10 Rules For Picking New Band Members

© 2009 Vinny Ribas

I’ll go out on a limb here and venture a guess that every singer dreams of having the world’s most smokin’ band behind them. Amazing instrumentation, coupled with flawless backup vocals, can bring just about any show to life. Unfortunately, sometimes having unbelievable talent in your band comes with a price. That price can take on many different forms – ego, unprofessionalism, the unwillingness to be a team player and so much more.

Here are 10 rules to follow when you’re putting your band together:

  1. Pick personality over talent every time. Find the best players you can find who also get along with everyone and don’t bring their personal baggage to the gig or rehearsal.
  2. Find people who know how to be professional both on and off stage. You are the one who suffers if one of the band members mouths off to the club owner, gets in a fight with a customer, gets arrested etc, especially if it’s your band. Your reputation is on the line 24/7. [private_member]
  3. Be sure everyone agrees on the kind(s) of music that you’re going to be playing, and is also capable of playing well in those styles. Find players whose styles compliment each other.
  4. Find team players – people who get along and work together well on and off stage.
  5. Find musicians who don’t have an ego. They need to know what their role is, shine when it is their turn to shine, and lay back and support the rest of the band the rest of the time. The last thing you need is a soloist stepping on other soloists or playing all over the vocals.
  6. Be sure everyone knows who the band leader is and respects him or her. If it’s not you, find someone who knows how to be a band leader.
  7. Be certain everyone knows who the songwriters will be. If the band is only going to play your songs, then make that known up front. If the band will be writing together and picking the best of the songs, then make that known. There are a limited number of songs on a CD, and many bands have split because everyone wants THEIR song on it!
  8. Avoid anyone with drug or alcohol challenges. Nothing destroys a band quicker than substance abuse. There is not a musician on this earth who plays or sings his best drunk or stoned. It only leads to problems on and off stage.
  9. Know what you want. Don’t settle for less than what you want or need to deliver the sound and quality that you desire. It’s your reputation on the line at every gig!
  10. Be sure that everyone is willing to rehearse often. This will ensure that the band stays tight, has new material and is always at the top of its game. It also shows that your band members are as committed as you are to putting on a 1st rate show every time.

By following these basic guidelines, you will have a band that works and plays together effortlessly and as one cohesive unit. This will enable you to concentrate on what you do best 100% of the time, without the worry of wondering what the rest of the band is doing![/private_member]


About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.