#1
I'm aware these are probably done all the time, so please no one snap at me. I'm just really inexperienced with this and would like some advice/help to get me off the ground. I hate to write a wall of text but I want to get in the details so it's not a really vague post.

First I'll give a little insight to myself. I'm 16 and have been playing guitar seriously for about a year and a half, give or take a month or two. I'm no virtuoso at my instrument but I take it very seriously and practice on a daily basis. I've studied under a couple of teachers as well as self taught myself several things. I'm currently learning jazz guitar from a teacher. So I'm not insane by all means but I have a good understanding of music theory and how things work. I play guitar mainly but I'm also very into bass, I just don't own one currently. I've written about...7 songs on my own for a full band (guitar parts, drums, bass, lyrics etc.) in GP and exported them into WAV files so I could send them to some friends to see what they thought and have them to listen to (ghetto, right?) So that's basically where I am. I am an intermediate guitar player who is capable of songwriting for an entire band and I take it very seriously and have my heart set into music.

I'm looking to make a career out of music with a band. And I have my goals set out for what I'd like to do. Which is getting a band of like-minded musicians together who are in it for the music and record, tour etc. etc. I definitely don't have any plans to make it as the biggest rock band in the world and make millions, but I want to have fun doing what I want and get some recognition and be able to make a living off of it.

And I just need some advice and tips and stuff to help me get going. I'm aware before I can do anything I need to get a band together but I'm not really sure how to make a good ad/flier to post around town and on the internet. And just basic things like that.

I figure all the things like recording, rehearsing, bookings gigs and stuff like that comes after but I'd still like advice on that if anyone has any.

Thanks for all the help! And sorry for the wall of text.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, while I can write songs. I'd like to get band together that writes as a full band.
Last edited by CochiseOfHatora at Nov 12, 2009,
#2
As a musician, your an artist, you learn from your experences and surroundings, i can't stress enough how you must meet new people if its online, links with other freinds, adults, parents, anything. just learn alot from people and get to know more people. Once you know alot of people you can jam with plenty of people. you want some people who would probably follow what you do, so you would need to find someone who is like that.
"Been Dazed And Confused For So0 LoNg ItZ n0T Tru3"

Fender LoneStar Strat.
Peavy VYPYR.
#3
I once heard someone say "having a band is like having a girlfriend, if things dont work out, it just wasnt meant to be", at first I thought that was funny but its true. What you gotta do is play with friends or meet some people who like the same music as you.You could like different types of music and so could your friends, but set your goal on what you guys wanna do. I love playing metal and thrash. My first band, which was a huge mess, 1 wants to play Alternative, other likes playin thrash, and the other guy was just some random guy they decided to be bass. 5 months and we didnt do shit. The Alternative guy kept saying everything I make
#4
Sounds too metal, so I left the band and joined a new one and we are doing pretty good.

Crap, I accidently pushed post, my bad dude
#5
Yeah, I see what you guys mean. Meeting people just seems to be completely essential, because there's no telling what that person could be. It could be a fan, it could be a fan or it could be someone who knows people/musicians.

I don't really expect my first band to go anywhere but I'd still like some good to come from it.

So thanks, guys.
#6
Quote by FTW330
Sounds too metal, so I left the band and joined a new one and we are doing pretty good.

Crap, I accidently pushed post, my bad dude


You can use the edit button if that happens

TS You seem to be on the right track. What you'll find as a musician is that musicians aren't very reliable.

Now that is a massive generalisation; but finding a band, especially at your age, is going to be full of disappointment. At your age being in a band is cool, so don't take the first musician that says they'll play, don't take on a friend as a bandmember and don't take on anybody who says they'll pick up an instrument so they can be in the band.

Once again, a mass generalisation. Sometimes those listed possibilities will work, but if what is posted on these forums is anything to go by, I wouldn't bet on it.

Sounds like you are doing pretty well. You've been playing at a steady pace for a year or so, you don't seem to have visions of grandeur and you don't seem to think you are the next guitar great. From that, I'd like you in my band Keep on practicing and writing songs. Documenting them in GP and adding all the parts is a good idea and you can already stanrt to narrow down possible band members because they can hear what your musical direction is likely to be.

If you really think you are ready to start a band, get some simple adverts printed out. Take them to music shops, venues etc. and post them around. There are a number of websites that you can put adverts up aswell. Also make yourself known at local gigs. Even if you don't meet somebody who would like to be in a band with you, they might know somebody who will. If you are confident about singing then play some open mics with just you and a guitar. If you are not confident about singing then I would recommend you start singing (get a teacher if possible); being able to hold a tune is a good skill to have as a musician.

