Every music scene is its own world, packed with locally famous venues, musicians, and history. It’s natural to want to develop within the music community that exists in your hometown. However, when musicians fail to evolve past their local scene, they limit not only their opportunities, but also their creativity. Forming an identity outside of your music scene isn’t easy, but it’s essential to connect with large audiences.
Don’t settle for local success
It can be incredibly exciting to find success within a local music scene for new and unestablished bands. Opening for national artists, getting written up in local media, and headlining shows at local venues are all signs of momentum within a scene. The problem comes when bands get addicted and comfortable with the notion of being the big fish swimming in the small ponds of their local music scenes. It’s completely possible to be a well-known and beloved band to the music fans in your hometown but no one else. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this. Yet, if your music career ambitions are bigger than being locally successful, you’ll have to plan to be active outside of your hometown.
Making great music often requires uninhibited self expression. As musicians, we create some of our best work by removing filters on our thoughts and actions. If we come up with ideas that don’t fit the larger context of our work, we easily discard them later. But when it comes to the things we talk about on stage, that same unchecked expressiveness many of us use to write, record, and produce music could end up alienating our audiences and potentially damaging our careers in more serious ways. If you’re new to performing live, here are a few things you should avoid talking about when you’re up on stage:
Your sound engineer most likely isn’t the first thing you think of when you’re getting ready to play an important show, but people in this position wield an incredible amount of power that can make or break the sound of your performance. A smooth soundcheck will ensure that everything sounds the way it should on and off the stage, but also that you feel comfortable in your performance. But for some artists new to live performing, proper soundcheck etiquette has to be learned the hard way. Here are three tips to help ensure you get the best soundcheck you possibly can on stage.
For many music fans, a feeling of intimacy is what makes them feel most connected to the songs they love, whether they’re being played at home or live on stage. But from a musician’s perspective, creating music that feels a certain way when it’s recorded is often challenging to replicate in a live setting where the pressure of having one chance to get things right often dominates the performance. Intimacy in live performances can be a big challenge for musicians, it’s one of the characteristics that make playing on stage special, so it’s something you should care about.
Playing in a major city is always an exciting experience. While it takes a lot of planning to set up a successful show, it can also be very rewarding in the end. The most obvious advantage of playing in a major city is that you get exposure to more audiences and to different niche groups that might not exist in smaller towns. But there is also more competition, which is why planning, strategy, and flexibility are key for playing concerts in major cities.
Fortunately, we live in the age of social media and we can start spreading the word about our upcoming show to people beforehand. Even if we don’t have a fanbase in that city, we can still target certain audiences, demographics, and people who listen to artists who have similar sounds to us. This will not only build word of mouth marketing, but it will also lead the way for playing in more venues and selling more tickets. Read on for 10 tips to build an audience in a major city:
Some unestablished bands set out to tour for the first time abroad or overseas with the expectation that their time will be spent sightseeing, mingling with locals, and playing a bit of music. However, the harsh demands and innate discomfort of DIY touring comes as a rude awakening for bands who equate touring to fun, carefree vacationing. Today, we’re sharing three reasons why thinking of tour as a vacation is a bad idea.
Unestablished bands often have the experience of being in the middle of a long tour they’ve booked themselves with having no idea if what they’re doing is paying off or not. DIY touring can be filled with unpleasant experiences, whether it’s playing in front of empty rooms night after night or having to skip meals and sleep in the van to save money. Most bands know the end results of what they want to have happen through touring, but it can be tricky recognizing the small successes it takes to make big things happen. If these three things are happening for your band through DIY touring, then you’re doing something right:
Taking the leap from making and sharing music to performing it live in front of an audience is crucial for musicians intent on building their careers. But going from practicing in your band’s rehearsal space or your bedroom to the stage isn’t easy. From performance anxiety to not knowing how to start booking real shows, transitioning to the world of live music performance takes a good amount of trial and error. If you’re not sure where to begin building your live performance skills, here are five low-pressure options to consider: