Being in a band with three or four other people can be a very difficult, especially when you are in a band with people who tend to have a strong personality. Your band dynamic can make or break the cohesiveness of the band. Have one person who is hard to deal with will rub the others the wrong way. This is the nice of way saying they are a jerk. These are the type of guys who show up late to practice regularly, shout obscenities at the crowd, and generally act like they are the official spokesmen for the band. This is why it is important for a band in its early stages to lay out some ground rules.
These rules should be fully understood by all members. A written version of the band’s rules of conduct created at the onset of the groups formation can guide everyone to a harmonious future.
One of the first ground rules that a band should make is to be at practices and shows on time. There is nothing more aggravating in the world than waiting for some liquored up slacker to show up for practice. Your band as a whole has a lot of work to do and every minute of band practice counts. You don’t have time to waste on someone who can’t get their act together long enough to show up for practice. Every member of the band needs to make a commitment to being on time and making band practice a priority.
A repeat offender of this ground rule should be subject to a few punishments. You could always put together a three strike system. If anyone misses a band practice or is late without calling gets a strike. After three occurrences, you’re out. It’s simple and effective. Fines can be issued if the offender has the means. If not, then perhaps they must perform chores, tear down, or driving duties. Be creative with appropriate forms of punishments.
Another ground rule is how you conduct yourself in public. Most people have been bombarded by the notion that all rock stars are destructive and that you aren’t officially a rock star until you trash a venue or a hotel room. Not smart. The whole point of playing somewhere is rocking the crowd to make money so you can play there again. Not so you can make a huge butt of yourself and end up never being let back in the door of the club.
Band member conduct is essential to the success of your band. Create rules that follow the goals and vision for the band as a whole. If everyone acts responsibly and is motivated you will be surprised at the level of success you will achieve.