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Starting Your Own Band

Jim Liddane
Jim Liddane, Bobby O'Driscoll & Ger Baggott
(Composite photo courtesy Bobby!)

Introduction by Jim Liddane.
I was "invited" to join my first band in the mid-1950s, at the ripe old age of 12.

Ok, maybe "invited" is a bit of a stretch. The truth is, they were desperately looking for a replacement pianist for a charity concert that same evening, and someone let it slip that there was this small kid who could plunk out "Bad Penny Blues" with (as Eric Morecambe might have put it), most of the notes in the right order.

And so I received a peremptory summons to perform my one-hit wonder in front of three very hip dudes who, in their minds were already somewhere else - probably the nearest bar.

At least they listened, or pretended to, while managing to look impressively disinterested (a cool look which I later spent months trying to perfect).

Anyway, after what felt like an eternity, the double bass player and clearly the leader of the gang, conferred with his cohorts and finally graciously welcomed me into the world of show business with the reassuring phrase:

"I suppose you'll have to do; it's too late to find someone else now".

And so it was that a few hours later, I found myself up on a stage at a major charity event alongside about ten other acts - facing an audience of 700 adults some of whom had come along presumably expecting the quartet's usual piano-led repertoire of Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Errol Garner and all that jazz.

Problem was - I didn't know any of that jazz so instead, they ended up with a dose of "Bad Penny Blues", followed by a bit of Fats Domino (sans vocal), a second bit of Fats Domino (also sans vocal), and for good measure, "Bad Penny Blues" all over again. But louder.

Sounds a bit grim, but rock and roll had just barely started so to everybody's astonishment, the audience actually clapped! They even demanded an encore! And I got to take a bow!

Sadly, the next day, Charlie - the "proper pianist" - returned to the fold, and I was unceremoniously shown the door.

But hey, twenty odd bands ago - for 15 glorious minutes - I was as close as I would ever get to being a star.

And you know what? I sort of liked the feeling!

OK. Whatever. Save the nostalgia stuff for your autobiography. I'm a songwriter, So why do I want anything to do with setting up a band?

Well if you're a songwriter, setting up your own band even if you don't intend to perform on stage with them, can actually offer numerous advantages, both creatively and professionally.

Songwriting, let's be frank, is a sort of lonely business. Having a band provides a support system, making the challenges of the music industry more manageable, while band members can provide valuable feedback, helping you refine and improve your songs. Who knows, they might even be persuaded to laugh at your jokes!

And if you're in charge, you can continue to write songs that reflect your personal style and message without needing to fit into someone else’s vision. Thay way, you have the freedom to bring your musical vision to life exactly as you envision it without compromising on your own artistic goals.

Collaborating with band members can also lead to new ideas and inspirations, enhancing your songwriting with diverse influences, while being involved in a band can increase your visibility in the music industry, leading to more networking opportunities and even more potential collaborators.

And yes - I know you didn't get involved purely for the money - but a band can hopefully generate income through live performances, merchandise sales, and music streaming, providing financial support for your songwriting career.

Working closely with other musicians can also improve your musical skills and broaden your understanding of different instruments and arrangements while pooling resources with band members can reduce individual costs for equipment, recording, and marketing.

In other words - by setting up your own band, whether you decide to perform with them or not, you can leverage all these advantages to elevate your songwriting career, create more impactful music, and achieve your artistic and professional goals.

Fine. But I don't play any instrument. I just write songs.

What's that got to do with it? Keith Reid, who co-founded Procul Harum with Gary Brooker, penned every original song released by the band including "A Whiter Shade of Pale", "Homburg" and "Conquistador". But Keith himself doesn't play any instrument, doesn't sing, and has never recorded anything with the band. Yet he is as much a member of Procul Harum as is Gary Brooker or Matthew Fisher.

Come to think of it - Robert Hunter’s role in the Grateful Dead is more songwriting as anything else, while there are legions of hit songwriters who formed or managed bands simply so that they could have an outlet for their own songs.

But first, before you set up the auditions, a salutary word (or if you prefer, a hoary old joke) for those expecting to automatically make lotsa money

Question: "How do you make a million dollars in the band business?

Answer: Start out with two million.

But if you're still willing to take the a shot at it, here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Define Your Vision

Unlike George H Bush's muddled approach to "the vision thing" - every true leader needs a vision. And band leaders need it just as much as presidents.

