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OT: How do you market your (originals) band?


alexclaber

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Lots of gigging bassists here in bands playing original music, so I'm calling on your collective wisdom:

 

How do you get gigs, how do you attract an audience, how do you build a fan-base, how do you distribute your recordings?

 

Please share your knowledge!

 

Alex

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I am only 16 so there are a lot of sweet 16 parties coming up. So what our band is doing is asking our friends if we can play at their parties. We just had a party and after we have had a few people ask if we could play at their party. So it works out well. Plus if there are any gigs availiable that you know of then go for it because it will get your name spread fast.

 

As far as websites, don't have one right now. It takes time that I don't have right now and I'm not to smart when it comes to creating webpages. But look into it.

 

For marketing your cds, do them at shows, pass them out to your friends, people you go to work with, then trust that they will help get your name out. Have a couple of charity gigs. Like for Katrina or for a certain fundraiser. Sure the money will go to the charity, but you will get your name out there. It's not about the money anyway.

 

I hope this helps.

"All things are possible through Christ." (Matt 19:26)

 

My band: http://www.purevolume.com/fadingsilence

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We have our site kinda as a business card (see sig) Where you can download all our tunes for free. We also have given out copies of our last 3 EP's for free to people at shows. Original music shows here for the most part are play for free or fuel and sandwhich shows.

 

I spend a lot of time chasing promoters and networking with other bands. If you fancy doing a gig swap gimmie a shout.

 

The only way to attract an audience is hard graft our following seems to be growing steady but it takes a lot of gigs and getting out there by what ever means possible.

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I actually made something of a presentation to my bandmates about how to promote us. Here are the edited excerpts:

PROMOTIONAL PLAN

 

-Web Presence.

 

-First, we should start pursuing getting our own webspace. My personal recommendation is http://www.***********.com .

 

-Find a local, reasonable web designer.

 

-Make sure the design allows us to easily update the site

 

-Make sure to get a plan for multiple email addresses

 

-One for general fan inquiry

-One for booking gigs and general business use

-Individual email addresses for each band member

 

-Additionally, we can start something by looking into a number of free music sites. Some of the ones I'm familiar with are:

 

-My Space music, seen here: http://music.myspace.com/ .

 

-Jersey Music.com. You can check out that page here: http://jerseymusic.com/ . It appears that it's free to register and post on this site. We can list general info,

and advertise gigs there.

 

-http://newyork.craigslist.org/cal/ . Even though it's usually used to find musicians, people do surf Craigslist to find out what's going on. We can pursue posting about gigs there to promote them as needed.

 

-Press Kit.

 

-As suggested, we should have a press kit that can be sent out via email as well as in print form. That's going to entail having the following:

 

-Photo(s)

-Bio

-General resume with gig appearances, recording credits, (to follow after gigs, CD release, etc)

-Promo CD

 

-Promoting Shows/General Promotion.

 

-Send press kits with CD release gig press release info to local print media. Ask them to review the CD, and invite them to the show. Offer guest list passes to any who accept. Send something out to some of these publications:

 

Village Voice

Time Out NY

Aquarian

NY Press

and possibly others.

 

-Send press kits with CD release gig press release and CD's to local radio. Again, offer gig invites to the DJ's, including guest list options. Send to the following:

 

WNYU

WFDU

WFMU

WSOU

K-Rock's Domestic Disturbance Show

http://krockradio.com/localshow/

Iron Action pirate radio

 

-Send kits and/or gig invitations to local music business people including managers, promoters, etc.

 

Obviously a lot of this plan is based on where we're located. But really, all you have to do is find the publications, websites and radio stations for your area that are going to have the biggest impact for you. So get involved in your local scene. Being friendly with other bands can lead to more bookings and some potential cross-polination between various acts and their fans. Even check out local magazines, fanzines, websites, internet radio & even pirate radio.

 

More of the plan involves focusing gigging in places that have a built in draw. That's key in this area where a lot of times bands need to bring their fans to a club or venue. I've seen far too many good bands wonder why they start out well but then their crowds dwindle? Why? They persist in playing venues that don't expose them to new crowds. The end result is that the friends of the people in the band get tired of going out to see them. That combined with a lack of promotion hurts a lot of bands.

 

Another thing that we've been trying to work at is playing universities. They have a crowd that's much more open to new music than a lot of other places. They also happen to pay better, too.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is management. I'm not talking about some friend who know's a couple of promoters and is going to help haul your gear at gigs. I'm talking about people who represent established acts and work at the music business every day. They have contacts that most of us will never have.

Obligatory Social Media Link

"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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First off, props to Nicklab for a well organized plan of attack!

 

I am in an east coast college town so, for a band that is just starting out, here is what works pretty well in my neck of the woods:

 

Originally posted by C.Alexander Claber:

How do you get gigs

Short of a full press kit, make a 3 song (or so) demo CD with your contact information on it. WITH YOUR CONTACT INFO ON IT! WITH YOUR CONTACT INFO ON IT! WITH YOUR CONTACT INFO ON IT! (Did I repeat myself enough there?) The recording quality doesnt have to be the best, but it does have to be listenable. You will be lucky if they listen to all of the first song, so put your best song first. Give it to every club you can find that is appropriate for your music. Whenever possible try to physically put it in the bookers hands. That gives you the opportunity to do some shameless self promotion and, more importantly, to make a face to face connection with the person making the decisions. Be bold, but remember, sometimes you only get one chance to make an impression, so make it a good one.

 

Go to shows and see bands that you would fit well with. Make nice and give them said demo CD.

 

Hire a booking agency. This usually requires a certain level of professionalism and is not an appropriate route for some styles of music.

