How to Start Your Band Dirt Cheap

    We’ve all been there. You’re itching to get out and make some music that matters to you—but music is not cheap, and you’re dead broke. When thinking about starting a band and cash is not your friend, you might feel you’re all out of options.

    However, making music doesn’t mean spending too much cash right away. There are easy, cheap ways to get started, such as busking, street performing, or just starting a garage band. It’s easy to find a way to get yourself playing music without breaking the bank!

    Here’s how to start a band for dirt cheap and still have a complete musical set-up:


    Of all the instruments you are likely to lose most of your money on, the drums will undoubtedly get you—but there are ways to save your bucks. Some bands even find a way to get down to a single drum and a pair of sticks.

    If you’ve ever spent time around the subways in any big city, you may come across a bucket drummer. This instrument is precisely as it sounds! Can’t afford a bass drum? A big bucket or empty oil drum could do the work. Need a cymbal? Why spend your last dollar when a trashcan lid can do the work for you?

    The only thing that most bucket drummers will still bring along is a snare. Save your bucks, and keep looking for any of the best snare drums to complete your bucket set.


    Getting vocals going is your most vital free resource, and it might cost you just the price of a pen and notepad!

    Try and make up for your lack of budget by showing off your singing talent and letting your creative energy flow wherever you are. A microphone can cost you less than $100, but for now, you might want to see how you can fare without one.

    There are plenty of free lessons on YouTube for those favoring a melodic touch, and for those that not blessed with an angelic singing voice, try working on your lyrics instead. Make up for your lack of fancy gear with memorable words that stick in the brain of your future fans.


    To close off your band, you’ll need someone on guitar. While this feels like it could cost you big bucks, there’s the right way to do it, and then there’s the cheap way.

    Guitar enthusiasts will tell you that a cheap guitar is not worth the money. With just a little more saving, you can afford something that will sound good and last the test of time. These naysayers are right—but don’t listen to them!  Your dirt cheap band needs to get off the ground first.

    The best piece of advice, focus on acoustic. Digging through every flea market, garage sale, and online marketplace, you’re bound to find something for less than $20. It might not stay in tune, but it’s all you need to build to something better for your first band.


    When looking back through musical success stories, you’ll find endless examples of people who started from nowhere. That busker on the subway, the punk band stuffed in a garage—many of the great started from very little. Money might make the world go around, but you should never let it get in your way!

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