It’s completely understandable. You and your band mates are entirely new to the whole “being a band” thing. You’re necessarily going to make a few missteps along the way! But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to make sure you don’t make any of the big mistakes, the ones that could cost you gigs, money, or even the band itself. With that in mind, here are six mistakes that you and your band should avoid making.
#1: Rushing Into the First Gigs
You know what they say about first impressions, right? In almost every case, your first gigs will be opening up for more established local acts. These gigs are crucial, because they give you the opportunity to get plugged into the scene. All too often, bands hastily put together some material and rush into performance. When they hit the stage, they sound awful, and then everyone writes them off. Don’t be this band!
#2: Putting the Cart before the Horse
In the same way that new bands will gig before they’re ready, they’ll also start doing everything else before they’ve reach the appropriate level. What’s “everything else”, you ask? This includes everything from making merch and recording and selling music to shamelessly promoting on social media. All of these things will come in their due time, but you have to make sure you have a rock solid product first.
#3: Lacking Professionalism
It’s called the music business, not the music free-for-all. It’s very important that a band comport itself with a certain level of professionalism, both in the practice space and on the stage. When you’re practicing, things will only get done, and the band will only get better, if everyone is taking it seriously. When it comes to playing out, the venue you’re playing in is a business. If you waste their time by taking too long to set up, by running into another band’s time slot, or by showing up late for sound check, then you’re a band that’s going to be written off on the spot, no matter how good you sound.
#4: Being Self-Involved
If you manage to get to the point where you’re selling out arenas, then you can feel free to become the self-involved, self-destructive musician that you see on TV. Until that time, you’ve got to approach the music scene with an open mind and heart. The people that you play with and interact with at your gigs are the people that will ultimately make or break you. If you and your fellow band members make the effort to be generous with your time and support, you’ll find that many will be willing to return the favor.
#5: Not Discussing Money
Even if your band has never played a gig, there’s still a financial component to it. Once you start playing gigs, then band members are going to want to be paid. When people just assume with the money component of a band, bad things happen. It’s really that simple. So, make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the band’s money (or even just its expenses), as this will keep explosive situations from arising.
#6: Not Having Fun
Being in a band is about doing something that you love. All too often, amateur musicians will fall in love with the idea of being in a band, but will not be in love with the band they’re in. Therefore, be sure that your heart is truly in what you and your bandmates are creating. If, at the beginning, it’s not, then that’s something that’s highly unlikely to change over time.
Keep On Reading
These, in our eyes, are some of the biggest mistakes bands that are starting out make. If you want to get a better handle on how your band should be conducting itself, and the things that you’ll need to do to find some success, then keep on reading. We’ve got plenty of awesome advice to help you achieve the things you want to achieve.