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So Ya Wanna Start A Band? - Part 2

John Welch
Sep 7, 2015

What about equipment? People who are going to be professional (paid) need to have proper, working equipment. Let’s look at some examples:

I once saw an ad on Craigslist that said (more or less): “experienced, professional drummer, can play any style, ready to gig, I’ll need to use your drumset . . .” A person who makes any of these claims and then backs them up this way is simply a waste of time. People can fall on hard times, and I have bought lots of stuff that way, but players will have something to play. If you set up a drummer with a set, two things will be assured: 1. the drummer will never buy his own stuff; and 2. your stuff will get trashed.

“Hey buddy, have you got an extra cord?” Players should arrive ready for any reasonable contingency. It is no one else’s duty to take up the slack for an unprepared band member. Strings break, cords and amps fry, sticks crack and heads tear; sometimes other things happen. Individuals must be responsible for their equipment and to their band. Always be prepared.

“Peavey sucks and so does Squire.” Don’t ever fall for the gear snobs. The purchase price of an instrument is of far less value than the skill and motivation of the player. There is a low-end point where stuff becomes essentially a toy but expensive does not always equal better; serviceable is what matters most. As a side note, don’t stand for people wanting to borrow something and then dissing your stuff.

The point is that you do not want to spend your time with people who aren’t committed enough to have or maintain their own equipment. Likewise, everyone should be respectful of others’ stuff (not just snobbery; handling comes into play, also). Bands, collectively, should have everything that they need to perform in a variety of settings; and this includes a sufficient PA system. Ineffective, poorly maintained tools mean that jobs cannot be completed; and this should be unacceptable to anyone who aspires to be professional. Again: be prepared, play gigs, make money and have fun.

John Welch
Reference Specialist