By Kenny Kerner

To most musicians, bands are cool. They help you get laid and make you feel macho. They're like hobbies; They make for some great male bonding and allow you to spend some time away from the girls. Being in a band sometimes makes you feel as if you're a rock star when you're really not!

But the truth is, if you don't set up your band like a business, you're wasting your time. Don't ever forget that we're in the Music BUSINESS. And the business part of it is every bit as important as the music part.

A band is the vehicle you choose to help get your music across to the people. It must be comprised of members who all share the same focus, the same vision, and who are all willing to make the same efforts and sacrifices toward succeeding. So, just how does one go about finding these people? Well, you'll probably have to go through the rigors of auditioning band members.

Auditioning Members

The first and easiest way to look for new band mates is to place a free ad in a local magazine, fanzine, or newspaper. But even that can backfire if you don't say exactly what you mean. A short and simple ad that reads, "Rock guitarist wanted for Valley band," tells you virtually nothing. If you run that ad, you're likely to spend hours on the phone explaining what it is you're really looking for. A better ad reads like this: "Male Rock guitarist, 17-25, with image, wanted to form new Valley band into Van Halen." In less than 25 words, you've given every potential caller an exact indication of what you want in a new guitarist. By saying "into Van Halen," you've also answered the question of what kind of music you play. Rock, obviously! So, take your time and write out your ad several times until every word is perfect. Remember, once it appears in a paper, it's too late to change anything.

Although running an ad in a local paper is a smart way to start, the most direct way to recruit new players is simply to steal them from existing bands. To do this, merely hang out at your favorite clubs and check out the local talent while they are performing. You couldn't ask for a better audition!

New Member Checklist

Make certain that all of the members in your band are approximately the same age. Someone too young or too old will likely have different interests.