How to Start a Rock Band
You don't have to study music for years to start a rockin' band, and you don't
have to spend a fortune on gear. It's a great way to have some fun with friends,
plus it exercises your creativity and your brain cells too. Learn three or four
basic chords and, voilą! - you can play nearly anything. To start off, you'll
need some basic equipment and a place to play.
- Get a guitar or piano and learn some basic chords. The basics that every
beginning musician should know are G, C, and D or A, E, and D. You can learn on
any guitar; electric or acoustic. Learn those chords and a whole world of rock
music opens up to you. Learn a few a more and you can play almost anything.
- Make a place to play. Most great bands start out in the garage. Get some
fans to circulate the air if you live in a hot area. Another idea, would be to
rent a storage shed for your band to play, and store your gear.
- Get an electric guitar and amp.
- Get at least one microphone, and a stand to go with it. Playing songs is a
lot more fun when someone's singing!
- Recruit your personnel. A trio or a four man group is an excellent way to
start - an electric guitar, a drummer, and a bass player (possibly a keyboardist
as well). There are tons of new players out there dying for people to play with.
- Create a song list. You and your bandmates will want to agree on some songs
that you all like and want to play. For starters, five songs is a good number.
- Learn the chords and words to those songs! The Internet is full of lyrics
and chords for your favorite songs. Just do a Google search giving the name of
the song and the words lyrics or chords. Try http://www.chordie.com for chords.
If you're ambitious, sit down with a recording and try to pick out the chords
yourself by ear. There's no better ear-training in the world.
- Now put it all together. Gather your bandmates and their equipment in your
practice room and run through your five songs. You might want to bring printouts
of the chords and lyrics.
- You're not quite ready to perform yet! Your band needs a sweet name. See the
tips sections for some suggestions.
- Organize a party with friends and family where you can perform your songs
and show off how much your new band rocks!
- Spread your name, talk with other people about the band and create a simple
website. If you are not quite that tech savvy, MySpace offers a free hosting
service for bands. Invite all of your friends to join the friends list and post
songs on there when you record something.