 

how do you attract an audience, how do you build a fan-base
Change the band name to FREE BEER :)

 

Kidding aside, this can be a tough one. Find a way to stand out, not necessarily a "gimmick", but something that gets people talking. Eye catching posters or flyers plastered all over town, air time on a local/college radio stations, going to the clubs regularly and talking to everybody you meet about the upcoming show(s). For an unknown band playing their first show, it really helps to play with a headliner you have a good relationship with, that has a large fan base, and will include your band name in their promotional efforts. It also helps to get in good with the club owners and staff. They can help a lot. One of the best things you can say repeatedly during a show is Tip your bartender. If the club likes you, you will be asked back.

 

More importantly, you must perform well on stage. Get the audience involved. If you dont look like youre having fun playing, people wont have fun listening and watching. In the college towns around here it helps to be able to throw a cover song out there every now and then, something for the audience to identify with and get the stragglers to look towards the stage again.

 

Sell your wares at every show. T-shirts, CDs, bumper stickers, whatever you have, have it at every show for good prices. Toss out free stuff during the show. Start a mailing/email list and send regular updates on shows, parties, radio/TV appearances, CD releases, etc. And of course a web presence is a must have these days.

 

You will have to be your own biggest fan until you can get the ball rolling.

 

Just get out there. Do it. Have a blast doing it. And then do it again.

 

how do you distribute your recordings?
Aside from selling stuff at your shows, local mom and pop record stores will often sell your CDs on a consignment basis. Some (again mom and pop) music gear stores will do the same. Sell them on your web site, eBay, maybe even Amazon. You can publish your own book and sell it there; I would think you can do the same with your recordings. If there are local indie labels in your area, getting on one of their compilations CDs can go a long way towards promoting the band. Havent done as much of this so thats about all I have there.

 

Again, these things have worked for me in the past in my location. I want to hear what works for others in other places.

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www.myspace.com

 

 

....that's all you need to know.

 

We have honestly gotten all (cept one) of our shows through there.

 

If you know how to find people, and know how to nudge certain people into things, u can get shows that a season'd advertiser couldn't get.

 

Remember, myspace is worldwide, and We've booked shows in other states, without ever being within 100 miles of the venue, or ever meeting the other bands, or staff, yet it still turns out to be a great show.

 

...interesting how it works, and how much of an AmAZINGLY great marketing tool it is.

 

 

you may think it's for "losers", or just teens, but it works sooo well.

 

think of it as a HUGE phonebook with pictures, bios, music, and gig hook-ups galor.

 

.....yeah...i'm a myspace whore, lol, but atlesat i we get gig's outta it, haha.

-BGO

 

5 words you should live by...

 

Music is its own reward

 

---------------

My Band: www.Myspace.com/audreyisanarcissist

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Originally posted by Bass_god_offspring:

www.myspace.com

 

 

....that's all you need to know.

 

We have honestly gotten all (cept one) of our shows through there.

 

If you know how to find people, and know how to nudge certain people into things, u can get shows that a season'd advertiser couldn't get.

 

Remember, myspace is worldwide, and We've booked shows in other states, without ever being within 100 miles of the venue, or ever meeting the other bands, or staff, yet it still turns out to be a great show.

 

...interesting how it works, and how much of an AmAZINGLY great marketing tool it is.

 

 

you may think it's for "losers", or just teens, but it works sooo well.

 

think of it as a HUGE phonebook with pictures, bios, music, and gig hook-ups galor.

 

.....yeah...i'm a myspace whore, lol, but atlesat i we get gig's outta it, haha.

I like that method.

"All things are possible through Christ." (Matt 19:26)

 

My band: http://www.purevolume.com/fadingsilence

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With my last band, the key was making connections with other bands and getting on a bill with them. A lot of times that meant playing either first to no crowd, or last to a crowd too wasted to care. It also meant driving up to 5 hours for a gig every now and then, although the norm was a 1 hour drive.

 

Play for a smaller cut of the money, play for food, play for beer, play for free. Once you get a fan base that will follow you to a gig an hour away, then expect your full cut of the cash.

 

It also helped to be the band that could be on stage 2 hours after a phone call to fill in.

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  • 2 months later...
Has anyone had success telling everyone they know to come to a show? I sort of worked for me. Went from an audiance of 16 at our first paid show to one of 43 at our second. Broke the venues walk-up record too. Woo Hoo.

I knew a girl that was into biamping,I sure do miss

her.-ButcherNburn

 

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Nicklab,

 

What format does your band use for for the e-mailable version of its press kit? Did you generate a PDF (or some other sort of) file, or did you use a web-based company like Sonicbids?

 

My band gets most of its work by hittin' the streets, shaking hands, and kissing babies. Our drummer has an untold number of contacts in this area and we have used this to our great advantage. However, we are needing to branch out and the electronic press kit seems to be the most cost effective method. We're not going to abandon the print form, because frankly, many of the venues around here still can not accept e-mail and such.

My whole trick is to keep the tune well out in front. If I play Tchaikovsky, I play his melodies and skip his spiritual struggle. ~Liberace
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Originally posted by Bottomgottem:

Nicklab,

 

What format does your band use for for the e-mailable version of its press kit? Did you generate a PDF (or some other sort of) file, or did you use a web-based company like Sonicbids?

We haven't gotten that far yet. We've been consulting with a management company about what we should do about a press kit, and right now we're still working with hard copy press kits. BUT, we do refer people to our web page and our MySpace page as often as possible.

Obligatory Social Media Link

"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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The last time I went that route we cheated!

We started as a roots rock/dinosaur band. We worked the same bar for 7 years, every Friday night. Than after we had an established fan base we started doing more and more originals.

 

It seemed like a good plan but didn't work out all that well.

Some of the tunes can be heard at: http://www.gkerby.com/

 

I mostly played guitar in that band, and on those tracks.

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