There are so many problems to confront when starting a band. If you want to have fun, let alone have some success, definitely avoid these top 10 mistakes when starting a band.
1) Try to find musicians by word of mouth, the craigslist thing almost never works out if you want to have a truly good band, however if you are looking for a great deal on a nearly unused toaster oven, then yes use the c-list.
2) If at all possible try to avoid people who went to the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Generally the former students from that school know theory very well, can play scales to beat your life, have amazing equipment, but know almost nothing about the “feeling” of music let alone songwriting. Also they will bore you to death talking ad nauseam about some kind of modality that they just discovered during a religious experience while “taking the waters” at Big Sur.
3) It is almost always a mistake to have someone in your band that does not have his own transportation, and transportation includes the ability to transport their equipment. “Dude my car broke down,” is not a relaxing situation five minutes before downbeat.
4) When auditioning musicians always have some material for them to play. Conducting an audition without direction never goes well. “Uh well what do you know,” “I dunno what do you know…” is not going to cut it.
5) This relates to number four and auditions; if someone shows up to the audition with their girlfriend that is a bad sign. What you want are musicians not people who have separation anxiety. This rule is especially important if the girlfriend is named Yoko.
6) If the girlfriend is hot ignore rule #5 even if she is named Yoko.
7) Find out if the guy you want to form a band with is a “tinkerer.” If so it might be better to avoid this individual. He will probably not have his equipment working a good percentage of the time, the rest of the time he will be boring everyone with long winded explanations of why the “Dxt 27/c4-AX5 tube shifter” has revolutionized amplification – like who cares.
8) Always try and get a listen to what a perspective member of your band has written. If the song has lots of cult like images or glories in killing the neighbors cat, it is a good bet this person will be unreliable.
9) When a guy shows up to rehearsal more than once without a cord and is constantly bumming equipment off other band members he probably is not a good fit, even if you do own a music store because he certainly won’t be a paying customer.
10) If your drummer shows up on time to a rehearsal or gig more than once and on purpose, fire him immediately – he obviously has no talent.
If you are able to avoid these top ten mistakes while starting your band, you might not make it big, but you will avoid a lot of headaches.