And finally, don't take any shit, I see too many posts on this forum where musicians are letting other band members run them around to the point that they are no longer musicians because they are so busy trying to make their band members fit the bill they don't actually do anything musically. 1 year down the line they wake up wondering why their band has practiced twice (once without the drummer) and only have one song (well an intro anyway!)

After all that though, you are completely right that your first band is not likely to be your last band, but so long as you are enjoying yourself; you are doing it right.
#7
Thanks for all the advice Myshadow! That actually helped a lot.

I have a few questions, though.

What do you think would be an effective advert? I'm not sure if I could make a good one without saying too much or too little. And what do you mean by making myself known at local gigs? I've only been to two concerts (Buckethead and AC/DC haha) So I don't really have a lot of experience there, and I don't have very much expendable money. Because I'm currently trying to get a hold of a job for gear/savings.

And yeah, I don't have a good sense of singing. I can sing and not sound like shit...but if I'm singing, I want to do it right. So I really need to get a teacher for that (damn music being so expensive)

And I'd be happy to join your band haha Like I said, this first band is mostly just going to be for fun and to get use to playing in a band. I doubt it will go anywhere but if by some magical chance it goes, then I'll go with it. I just want to make music for the fun of it and gig/tour/record sometime down the road. And of course, worldwide fame isn't my goal...but hey, I'm definitely gonna try to get SOME recognition haha

And another question is, I'm really on the fence about settling on a genre to play. Do you have any advice for that? I listen to a wide variety of stuff but I know I want to play rock/metal of some kind. I really like alternative kind of rock like Bloc Party, The Police and this band Nightmare. At the same time though, I'm interested in making heavier music like Thrash and Alternative Metal. Sure, I can play them both but when I get around to recording a demo/album or something...those two genre's don't seem like they would flow very well.
#8
Quote by CochiseOfHatora


What do you think would be an effective advert? I'm not sure if I could make a good one without saying too much or too little. And what do you mean by making myself known at local gigs? I've only been to two concerts (Buckethead and AC/DC haha) So I don't really have a lot of experience there, and I don't have very much expendable money. Because I'm currently trying to get a hold of a job for gear/savings.



I would say for an advert all you really have to say is your name (obviously), experience (as in where you are at in your playing abilities), influences (what inspires you, what you want to sound like), and a way for them to contact you. That should be it. You could also say what you would like to get out of the band (for fun, gigs, etc.)

What he means by getting yourself known at gigs is just go out there and play. Go to open mics or anything else to get yourself known.

Quote by CochiseOfHatora

And another question is, I'm really on the fence about settling on a genre to play. Do you have any advice for that? I listen to a wide variety of stuff but I know I want to play rock/metal of some kind. I really like alternative kind of rock like Bloc Party, The Police and this band Nightmare. At the same time though, I'm interested in making heavier music like Thrash and Alternative Metal. Sure, I can play them both but when I get around to recording a demo/album or something...those two genre's don't seem like they would flow very well.


Seems like you have the right idea. I'd would focus on one genre but don't limit yourself. If a club is looking for a indie band or whatever and all you can play is metal, you just lost one more gig. You get the idea
#9
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
Seems like you have the right idea. I'd would focus on one genre but don't limit yourself. If a club is looking for a indie band or whatever and all you can play is metal, you just lost one more gig. You get the idea


I think the intentions behind this statement are good, even if it is a bit of a paradox.

There is no need to focus on one genre, just look at all music you enjoy playing. You'll eventually come into your own as a guitarist, and possibly the worst thing you could do would be the ability to only play one genre.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#10
I don't know about people your age but Craigslist is where its at nowadays. There are tons of people on there looking for bands to join. Post an ad on there and be specific about what you want, experience, age, genre of music. Like everyone said just try and talk to as many musicians as you can. Then have people come over and jam with you, and see if they fit with what you are looking for. Ask around your school also, a lot of people play instruments that you probably never knew about, or people have friends that play. I think thats what you were asking? Let me know if you got more questions. I'm in the process of starting my own band now also.
#11
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
What he means by getting yourself known at gigs is just go out there and play. Go to open mics or anything else to get yourself known.

Pretty much. I meant local gigs with local bands etc. It's all about networking, if you can get to know some of the guys from another band they may help you (for example) get gigs in the future by letting you support them. I don't expect you to go to a professional gig and muscle your way backstage, pull off buckethead's bucket and demand he supports you at your next gig!

As for adverts, straight to the point and eye catching, without being too busy. So name, contact details, what you play, what musicians you are looking for, a few (2 or 3)influences and make sure you say "Must have own equipment" that narrows down some time wasters.

