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How To Get Started

Trying to get a start as a band that nobody has ever heard of, what is the best way to get started? Should I start by recording some songs and putting them on bandcamp, soundcloud, etc. and attempt to get an audience to see them. Or, should I record demos to send to venues to try to start playing live. If anyone has any experience with this, please let me know. Having some advice would make the start much easier.
Marko1960
Posts: 2174
You need to start playing gigs whenever and wherever in order to get noticed, record some of your own material and sell the CDs at cost price at your gigs. In the town where I live there is a place called ‘The Studio’ it was the first of its kind anywhere. It was set up about 25 years ago and was aimed at people and bands with no income to have access to recording, practise and live venue facilities, people with an income can use the facilities for a small sum, its funded by the lottery, try and find something like it in your area as its an excellent foot on the ladder for new bands
Guinny
Posts: 114
I'd suggest doing a 4 song demo and playing live as much as possible.
Quote:
You need to start playing gigs whenever and wherever in order to get noticed, record some of your own material and sell the CDs at cost price at your gigs. In the town where I live there is a place called ‘The Studio’ it was the first of its kind anywhere. It was set up about 25 years ago and was aimed at people and bands with no income to have access to recording, practise and live venue facilities, people with an income can use the facilities for a small sum, its funded by the lottery, try and find something like it in your area as its an excellent foot on the ladder for new bands
Don't you think CD's are becoming a bit obsolete.
Quote:
I'd suggest doing a 4 song demo and playing live as much as possible.
+1 Playing live. Even jam sessions can be used to promote the band. I've seen it happen. Be there, show what you've got.
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1489
As has been said, jam together as a band as often as you can. If you're a cover band, learn as wide a variety of songs as you can – unless you specialize in one particular genre (metal, country, what-have-you) in which case learn as many songs of that genre as you can.

If you're an original band, practice your songs until you can play them inside out and backwards, then make a demo. Four to six of your band's best songs to give people an idea of what style you're going for. Burn fifty CDs, and sell those CDs for, say, five bucks a pop wherever you play. Word of mouth will get around and if people like what you're doing and more people start asking for CDs, make another fifty, but this time sell them for ten bucks a pop. You don't need to set up an ad or website or any kind of selling-specific venue. Just sell them out of your trunk, or have copies on-hand when you play a gig, be it a pool party or even an open mic night at the local bar. Success is a combination of preparation and opportunity, so take copies of your demo CD everywhere you go. So if someone asks, “Hey, I saw you jamming at Trevor's pool party, do you have a CD?” you can whip one out and say “Here you go, five bucks.”

Whereas people these days have no problem pirating the latest Miley Cyrus album, they're much more likely to pay for music from a band that's just starting out (again, if you're good). It makes them feel like they're contributing, supporting the underdog. It makes your band personal to them. So be nice to these people who come up to you or voice a good opinion about your music. That's how you start a fan base.

Incidentally, I don't think CDs are outdated. Not everybody has iTunes, but just about everybody has a computer, and just about every computer can play a CD.
IamMark
Posts: 863
I wrote and recorded a bass line for a song writer who has never played live and has never been able to play or sing any of his songs straight through in one take.

He is signed to a SONY label for distributing his music in movies, tv, and video games.

Nobody has ever even seen this guy, but his music has hit top 10 lists on American and UK Internet radio stations.

He's got all his recognition and support through social media.

It frustrates the guitarist and I because we don't understand how this guy does it, and we both always went the route of making demos and selling at shows and parties, or handing out to venue mangers hoping to get on their schedule.

A lot is different now.
Quote:
I wrote and recorded a bass line for a song writer who has never played live and has never been able to play or sing any of his songs straight through in one take.He is signed to a SONY label for distributing his music in movies, tv, and video games.Nobody has ever even seen this guy, but his music has hit top 10 lists on American and UK Internet radio stations.He's got all his recognition and support through social media.It frustrates the guitarist and I because we don't understand how this guy does it, and we both always went the route of making demos and selling at shows and parties, or handing out to venue mangers hoping to get on their schedule.A lot is different now.
Do you believe it is still possible to build an audience by playing live and meeting people in the scene.
IamMark
Posts: 863
Of course.

But my post's point was that there are new ways of getting your music heard, and you can get a following without ever playing live.
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1489
^^^ This is true. They're called virtual bands. Like The Gorillaz, for instance.
Marko1960
Posts: 2174
Quote:
Quote: Don't you think CD's are becoming a bit obsolete.
They're easier to hand out at gigs than downloads

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