Deciding on the genre and style of music you want to play (the "vision"), is a deeply personal process, shaped by a combination of your interests, influences, goals, coupled with some serious practical considerations.

Start by reflecting on the music that resonates most with you. Consider the genres and artists that have had a significant impact on your life, as well as the types of music that evoke the strongest emotional responses in you. This initial reflection can help you identify a foundational genre or style that aligns with your personal tastes and emotional expression.

Next, explore your musical influences and inspirations. Think about the musicians and bands you admire and analyze what it is about their music that captivates you. Is it their lyrical content, their musical complexity, the mood they create, or perhaps their performance style? This analysis can guide you in shaping your own musical identity by incorporating elements from your influences into your unique style. Your goals as a musician also play a crucial role in this decision. Are you aiming to entertain, inspire, tell stories, or provoke thought? Different genres can serve different purposes. For example, pop music might be ideal for reaching a broad audience and creating catchy, memorable songs, while jazz might offer more opportunities for improvisation and musical exploration.

Additionally, consider your practical skills and resources. Some genres may require specific instrumental proficiencies or access to particular instruments and equipment. Assess your current abilities and the resources at your disposal, and think about whether you’re willing to invest time and money into acquiring new skills or instruments if necessary. Engage with different music communities, both online and offline, to gather feedback and learn from other musicians. Participate in jam sessions, attend concerts, and join music groups to experience a variety of styles firsthand. These interactions can provide valuable insights and help you find your place within the musical landscape. Finally, allow yourself to experiment and evolve. Your musical preferences and style may change over time, and that’s perfectly natural. Don’t be afraid to try out different genres and styles, as this experimentation can lead to a more well-rounded and authentic musical identity. Embrace the journey of musical discovery and remain open to new influences and ideas.

Find The Right Band Members

Finding the right band members is a crucial step in forming a successful musical group, and it begins with effective networking. Start by reaching out to friends, fellow musicians, and local music communities to see if anyone is interested in joining your band. Social media platforms are invaluable for this purpose, allowing you to connect with a broad range of potential bandmates. Additionally, forums dedicated to music and musician networking apps such as BandMix or Vampr can be incredibly useful. These platforms are specifically designed to help musicians find each other based on location, genre, and skill level, making it easier to find individuals who match your musical style and vision.

Don't Ignore Your Local Music Store

Back in pre-historic times (in other words when I was living in Cork), I played with a five-piece unit which was doing very nicely thank you, when suddenly, three of the members got poached by an emerging showband. With a gig on the following Saturday which was being promoted by a large Cork musical instrument shop, I nervously mentioned my plight to the owner explaining that we had lost both guitarists and the bass player leaving us with just one pianist and one drummer.

"Leave it with me" was his response and by Friday, he had replaced all three! Saturday night, we were back in business, and I quickly discovered the value of the man that owns the musical instrument shop. He already knows every musician in town, and better still, every musician in town already owes him big time.

Hold Auditions

First, identify your potential band members, and hold auditions. Auditions are essential not only to assess the musical skills of each candidate but also to determine if their personality and vision align with yours and the rest of the group. During auditions, pay close attention to how well each person plays their instrument or sings, as well as their ability to collaborate and communicate effectively. It's important to find members who are not only talented but also share a similar commitment and enthusiasm for the project. Compatibility in terms of musical direction, work ethic, and interpersonal dynamics is key to ensuring that the band can work together harmoniously and creatively.

When I was in college, I was once invited to audition for a new showband whose the two founding members almost came ot blows over my suitability. The excellent guitarist (admittedly not neccessarily the most gracious of people) announced quite loudly that I was rubbish. However the vocalist kept insisting that I was the greatest thing since Floyd Cramer. Of course I just stood there in the hope that they might split the difference and agree that whereas I might not be all that good - I wasn't all that bad either.

But I needn't have been worried. It soon turned out (as the guitarist kept being reminded) that the vocalist owned both the sound system and the van - and accordingly, I ended up in the band. In fact, come to think of it, the next four members were also chosen solely by the vocalist!

Then barely one week into rehearsals, and outnumbered five-to-one by the people he had dissed at the auditions, the guitarist upped and quit. But this time strangely enough, there was no need to hold any sort of audition. Believe it or not, by a lucky coincidence, the vocalist's girlfriend seemingly always had a kid brother who just also happened to learning the guitar!

Gee - who would have thought?

