Small Musicians: Getting Started

Stephen Keogh

 

So you’ve got it down. You’ve formed a band, bought decks, amps, instruments found a name and even made some songs. But how are you going to to get people to find you?

THE CYBER STAGE

pexels-photo-167491Well firstly you need set up your social media. Social media has totally revolutionised how the music industry works from top to bottom and if you’re just some amateur sitting in a bedroom blasting out the next platinum album, social media will be your greatest ally. You’re going to want to set up an e-mail address for your music.

After you’ve done that you need to start grappling onto all of the vast websites out there. These websites such as Soundcloud or Twitter will enable you to spread your music out to a vast international audience. This is where you can gain fans and make contacts within the industry. You can do this by joining specific groups on Soundcloud and pages on Facebook. You should also set up accounts on as many social media sites as possible. Not just the main ones. These are a good start:

Facebook

Twitter

Soundcloud

Last.fm

Bandcamp

Reverbnation

Youtube

Breaking Tunes

Spotify

iTunes

Tidal

pexels-photo-30222THE HUMAN TOUCH

Something that small musicians today seem to neglect is live shows. In the old days you’d get yourself a drivers license, a van and travel far and wide to get yourself noticed. Although social media is great for a small artist nowadays, gigging is still massively important. People will listen to musicians online when they’re on the bus, in the gym or at home, but they still want to go out on the weekend and hear music.

This is where you come in. If you can get a gig in the type of place where music lovers go, you can gain a whole crowd of fans in one night! Plus, gigging is fun and great experience to see first hand how people react to certain songs and how to put a decent set list together. You should also try to gig as frequently as possible.

Again you can make friends and contacts within the industry on this platform.

SMASHING THE CEILING

You could be the greatest musician ever. You could have the writing skills of Alex Turner, the voice of Freddie Mercury, the skills of Jimmy Hendrix mixed with the insanity of Kanye West, but, you will eventually hit a glass ceiling. It has happened to every musician. You can have hundreds of fans, gig every day of the week and have the golden set list. But without a record company, you won’t break that ceiling.

pexels-photo-87351But here’s the catch, they’re not waiting for you. Universal Music Group hasn’t spent the last 80 years sitting around waiting for you to stride in. You need to pool your resources and send your stuff out to as many record companies as possible, both big and small.

When sending out  demo’s you should always attach a letter/e-mail. A lot of people will send out a mass template to save time and effort when applying to labels. The problem is that the people receiving these letters will know straight away if it is a mass mail. So always take the time to write each one individually and make it personal.

If you’re sending out physical copies of you’re music, you should take note that your CD will be received along with hundreds or even thousands. For this reason, the label is only going to listen to the first thirty seconds at best. So make sure they’re listening to your lead song.

pexels-photo-104952CONTENT

Although the other three aspects discussed are very important, the next is the most important. Your music.

Your music is your purpose. You need to be putting out as much as possible, as frequent as possible. But, you must always ensure that your music is to the highest standard you can make. If there’s a line or a fill that you’re not sure of, dump it. If you don’t think it’s great, no one will.

And when recording your music, it’s the same. Use the best recording software and equipment you can afford and never say “that’ll do.” You want to make it sound good enough for it to be sold in shops, so make it that way.

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