Every musician who’s been playing for a certain amount of time eventually reaches a point where they want to take their musical journey to the next level. For many, this will mean performing. And while performing solo is an option, playing as a part of a band can be an extremely rewarding experience for many reasons
. This leads to the inevitable question, should I start or join a band? There are pros and cons to both methods, and whichever you choose, Muze
can help you make it happen.
We’ve created a guide to help you figure out which option will be the best for you.
How Important is Creative Control?
If you have a clear vision for the direction you want to take your music in, then you might be better suited to starting your own band. This is especially true if you write your own music and enjoy being the powerhouse behind the creative concept.
That being said, many bands are open to suggestions and welcome new input. A lot of times, when bands are looking for new members they might also be wanting to take their collective journey in a new direction; there is the possibility of joining a band and contributing to the creative ideas that are generated. It’s just less likely.
At the end of the day, most bands will have some amount of group contribution, so whether you start or join a band it should be with the collective mentality in mind.
What Instrument Do You Play?
Of course, no matter what instrument (or instruments) you play, you can still be the impetus for starting a band, but some instruments operate better on their own versus in a band. There are also disproportionate needs in various bands because of the relative popularity of different instruments. For example, you might find it easier to join a band that already exists as a percussionist than if you play guitar. But of course, it always depends.
The type of instrument you play may also affect what kind of music you play, and therefore how many other people you need to form a band. When trying to decide whether to start or join a band, it might be a good idea to jump onto Muze
to get a sense of what the demand for your skillset is. That will give you a better sense of whether it will be easy to join a band or whether you should plan to start your own.
Are You Suited to Managerial Tasks?
The truth is, not everyone wants to be in charge. For some, it is much more appealing to just be able to show up and play and not have to deal with all of the additional responsibilities that come with spearheading the band. While you can, of course, try to make it a collective effort so that all of the band’s responsibilities don’t fall to you, as the person who started the band, people may look to you as a leader.
Heading up a band can mean being responsible for finding a place to rehearse, scheduling rehearsals, booking shows, managing any money the band makes, and looking for managers or record deals. This can be extremely overwhelming for anyone, and might not be what you want to focus your energy on. So when considering whether to start or join a band, it’s important to keep in mind the additional tasks that starting your own band might entail.
How Important is it for You To Choose Your Bandmates?
For some, the opportunity to play with a band is exciting and who you do it with is far less important. It can be viewed as a job, just like any other, with colleagues whose individual personalities you need to learn to manage. For others, it is very important that the band have a good mix of personalities that feels more like a family. If you are someone who really wants to be able to carefully curate who is in the band, then you’re probably better off starting your own.
By joining a band, you will inevitably have less control over who is in the band and it can be challenging to join a group that already has a good rapport. But there can be upsides to this method as well — they might be very welcoming and excited to have some new talent in the band, and they also might already have some momentum, which might lead to more opportunities to play more quickly.