How do I Become a Band Manager?

N. Madison
N. Madison

There is no set path to take to become a band manager. Some people get started because they have musicians in the family and want to help them land gigs. Others feel a calling to music, but choose management because they don’t have a particular affinity for vocals or playing instruments. Some may even start out as band members and switch to management. No matter how or why a person chooses to become a band manager, however, he’ll typically need to learn as much as he can about the music industry and then find a band, convincing its members to sign a contract with him.

Band managers may arrange radio exposure to promote their musicians.
Band managers may arrange radio exposure to promote their musicians.

A person who wants to become a band manager will need at least some knowledge of how the music industry works. This includes everything from the role of a band manager to how to book gigs and successfully promote talented musicians. He’ll also need to learn how gig payments and band manager commissions are handled. While he won’t need to know everything about the music industry before starting, the more knowledge he has of the industry upfront, the easier it may be to experience success. A person interested in this career may gain knowledge by reading books about band management; he might even ask another band manager for tips for getting started.

Band managers need to be familiar with the basics of booking and promoting concerts, as well as negotiating performance contracts.
Band managers need to be familiar with the basics of booking and promoting concerts, as well as negotiating performance contracts.

The next step for a person who wants to become a band manager is finding a band to represent. He may do this by asking friends, family members, and associates for referrals. He may also visit clubs and other venues, watching bands and discovering whether or not they have managers. He may even search bulletin boards at local music shops and music schools. Sometimes bands advertise for managers in such places with posted flyers.

Before approaching a band he’d like to manage, an aspiring band manager may do well to watch the band play a gig or two. This way, he can observe without pressure, noting both the band's strengths and weaknesses. With this information in mind, he can figure out how he might best assist the band, including helping them strengthen their weak points and secure more gigs. With good ideas in mind, a person who wants to become a band manager can approach the band and explain how he can help them. If the band agrees, he’ll typically have its members sign a contract with him before he goes to work on their behalf.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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