How to manage a band?

BGDurham

Well-known member
My little cover band is growing and we're starting to think about how best to organize ourselves. Group text and a shared Google document is all we have right now. We can see a need for a shared calendar at least, and I'm sure there are many other issues we'll need to address soon. Any suggestions from those of you farther along? Slack? Trello? Business Google account? Thanks for any recommendations!
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
The most helpful thing for me was recording our rehearsals and making a quick mix down for everyone to study. I’d post the audio files on Dropbox. We also used it for posting cover tune nominations.

But for scheduling, I’ve not used anything other than iCal.
 

Jasta 11

Well-known member
Not a bad idea to get better organized. We always g ver the gigs as they come in and put them in our phone calendars ( which are not shared.)
This almost backfired for the first time 2 weeks ago so i can see a need for something better. My band was playing at a gig on a Friday and just before a set my guitar player said something about the long drive for him and mentioned Sunday would be even further. I knew we had a gig Saturday so I didnt reply thinking he was talking about going somewhere. Later I asked where HE was going.....turns out it was US, we had a Sunday gig too which I failed to put in my calendar. Almost let the band down as a no show, that would have sucked!!! There is a lot of back and forth daily about potential gigs with checking availability and sometimes the guys will forget to actually confirm.
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Today I'd go all in for Google. Those days we would have needed it it wasn't available, so we managed everything more or less manually, keeping the band (14 musicians + staff) together via a forum. But today I guess Google business account would be our friend:
  • Have various shared calendars, one for the bands arrangements (rehearsals, gigs, dead lines for whatever) and one for each musician where he can enter holidays or block other dates
  • Use Google Drive to share recordings and other random files, e.g. organize images the band has taken or the customer has sent in folders, jointly select a collection for you social media accounts into sub-folders
  • Use Google Docs to share arrangements the whole band can work on simultaneously, also for having stage plans, backstage requirements and technical riders at hand
  • Google Sheets provides transparent book-keeping ("guys, Tom didn't pay the rent for the rehearsal room since December!")
  • And Google Forms for e.g. polls ("do you guys want to play at Paul The Pee Pot's Garage Party?")
  • Organize general communication via email, including attachments, same channel as one would use with customers and other folks to share and communicate all the data from above
Edit: oh and make use of the comments function within the docs and sheets to e.g. add tasks for band members they get informed via email about.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
We have a group chat on Facebook Messenger. One person can post a possible gig and we can all reply and see the other replies. With text messages the replies get all mixed up. We also have a shared calendar on our phones, but one guy doesn’t use it so its not perfect.
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
In both bands I'm in, up until now we've used texting and emails to confirm availability. It was a PITA - too many emails & texts, too much re-confirming when someone was available or not. We tried Google calendar but had issues with log-on security, long-on confirmation texts to account phone numbers, etc. Additionally, not everyone used Google and admittedly, I'm not a big Google user with complete understanding.

Someone just told me about "Where's The Gig" - a band calendar system that's super easy & intuitive. https://wheresthegig.com/start_page.html Just joined up and began using it and it's been a Godsend. Costs a Patreon donation for $5 a month. Easy.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
My approach has been to find gigs to play. We can all text each other and one member did devise a calendar we can use, but it’s superfluous because there are no gigs to book. Once I started actively going out to meet people to book gigs, then I’m just communicating when and the guys are telling me if we can or not. I think they’re realizing that gigs are only offered when they’re offered so nobody has been saying no to anything.

I’m struck by what Stewart Copeland said about the early days of the Police that you can rehearse and “feel” like a band, but with the absence of gigs to play, you’re not really a band because that’s why the band exists. So my approach ever since has been to get the gigs, then make the band fit into that schedule whether they like it or not 😉
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Not really sure how that works unless your being funny.
So, you’ve always had a choice on when people would offer their gigs? If you’re not out there working and someone says “I have a wedding gig on August 27th”, you’d rather say “but my band is available on the 30th, so we can’t do it.”? Really? There’s scheduling, and then there’s working, which is what makes you a band.

So no. I’m not being funny.
 

Jasta 11

Well-known member
So, you’ve always had a choice on when people would offer their gigs? If you’re not out there working and someone says “I have a wedding gig on August 27th”, you’d rather say “but my band is available on the 30th, so we can’t do it.”? Really? There’s scheduling, and then there’s working, which is what makes you a band.

So no. I’m not being funny.
When my guitar player is in Aruba on vacation, do i send him a ticket to come back and play a gig?
The band lets each other know our vacations at the start of the year, you make it sound like you dont consider anyone but yourself.
We gig a lot, tonight and tomorrow ( probably while your sitting home this weekend) and we book around our personal lives. your post sounds ike its your way or the highway, life doesn't work that way.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
The most helpful thing for me was recording our rehearsals and making a quick mix down for everyone to study. I’d post the audio files on Dropbox. We also used it for posting cover tune nominations.

But for scheduling, I’ve not used anything other than iCal.

Google calendars can be exported/linked to iCal. There are other apps for scheduling (our group uses Master Tour), but I think Google would be simpler/easier.

Dropbox beats Google for file-sharing, though.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
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My little cover band is growing and we're starting to think about how best to organize ourselves. Group text and a shared Google document is all we have right now. We can see a need for a shared calendar at least, and I'm sure there are many other issues we'll need to address soon. Any suggestions from those of you farther along? Slack? Trello? Business Google account? Thanks for any recommendations!

The biggest thing is to get everybody to update the shared calendar to include dates they won’t be available. That way, you can say yay or nay, after quickly consulting the band calendar.

I hope your band mates are tech-savvy and personally well-organized!
 

BGDurham

Well-known member
Thanks for your suggestions folks! We have not decided on any particular tools yet but I am checking some out. If we hit on something useful I will post here.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
We have a shared dropbox where we store all the documents for the band. Set list, lyrics, videos,… to organise ourselves, we use a WhatsApp group.
The important thing we do is to record almost every rehearsal and share it in the Dropbox.

I must say I don’t understand Dropbox policy, we would have paid to have a bigger shared space but Dropbox is either free 2 Go or far too expensive Tera. Stupid IMO not to offer something in between.
 
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No Way Jose

Silver Member
Right now I'm dealing with a manager that changes things without letting us musicians know. She sometimes texts us so we know the schedule. But sooner or later someone might not show up to a gig because they were confused.
 
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