How To Manage A Band

Photo credit: Vanity Heist

Deciding to manage your own band means you're going to wear a lot of hats so you better be good at multitasking.

The majority of musicians will begin their journey without any connection to the music business so finding a band manager is seldom an easy task. Even a quick Google search nowadays doesn't reveal too much information on how to get a manager or find an agent. Where do these people even come from? Well, it usually starts with a friend of the band who's passionate about their music and has decent enough interpersonal skills to mediate their affairs OR you can do it yourself. 

A great manager will find a balance to make sure everything runs smoothly & on schedule, taking the stress off the other band members so they can focus on the music. It can be a tough job if you’re also a primary song writer so hopefully you've got a good support system. You may think you can handle it all on your own but a true DIY Garageband means that everyone contributes. Delegate smaller jobs to other band members, make someone in charge of booking rehearsals, someone else for social media, etc. 

Being in a band also means that you need to come to terms with a few things. You’re going have members who show up late from time to time, they’re slow to set up their equipment, they forget their parts and sometimes arrive drunk as a skunk! Shit happens, no matter how many ground rules you set, it's going to happen! Without a manager, how you're going manage these issues as a band? How you're going to let this affect you as an individual? Always try to remember that playing music is supposed to be fun and carefree, making Art shouldn't feel like a job. At the same time there does need to be some structure in a band, they don't call it the music business for nothing. Good communication skills among the band are a must but even then, sometimes the truth hurts when tensions are high and in some cases it's better to hear it from someone outside of the band. A great manager should be able to pick up on these shifts in band moral & be able to mediate conflict within the band. 

5 Things A Great Manager Needs To Have

If you’re reading this, that means you’re making an effort to improve on your skills and give your band the best shot at success. However, there’s only so much you can learn for reading, a lot of what you will learn will be from actually doing, especially when it comes down to business. As the manager you’ll be at the helm navigating thru a sea of sharks all looking to take advantage of the next new band that comes to town. Whether you’re negotiating ticket sale splits or trying to get a cut of the bar, you’re going to need the confidence to get your bands needs met & the follow thru to make sure contracts are fulfilled, never leave any loose ends. Most importantly just learn as much as you can, ask lots of questions, talk with other bands and their managers. 

From booking rehearsals, setting up your online presence to writing your music there’s a lot that goes into running a DIY GarageBand. Plus, If you plan on making any money from your music you need to have your shit together. 

Take what you've learned so far and just go for it. Keep writing music, keep improving and don’t stop working towards your dreams. 

When preparation meets opportunity, you've got a recipe for success. Rock on!

I'd love to hear from you! Do you manage your own band or do you have someone else do it, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Talk to you soon! - Drew @diygarageband