Starting a band is exciting and fun. Playing music in a band creates a sense of belonging and the love of music unites all of the band members. It is easy to find people with the same taste in music who enjoy experiencing it together.
When it comes to producing music, it is challenging to form a band. You need to find individuals who are talented in different types of instruments (you don’t need two drummers in the same band, right?). After gathering the band members and settling on the music genre you are going to play, comes the big question: how to choose the best instruments for your band?
Let’s be realistic: the band’s budget is what will dictate what instruments you will get and their quality. If you are on a tight budget, you may have to rent the instruments needed in the beginning until you are able to generate a steady income. If you will need a stringed instrument, acoustic guitars are more affordable than electric ones. However, keep in mind that you must invest in the specialty instrument.
These instruments can change a song from good to extraordinary, and they must be of high quality to achieve what you are looking for. Prioritize the instruments needed and allocate your budget accordingly.
The Music Genre
Obviously, the genre that your band will play is a major factor in determining which instruments you want to acquire. Many instruments are versatile, which means they can be played in different genres, while other instruments are suitable for one or a couple of music genres. If you are not sure about the instruments needed, here are the instruments used (usually) in some genres:
Hip-Hop: bass, pads, keys, and drums.
Rock: guitars (the guitar type differs according to the sub-genre), drums, bass, keys.
Rap: drums, percussion, pads, and keys.
Jazz: horns such as trumpet and sax, bass, guitar, drums, and keys.
The Specialty Instruments
As discussed before, specialty instruments are the centerpiece of the band, and all other instruments complement it to produce amazing music and songs. Music lovers will always look for that distinctive sound of the specialty instrument, whether it was a guitar, harp, bongo, or Irish banjo that suits your genre. That’s why if you opted for the guitar to be your specialty instrument, you should look for high-end Japanese guitar brands as they produce sounds of the highest quality. Investing in that instrument is not only to benefit from the sound but also for the show, as it must catch the attention of the audience once it is on stage. However, don’t go way beyond your budget to acquire a specialty instrument.
Some instruments require physical demands that not everyone has, so it is preferable to do your research before buying any kind of instrument. Some instruments need prolonged times of standing such as marimba and upright bass, while breath support is essential for woodwinds. If you or any band member have any physical limitations, you need to look for the most suitable option for them.
However, some people mix physical limitations with a lack of practice. For woodwinds, you can acquire breath support if you are coached right and spend enough time practicing. Heavy instruments need physical strength that can be achieved easily by practicing.
How do you know which instrument sounds best for you? Experiment with them all. You don’t have to commit to an instrument right off the bat; you can experiment with as many instruments as you want before spending your budget.
You can ask around your musical network to try different instruments without paying money, or you can rent them for short periods of time to have a better grasp of the sound quality and if you will like them. You can even try instruments briefly at most instrument stores as they are willing to let customers try them before they buy. Just don’t overstay your welcome.
Keep an Open Mind
New instruments enter the music world and you can fall in love with them if you’ve tried them. They can even change your perspective on the type of music you will play. If you don’t have enough in your budget for the guitar you want, why not try a ukulele? It might surprise you how new instruments will change the way you look at the music you want to play.
Choosing instruments for you or your band can be tricky if you don’t have vision or flexibility in music. Once you have set the budget, the band can choose which instruments suit their needs and even experiment with new ones that might open new musical opportunities for them. What matters the most is to produce music that you love and enjoy.