As for your genres, you seem to have answered that one yourself rock and metal. Give it a go, it may not seem like they can work together at first, but if you can make it work that'll be something special. Just give it a go and don't narrow down your choices. For example, my band mix post rock, metal and hardcore; it won't appeal to everyone, but we're enjoying ourselves!
#12
Quote by TNA
I don't know about people your age but Craigslist is where its at nowadays. There are tons of people on there looking for bands to join. Post an ad on there and be specific about what you want, experience, age, genre of music. Like everyone said just try and talk to as many musicians as you can. Then have people come over and jam with you, and see if they fit with what you are looking for. Ask around your school also, a lot of people play instruments that you probably never knew about, or people have friends that play. I think thats what you were asking? Let me know if you got more questions. I'm in the process of starting my own band now also.

Thanks for the help. And that's pretty much what I was asking. Only problem is, I homeschool. So people who play instruments aren't as in plentiful numbers as people I would find in school. So I have to really work to find people who play (much less people in general haha)


Quote by Myshadow46_2
Pretty much. I meant local gigs with local bands etc. It's all about networking, if you can get to know some of the guys from another band they may help you (for example) get gigs in the future by letting you support them. I don't expect you to go to a professional gig and muscle your way backstage, pull off buckethead's bucket and demand he supports you at your next gig!

As for adverts, straight to the point and eye catching, without being too busy. So name, contact details, what you play, what musicians you are looking for, a few (2 or 3)influences and make sure you say "Must have own equipment" that narrows down some time wasters.

As for your genres, you seem to have answered that one yourself rock and metal. Give it a go, it may not seem like they can work together at first, but if you can make it work that'll be something special. Just give it a go and don't narrow down your choices. For example, my band mix post rock, metal and hardcore; it won't appeal to everyone, but we're enjoying ourselves!

Yeah, that's something I need to try and do is getting into the local music scene. It seems to be hard to do though...guess the only option is just hitting up local gigs and trying to talk to the bands. But muscling my way backstage is always a second option

And as far as eye-catching...what would you do to make an advert eye-catching?
#13
seriously go post an ad on craigslist. There are tons of musicians on there.
#14
Quote by CochiseOfHatora

And as far as eye-catching...what would you do to make an advert eye-catching?


If you go to (for example) a music shop and look at the adverts posted there, what do you normally see? A mass of hand written or typed peices of paper dotted about the place that you've got to sift through to find what you are looking for. From time to time you'll take a look and an advert will catch your eye because it stands out. This could be because the paper is a different colour, or there is a picture that stands out because most adverts don't utilise a picture.

It has to be simple though. In one of my bands we just used the picture of teeth from the Saw 3 logo. For my current band we are using our band logo. They just help the advert stand out more and don't overcomplicate things. I'd also advise against handwritten adverts as they don't look as professional, and if your handwriting is as band as mine most people won't bother reading it!
#15
I just want to say... don't be disappointed if your band doesn't work out at all. My old band members were obsessed with becoming well known and it took over them until they stopped caring so I basically told them to get lost.

Yes, you obviously care about the guitar but you've only been playing for a year and a half (I may have forgotten the exact amount) and that's not a long time to have been playing in all honesty. You just can't think that far ahead because inevitably something will go wrong and you'll be crushed. Just focus on writing good music and then play some gigs or something. If it doesn't work out then who really cares? The dream is a lie, just ignore it or it'll crush you and your band.

You may make it, who am I to make such statements? It's just not the time to be thinking about that sort of thing. I'm fifteen, not that far off sixteen. My goal isn't to become a well known musician, actually it's to either be a guitar teacher or a music producer and i've been thinking about this for a long time. I'll try my best to become a well known musician (a legitimate well known musician) but it's not my career choice and it shouldn't be yours. It's just not stable and it's not what you think it is. Ultimately, all too often it just comes down to luck. I've met people from the music business and they'll say exactly the same.

But that's just my opinion.
Quote by the_white_bunny
your just a simpleton that cant understand strategy apparently.

Quote by the_white_bunny
all hail king of the penis sucking(i said balls. you said dick for some reason?) Isabiggles
#16
Here's my two cents. Everyone freaks out when they first play an instrument about starting a band that plays exactly what that person wants, then they can't find anyone. Try joining an established band first, even if it's not EXACTLY what you want to play(but close enough), to get some experience and make some real connections (real, not internet or craigslist) then you can start that band you want to.
#17
Funny how different people look at things differently. About the advert... Mine tend to be long, but with good reason:

1. I know what I want. I describe it.
2. I know what I am and have to offer, so I tell it.
3. I know what level of commitment and prioritization I am looking for, so I ask for it.

By doing this, you weed people out even before they bother calling or emailing you. There's really no point talking to people or returning an email when the person is clearly not what you're looking for, save for out of politeness. I'd just rather those people didn't bother.