To be honest, he was not exactly the greatest guitarist ever, but we all got on really well together and as the vocalist kept reminding me - that's very important. And he was right. I really enjoyed the twelve months or so we worked as a unit while our original guitarist fought and battled his way through the next three bands who were unfortunate enough to recruit him.

Of course musicianship is important. But if you end up playing together four or five nights a week, the ability to get on with each other, and trust each other, should never be discounted.

Practice Regularly

Regular practice is essential for any band aiming to refine their skills and maintain a cohesive sound. The first step in this process is to establish a regular practice schedule that accommodates the availability of all members. Consistency is key, so it's important to find a time that works for everyone, ensuring that each member can commit to regular sessions without frequent interruptions. This could mean weekly or bi-weekly practices, depending on everyone's schedules and the band's goals.

Get A Space

I once found myself rehearsing in a field surrounded by cows. No, I wasn't hallucinating. The three of us (pictured above in most recent times!) had just started a band and, in a stroke of sheer genius (or perhaps madness), decided to venture into the countryside with just one guitar to practice the harmonies for Paul McCartney's masterpiece, "Here, There and Everywhere".

As we started playing, the cows appeared quite curious, inching closer a couple of yards at a time until they were just a few feet away. They stood there, chewing the cud, while giving us their undivided, if slightly bemused attention. I swear, if cows could clap, we'd have had a standing ovation.

A few days later, I drove past the same farm, but there was no sign of our bovine audience. I'd like to think that they were so inspired by the song's title that they broke free from their captivity. Even today, I imagine them wandering the countryside, serenading anyone who'll listen with a moo-velous rendition of the Beatles songbook.

Enough Rubbish. How About The Space?

Finding an appropriate rehearsal space is very important. Whether it's a rented studio, a member's garage, or a community center (or a field if needs be!), the space should be conducive to focused and productive practice sessions. Consider factors like acoustics, accessibility, and comfort when choosing your practice venue. A well-equipped and comfortable space can significantly enhance the quality of your rehearsals, allowing you to focus entirely on the music without distractions or logistical issues.

Get A Routine

Developing a structured practice routine is the final piece of the puzzle. Start each session with warm-ups to ensure everyone is physically and mentally rerlaxed. Allocate time for improving individual and collective skills, such as working on timing, harmony, and improvisation. Dedicate portions of your practice to creating and refining new material, while also rehearsing existing songs to keep them fresh and performance-ready. A well-rounded practice routine not only helps in improving technical skills but also fosters creativity and tightens the band's overall sound, preparing you for live performances and recording sessions.

Create Original Material

Creating original material is a vital aspect of establishing a unique identity for your band which is where you come in. Start with the collaborative process of songwriting. Collaboration can take various forms, from spontaneous jam sessions where ideas naturally evolve, to sharing concepts and snippets online using collaborative tools and platforms. Dedicated writing sessions are also essential, where band members come together with the sole purpose of crafting new songs. This collaborative approach ensures that everyone’s creative input is considered, leading to a richer and more diverse repertoire. The synergy of different perspectives and talents often results in innovative and compelling original music that showcases the band’s collective creativity.

Add Some Covers

In addition to original songs, incorporating covers into your setlist can be highly beneficial. Cover songs serve multiple purposes: they help fill time during performances, especially when your catalogue of original material is still growing, and they also attract audiences who enjoy hearing familiar tunes. Well-chosen covers can engage listeners who might be new to your band, providing a sense of familiarity and comfort. Moreover, performing covers allows your band to showcase your unique interpretation of well-known songs, which can be a powerful way to demonstrate your musical abilities and stylistic flair. Balancing original material with popular covers can thus enhance your performances and broaden your appeal to a wider audience.

Get A Band Name

Choosing a band name is a crucial step in defining your band's identity. To start, brainstorm ideas by making a list of words, phrases, or concepts that come to mind, and involve all band members to ensure everyone feels connected to the name. Reflect on your style and genre to find a name that fits your music and attracts your target audience. Check for uniqueness by searching online to ensure the name isn’t already in use by another band. Verify domain availability if you plan to create a website.

Consider pronunciation and spelling to make it easier for fans to find you online. Think about the longevity of the name and avoid trendy references that might become outdated. Check for trademark issues to avoid legal problems, using resources like the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website. Test the name by saying it out loud and getting feedback from friends and family. Ensure social media handle availability for consistent branding across platforms.

