Commentary
5:00 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Musical Space: Start Your Own Band

Playing music is a skill that can be exercised and enjoyed for an entire lifetime. In other words, music is the ideal hobby.

There are a lot of reasons why playing music transcends other pastimes. Instruments are cheaper than golf clubs, motorcycles, boats, and definitely cheaper than sports cars. Music is good for your brain and very much social. Playing ability does not diminish with age, as it does with sports. Music is also environmentally friendly, and, like with any hobby, it gets you away from the couch in front of the TV.

So, with that established, what’s stopping you from starting a band? You know you want to. All you need is a guitar, bass, drum set, turntables, or, if you are fearless, a microphone. Don’t spend a ton of money on the most expensive, brand-new gear. A used guitar has more mojo and is less likely to fall apart than something straight from the factory. Hobby bands are the reason pawn shops exist.

The biggest limiting factor is having a practice space, so that unfinished motorcycle project in your garage might have to go on Craigslist. The only really hard part about starting a band is coming up with a name. I recommend something clever and not too serious. Something like The Harmonica Lewinskies, or Knifed at Gunpoint.

You might want to take lessons - that would save you some time in the long run - but the main thing is that you keep playing with other people. Music is best learned communally. You’ll learn the same lessons that the pros have learned: attitude is more important than talent, passion is more important than technique, and success means embracing your mistakes.

Do it. Have fun. And when your cleverly named band plays at Kirby’s, make sure to post your band flier so everybody knows about it.