Bandleaders: Start Stop Continue Your Next Band Meeting
I was fortunate enough to be able to leave my day job 10 years ago this April to become a full-time musician and booking agent.
Actually? That was my second time leaving but the first one just didn’t take….
Regardless, if there’s one thing Corporate America and band life have in common, it is a strong dislike of anything resembling a meeting.
When you have your next one, maybe this will help keep it on point
I left A few major assumptions first…
- You’re leading a group of band members
- You’re the leader/shot caller (or maybe just leading this meeting)
- Your band has been together for a minute, played some shows, and want to stay together
- You may or may not have had some drama, or - You could just be wanting to PREVENT any from happening!
With that in mind, you could try a Start, Stop, Continue format for a band meeting. Here’s how…
1. SCHEDULE A BAND MEETING. If you truly want it to be productive, don’t combine it with a practice. Regardless of whether it’s before or after practice, musicians will be itching to get their fingers noodling on something. #facts
Format of the meeting all depends on you and your style. It could be casual or formal. Whatever works for the situation and your members to have the most open environment.
2. SEND AN EMAIL TO THE BAND (a couple days ahead of the meeting). Ask them to take a few minutes to respond to these 3 questions…
- List a few things you’d like to START doing
- Things you’d like to STOP doing
- Things you’d like to CONTINUE doing
You could also choose a few specific topics you want feedback on - like, what should we start, stop, continue doing when it comes to our live show? Or practices? Or social media? That’s up to you how detailed you want to get.
Just remember, the more details you get, the longer the meeting.
- You also don’t HAVE to send an email prior. You can just do it all at the meeting, but it’ll be less time actually addressing the topics.
Let each member have the floor. And trust me. There’s going to be ideas that just. won’t. work. Those will be the tough ones. You definitely want to be considerate of ideas (and those sensitive musician egos) but don’t promise something that’s not going to happen or moving in the wrong direction.
The gist of it is to see if you’re all on the same page.
— Maybe you’re releasing a cd soon and someone’s confused on the song splits?
— Maybe someone is questioning the money and just afraid to ask?
— Maybe someone’s had an idea how to improve something but didn’t think it was an option? (all of these are real-life things I learned).
Regardless of who’s “in charge”, everyone’s clock spins at the same speed, so you’re all investing time into this endeavor.
Yes, this would be difficult with a duo… just have a conversation and discuss the start, stop, continue concept.
Yes, if YOU are the namesake of the band and have hired guns… uhhh, independent contractors working for you, this may or may not insterest you (or them) in the slightest. I get it.
But if you’re leading a group of people — Don’t be afraid to ask what’s up, but don’t be afraid to provide your vision and be firm with decisions if that’s what’s going to keep the ship afloat!
2020 is your year.