For inspiration, use personal stories or inside jokes, incorporate band member names or initials, and look at books, movies, or art for interesting titles and character names. Combining two or more words that have special meaning or sound good together can also create a unique name. Utilise tools like band name generators and thesauruses to spark ideas. By following these steps and tips, you can come up with a band name that reflects your music, is unique, and resonates with your audience.

Or of course, you vould always name it after yourself!

It might sound a bit immodest, but you would be in good company. Think The J. Geils Band, The Edgar Winter Group, The Jeff Healey Band, The Greg Kihn Band, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Florence & The Machine, Katrina & The Waves, Steve Miller Band, The Dave Clark Five, Huey Lewis & The News, The Charlie Daniels Band and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Andd by using your own name plus a band name - you greatly increase the chances of ending up on the first page of Google.

Which reminds me - check Google

Google is your friend - well in this case anyway! And by checking Google, you will end up with some extra rules.

For example, avoid one-word names. No matter how obscure you think that word is, Google will be awash with matches - and unless you're already famous, you will not feature in the first ten pages.

Also avoid common names. You may indeed be "John Smith" and you may indeed have a band. The trouble is that "The John Smith Band" will bring up about two million hits on Google, and so you will become the two millionth plus one entry.

On the other hand, "John Smith & The Venerable Beads" will bring up that wonderful response "It looks like there aren't many great matches for your search".

Joy of Joys.

No Victoria, I am not suggesting you call your band "Victoria Akanazy & The Little People", but if you do, you will be up there on the first page of Google when somebody goes looking for you.

Only saying.

Create The Logo and The Artwork

Creating a logo and artwork for your band involves a blend of creativity and strategic planning to ensure your visuals effectively represent your music and appeal to your audience. Begin by reflecting on your band's style, genre, and message. Your logo and artwork should visually convey the essence of your music. Start with brainstorming sessions involving all band members to gather ideas and ensure a unified vision. Consider the themes, symbols, and colors that best represent your music and identity.

Once you have a clear concept, sketch out preliminary designs or hire a graphic designer who understands your vision and genre. It's crucial to focus on simplicity and versatility in your logo design; a simple, clean logo is easier to recognise and can be used across various media, from album covers and merchandise to social media profiles and promotional materials.

Pay attention to typography if your band name is included in the logo. The font style should align with your band's image—whether it's edgy, elegant, vintage, or modern. Choose a color palette that not only reflects your music but also stands out and is visually appealing. After finalizing the design, get feedback from fans, friends, and industry peers to ensure it resonates well with your target audience. Be open to revisions based on this feedback to refine your logo and artwork further. Additionally, consider how your logo will appear in different sizes and formats to maintain its impact and readability in various contexts.

Get An Online Presence

Developing an online presence is crucial for a band to reach a wider audience and engage with fans effectively. Start by creating a professional website that serves as the central hub for all information about the band, including bios, tour dates, news, and a store for merchandise. Ensure the website is visually appealing and reflects your band's image and music style. Next, establish profiles on key social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, as these allow you to connect directly with fans, share updates, and promote your music.

Regularly update your social media profiles with engaging content, such as behind-the-scenes videos, live streams, and interactive posts to keep your audience interested and invested in your journey. Consistency is key, so create a content calendar to plan and schedule posts in advance. Utilise platforms like YouTube and Spotify to share your music and music videos, and encourage fans to subscribe and follow you. Collaborate with other artists and influencers to expand your reach and attract new fans.

Engage with your audience by responding to comments and messages, and show appreciation for their support. Building a mailing list is another effective strategy; offer exclusive content, early access to new releases, and updates to your subscribers. Additionally, make use of analytics tools available on social media and your website to track engagement and understand what content resonates most with your audience. By maintaining a consistent, engaging, and interactive online presence, your band can build a strong and loyal fan base, increase visibility, and ultimately enhance your success in the music industry.

Record and Share Your Music

Creating and sharing your music involves several key steps, each crucial in helping you reach a broader audience and build your career as an artist. Firstly, begin by making demo recordings. These initial tracks don't need to be highly polished; their primary purpose is to give listeners a taste of your sound and style. You can record these demos at home using basic equipment and software, ensuring that the essence of your music is captured authentically. These demos can serve as a valuable tool for feedback from friends, family, and fellow musicians, allowing you to refine your work before moving on to more professional endeavors.

