No one ever said being in a band was easy. In addition to the long hours of rehearsal and gigging, there are also a lot of unseen costs that can quickly add up. Here are a few things to keep in mind when budgeting for your band.
Instruments & Gear
Whether you’re just starting out or have been playing for years, chances are you’re going to need to invest in some new instruments and gear at some point. From guitars and amps to drums and keyboards, the cost of keeping your band’s equipment up-to-date can really add up.
Consider a no-interest, 0% financing credit card to purchase instruments and maintain existing instruments. With enough gigs, you’ll have no problem paying off the card and you’ll be able to have the latest and greatest gear available.
If you want to release any music, you’ll need to factor in the cost of recording it. This can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the quality of the recording and how long it takes. You will also want to factor in the personnel involved in the recording process. Will you hire a producer? A sound engineer? Someone to master the original records? All of these costs will have to be factored in.
Consider demoing a few songs first and then pitch them to a few different labels. If you fit a label’s needs, there’s a good chance they will pay for your entire recording process.
Touring is a great way to build up your fan base and get your music out there. However, it can also be very expensive. You’ll need to factor in the cost of gas, food, accommodation, and any other expenses you might incur while on the road. For instance, if you plan to sell band merch on the road, you’ll need to pay to have it designed and printed before your tour starts.
Many new bands jump on touring packages to try to balance out the costs of touring. If you don’t have a label backing your tour expenses, splitting up expenses with other bands is a great way to get started.
Promotion & Marketing
If you want people to hear your music, you’re going to have to promote it somehow. This can include everything from printing flyers and buying ads to hiring a publicist or booking agent. All of this costs money, so be sure to factor it into your budget.
Will a Record Label Take Care of Most of These Costs?
Getting signed to a record label is a dream for a lot of bands just starting out. A record label can help push a band’s visibility to a larger market, but the label can also help cover many of the costs listed above. However, it’s important to remember that signing with a label is not a guarantee of success. A band still needs to put in the hard work to make it big.
As you can see, there are a lot of costs associated with being in a band and you should really think of your band as a business. Be sure to factor all of these into your budget so you’re not caught off guard. With a little planning, you can make sure your band has the resources it needs to succeed.