New Hard Rock Bands – To Do List

I thought I’d post a list of some things that Damn Wicked and other new hard rock bands put their time, energy and effort into. I’m confident that I’ll miss at least a few important “things to do”, because I’m pretty unfocused at the moment. So bear in mind this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a few things my band is currently working on.

New hard rock bands must rehearse often.

A new Hard Rock band rehearsing in the dog house

1. Band rehearsal

2. Work on practising your songs individually and with the group

3. Write new songs

4. Call live music venues and book gigs

5. Find a booking agent to book shows for you

6. Write lyrics for your latest song

7. Finish mixing and mastering that song

8. Complete recording all the rhythm tracks for the 2 new songs

9. Create harmonies for the new songs

10. Plan video story line, layout and decide on location to do the shoot

11. Take footage for next video

12. Edit video

13. Stop wasting time! New hard rock bands that hope to be successful should view their craft as a full time job. If you treat it like a hobby then you’ll get the results of a hobbyist. Treat it like a true profession and you’re much more inclined to get professional results. Try to keep it fun but stay focused and committed to your band’s continual improvement. Some days will be fun and other days won’t be, but almost every day will require hard work!

14. Edit Bio page on website

15. Work on layout and structure of band website

New Hard Rock Bands need practice

Practice a lot!

16. Get your band kicking ass by inspiring and motivating your band mates. Your excitement will be contagious, so be sure to contaminate them with it.

17. Buy pink leotards for next appearance on City TV’s Breakfast Television

18. Do telephone interview with online magazines

19. Transfer all WAV files to both an external hard drive and DVD-R

20. Create and record guitar solos for the new songs

21. Work on getting better guitar sound

22. Fire the whole band and do everything myself

23. Promote band on Facebook and other social media sites

24. Interact with other musicians/bands and rock music fans on appropriate music website forums

25. Get the band together for a photo shoot (allocate at least 3 or 4 hours to get some decent shots)


New Hard Rock Bands – To Do List (Part 2)


26. Find good locations to do your band photo shoot and/ or set up in a proper photo studio or find a spacious room in your house and set it up with a nice back drop

27. Write a new blog post (optimize it with keywords if you know how to. If you don’t know how, you should learn.)

28. Change guitar strings and drum skins if needed

29. Bring your guitar to a music store to have it set up or get someone who knows how to do it if you don’t know how

30. Make sure all your music equipment is in good working condition before you start booking gigs for your band. Get your intonation fixed and guitar set up if necessary. Buy new drum heads and bass strings if they’re needed.

New hard rock band recording

New hard rock bands need to record, mix and master their music

31. Make sure your music equipment is in good working condition before you begin band rehearsal. (Nothing puts a kibosh on rehearsals like a volume pot on your guitar shorting out or your drummer’s kick pedal falling apart)

32. Fire the backup dancers and tambourine player

33. Send an email to everyone on your mailing list letting them know when and where your next live shows are.

34. Regularly and consistently maintain communication with your fan base. (Your fans are the most important part of all this. They are the reason you put yourself through all the hard work of playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band. Without them you and your band are nobody.)

35. Memorize lyrics for all the songs your band plays

36. Make business cards . Put your band’s website address and contact info on them

37. Make Damn Wicked T-shirts, guitar picks and baseball caps

38. Network with other bands and musicians. Stay connected to your local music scene especially.

39. Play air guitar in the mirror and learn how to pose like a real heavy metal rock star

40. Bust your nuts working on both your music and the promotional aspect of your business

41. Try to get free radio airplay

42. Keep your band organized. (have lists for finances, music venues, band equipment, fan mailing list, song lists, and “to do” lists.)

43. Keep your day job because most new hard rock bands are paid poorly. Good luck with balancing your day job and working full time in the music biz! It’s almost impossible.

44. Prepare to be a poor, struggling musician for a long time or more likely, forever.

45. Make sure you have a reliable set of wheels to get you and your band’s equipment back and forth to and from gigs (It really sucks when you’re touring and your car is falling apart in -25 degree weather, in the middle of a Canadian winter! We’ve been there and done that!)

46. Don’t Drink and Drive…. You might hit a bump and spill your drink!

New hard rock bands don't drink and drive

Don’t Drink and Drive…You might hit a bump and spill your drink!

47. Enter a song writing contest (Damn Wicked hasn’t done that yet, but maybe we will in the future)

48. Learn all you can about recording music, making videos, taking photos and band promotion

49. Reply to fan emails

50. Don’t get into a band to make money. You’ll likely be disappointed. Instead, do it for the love of it. The love of writing songs, performing live and creating a band. Just know that if you want to be successful it’s going to be full time job and it will require a lot of hard work. Actually, come to think of it, there’s no guarantee of success for any new hard rock bands, regardless of how hard you work, but you can increase your chances of becoming a rock star if you put your nose to the grindstone.

51. Book live shows with other new hard rock bands. You can double or triple the size of your audience if you team up with one or two other bands. You also will develop and nurture connections with people in the music industry by doing this. Just remember that there’s a good chance this will benefit you at some point in the future.

What should be on a band’s “to do list”? What are the most important “things to do” for new hard rock bands?

Brent Johnston
Damn Wicked


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