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Reasons Your Band Isn’t Going Forward

December 22, 2011

In all honesty there are definitely more than a dozen reasons why a band might not be achieving the level of success hoped for but for the purpose of this rant I have done the liberty of excluding the obvious things (instruments not in tune, can’t sing in key etc) and instead have focused on common mistakes many up and coming and even established bands continue to make.

#12. You play too frequently / All your shows are the same:
Plain and simple (see our previous article The Invisible Line for some more insight on this).

#11. You don’t know how to play your songs live (you are simply standing on stage practicing them):
There is a big different between getting on stage and playing your songs vs. putting on a live show. People not only want to be, but deserve to be, entertained.

#10. You don’t know your audience and haven’t learned how to read the crowd:
I have seen many bands that are oblivious to whom their fan base is. They assume they should fit in with “Crowd A” since that is the music they personally like, however in reality their core fan base is a different demographic altogether.

#9. You don’t have enough merchandise:
Merch is the cornerstone to generating revenue for many successful artists, yet so many bands have nothing more than a CD and a T-Shirt on their table (see our previous article Merchandise Corner for some more insight on this).

#8. You lack even the most basic of organizational skills:
Being an artist is great but you need to have some basic organization skills if you hope to stay focused and goal oriented.

#7. You rush everything:
An obsession with urgency can be damaging to your career. The more you rush things, the more that can be overlooked. Take the time to slow down and focus on the task(s) at hand.

#6. You use the “Used Car Salesman” tactic of selling your music:
Instead of engaging your fans and building relationships with them, you only reach out to them when you have something you want to sell them.

#5. You shit talk other bands when they get better opportunities than you:
I’ve heard too many bands complain about another bands success. Not only is it counter productive, but 9/10 times, the reason the other band likely received their break is because they have a better work ethic than you.

#4. You don’t know how to take constructive criticism:
If you aren’t ready to take the criticism, don’t ask for the opinion.

#3. You don’t live in the present:
Bands have an obsession with waiting for the ‘future’ to get better and/or reminiscing about the glory days of the ‘past’ all the while they are missing perfectly good opportunities in the present (see our previous article Past, Present and Future for some more insight on this).

#2. You create barriers and make excuses:
I hear far too many “I’m too busy” or “I’m too broke” excuses. If you can’t put forth 100% effort at all time, then there is someone else that can (and will). Just remember point #5 when they get the break over your band.

#1. You already think that your band is the best band in the world:
Besides the obvious ego driven problems from feeling this way, the most damning aspect is that if you think this, you have lost the desire to strive for something better.

-Josh

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