Start a Garage Band

A garage band is a group of musicians who get together to play music for fun.  A band might have a drummer, a guitarist, a bass player, a singer, and a piano player.  But you can call any combination of musicians a band.  

Here are a few tips on how to start your own garage band.  

Learn How to Play an Instrument
Choose an instrument you like, then find a music teacher who can help you learn how to play.  After practicing for awhile you will be ready to play with other musicians.   

Finding Band Members
Get together with other musicians and talk about the kind of music you would like to play.  If you like each other and share a similar interest in music, then you’re ready to start a band.  

The Rehearsal
Once you have formed a band, rehearsals begin.  A rehearsal is when band members get together and practice songs.  Select a few songs that band members like.  
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Before rehearsing as a group, learn your part to the song, either by “ear,” by having someone show you the part, or by reading sheet music.  For example, the bass player will learn how to play the bass line just like it sounds on the recording.    

The Gig
After your band has rehearsed for several months and learned enough songs, you might want to perform in front of an audience. Contact a school talent show, a fair, or a local park and invite the promoter to hear your band.  Have a press kit ready including a photo, demo tape or CD, band description, and contact information. Pick a name for your band that matches your image and style.

Getting a Good Sound
Getting a good sound is very important.  If you can, hire an experienced sound person to help you get started.  Once you are performing on a regular basis you will want to buy your own system.

 
Putting on the Show
When you’re on stage you will want to entertain and interact with your audience.  Dance, smile, jump up and down.  Do whatever you can to be put on an interesting show.  Also, get to know your fans and treat them well.

Write and Record Your own Songs
After your band has been together for awhile you may want to write and record your own songs.  Make a demo tape or CD so you can listen to your songs and your sound.  When you are ready, check out the local studios and record.  

Glossary of important band words:

album
: One or more recordings (as on tape or CD) produced as a single unit

buzz
: Slang expression for word of mouth

charisma
: Magnetism, what draws the audience to you, your stage presence, how you put on a show

cover songs
: Tunes your band performs that are written by another person or band

demo tape
: Short for demonstration; a homemade recording

gig
: A live performance in front of an audience

hook
: The catchy part of a song, usually the chorus

jam session
: An impromptu performance especially by jazz musicians

networking
: The art of making contact with important people who can help your career

press kit
: A package of promotional materials including a bio, press release, and photo

set list
: The band’s master list of songs for a show

sound check
: Pre concert rehearsal at site of gig
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