist together first. then get a handful of recordings, dont worry about huge professional quality just get ti good enough that people can stand listening to it. Then gig as much as possible and go from there. Merch most definitely won't sell unless your name is out there so worry about that first.

Unless you have friends specifically asking for like a demo or something.
My bands been togehter two months and our girlfriends and some of our friends are making T-shirts to wear to our first gig XD
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