Bands are among the most popular college activities in Canada, if you still haven't built or joined any band, Donner Canada's Back-to-School sale gives you the chance to do it this school year.
Before you start calling your friends, let's find out what it requires to build your band.
How many members are needed in a band?
What does a band consist of?
What kinds of musical instruments are suitable for a new band?
How many members are needed in a band?
Deciding how many people you want to be in your band is important. You don't want to call up a bunch of friends and put them on the waitlist. For your reference, here are examples of various band sizes.
Not a very common option, but there are bands with only one member who often play multiple instruments.
[one-man band picture from Unsplash photographer: bilal_zafar92]
In this picture, you can see the artist playing the harmonica, the tambourine, the guitar, and probably the kick drums simultaneously. He looks super busy, and you may probably want some more hands in your band.
Here we begin to talk about more common bands. A two-member band is usually a pop band or a rock band. Among well-known two-member bands, there are drum-less ones like Tenacious D and our favorite Wham!.
(Wham! stage photo from Pinterest)
When members add up to three, it's a pretty complete lineup of a typical band. The trio often includes a drummer, a bass guitarist, and an guitarist. Usually, one or more members will sing in a three-member rock or pop band.
For example, the three Gibbs, namely Barry, Robin, and Maurice on Bee Gees sang together so many classic songs like How Deep Is Your Love and First of May.
(A Bee Gees stage, photo from Twitter @BeeGees)
Green Day is one of the many three-member bands with one member as the lead singer, in their case their guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong. Some trio bands also feature a backing band for other functions.
The Beatles is a world-famous example of a traditional four-piece band with two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. Another example is Metallica. Their lineup represents heavy metal power.
(The Beatles' rooftop show, photo from Twitter @thebeatles)
Some bands introduce electronic keyboards to their setup. Some rock bands like Led Zeppelin have their bassist playing the keyboard sometimes. Pink Floyd, on the other hand, has Richard Wright as a dedicated keyboard player (and a vocalist).
Nickelback has a more complicated lineup. Chad Kroeger plays the frontman and lead guitarist, while Ryan Peake is both the guitarist and keyboardist (and his vocal is great too). Mike Kroeger and Daniel Adair lay the foundation of their alternative music with their bass guitar and drums.
In short terms, four-piece is the most common form of rock and pop bands, with many variations regarding instruments and roles.
Adding one new instrument or double an existing one in a four-member band and you get a five-member band. A typical five-piece is a vocalist, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, and drums. You can see this lineup in AC/DC and Oasis.
Keyboards often join the five-member band too. Styx's Lawrence Gowan from Ontario plays the keyboard and is one of the band's lead vocalists. The Sonics has Jake Cavaliere as their keyboardist on their tours, with Rob Lind playing the saxophone and harmonica to their punky touch.
(Styx show in Toronto, photo from Twitter @STYXtheBand)
You can also use the internet to learn about bands with more than five members. After you've determined your band size, it's time to decide what roles are in your band.
Musical Instruments for Bands
We are not saying that a guitar is a must. There are a number of bands that perform without a guitar, such as the German acapella metal band Van Canto. They have five singers and a drummer and showcase breathtaking stages.
However, it's still undeniable that electric guitars are the symbol of rock bands. It is the most prominent sound in a song. Most bands would choose an electric guitar over an acoustic one for its variety of sounds and rich extensions through different pedals.
For a larger setup, you can consider a second guitar to enrich the chords.
A cutaway 41-Inch full-size acoustic guitar beginner kit for right-handers, with sunburst finish, just for C$194.49
While bassists are not usually the frontmen, they lay the foundation of the whole song with the rhythms of the a good bass. If you have invited a trustworthy bassist, also choose a great bass guitar for her or him.
A full size 4 string electric bass guitar black with bag, guitar strap, and guitar cable. for only C$248.99
Drums may not be always practical for small stages, but they are definitely a must if you are going to throw some rock music with strong beats. You can begin with an electronic drum set that would not only save space, but also keep relatively quiet, allowing your band to practice even without serious noise-absorbing studio rooms.
A beginner's electronic drum set with drum sticks/5 drums/3 cymbals, for only C$489.99
Keyboards and Digital Pianos
A keyboardist in your band can absolutely bring many more possibilities to your music. On the one hand, a piano can add more tiers to the arrangement, like that in the Beatles' Let It Be. On the other hand, you can opt for the less rock but more pop genre to change the vibe in your mini-concert.
As a keyboard can play so many more sounds in addition to emulated piano sounds, it is a highly worthwhile instrument for an experimental band to play along with synths.
A 88 key semi-weighted portable digital piano with sustain pedal, for only C$378.74
Saxophones and harmonicas
If you want something old-school and classic, try adding a saxophone or a harmonica.
Back-to-School Buying Guides
If you have already had a plan for your campus band and you are buying musical instruments to make it happen, don't miss Donner Music Canada's Back-to-School Sale 2022. You can enjoy historical-low prices on the above-mentioned guitars, basses, drums, and keyboards, with an additional discount of up to C$120.