What Size Band Do I Choose?

Nesta is available as a steel drum soloist, to a 7-piece steel drum and Caribbean band.

Here are some guidelines to choosing a band size - and please know that you can contact us if you need help figuring it out.

Keep in mind that steel drums will be the main instrument. For most events, such as BBQs, luaus, parties, receptions, and other “casual” music, it’s best to have bass and drumset in the band. It brings the underlying groove and bottom to the music. There are two different ways this can be accomplished:

  1. A live bassist and live drummer
  2. Bass and drumset backing tracks

What are Backing Tracks?

They are pre-made tracks with music software that play the role of bass and drumset, mainly. We’ve spent a lot of time and energy making ours, so they sound “good” (for backing tracks). But keep in mind that backing tracks do not compare to having a living, breathing, bassist and drummer - they cannot change with the other musicians, do not have as good tone-quality, do not have nuance, cannot be spontaneous, and overall, don’t sound as much like an actual band.

Example: Difference Between a Quartet and a Duo
A duo may have harmony and melody steel drums, with bass and drumset backing tracks. A quartet may have harmony and melody steel drums, with a real, live bassist and drummer.

Description of Each Size Band

  • Solo: steel drums, opt. backing tracks, opt. vocals

  • Duo: Like a solo, but adds another steel drummer. (Possibility of other instruments like guitar for second player, but two steel drummers is most common)

  • Trio: Like a duo but adds drumset, and uses bass backing tracks. (Other configurations for trios available as well, including one which has all live musicians, no tracks)

  • Quartet: Like a trio, but adds live bassist, so entire band is live.

  • Quintet: Like a quartet, but adds guitar, or hand percussion, or other ranges of steel drums for more variety in sound. Entire band is live.

  • Sextet: like a quintet but adds guitar, or hand percussion, or other ranges of steel drums (whichever hasn’t been chosen yet) for more variety in sound. Entire band is live.

  • Septet: like a sextet, but adds guitar, or hand percussion, or other ranges of steel drums (whichever hasn’t been chosen yet) for more variety in sound. Entire band is live.

Please note: backing tracks/PA system, instrumentation, and vocals must be decided upon booking due to equipment and certain personnel requirements. Vocals available in all size bands, subject to availability.

Contact us with any questions! We are happy to help figure out what’s best for your needs and event!

  • steel drummer ventura
  • steel drum band
  • steel drums los angeles