">

Advice on Getting Your Band Started

IMG_1419

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I have been recalling how difficult it was to be a young musicians in the small town. There really are  no directions as to how to promote  new music in the band. So here are some tips for starting your new band or for updating your promotion techniques for your current one.

1 . Your practice room.

You should be spending a lot of time in this room,  so it should be set up to make your time efficient. Try to keep it away from any distractions like TVs or other family rooms.  Make sure that your equipment is set up for the best mix. A lot of musicians and bands think that sound and mixing is only the sound guys job, but in reality, it is your responsibility to give them a good sound.  Balanced levels between bass, guitars, and vocals are a great starting point. Place drums in the rear center of the room and have guitars is equally split between them. Put the bass as close to the drummer so they can feed off each other. Space out the pa system so everyone can hear equally. As musicians, we can get so focused on playing that we forget to be a part of the band.  Everyone in the band is responsible for listening to each other and providing feedback. Recently, my band has had some issues with stage volume . I recommend that you  practice turning up for turning down as a band. Quiet mixes lead to a lack of stage presence, but excessively loud mixes  drive the audience away. Also, set up as close to the stage plot  as you can so that you can learn about any mobility issues before they arise. I have run into a lot of stages that were smaller than my practice area, but there is still an audience and you have to deliver so learn the best navigation.

2. Timing. 

This includes set up time set time and preparation for your shows.  Showing up early and staying late has always seemed to pay off for me. Besides any fan mingling opportunities,  the stage for some reason always  seems to be less desirable than any band ever expects. I have seen bad cables,  bad outlets, bad lighting, bad strings,  the list goes on. A lot of these can be fixed or remedied prior to the show, but will cripple the mood if you’re dealing with them last minute. Another good tip it is to practice your set times. You should always calculate for the show running behind, playing faster than you expected, or talking too much and having a long set time.Talk about strategies for extra songs, encores, or which songs to cut first in case in runs too long. If your band talked about these things before the show,  you will not resort to the garage band style, 10 minutes discussions that so often result, of which I am also guilty. 3. The Gig. Hours of practice can sometimes turn into a wall of sound because of too much or to little faith in the room or  sound engineer. Try and do a little research about the kinds of gigs and equipment that they have. The number and kind of mics that they have will be a good clue as to the best set up for your band. It’s no good trying to pump a 12 piece band through a small pa system. It will only cloud the vocals. The reverse can also have it’s issues. If you are playing a larger arena, and try to get all of your volume out of the guitar amp, the volume will vary  a lot and  the engineer will not be able to  correct it. A good engineer can only do his job if you let him.  

Hope this helps and I will be adding to this from time to time so check back!  

JH