Even if your band is formed of brothers and sisters or of best friends, every group should have a a designated leader. Along with choosing a leader it is important for everyone in the band to know what that position means and to honor it. So, what is the role of the band leader?

Being band leader is a responsibility

Being a band leader is a responsibility. It is a job, not just a title that feels good. Whether you take on the job, or whether you’re a member, you need to learn to treat that position with respect. When you form a band, choose your position, band leader or “sideman” (that’s what the non-leader is called) and honor whatever position you hold.

Being band leader means making decisions

A band leader needs to know how to make decisions. For most cases in the decision making process, I recommend that the entire band be involved like a unit. However, there are many times when a split second decision is required and the designated leader needs to be capable of handing the situation, or at the very least willing to develop himself in that regard. In the case of very young bands, these skills may not yet be developed.

Being band leader means laying down the law

As a band, some rules and guidelines need to be set in order for things to run smoothly. Band members can be and should be involved in creating these rules and guidelines. Even so, there may come times, when a member, who knows better slips up on some rule or other. The leader has the job of getting the member back on track.

It may involve something simple like being on time for rehearsals. A good leader needs to do more than holler at the member and tell them that they’re late! That’s not effective communication skills! Remember that your goal is to get your member in line.

Think of how you would react to the approach, before you try it. In time you will come up with smoother, more effective ways to deal with people.

Being band leader means handling administrative duties

When there’s money involved, it’s the leader’s responsibility to hand out the wages. Even if you are dealing with friends, this needs to be handled in a very professional manner. Many bands, made up of friends, fall apart because they did not handle money in professional way from the beginning.

It may not seem that important when you are just dividing up a few dollars, but should the pot grow to a large amount, trouble can start to brew, if you haven’t laid down a solid foundation with good understanding. Sit down with your band and talk about money as if you were going to make lots.

Being band leader means representing and talking for the band

The leader must talk to potential employers and new members as the need arises. A leader needs to learn to speak confidently and be able to represent the band in a professional manner. Some training may be helpful in that regard.

Being band leader means being supportive and encouraging

If you find yourself frustrated with a band member, consider this — you could replace the person and end up with a new band member that has even more issues to deal with! Deal with what you’ve got. There must be some reason you chose that person in the first place.

As a leader, you need to learn how to work with people. You need to learn how to encourage and support your band members, not just when they’re doing great but also when they slip or have personal problems. It’s all part of being a leader.

Being band leader means being a leader

Being a band leader means being a leader in every sense of the word. It doesn’t mean that you need to be perfect. It doesn’t mean that you need to know everything about everything. As a matter of fact, you will cause yourself grief if you try to pretend that you do know everything.

However, it does mean that you need to set an example. It means that you can’t ask or expect anything from your members that you’re not doing or willing to do yourself. So, if you want all your players to keep advancing on their instrument, make sure you’re leading the way! That’s what a leader does! A leader leads the way!

So that’s the role of a band leader. Whether you’re just a bunch of friends who got together, or strangers who’ve become friends, when you form a band, choose a leader. If you are that leader, take your role seriously and you’ll do well.

Source by GK Eckert