Bands on the Run?
Adding bands to the option for grouping and relationships in The Sims 3 was pure genius -- but when you consider that they pretty much added all of the instruments to the game (Drums, Piano, and Bass Guitar -- and there is an exclusive Electric Guitar that can only be obtained as a gift to your celebrity Sim as well as the classical guitar and the acoustic guitar from the previous games in the series) to complete the required kit for a band, it was almost a no-brainer really... The question on most Simmer's minds is a simple one: how do we form a band?!
The first step is to have your Sim gain basic mastery of one of the musical instruments (either Guitar, Bass, Drums, or Piano) -- as once they have one level of any of them they unlock the action "Ask to Form a Band" as a conversational option with other Sims. The presumption is that this option will only be available on Sims who also have a musical level -- with the maximum number of Sims that you can add to your Band being three (for a total of four members including your Sim). Ah but that is not the limit on playing music together!
In addition to forming a formal band with which your Sim can play, it is also possible to form impromptu "Jam Sessions" with as many as eight Sims! The social interactions that are generated by this are interesting to watch, but bear in mind that to form a band that plays paying gigs the magic number is four.
In addition to allowing your Sim to found his or her own band, there is a new Lifetime Wish called One Sim Band that rewards your Sim for mastering all four instruments, a goal that is worth pursuing even if you chose a different wish entirely.
Your band’s style of music is only limited by their skill level it seems, and through practice and as they perform their way into a famous and followed band, your Sim can choose to play music that suits each environment and venue!
The band is a social unit in the game, and as the "manager" your Sim not only picks the members but can also kick them out of the band, replacing them, but bear in mind that there will be consequences to that action as well as consequences for treating your band mates badly, especially if they have already established relationships, adding yet another balancing act to the game relationships.
Thanks to the four instruments and the band profession you can gig!
-- The Self-Employed Band --
The goal is to fully master your instrument and play gigs to earn money as a band. To fully master your instrument you will need to have your Sim learn all of the compositions/songs in the game, and to do that you will need to buy them from the Book Store and have your Sim learn them (reading them). It is not clear if learning songs in the vacation destinations helps but it is not required.
After your Sim earns $25000 in band income they will be awarded a Master Composition -- which is why it is important to register as self-employed as quickly as you are able.
Useful Traits: Artistic / Charismatic / Friendly / Virtuoso
The following list is the Levels, the Name for that Level, and the amount of income from band gigs that is required to unlock the specific Level:
Level 01: Attic Act
Level 02: Garage Band / $825
Level 03: Subway Trawler / $975
Level 04: Dive Bar Opening Act / $2130
Level 05: Dive Bar Headliner / $4050
Level 06: Touring Player / $6560
Level 07: Local Legend / $9675
Level 08: Headlining Act / $13125
Level 09: Culture Defining Band / $23400
Level 10: Legendary Musician / $35435
-- Observations on Creating a Band --
The developers on the team that makes The Sims series likes to restore as many of the skills, abilities, hobbies, and activities from the previous generations of the core game and expansions as they can, so it was not really a surprise that additional instruments were restored to the series -- and the use of those instruments as an integral element in the non-traditional profession of music band is again not really that big of a surprise... But even though a band once formed obtains the same benefits that the other non-traditional professions receive, it is another of the activities in the game that while fun and even interesting, and that includes its own set of challenges and opportunities, is nonetheless not one that is particularly profitable or likely to provide a living wage.
Having said that, and pointing out the obvious caveat that you will find the process of maintaining and training your "band" so much easier when it is made up of members of one household (think Von Trapp family) as that provides you with direct control over each Sim.