It’s no surprise that in order for a band to be successful on any level, all members need to contribute time and effort.
It’s a common thread that exists in many bands; there is the one person who does everything while the bandmates just show up for rehearsal and the gigs and don’t do anything to help the band along. I was that guy for years until I decided I’d had enough.
There are many components involved in making a band successful. Aside from the obvious (practicing your instrument, songwriting, gigs and rehearsing), you also have promoting, websites, e-mail lists, flyers and booking gigs. It’s all this behind-the-scenes work that can make or break a band.
Whether it is because of my own tenacity or my band-mate's lack of participation, I have been performing all of the above-mentioned tasks myself. There is no doubt that I do it because there is a small part of control freak in me.
In order to delegate tasks to other band members, you may have to resort to what I did last year. I was updating our website when I had noticed that we had only played 6 gigs the entire year. I also noticed we had only written 1 new song for the year as well. I decided that 2019 was gonna be the year that ALL members of the band would have to contribute in order for us to achieve any sort of success.
Towards the end of December, I called a band meeting after a rehearsal. I pretty much laid all my cards on the table and told the band how unhappy I was with 2019 and that some changes would be in order.
I told my band-mates that if changes weren’t made, that I would be replacing band members with some new blood. I made it very clear that I take the band very seriously and that if anyone wasn’t going to roll with the changes they should leave. I then discussed all the work I was doing and that showing up for rehearsals and gigs is simply not enough.
I tried motivating them by describing all that we could accomplish if we would only work as a team. I also reminded that none of them were here on a scholarship and that we all need to pull our weight and not slack off.
I then tapped into my bandmate’s strengths. I delegated responsibilities to each band member, taking into consideration their abilities. As a result, all members began to communicate better with each other. Rather than wait to see each other at practice, we send group e-mails to each other, which mostly resemble a message board or forum-type of communication. Everyone knows whats on each others minds and we are all on the same page with each other.
Also, we’re getting a lot more done now that certain members are responsible for making flyers, certain members book gigs, certain members get us newspaper articles and radio interviews. We also split the responsibilities of running the website and e-mail lists.
The band seems rejuvenated not only sonic-ally, but spiritually as well. Everyone pitches in and we all work together to reach a common goal. It took a lot of work, but its a lot better than me pushing a big rock uphill by doing it all by myself.