Play an instrument? Check. Found some bandmates? Check. Think you’ll be the next big thing?
Play an instrument? Check. Found some bandmates? Check. Think you’ll be the next big thing? Not so fast.
As with anything, starting out can be tough, and there are countless bands who think they can make it and then fall short at the first hurdle. Luckily, here’s seven top tips filled with advice to help a new band gain the popularity and promotion they need on the way to success.
Your band will become like your family. Those are your brothers and sisters now, so make sure you have a strong relationship and work well together as a team. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together, writing, practicing, recording, touring and performing, so make sure you’re ready! Trouble within the band will make trouble in your music, so you need to be strong enough to withstand any struggles together.
2) Practice and perform
Lots. As much as you can. This is probably the most important thing for every new band to remember. Practice makes perfect, and that makes for an outstanding performance. The best way to find fans is for them to see you live, so start looking for shows as soon as you can. Start small, try out local venues first and don’t expect the best spots on the line-up. Just give the best show possible!
3) Be unique and memorable
Almost every successful band has a signature trait or trick up their sleeves which makes them stand out from the competition. With so many bands starting up, it’s important to identify your band’s distinct characteristic. Whether it’s a memorable name, a unique look, striking logo, or something new and different in your music style, there needs to be a reason for listeners to choose you, and not forget you the second you leave the stage.
4) Know your audience
Once you’ve identified what your band is all about, figure out who is going to be listening to your music, and the best ways to reach them. Chances are there’s a fan base for your genre of music, or more than one if you have a mix of styles. Make sure you’re involved in the scene; discover the groups, events, venues and discussions that you should be a part of. Just because you’re taking to the stage, doesn’t mean you should stop spending time looking up to it. Remember what you love about music and make sure you’re giving your audience the same thing.
5) Make your music heard
No-one is going to have heard of your band if they don’t have a chance to hear your music. Whether its covers or originals, start recording songs and releasing them. Chances are you won’t make money to begin with, but as your popularity and the quality increases, so will your profits. Feed these into future releases to keep the momentum building.
Make sure your tracks are available across multiple platforms; start off with sites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp, which give great access for new bands. Once you have a professional quality EP or album, consider getting your music to a wider audience through iTunes, Google Play or Amazon. The more places your music is available, the more people who will find it, buy it, and support you.
6) Take responsibility
If things aren’t going as you hoped don’t start placing the blame on everyone else. A bitter band won’t be booked again and it’s a sure-fire way to alienate your audience. If the crowd aren’t responsive, what can you do to engage with them? If you’re not getting booked, don’t blame agents or promoters; put in the work yourself. If something goes wrong at a gig, don’t blame equipment or engineers. Just accept that these things happen and make the most of it. The show must go on. We’ve all witnessed ‘technical difficulties’ and the likes interrupting a show, but the bands that power through are ones we remember.
7) Get social
I can’t stress enough the importance of social media for the music industry; I’ve discovered so many bands this way. You should have it all; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, a YouTube Channel, and anything else you can think of. Get the official pages created with your band’s name and keep consistency across the platforms.
This is about reaching more people and getting yourself out there. But don’t just set up accounts and leave them empty or automated. Audiences want quality content and real interaction. Join community groups related to your industry, follow venues, bands, promoters and music bloggers.
Deliver regular content, from updates on your band and new music, to show information and multimedia material. Show the world what your band has to offer and keep them interested and engaged.
What advice would you give to a new band? Share your tips in the comments below!
Band Silhoutte Images by Alexander Kiko