Posted Aug 12, 2004 12:39 PM
Disclaimer: This article is for newbies only! Well, non-newbies can read it, but don't bitch about how useless or obvious it is. Some people DON'T know, ok?
Starting a band may sound like a really fun idea at first. And yeah, it is a whole lot of fun. But when you're thinking of getting serious about it, you're bound to be facing problems that'll make you consider quitting. But here are obvious solutions to these problems that may not have crossed your mind.
01. Money. Probably no band hasn't encountered money problems in their careers. Sometimes it's money matters that break up even the biggest of bands (although I can't think of any examples right now). Money problems arise when you can't afford instruments, a rehearsal space, or recording (although recording can be put off for later). Occasionally, even gigs require you to dish out a little cash. And you definitely can't expect to get paid for every gig you do.
The Obvious Solution: Well, just be resourceful. When your band is just starting, the only instruments you actually need are one or two guitars and a bass. Even those instruments aren't really essential since you can always borrow (I wouldn't recommend it though as I have had some terrible experiences with borrowing). Right now, our drummer doesn't even have his own drumsticks, but he still kicks ass. Fortunately, the rehearsal studio where we practice have drumsticks we can use. It's always helpful to always have extra cash at hand, just in case you suddenly have to spend an extra buck.
02. Time. This isn't much of an issue for most bands. There's always the weekend to practice. However, occasionally, especially for college students, there are classes to attend during Saturdays. Conflicts in schedules are bound to come around especially for students.
The Obvious Solution: Well, like I said, there's usually the weekend, all 48 hours of it. People tend to think that there's not enough time, when as a matter of fact, we got our whole lives! In the worst case, you can always put the band off for a few weeks or months, and have each member concentrate on his own instrument. Then when you finally have time, you can all get together to work on songs together.
03. Creative differences. Now this is something my band has gone through. Our old drummer wanted to go punk, when we were really against it.
The Obvious Solution: Creative differences can be a bad thing, and it can also be good. In my band for example, the vocalist loves alternative and modern rock, I'm really into classic rock, our bass player is a nu metal head, and our drummer's into punk. We actually ditched our old drummer but our new one also loves punk. So we compromised. Whenever we write songs, each one puts a little something from his taste into it. When we do covers, we do stuff from deftones and RATM, which is more or less a conglomeration of all our musical tastes. The key here is compromise. If it just doesn't work out, a overhauling of the band is in order.
04. Gig-less. Let's face it, gigs are hard to come by these days. When you're a minor, it's nearly impossible to get a good gig, except maybe in school affairs. And you know you can't build a fan base when you don't have gigs.
The Obvious Solution: Don't rush things. Gigs will come by, and like I said, we got our whole lives. Instead of concentrating on building a fan base, keep working on your music. Once you get better, you'll have a lot more gigs. Audition anytime you can, even when you're pretty damn sure you're not gonna make the cut. It's the only way you can test yourselves on how much improvement you're making. And of course, be on the lookout for ads looking for bands.
I guess these are all the obvious problems that you'll encounter. Of course, these aren't the ONLY problems. Trouble will surface as your band progresses, but remember, adversity is a precedent to greatness! Good luck!