Beginner Guitarist – Best Time To Start Playing With A Band

You just bought your first guitar. You’ve been practicing every day. And you’re wondering when is the best time to start playing with a band? You think to yourself, “Am I ready or good enough to play with a band?” I have the answer for you.

I started playing guitar during my summer break after I finished my 9th grade year. A good friend of mine was an Army brat and moved with his family to Georgia. He was about 12 hours away by car. We were skateboarding buddies. Somehow we convinced our parents to let me fly down to hang out for a week.

All I wanted to do was skate. That’s what we always did before but all he wanted to do was play his new guitar. Long story short, before the end of the week he convinced me to buy my first guitar. My mom let me drain my savings of $125 so I went out and bought a $60 Harmony guitar and a $60 Gorilla amp.

We ended up playing guitar the rest of the week and I was hooked. From that point on, my social life was gone. There was nothing better than learning how to play guitar. I loved it and still do. I still meet people that think my obsession with the guitar is strange. I know… you get it. Thumbs up to you my friend.

School started about a month and a half later. I had science class with this annoying guy that beat on the back of my chair the entire class. Turns out he was a drummer.. go figure.

I told him I had started playing guitar over the summer. He wanted to get together and form a band. I was like, “uh, no!”  Truth is, I was scared to death. What did I know about guitar? I didn’t know anything about playing in a band. I was overwhelmed with fear.

Fear will make the strongest skilled people feel insignificant and weak. It’s a mental game.

My new drummer convinced me and in 10th grade we started our new band, “Eruption”. We sounded like crap. We practiced once a week and recruited a bass player and another guitarist. Before we knew it we had a “real” band.

We even entered a battle of the bands that our parents had to drive us to since we were only 15. Looking back we overcame fear and had a lot of balls. We lost the battle of the bands but we got a lot of encouragement from it.

Benefits Of Joining A Band

  • Deadlines – practicing each week forces you to learn new songs
  • Playing with others – playing in a band will get you thinking outside of the box (just you and your guitar). Playing with drums is a major skill that you need to master early on.
  • Performing – eventually you can get the thrill of performing for others. It’s a whole new ballgame.
  • Mind games – people are people but bands are different. Egos are waaaaay bigger than in real life. Being in a band will give you some skills working with difficult people. Guaranteed. Don’t be the difficult one.
  • Chicks – just kidding! Being in a band is definitely cool and usually people are impressed.
  • It rocks – when you are in sync with your bandmates making music is sweet and nothing else can get you that feeling.

How To Tell If You Are Ready To Play In A Band

Can you play 3 chords without having to stop in between each chord? Do you know other guys that play? Are there guys that you can get with that are on the same skill level or slightly better than you? Do you want to be in a band? Do you have a guitar and an amp? Are you willing to work your butt off to get better? Do you want to rock?

If you answer yes to most of the questions then YES, you are ready for a band. Go for it!

There are plenty of 3 chord songs that you can start with. Make a list and start practicing those songs. While you’re working on those songs find other guys to jam with. It could be just another guitarist or singer or even a bass player. You could jam with a drummer. It doesn’t have to be a full band.

Got a first band memory? Share it below.



About the author

Craig Kelley

Hi, I'm Craig and I write most of the stuff on this website. Feel free to catch up with me on Twitter. You can learn more about me on my site here and listen to my music here.