Being in a Band is Hard Work

There’s no doubt that making some music and having a good time with other musicians on stage looks easy and like fun, but as in most other occupations, we don’t always see the hard work that goes into bringing the production to the stage.

Being in a band is hard work because you are constantly dealing with various proud personalities, finding bookings, saving money for equipment and doing a fair share of carrying equipment for concerts or practices.

Even though it’s hard work, it’s extremely rewarding so that you keep doing it over and over again, while feeling grateful for the precious opportunity that’s given to you to entertain and live yourself out on stage.

Let’s look at some of the challenges playing in a band has to offer. I tried to include possible solutions from my perspective as well so that it doesn’t only seem doom and gloom.

Arranging Practices

It is hard work to find times during the week that suits everyone’s schedules and make it a regular routine.

The way to go is to use an appointment website like Doodle to suggest times during the week to see who can match certain times during the week.

Make sure that you arrange at least one practice session per week of at least 2 hours to make progress. Where needed, you can also arrange little meetups between members if there are pieces needed to work on during the week for practice or preparation.

If you would like some more in-depth guidance for band practices, don’t miss the insightful article I wrote about 7 Tips for Productive Band Practices.

Buying your Practice or Performance Gear

It is hard work to save up and buy the gear that suits your needs.

All hobbies cost money. Some are more expensive than others. But in the world of music, we know that equipment quality also has an impact on your sound quality.

Get the equipment that you need to start your journey, and then improve from there. We have all been at the stage where you start playing with an instrument from a friend or relative before you crossed over to get your own entry or intermediate-level instrument.

Many bands that host their own shows took a long time to buy their own sound setups. The advantage is that you keep the cash you make for the evening and the equipment pays itself off in the process.

Saving for Recordings

For all bands, saving up for recordings are a mountain to climb.

What is being a musician without having recorded material?

Even from the first demo or EP recording, it can cost quite a bit to get yourself in the studio and get the recording down. It is not a cheap party.

You are lucky if you have the skills to perform such a recording at home or by yourself. The risks here are that it might take much longer and depending on your skill level or experience might also sound amateur.

Of course, it is important to record your demo for your band to reach its goals. If you are interested in learning more about why recording a demo is so important, don’t miss the article I posted about it right here.

Regularly Carrying Gear

Talking about hard work. If you haven’t carried gear on a regular basis, you have not experienced the best of playing in a band.

It is never only carrying a few drumsticks or a flute, but setting up band practice rooms, carrying speakers, amps and instruments, and helping others to be punctual.

Playing in a band is teamwork and if all members jump in to support each other, it makes the work easier for the rest of the group.

Try to be earlier at venues to get your setup ready and done.

My drummer was a great inspiration for this. He always arrived an hour earlier at performance venues and brought an extra buddy along to help him set up his drum kit.

When the sound engineer arrived, it was quick and easy to get the stage set and ready for guitar amps and monitors.

Respect and Rock on Joey!

This post was written and posted by De Wet from on 09.04.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere else.

Carrying heavy items on a regular basis is part of being in a band. (Photo credit: Canva)

Dealing with Recurring “No’s”

It is hard dealing with continuous rejections when you are in a band.

Let’s take radio stations as an example. If you are not the next best thing, it will be hard to get onto a playlist.

Don’t let this get to you! There are alternative ways to achieve your goal, even if it will take a little longer.

Sometimes it’s worth taking your time to build the audience that the radio stations would like to see.

Just be confident and believe in yourself when you approach people of importance.

Critics Left, Right and Center

It’s hard to constantly deal with people criticising your work.

You open a part of yourself when performing live. Even when you release new music or post a random post on social media.

People will always find a way to criticise other people.

Just remember that it’s much easier to pull someone down than it is to pull someone up. Don’t let critics get to you. You are unique the way you are. keep doing what you are doing!

The group of people on your side is much bigger than the critics. The few critics are always just much louder.

Keeping Up With your Competition

It’s hard work to keep up with your competitors.

Yes, musicians are colleagues but there’s also a healthy bit of competition going on amongst them.

You become friends with the other musicians within your genre, but you are also working hard to bring out the next big hit or drop the hottest music video, or even fill the venue with mainly your own fans.

It is kind of intimidating and humbling when your peer bands have the venue shouting their lyrics back.

Work hard and do your best. The rest will follow for you!

Managing Your Band Members

It can be tiring to keep managing your band members.

All people have different preferences. Some don’t drink coffee and others eat their eggs sunny side up.

We should face the fact that all individuals will have their own uniqueness to deal with when they need to be managed.

Keeping them in line and having balanced control over the image and the progress of the band can get pretty demanding if the management comes from one of the band members.

That’s why I would also recommend getting a manager for your band. If you are unsure if this is the right choice for you, check out this article I published about when it’s time to find a manager for your band.

Getting Booked & Selling Concert Tickets

It’s firstly hard enough to book a paid gig, but then to also sell the minimum tickets for a concert is hard work.

At your first few gigs, you will have family and friends coming by. But then you start performing in bigger venues where people don’t always know about you or your music.

It can get so hard to sell those minimum amounts of tickets.

I wrote a helpful blog post about What is Stressful About Being in a Band where I explain the process and some solutions to sell your concert tickets to a wider crowd in your community which I highly recommend that you read.

That’s it for today! If you have more elements about what makes playing in a band hard and stressful, place them in the comments for us to add to the list.

Until next time!

De Wet

The dream started during a school tour at the age of 15 years old. One that might take a long time to reach. De Wet was 16 years old when he got his first bass guitar as a gift from his dad. The guitar was found, hidden under boxes. As if it was waiting for its owner to come by and pick him up. He practiced every day to improve and to teach his fingers to dance to the music. After finishing high school, he played in various bands where he collected valuable experience, before being signed by a record label as an upcoming band. He reached success at age 22 when he released two albums with his band, which also included televised music videos for publicity. By age 24, he co-started management, artist promotion, and booking agency for successful and upcoming musical acts.

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