Once you feel confident in your music, the next step is professional recording. This is where you can elevate your work by recording an EP or even a full album in a professional studio. Working with experienced sound engineers and producers can significantly enhance the quality of your music, bringing out the best in your performance and ensuring that the final product is polished and well-produced. This investment in quality is crucial, as it can make a substantial difference in how your music is received by listeners and industry professionals.

Finally, distribution is key to getting your music heard by a wider audience. Leverage online platforms such as Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Apple Music to distribute your music. These platforms are widely used by music fans worldwide and provide various tools and analytics to help you reach and understand your audience better. Bandcamp is great for direct fan engagement and sales, SoundCloud for its community and sharing features, while Spotify and Apple Music offer extensive reach and professional playlists that can significantly boost your visibility. Utilizing these platforms effectively can help you grow your fanbase, get discovered by new listeners, and potentially attract the attention of music industry stakeholders.

Perform Live Gigs

Performing live gigs is an essential step for any band looking to build a following and gain performance experience. Start by playing at local venues, open mics, and various community events. These smaller, more intimate settings are perfect for honing your live performance skills and connecting with local music enthusiasts. Additionally, networking with other bands and event organisers during these initial gigs can open up further opportunities. Building relationships within your local music scene is crucial, as these connections can lead to more gig opportunities, collaborations, and exposure to new audiences.

Effective promotion is key to ensuring that your gigs are well-attended. Utilise social media platforms to create event pages, share updates, and engage with your followers. Posting regularly about upcoming shows, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and interacting with your audience can generate buzz and anticipation. Traditional methods, such as distributing flyers in local hotspots and leveraging word-of-mouth through friends, family, and fans, are also valuable. A multi-faceted promotion strategy ensures that your gigs reach as many potential attendees as possible, helping to build a loyal fan base.

Finally, developing a strong stage presence is essential for captivating your audience and leaving a lasting impression. Work on engaging with the audience throughout your performance, making eye contact, moving around the stage, and interacting with fans between songs. A dynamic and confident stage presence not only enhances the overall concert experience but also helps establish a connection with your audience, making them more likely to return for future shows. Practice stage presence during rehearsals to ensure that every band member feels comfortable and confident on stage. The ability to perform energetically and interactively can set your band apart and contribute significantly to your live performance success.

Manage the Business Side of Things

Managing the business side of your band is as crucial as the creative aspects to ensure long-term success and sustainability. One of the primary responsibilities involves keeping meticulous track of finances. This includes documenting all expenses, such as equipment purchases, studio time, and promotional costs, as well as earnings from gigs, merchandise sales, and streaming revenue. It's essential to establish a clear system for managing these finances and to decide upfront how profits will be shared among band members. Transparent and fair financial practices help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone feels valued and fairly compensated for their contributions.

Addressing the legalities is another important aspect of band management. Setting up a band agreement can be invaluable in outlining the terms of your collaboration. This legal document should cover the rights to your music, decision-making processes, responsibilities of each member, and methods for conflict resolution. Having these terms clearly defined from the outset helps prevent disputes and provides a framework for resolving issues should they arise. Consulting with a legal professional to draft or review this agreement can provide additional security and clarity.

Generating additional income through merchandise is also a vital component of your band's business strategy. Creating and selling items like T-shirts, CDs, posters, and other branded merchandise not only provides a significant revenue stream but also helps promote your band. Merchandise acts as a tangible connection between you and your fans, fostering loyalty and increasing visibility. Offering unique and high-quality items at gigs and through online platforms can enhance your band's brand and contribute to your overall financial stability. Regularly updating your merchandise selection with new and creative designs can keep your offerings fresh and appealing to fans.

Maintain Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is essential for the growth and longevity of any band, ensuring that you remain relevant and continue to captivate your audience. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by actively seeking feedback from a variety of sources. Fans, other musicians, and industry professionals can provide valuable insights into your music and performance. Listening to your fans allows you to understand what resonates with them and what areas might need improvement. Fellow musicians can offer constructive criticism based on their own experiences and skills, while industry professionals can provide a more strategic perspective, helping you navigate the complexities of the music business.

Being open to adaptation and growth is another critical element of continuous improvement. The music industry is dynamic, with trends and technologies constantly evolving. To stay relevant, it's important to be flexible and willing to evolve your sound and style. This might involve experimenting with new genres, incorporating different musical influences, or updating your production techniques. Improving your skills, both individually and as a band, is also crucial. Regular practice, attending workshops, and learning from other artists can help you refine your craft. Additionally, staying informed about changes in the music industry, such as new distribution methods or marketing strategies, ensures that you can effectively reach and engage your audience.

