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How to Start a Garage Band

Inspire your music students to start their very own garage band.

If your music students are interested in learning how to start a garage band, follow our five simple steps.

Starting a garage band helps young, budding musicians fall even more in love with music. When they work in small groups, students will have the freedom to experiment with musical styles, grow their aptitude and skill set, and learn to work as part of an ensemble. If you’d like to inspire your students by helping them start a garage band, follow these tips:

1. Recruit band members

Students who show significant interest in learning to play their instrument well – regardless of their proficiency – are ideal band member candidates. Those with a good sense of rhythm and ear for pitch, even if they don't have much experience playing, are also suitable choices. For a garage band to exceed the typical lifespan of one year, you'll need a group of students with a viable interest in making the band work, an aptitude for leadership, and a commitment to success.

2. Brainstorm a band name

Every band needs a name and an identity. Encourage students to give themselves a name that represents their collective personality and style. Simple online tools are available to help spark creativity and initial ideas. Stick to just a few words, and avoid symbols and offensive references – even if they’re unintended.

3. Get your gear

Students have many options for renting or purchasing instruments for their garage band. Rental programs through your school are a great place to start. If, at school year-end, the student would like to continue the rental or his/her family are interested in purchasing an instrument, encourage them to stop by our music instrument showroom to discuss the best options for their situation. While the decision about whether to rent or buy can be challenging initially, there are benefits and drawbacks to each option, depending on budget and future musical plans.

4. Establish a dedicated practice space

A “garage band” doesn’t have to practice in a garage, per se – they could also play in a basement, carport, empty classroom after school hours, or another safe and adult-supervised location. If you’re mentoring the band, stop by and listen to the practice sessions regularly while also giving them space to create on their own.

5. Create the set list

When it comes to creating the list of songs to play (also known as a “set list”), one of the best ways for young musicians to learn is by encouraging them to push their boundaries, experiment with new sounds, and explore possibilities. If they ask for help, give it. Otherwise, give them free rein to explore the joy of creating music for their garage band.

For help inspiring your students to start a garage band, visit our Fitchburg showroom to talk with our music instrument experts today. We’ve spent decades supporting music educators like you so that you can make a difference in young musicians’ lives.