Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Is The Optimal Number of Band Members?

If you want to get gigs, you need to reduce the number of band members as low as possible.

Six member bands may sound great, but a lot fewer gigs can afford them.  So what is the optimal number?

For a full, rock sound, I think you need three minimum:  guitar, bass and drums. For a jazz trio, keys, bass and drums.  Now if you can keep it to three band members and everyone can sing, that is the best alternative.

If you are going to play only instrumentals, the lack of a lead singer isn't a problem.  However, if you are going to play rock, standards, country and numerous other genres, you have to have a lead singer.  You can then recruit a great singer and add a fourth member to the band.  If this is necessary, look for a singer who also plays an instrument, perhaps rhythm guitar.  A rhythm guitar isn't strictly necessary, but it does give a band a richer sound.  If the rhythm guitar player can also double on harmonica, all the better.

Once you have developed a reputation, a following and are getting gigs, then you can think about adding a keyboard player, a saxophonist or other musician.

In most bands, however, the singing is the key to success.  You have to have a good lead singer.  Without one, you won't get as many gigs or playing opportunities.


  1. I got it down to two and we still have keys and guitar