Embracing a mindset of continuous improvement means never becoming complacent. It involves consistently striving to enhance your music, performance, and business acumen. By seeking feedback and being open to change, you can ensure that your band remains innovative, appealing, and capable of enduring success.

Additional Tips

Building a successful band requires a combination of patience, persistence, effective conflict resolution, and proactive networking. Understanding that success doesn't happen overnight is crucial. Patience and dedication are key, as the journey to recognition often involves a lot of hard work, perseverance, and overcoming various challenges. Stay committed to your vision, continually working towards your goals even when progress seems slow. Celebrating small milestones along the way can help keep the morale high and maintain your motivation.

Addressing conflicts promptly and constructively is essential for maintaining a positive dynamic within the band. Disagreements and misunderstandings are inevitable when working closely with others, especially in a creative environment. The key is to handle these conflicts in a way that resolves issues without damaging relationships. Open communication, empathy, and a willingness to compromise are important tools in conflict resolution. Establishing a respectful and supportive band culture can prevent minor issues from escalating into significant problems, ensuring that everyone remains focused on the music and shared goals.

Networking within the music industry can open many doors for your band. Building relationships with other musicians, industry professionals, and potential collaborators can provide opportunities for gigs, collaborations, and mentorship. Attending music conferences, workshops, and festivals allows you to connect with a wide range of people who can offer valuable insights, advice, and opportunities. Networking not only helps in gaining exposure but also in learning from others' experiences and expertise, which can be instrumental in your band's growth.

The Question of Management

Deciding if and when to seek out a manager is a significant step for any band or artist, and it requires careful consideration of various factors. Initially, it's essential to focus on building a solid foundation for your music career. This includes creating high-quality music, establishing a consistent practice and performance schedule, and effectively managing your business affairs. During this early stage, it’s beneficial to handle as much of the administrative and promotional work yourself. This hands-on approach not only saves money but also provides valuable insights into the different aspects of the music industry.

As your band gains traction and the demands of managing your career begin to exceed your capacity, it may be time to consider seeking out a manager. Signs that you might need a manager include an increasing volume of booking requests, promotional opportunities, and the complexity of your business affairs. A manager can take over these tasks, allowing you to focus more on your music. They bring professional expertise, industry connections, and a strategic perspective that can help elevate your career to the next level. An experienced manager can secure better gigs, negotiate contracts, and create a long-term career plan.

However, it’s crucial to ensure that you are ready for this step financially. Managers typically work on a commission basis, usually taking a percentage of your earnings. Before bringing a manager on board, make sure that your band is generating enough income to justify this expense. Additionally, it’s important to find a manager who truly understands and believes in your vision. Trust and mutual respect are fundamental to a successful artist-manager relationship.

Ultimately, seeking out a manager should be seen as a strategic move to support and enhance your career at the right time. When the administrative workload becomes overwhelming and begins to detract from your creative output, and when your financial situation can support it, a manager can be an invaluable asset. Carefully evaluate your needs and resources, and choose a manager who aligns with your goals and can help propel your career forward.

Finally. (And About Time Too I Hear You Say!)

By integrating the above tips with a strong commitment to your vision, you can form a successful and cohesive band. Stay patient and persistent, handle conflicts constructively, and actively network within the industry. These strategies, combined with the foundational steps of creating, sharing, and improving your music, will help you navigate the complexities of the music world and build a lasting, successful band.

Copyright Songwriter Magazine, International Songwriters Association & Jim Liddane: All Rights Reserved

The Knowledge

If you have wandered onto this page by accident, then you may very well be wondering what "The Knowledge" button above is all about.

"The Knowledge" is a free multi-part course which takes you from thinking up the basic idea for your song, through using AI or Artificial Intelligence to help improve your writing skills, to penning the title, the lyric and the melody. It then covers plagiarism (what to do if you're told your song sounds like another one!) and copyrighting your song, so that you can take action if your work is stolen.

Finally, it deals with selling your song, promoting your demo, music publishers, putting your songs on the web, and in movies, or on television, getting the money in, raising cash to fund your career via crowd-funding, before setting up your own music publishing company so that you get to keep all of the money! And that blue button at the bottom of each lesson simply takes you to the next lesson.

If however you would like to go back to Lesson 1 and start the course (it will take about 90 minutes to complete), then just press HERE

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