The act of having a band is a real treat, and is truly meant to be more than anything else, enjoyable! I can remember the early bands I had being an absolute joy, even though I was rarely satisfied, even at a very young age, with many of the other members. Still, it was a great time of growth both musically and personally, and I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. It’s important in the early days of your gigging with your band that you keep it as “democratic” as possible. Sure, all bands do need to have a true leader, but everybody’s musical and other kinds of ideas are important to be heard and considered. After all, you’ll learn more from other’s ideas, and a band should really be a collective endeavor, or else you might as well have gone solo!
When you finally do start to do gigs together, it’s very important that you feel rehearsed enough, but not over-rehearsed. This is because you should want to develop your improvisational skills, and learn to “think on your feet” right from the start. The biggest mistake is to feel you have to be perfectly rehearsed, and to feel let down if it ends up that you’re not. After all, when playing a gig, the adrenaline will always play a factor, and folks may play too fast, or speed up, make mistakes, or just generally be too distracted. All of this plays into a young band’s psyche, ad you should never come down too hard, or glare at someone in the band if he/she makes a mistake. To do the “glaring” thing is very unprofessional, and it would only hurt the feelings of your friend. Much better to not pay attention to the mistake, and talk it over later. I’ve seen far too many musicians do the quick “head turn” where everyone does a double-take so they can glare at the player who made the mistake…very bad!
It’s also really important to help each other in every way, right down to being fair about carrying your equipment. Keep focused on the music, avoid letting it become a popularity contest, and the gigs will become more and more fun as they go on. Also, it’s very important to “read” the audience, and learn how to pace your show. All these things will add up to making you and your band a more professional, and enjoyable experience. Great luck with it all!