How to Promote Your Music and Break Into the Live Music Scene

Promote Demo Music

Once you have successfully recorded your first album, you are ready to get it out there. But how? There are a few things you can do to start bringing more exposure to your music.

Gigging
The cornerstone of being a musician is gigging. If you want to get your name out there, this is how. Depending on how much material you have, you may have to opt for shows where you play a small set. Open mic nights are a great way to get heard and do some networking.  Try to get involved in the local scene. If you are having trouble getting gigs, then knowing a few bands and artists can help tremendously. Offer to play for free if you have to. In the beginning, you can’t expect too many well paying gigs.

By making an attempt to put on a really good show you will, surprisingly enough, be ahead of the competition. Many musicians do not actually put on a show at all, they just play. You do not have to come up with some kind of elaborate stage show or sacrifice your integrity, but find something to set you apart in your presentation. Talk to your audience in between, share interesting stories and anecdotes. While many musicians talk to their audience, it rarely goes beyond an introduction and a song title.  Give people something to remember.

Bring your  music with you to sell. If you put on a good show and connect with your audience, more people will be willing to buy your CD at the end of the show.

Promote Yourself Online
We are coming to a time where it is good to be a musician. Technology and the Internet has given us the tools to create our own success. Being independent has a lot of perks. You do things on your own time, in your way and no one makes creative decisions for you.

At the most basic level you can put your song on a website like SoundCloud and promote it to your friends on Facebook or Twitter. This is a good indicator as to the quality of your music. People are always curious when someone they know is a musician. If people like it you will hear about it. Even if you only gain a few followers out of this, having any kind of community around your music is important and invigorating.

Establish a professional identity online with a website. Sites like flavors.me will allow you to easily create a personalized and attractive webpage, quickly and easily, with no HTML knowledge.  Making a simple, direct and attractive website is all you need to establish a dedicated place for people to learn more about you and access your music demos.

Submitting Your Demo Music to Record Labels
After starting to establish an artistic identity you might want to submit your demo to some record labels. To start with find a label that not only releases music you like but stuff you sound similar to in some way. Don’t waste your time sending to major labels. Most generally have a rule against unsolicited demos. Major labels are looking for performers who are already starting to get big on their own.

Regardless of their size, labels have a lot to listen to. When you send your demo make sure it is your best work and only a few good songs. Talent scouts know exactly what they’re looking for and typically make a judgement based on the first few seconds they listen to your music.  Therefore, make sure your music is properly mastered and sounds polished.  Include a little bit of information about yourself, but nothing too verbose. If you are rejected ask for some feedback and constructive criticism. Be prepared to face a lot of rejections. It is always good to try, as it will let you know where you stand.

Improve Your Skills & Accept Help
If nothing is working out or success is slow it might be time to start practicing and improving your sound.  Taking music lessons with a successful recording artist is also a good idea.  A gifted and experienced music teacher should be able to help improve your chops and show you some industry tips and tricks.  Remember, there is always someone better than you out there, no matter how good you are.  Humbling yourself a bit and accepting help could take your music from a 0 to a 10.

If you are unable to procure a gig and not even one person is checking out your music online, you might need to step it up. In this situation many people might seek to get an agent. The truth is that agents are costly and they are looking for musicians who are already successful. Agents are paid on commission, so they want to know that they are going to make money on you.  So if you get an agent and find you’re still not finding success, then it’s not an agent you want, rather, a good music teacher.

Nowadays musicianship is no longer the norm but it is what music needs. A music teacher can help you fine tune your song and teach you new things to incorporate into your music. Learning your instrument well also makes it easier to perform live. You can think more about the performance and less about physically playing. Additionally, being a knowledgeable musician makes songwriting a more straight-forward and fun process.

The path to musical success can often be daunting, but do not let up. You have the tools to get your name out there. It is all up to how hard you work.

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