There are so many different genres of music in the world today. From the hair metal of the 80’s to trap music of the 2010’s, music has come so far in ways we could never predict. However, genres from older decades are still around and kicking, including one that’s had a major influence: folk music.
Many of us associate folk music with the music of the 1960’s, a time where civil rights stood at the forefront of society. That’s why musicians feel inspired enough to still create folk bands today.
Here are the 4 best tips for starting your own folk band!
1) Pick Your Instrument
The first thing you should do is decide what kind of instrument you’d like to play. If you don’t know one, it’s a great time to pick it up. Folk music is ideal for beginners because you don’t necessarily have to be a perfect player. “Folk music” by definition is for and by the American people, many of whom don’t have music training.
You probably already know the acoustic guitar is the most popular folk music instrument. But you can also choose among other strings like the dobro, banjo, and the mandolin.
Wind instruments, like the harmonica, are also available. You can find the best harmonica for your style of playing easily through online retailers.
2) Find Your Bandmates
If you don’t already have folk-loving friends to start your band with, you can look to your community. Posting flyers in hangout spots like cafes and music venues is a great way to find like-minded individuals. If all else fails, you can even find online communities of folk musicians eager to group up!
You don’t need a band to play music, either. There are many folk musicians who rose to fame with solo careers. You can look to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Leonard Cohen for examples on how to play by yourself on stage.
3) Write Songs
You can’t have a band if you can’t play any songs! Writing your own folk music is a difficult, yet rewarding task. Most folk music has a heavy emphasis on acoustic string instruments, as we mentioned before. However, you can give your songs a unique flair with other things that can accent the main instrumentation.
Folk fans would argue the most important element of writing in this style is the lyrics. Each song has a unique message, often using metaphors and abstract ideas to tell it. It’s necessary to put genuine emotion into these songs, whether it’s anger, grief, or hope. That’s truly what makes this music stand the test of time.
4) Use Social Media
The wonderful thing about being a musician today is that it’s easy to market yourself to a huge audience through social media. Once you’re ready to perform, creating official band social media accounts is the best way to get yourself out there. You can create flyers, record songs and videos, and post them all on the internet with one click of a button.
It’s also the perfect way to network with other musicians and venues. Because a career in music is largely based on who you know, social media is the perfect way to network.
What Are You Waiting For?
Starting a folk band isn’t easy, but it’s rewarding. With these 4 tips, you can begin your journey as a professional musician with ease.
The more folk music you listen to, the easier it is to fully understand the genre. Giving your favorite artists another listen and discovering new ones is a great way to broaden your horizons and gather ideas for your first #1 hit!