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6 Things Your Band Should Be Doing

April 24, 2012

I get a lot of musicians asking questions along the lines of “What else could we be doing to help our band?” and “How can we be doing more to promote ourselves?”. Although those questions are too broad to provide an accurate blanket answer for all musicians, I figured I’d make this list of “6 Things Your Band Should Be Doing Right Now” to better improve your chances of surviving in the industry.

1. Merchandising

I’m sorry but a t-shirt and a CD no longer cut it on the merch table. More than ever before merchandising is becoming a staple revenue source of independent musicians. Best of all, merchandise doubles as advertising since not only will you make money from your merchandise but you will have the power of your fans promoting your b(r)and.

2. Talking to your fans

Thanks to social media, engaging your fans is easier than ever before and there is no reason why your band shouldn’t be doing this. Don’t spend all your time online asking your fans to ‘like’ your band or come to show! Use platforms like facebook and twitter to ask your fans questions and engage in their responses. Talking to your fans goes well beyond social media so remember to take the time at shows to talk with friends and fans. Be social and build relationships with them.

3. Playing shows outside of your comfort zone

Yes it is fun to play with your friends’ bands at the same venues but most often this results in playing for the same fans causing your career to plateau much too early on and become stagnant. Get out of your comfort zone and try and do one or all of these:

  • Apply for Industry Showcases (at music and related festivals and conferences)
  • Set up a show with mixed genres (rock, rap, hiphop, folk, etc.)
  • Perform unconventional shows (street corner, in-stores, etc.)

4. Attending shows you aren’t performing

I can’t stress this enough – get off your ass and go to some shows. Talk to people, network, make connections, and get business cards and phone numbers. Build relationships so that when you message that promoter, venue, or band, you can mention the show you saw them at, the beer you bought for them, or the venture you discussed with them.

5. Promoting other bands you have built relationships with

Instead of being jealous by another band’s success, share in their glory. Share their upcoming tour dates or their new song link with your fans. Often bands will reciprocate back but even if they don’t the worst case scenario is that you’ve been a supporter of the local music scene.

6. Asking people for their honest opinion

Don’t ask your friends if they like your band, their opinion is inherently biased, not to mention grossly unqualified. Before you perform a show ask the promoter, another band or even one of the bar staff if they’d mind watching your set and giving you their opinion afterwards. Emphasize that you’d like their honest opinion as you want to improve your band and aren’t scared of criticisms. Not only will doing this further build your relationship with people in the scene but you will be able to get the opinions of people who have seen countless bands perform. And always remember these are only peoples opinions so you should consider them while taking them at face value.

Keep in mind these are only 6 pieces of the gigantic puzzle of the music industry but having them and putting them into practice will help reveal more pieces.

-Josh

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2012 11:03 AM

    All great advice!! Awesome blog as always Josh \m/

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