If you are a musician, chances are that you have at least once considered starting or joining a band. It is the best way to create music consistently, find opportunities to grow and perform as a musician, and form a community of like-minded artists. 

If you want to form a band, here are some tips that can help you grow and sustain a meaningful musical career: 

1 – Find like-minded band mates:

Today, it’s easier than ever to connect with musicians from any part of the world and find a way to work together. It is important that you find someone whose music resonates with you, and even more importantly, someone whose values you share. After all, you will be spending significant time working and performing together. 

2 – Find your genre:

It can be tempting to explore many styles of music all at once, but you have great chances of growing a consistent audience if you know what niche you want to explore. Do you write and perform regional-language music only? Do you do guitar covers of Bollywood songs? Are you interested in contemporary world music? The best way to find your sound is to discuss with your bandmates, and find what feels most natural. 

3 – Make music regularly:

Once your band is formed and you have a sense of your sound, it’s time to create a structure. Playing in a band isn’t about “hanging out” at someone’s garage. It takes discipline and commitment. Make sure you set a goal for how often you want to release new tracks (either as singles, albums, or short tracks on streaming or social media platforms), and plan your time accordingly. 

4 – Use social media liberally:

To grow a listener base, it’s important to use social media to its full potential. You can host live sessions, play audience requests, create music videos, and tell your band’s story as creatively as you’d like. Building an engaged following means that you should: (a) show up on social media every day and (b) reply to comments as much as possible. 

5 – Practice regularly:

If it’s safe for band members to meet regularly and practice, make sure that you have a designated and soundproofed spot where you can rehearse without interruptions. If you are meeting and practising via online sessions, make sure that you have a good internet connection and can work together undisturbed. Either way, it’s important to dedicate enough time every week to practising together, learning to work with each other, and creating a long-term plan for the band. 

Finally, remember this: if you try to reverse-engineer the process of building an audience by playing what you think listeners will want, you will not be able to create a meaningful musical journey – either for yourself or for your audience. Make music that you love, and the fans will follow.

By Bindu and Ambi Subramaniam – Co-Founders, SaPa. Sign up for their self-paced courses on the Carnatic violin, songwriting, and Western music theory today.

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