What Type of Band Should You Form?

what style of band to form

So you’ve made up your mind & you’re ready to start a band. What kind of band will you form? Most musicians will play in bands that stick to a certain musical genre. This is what gives your band its identity, and develops following amongst listeners of that genre. Chances are, a fan of Death Metal isn’t interested in hearing your band play Ska music. It’s a good starting point to pick your genre first, and develop your songs from there. Over time, you can choose to stick to that genre, or gradually evolve your sound into areas your audience will enjoy while still retaining your band identity.


But how do you come up with a style genre to get your band going?

When considering this, think about the following factors:

– what type of music do you enjoy the most? do you love all sorts of music? do you only dedicate your listening/playing time to one genre of music?

– If you’ve found other members for your band, what type of music are they most comfortable playing?

– Are you into humor? Will your band have humorous tones to it?

– what is the goal of your band? Are you going to go out there to try and make money? If so, a cover band may offer fastest road to success. Are you looking for fame & notoriety? Then perhaps look into what genres are ‘hot’ at the current moment in your area and/or nationally. If you’re playing for the fun of it, then go for whatever feels good to you.


Here’s a list of bands & styles you may use to spark your imagination:

  • Rock N Roll (The Rolling Stones)
  • Pop Rock (Superdrag, Sloan)
  • Pop (Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Brittney Spears)
  • Southern Rock (ZZ Top, The Black Crowes, the Allman Bros.)
  • Blues (BB King, Howlin’ Wolf)
  • Heavy Metal (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest)
  • Death Metal (Hipocrisy, Goatlord, As Blood Runs Black)
  • Hardcore (Fear, MDC)
  • Reggae (The Wailers, Toots & The Maytals)
  • Punk (The Misfits, Ramones)
  • Industrial Metal (Ministry, NIN)
  • Thrash Metal (Megadeth, Slayer)
  • Jazz (Miles Davis, Coltrane, Duke Ellington)
  • R & B (Destiny’s Child, the Roots, the Fugees)
  • Funk (the Meters, the Isley Brothers, Vulfpeck)
  • Hip Hop (Tribe Called Quest, Jurassic 5)
  • Rap (Dre, 50 Cent, NWA)
  • Latin (Los Astros, Garcia Garcia)
  • Jam (Phish, Moe, the Grateful Dead)
  • DreamWave (The Memory Tapes, Timecop1983)
  • Indie Rock (Built to Spill, the Shins)
  • Soul (James Brown, The Temptations)
  • Country (the Dixie Chicks, Brooks & Dunn)
  • Alt-Country (Uncle Tupelo, Drive By Truckers, Old Crowe Medicine Show)
  • Acappella (Five O’Clock Shadow, VOX, the Tone Rangers)
  • Acid Jazz (Drizabone, Greyboy Allstars)
  • Alternative Rock (Stone Temple Pilots, Bush)
  • Grunge Rock (Nirvana, the Screaming Trees, Pearl Jam)
  • New Wave (Talking Heads, Blondie)
  • Goth (The Smiths, The Cure)
  • Folk (The Carpenters, CSNY)
  • Industrial (Skinny Puppy, Ministry)

Personally, I enjoy all sorts of music, but my bands have always wound up sounding like pop-rock, mainly because it’s what I enjoy listening to and playing the most. It NEVER hurts for your band to dabble in different styles at practice, but be conscious of the effects it will have on your sound. If you’re the type of person who HAS to have your band sound like a genre, then stick to playing that style. But remember, the bands that seem to change the course of music are often the most daring and experimental. If you’re looking to stick to a certain sound, there’s no rule that says you can’t start additional bands exploring other genres.