There are few things more exciting than standing on stage playing an instrument or singing your heart out, while watching the fans have a good time, especially if many of them are of the opposite sex!

Yes, starting a rock band can be a lot of fun AND it can be profitable, if you follow a few simple steps when getting started.

1. The first part is to gather a group of like-minded people who want to play music together. Make sure other people have similar interests and morals and don’t smell too bad. They will be spending a lot of time with them, so they should either have a good time together or they will spend more time looking for replacements than playing music.

2. Once you have the people in place, you must agree on a style of music to play. If you have a songwriter in the group, you will want to play those “originals”. These are songs that you will own, record, and sell. If no one in the group is a composer, you will play “covers”. When starting a rock band, this is how most start. The covers are the music of other people that you like on the radio or of a certain era or genre. (80s, 90s, or classic rock, etc.) While you can have a lot of fun and make a living just playing covers, real money and “rock stardom” come from playing originals.

3. Next, you need to think about where you want to play. Wedding bands are mostly cover bands with a wide variety of musical styles. Since the band isn’t the star of the show (the girlfriend is), they tend to be a bit more subdued. If you want to play a lot of loud music with a lot of antics on stage, you will play in clubs and theaters. Corporate gigs are great as they can pay a great deal of money, but they tend to be best suited for established “show” bands, usually with a singer or two.

4. Okay, so you’ve got the band together, you’ve learned the songs, now you’re ready to go, right? Incorrect! Starting a rock band also means starting promoting your band. Now is when you prepare to take advantage of all the long hours that you have spent learning your instrument and rehearsing with the band. This is where band marketing and promotions come in. Think of your band marketing as you would any other aspect. You wouldn’t go on stage without your instruments or a sound system, right? Well, don’t forget about marketing either.

Marketing elements you will need:

Band name


Promotion kit (online)

Autoresponder website

5. Your band name will set the tone for your image. For example, if you are starting a rock band that is going to play heavy metal music, you probably want a more name like “The Devil Demons” rather than “The Cute, Fluffy Bunnies”. Make sure your band looks and acts as its name suggests and relates to the music you play.

6. Get a sign from any local sign shop that you can hang behind you wherever you play. I can’t tell you how many bands I’ve seen and I have no idea who they were because they didn’t have a banner. This is no way to start a rock band. It’s a way to ensure that you never play anywhere other than your garage.

7. Next, you will need an online promotion kit where you can store your band photos, your playing demo music video, contact numbers, and so on.

8. Your website should have information about the band, some sample photos, music demos, videos, etc. Make sure your phone number is where someone can easily find it. VERY IMPORTANT: Please note that you have a place where someone can sign up to be on your mailing list.

9. Which brings us to the Autoresponder. An Autoresponder creates a form on your website so that you can capture email addresses. Then it stores them so you can send messages automatically or send them whenever you want. This way, your fans will know when and where you are playing. You can also send them notices of new music and merchandise you have for sale.

10. Make sure anytime or anywhere you play, you have someone with a sign-in sheet who gets people’s email addresses. You will then enter them on your mailing list. I can’t stress enough how important it is to create this fan base. This element is one of the most important when starting a rock band. This list of people will be the one to market your shows and recorded music for as long as you want to make money from your music. Every show you do without receiving these emails could make the difference between becoming a highly successful professional musician or just having a fun hobby.

Starting a rock band: 10 tips to start your music career

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