So, the ad weeds out people. Then, you talk to them over the phone or via email and get a feel for them and what THEY have to say. At that point, you'll further the process of 'keep it or kill it.' You might even choose to meet with someone just to chat over coffee or a beer to find out more about them. I'd rather spend half an hour at a Starbacks having a pleasant (or not) chat with another musician that I don't have much in common with than to spend the afternoon humping gear around and jamming out for three weeks, only to find out later that the person has an entirely different set of ambitions.

Also... be honest and clear about what you are and have to offer and whatever baggage you carry. People are eventually going to find out anyways, so you might as well be up-front and not waste anyone's time. For instance, in my ad, I put down that I am in my late 30's. That way, if some 21 year-old was hoping for someone younger and family-free, I've excluded myself from their list. It's just as well in the long run.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#18
It's not the ad I was looking for, but here is an example of our most recent one:

Experienced musicians looking for guitarist for Green Day tribute:

I’m looking for a guitarist to carry what effectively amounts to the lead guitar duties for our Green Day tribute band called 21st Century Breakdown.. Although Green Day is a 3-piece band ‘on record’, they tour with an extra guitar player for their live show. Ideally, candidates would be able to provide backing vocals, as that is often an important part of the Green Day sound.

I have:
• No ego, attitude, pretensions.
• Experience:

* Live – played Westside Concert Theatre, Main Stage at It’s Your Festival, various clubs; live radio performance on CFMU
* Media – repeat exposure on CHTV, Y108, campus radio, etc.
* Roles – lead singer, lead guitarist, manager, webmaster, primary songwriter, recording engineer for my original band, Now-Here-This for the last four years. (various other bands since ’86)
* Recording – released full-length original CD in 2006.

• Formal training – degree in classical guitar and ten years vocal instruction, which allows me to sing without wearing out my voice.


I am:
• Non-smoker and Drug free
• Casual drinker
• Easy to work with; Laid back
• Late 30’s


I am a dad and have a demanding full time job (straight days, basically) which means that I don't depend on music for my income, but also that music is necessarily worked around my work and family commitments. (which has never been a problem)

The drummer and bass player are similar in all respects.

I can commit myself to a practice schedule of roughly once per week. You can expect me to show up with my homework done, and I expect the same from you. I would like to gig once or twice every month or every other month - regular, but not rigorous.

I sing and play lead guitar. I can do rhythm and/or lead, and can sing and play at the same time. I would be willing to work towards looking like Billie Joe (hair, makeup) for greater effect at gigs. My voice naturally sounds close enough to his that I could easily be believable. Unfortunately, I have no samples of me singing any Green Day tunes. This is a new idea that I thought might be fun.

For more info and audio samples, check www.now-here-this.com.

Also listen to my old cover band from around 2004:
http://www.now-here-this.com/shine.mp3
http://www.now-here-this.com/betterman.mp3
http://www.now-here-this.com/comedown.mp3

My primary goal is to have fun and make good music with good musicians (not necessarily virtuosos), and good people.

If are interested in what I have to offer, and interested in checking out this idea, please either email chris@zzzzzzzz.com or call ###-###-####. We'll chat and take it from there.


It was interesting that the people I was most interested in talking to said that one of the main reasons they responded was because of the way I presented myself.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#19
Thanks a ton to everyone who took the time to reply! Especially axemanchris and Myshadow, you guys were a big help. It seems like being really detailed is really good for when you know exactly what you want and what exactly you have to offer....but frankly, I don't think I really have much of an idea. I have a general idea of what I can do but I'm still really inexperienced, obviously. Though, I'm confident in what I have. So it seems like writing out a good ad may take a while...I hope not but I'm not in total control of that haha

And thanks isabiggles, for that soul crushing post haha I'm aware I haven't been playing that long. I also don't have any dreams of becoming the next big band out there. My dream in life is just to get together with some like-minded musicians and make good music (what I/them would view as good music, anyways) and be able to make a living off touring and recording albums. I don't really have any plans at all to be some house hold name or the next great, if it happens, then I'll be happy but if not, I wont care. I'm not freaking out over my goals, because they are attainable. With the right group of guys, the dedication to music, proper marketing and good networking, anything can happen. That's my view on this situation. And I'm only 16...alot happens in a year. Hell! By this time next year I could be in a band that is having steady gigs, an EP/album and working my way up the food chain. And if not, then I have PLENTY of time. Hell, look at all the stuff I've accomplished in 16 years, in 16 more years I'll be 32. I could accomplish SO much in that ammount of time and still be young. Anyways, I'm sorry I went off on that path haha I just let my fingers go and that's what came out.

Once again, thanks for all the tips, guys.