Making Your Band Stronger

© 2009 Vinny Ribas

Here are some suggestions for making your band more successful and to help it stay together for a long time:

  • Rehearse regularly. Have at least one day and time when the band rehearses every week. If you’re on the road and can’t use the stage area during the day, bring portable equipment that you can use to rehearse in your hotel room.
  • Have one person who is in charge of planning the rehearsal. That includes notifying everyone, preparing any work tapes and charts that you’ll need ahead of time, making certain that the rehearsal room and necessary equipment will be available etc.
  • Don’t put up with prima donnas, bad attitudes, inflated egos or ay other kinds of troublemakers. If the band doesn’t get along off stage, it shows on stage. Of course, this means that you need to keep your own ego in check as well.
  • Know your audience ahead of time and prepare for it. If it’s your first time in the venue, find out ahead of time what to expect. Then, gear your show towards that kind of crowd. For example, know if you need to play a mellow first set, then crank it up, or do you need to come out rocking from the start.
  • Enjoy every gig! If you’re not having fun, the audience will sense it, and they won’t have fun either.
  • Treat your band fairly. Band members who feel appreciated and respected will be loyal to you and will give 110% every time. If you treat your band like cheap, hired help, they won’t give their best for you, and you’ll lose them the second something better comes along.
  • Keep a balance in your life, and allow your band room to do the same. It’s one thing to ask your members to be dedicated to the group. It’s an entirely different story to ask them to give up too much time away from family and friends. All this does cause resentment, and forces them into making a choice between you and the people they love. 9 out of 10 times, you’re going to lose.
  • Hire talent. You want a band that is tight and capable of pulling off the style(s) of music that you are playing. However, don’t ever hire or keep a player on just because they have tremendous talent. They still need to fit in as a person. They need to be a team layer. Talent should never come with an ugly price tag like a bad attitude, negativity to star syndrome. A band made up of good musicians who love to play together can go just as far if not farther than a band made up of superstar talent but with no chemistry on stage.
  • Know your strengths and limitations. If you’re band doesn’t have a great singer with a wide vocal range, don’t try to pull of songs that require one. If you have great vocal talent, showcase it! If you don’t have great soloists who can mesmerize a crowd, then don’t give them extended solos. If you have amazing players, give them a chance to ‘show off’. Play to your strengths and downplay your weaknesses.
  • Be professional. This includes everything from showing up on time and dressing properly to treating everyone with respect. Make sure your demo package looks professional. Be respectful to the venue owner/manager, his or her staff, the audience, your band members, your tech crew and your fans. You’ll get many more repeat gigs because you’re easy to work with than you will just by being a talented band.


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.