The best way to become a band musician is to determine your skills, interests, and abilities in terms of musical performance and to hone your skills until you are comfortable working with other musicians. If you already play an instrument, you can simply begin your search for a band; if you do not, you will need to learn how to play an instrument. This can be a quick process for some, but for most people, learning an instrument well will take years of practice. Think about what type of music you want to play in order to have clearer goals regarding becoming a band musician.
Many musicians join local bands, while others answer audition calls for national bands, regional bands, or even international bands. If you are a beginner and you want to become a band musician for the first time, it is probably wise to try out for a local band or form one yourself. This will make practicing much easier and will ease you into the process of playing your instrument with other musicians. It will also give you your first taste of playing on stage, which can be an exhilarating experience as well as a nerve wracking one.
It is not uncommon for a musician to go to school specifically to become a band musician. Advanced training in musical theory and performance will prepare the musician for more advanced bands and orchestras, and many such orchestras will require formal education in order to consider a musician for admission to the band. Playing in a high school band is certainly a good way to start preparing to become a band musician, and continuing onto college or a school of music will further enhance your credentials. Instructors and other faculty may even be able to help you network within the music world, increasing your chances of finding a job as a musician after graduating from the program.
Sometimes established bands will lose a member, or find a need for an additional member. If this happens, the band will send out a call for an audition. It may take several auditions before you are hired with a band, but persistence is important, as is dedication and the willingness to continue honing your skills despite rejections. Remember that becoming a member of a band requires more than just musical skill: you will need to be creative, willing to work with other members of the band, and dedicated to the cause of playing music.