10 Ways To Keep Your Band Members Happy

© 2009 Vinny Ribas

Let’s face it. A band that is happy and content with their situation will be tighter and more expressive than a band made up of ‘discontented sidemen’. How they feel will be directly reflected in their performing, their interaction with the rest of the band and with how they relate with the audience. Here are some tips that will help insure that your band is happy:

  1. Pay them fairly and in a timely fashion. Nothing causes more dissent in a band than feeling unappreciated!
  2. Get to know them. Treat them like friends, not just band members. Learn about their families, their likes and dislikes, their dreams and their goals etc. Watch each other’s backs. Remember birthdays and other important dates. This makes them feel like they are part of the family rather than an outsider.
  3. Give them their share of the spotlight. Everyone has something worth showcasing. Acknowledge their contribution to your overall sound and to your success. If you let them know that you appreciate everything that they bring to the table, they will remain loyal to you.
  4. Be organized. Make sure that the band members know where and when all of the gigs are as soon as you know, as well as how they’re going to get there. Have set lists made up before the gig. Come prepared for rehearsals and make sure everyone else knows what to prepare. This shows that you regard them as important.
  5. Treat them with respect. Don’t look down on them just because you think that you’re the reason people come to see the act. Keep communication wide open between them and you. Be honest with them and avoid surprises. If you respect them, they will certainly respect you.
  6. Honor their personal needs. Respect their need for privacy. Don’t waste their time. Give them a chance to live their own lives outside of life with the band.
  7. Help them find work if you’re not working. Stay aware of their needs to pay their bills, support themselves and their families etc. If you don’t, they will jump at the first seemingly ‘better offer’ that comes along.
  8. Make certain that they are clear about all legal matters that affect them. For example, they need to know if they are independent contractors or employees. They need to know who owns and has the rights to the name of the band. Don’t leave room for any misunderstandings that could cause serious, long-term problems.
  9. Include them in decisions that affect their status or futures. Let them know that you value their input. They may come up with brilliant ideas or powerful solutions that you never thought of.
  10. Immediately weed out bad apples. If someone is always negative, obviously unhappy with life, putting others down, always complaining or just carrying a sour attitude, fire them. There is no room for even one drop of such poison. It can spread and affect everything both on and off stage. A great attitude can trump a musical genius any day of the week!


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.