Each of the instruments needs its own skill and expertise. To answer the question about who the most important member of a band is, takes a bit of interpretation instead of a straightforward answer.
The most important member of a band is the member who is the hardest to replace. This is usually the lead singer or frontman who presents the band’s image through their vocals and stage presence, and often takes the role of bringing the live performance into a musical flow.
The most important member in a band is determined by a combination of the role that the member plays in the band and their performance or instrumental ability.
There’s a couple of opinions about this since some people categorize the importance of certain band members in the order of the instruments they play. In my experience over the years, I don’t completely agree with this.
Let’s dive into the importance of different members of a band with a closer look at the specific roles they play.
The Most Important Member: The Frontman
The frontman, also knowns as the lead singer, has various responsibilities:
- Keeping the show in flow
- Communicating with the audience
- Performing their own instrument
- Having a sensitive ear for off-balanced sounds
- Since they are the most centred person on stage
- Shining out the image of the band
- Being the face of the band
- Protecting their voices for future shows
Most frontmen or lead singers also prefer playing the guitar while singing because it makes sense to keep the rhythm while singing.
Developing your frontman is a great investment in filling your venues.
Other skills that you might want to look into are:
- Learning How To Read The Room During Live Performances
- Stage Banter – How to Keep Your Audience Engaged
- Learn about What Makes a Good Stage Presence
- Build Confidence for a Musical Performance
It could even be that the frontman sings and plays bass. For example Skillet: Their frontman sings and plays bass guitar simultaneously.
The Second Most Important Member: The Band Leader
It is often also the case that the frontman is not the band leader and the role that the band leader plays to get the band aligned, organise practises, communicate and distribute information is invaluable to the growth of the band.
Irrelevant to the instrument that the band leader plays, the role that they play is almost irreplaceable.
In my experience, the moment the band leader stopped organising the practices and driving the band, the band stagnated and didn’t manage to get back up again.
The band leader, as a role itself, does not have an influence on the band’s image as much as the frontman.
As soon as your workload becomes a little overwhelming, it might be a good idea to cooperate with an artist manager. This will not only relieve you from lots of admin but your band will also benefit from new contacts and exposure.
If an artist manager is something you are interested in, check out my post about When is it Time to Find a Manager for Your Band.
The Third Most Important Member: The Songwriter
There’s often 2 ways how bands write songs:
- They either sit together in a band room and patch a song together
- One member comes to practice with an idea, and the other members build their parts around the original idea.
Check out this blog post section for a more descriptive explanation: Writing Your Own Music
If the songwriter is a single person in the band, I would certainly place that person as the 3rd most important person in the band. This person is often a guitarist or frontman, but I’ve also experienced that drummers present new songs to the band on an acoustic guitar.
Songwriting should take place in the same method as this increases the consistency of the band’s sound. This allows your listeners to connect emotionally with new music.
If you are a songwriter without a band and would like to sell your songs, check out my post about Selling a Song that You Wrote to an Artist.
The Fourth Most Important Member: The Sound Engineer
It is a totally underrated skill to have a member in your band who has a sound engineer background. A sound engineer in the band opens doors for your success and increases your quality of sound: live and recorded.
Bands are making rapid progress when they have someone in the band with these skills:
- On-stage sound engineering
- Studio Recording
- Music Editing
I am so adamant about this position that I have my sound engineer the position of guitarist in the band just because it’s so valuable to have an expert on board.
This has brought us so much success. We were able to record new music at any time we wanted. We simply went into the studio over a weekend and recorded new demos and laid new tracks down.
Our on-stage sound has improved since we now had a problem solver on board who understood our sound and knew the problems that could occur during sound checks or performances.
This post was written and posted by De Wet from startingmyband.com on 24.07.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere else.
A Modern Change Of Perspective
I want you to see the most important members in a band differently than just categorising people according to the instrument they play.
Try to think about what new skills you can learn to take your band forward and make a difference.
In the end, you would like your band to progress as quickly as possible in a world where the music industry is extremely saturated. Placing a focus on job sharing and learning new skills while you improve at your instrument will make your band progress rapidly instead of being dependent on other professionals to get the job done for you.
I wrote a helpful blog about the 13 Best Side Jobs for Musicians which teaches you skills to take your band to the next level.
I hope you found what you were looking for!
Check out some of my other latest articles as well:
- Concert Etiquette For a Performing Band
- 10 Reasons Why You Should Join a Rock Band
- 13 Struggles Of Being a Musician
- The Misconceptions About Being a Signed Musician
Until next time!