Helpful Info

Helpful Info

Some Thoughts on Choosing a Band

Probably one the best analogies to choosing a band is choosing a restaurant. Every restaurant has its own menu, and each restaurant has certain selections in which it excels. Music no different. Everyone has their favorite artists and favorite songs. Your goal is to find a band that has a versatile enough “menu” of songs that they prepare and “serve up” really well to please varying musical tastes.

If you have an unlimited entertainment budget, the following thoughts probably won’t impact you. But if you are looking to spend wisely, what follows may help you sort through the website marketeering…

Q: What styles of music (or specific songs) are most important to you and your guests? 

A: Focus on finding a band that plays those styles really well. This sounds like a no-brainer, but websites are designed to market a band’s versatility. The truth is, every band plays some styles of music better than other styles.

Q: Can the band do a respectable job playing other musical styles that are less important for my event?

A: Remember, variety is an important ingredient. The tribute band that you enjoyed at a bar or street fest may excel in those situations, but they may not be able to provide the variety of music you need for more formal events.

Q: How many musicians can I afford (and still stay within my budget)? 

A: Every band needs a drummer and bass player to set the feel of every song. If you desire any rock, whether it be from the 50’s to the 90’s, a guitar is a must. An electronic keyboard provides the most variety of sound of any instrument, because it can emulate a piano, organ, synthesizer, and string sounds. these four instruments, plus the two or three vocalists should be able to cover many musical styles. Often the players are also vocalists, so you might be able to get by with a 4-piece band. Disco, Motown, soul, funk, and Sinatra-style standards sound best with live horns (start with sax, then trumpet, then 2nd sax or trombone). A 6-7 piece band can provide a full sound and a good variety, as long as a few of the musicians also sing. At the other end of the spectrum, there are talented 15-piece bands with multiple vocalists, percussionists, and even violinists. The only drawback is that you pay for musicians that aren’t really needed on many of the songs.

Q: What about vocalists?

A: Versatility is a key quality for a vocalist. The reason many bands employ 3 or 4 lead singers is because each singer may be excellent, but limited in the styles he or she can perform well. The phrasing and style of the vocal can make or break a song. Many bands have only one or two featured vocalists. Make sure you are able to listen to several styles of songs that the band plays to see if the vocals are appropriate for each song. Again, the variety is an important ingredient – that includes the vocals.
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