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Cool Careers: Making a Band

Being in a band is the ultimate dream for so many people--creating music, performing live and recording CDs. And best of all, you're paid to do what you love. But like any career in the arts field, it can be hard to make a living. Here’s the first steps you need to take in order to make a band:

Step 1: Find Musicians

If you and your friends are in this together, perfect! You’ve already completed step one. If not, you’ll have to find some talented musicians who share the same goals as you. So where do you start? Check local places where music lovers gather: CD stores, concerts, even your school band class. Or ask people you know. Still no luck? Then place free ads around town: on message boards, street posts and Craigslist.


Step 2: Practice, Practice, Practice

Step two is a three-tiered step. First you need to make sure you have all your required instruments. Hopefully your band mates have their own equipment. If not, save up because instruments are expensive. Then find a place to practice. You’ll have to be especially nice to your parents or tenants if you want to use your house. Then agree on a music style, write songs and practice. And don’t stop practicing. Think of it as a jam session. Practicing is part of the fun. If practicing feels like work, maybe a band isn’t the right career for you. Make a schedule, so that every band member can commit to being there on time.


Step 3: Advertize

You have to get exposure. Give your band a MySpace page, and build a website. If you’re not tech-savvy, don’t worry. There are tons of sites online that provide website-building templates. Create a promotional package, complete with demo tracks, a band biography, and copies of newspaper clippings or any other press your band has received. You’ll need this package to approach record labels.


Step 4: Book Gigs

Book unpaid gigs at different venues like fairs, music cafés and even school/battle-of-the-band competitions. Don’t grumble at the unpaid part. Remember, you have to start on the bottom and work your way up.

Being in a band will not make you an instant millionaire. In fact, chances are you’ll never become a millionaire. Most musicians are in it for the love of playing music rather than the cash flow. So while it’s good to be ambitious, it’s a good idea to have other career options.


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Instruments

What's your favorite instrument to play in a school band?

  • Violin
  • Flute
  • Piano
  • Tuba

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