Virtual Musician's Guide to Promoting your Band
thing you need to do in order to successfully promote your band is
become a true believer. Keep the faith that your band is the best
band out there and deserves recognition. Proselytize to a fault, because
what is truly going to differentiate your band from the other thousands
of bands out there is how many people know about you! A&R reps
, booking agents, promoters and producers, a necessary evil, need
know about you. Dont give this area of your career short shrift!
It is (unfortunately) as important as learning your instrument and
being able to write marketable songs. Remember, Madonna didnt
get where she is today because she has a great voice. So, maybe you
re not after that sort of fame, but the point is that there
is a lot to be said for wanting it more than the other guy.
are three essentials in any promo kit
THE BAND PHOTO
band photo is probably the least important part of your package. Just
try maximize your strengths with it. If you are a group of highly
photogenic men or women, take advantage! Get a good, clear picture
of everyone looking relaxed and happy. Try to avoid the obviously
staged picture, as it always comes off as phony as it
looks. If youre not great lookers, go for an attitude. Basically,
do whatever is right. You definitely dont have to hire a professional
photographer. You can get great results with a friend with a Minolta.
THE DEMO TAPE
demo tape is important, I recommend scraping the money together to
record three of your best songs in the best studio that you can afford.
If you have the means to record digitally, by all means do so. Youll
then have many more options when marketing your recorded material.
If your music is already in a digital format, you can create an MP3
file of it and promote your original music over the Internet. If it
is not currently in a digital format, you can go to a studio and have
it transferred to digital. Anyhow, getting your music recorded well,
regardless of format, is critical. Everyone prefers to listen to good
sounding, well mixed music. Unless you are already well versed in
sound engineering and mixing and you have really good recording gear
at home, go to a studio. It will result in a better sounding product,
plus you will be able to work with people who produce sound for a
living. You can experiment with your musical sound, for example, utilizing
the expertise of an engineer who has produced vocals countless times.
It can make a real difference. My first experience with my band in
studio (we had done a couple of "do it yourself" demos that
were botched affairs) was enlightening. Working with the engineer
on different vocal sounds, he was not only able to get a fantastic
sound for my voice, but because I was hearing this great mix in my
head phone, I achieved a vocal performance that exceeded anything
I was able to do up to that point. I came out of the booth astonished
and my bandmates all gave me an ovation. So, working with experienced
people can help you put your songs across better.
be meticulous in song selection. If you think you have a tune or two
that could be a bona fide hit song, put it on the tape. Dont
let the winds of band politics allow you to put any songs on your
demo that you cant get 100% behind. Have all the screaming matches
you need, but put your best songs on the tape in the end, because
no matter how good it sounds, if the songs dont attract the
ear of the listener, they will turn it off.
THE PRESS KIT (bios, news clippings, press releases)
last part of your package is important for club owners and record
producers because it speaks directly to your current level of popularity.
So, put in everything you got! A bio is nice, but just one page with
a blurb about each member is all you need. If any member of your band
was ever in any band before, that achieved any level of notoriety
or success, be sure to include that in the bio. But what is going
to attract the most attention are any news clippings or favorable
concert/record reviews that attest to your bands popularity.
This is what is called "creating a buzz". If a club owner
sees that you are packing em in at other clubs, hes of
course going to want you to pack em in his club, too. If a record
producer reads evidence in your press kit that you have an established
audience hes more likely to want to record you. But if you are
not an established act with tons of press clippings, heres one
thing you can do. If you have gigged at clubs that list their schedules
in the paper (most clubs do), then cut those schedules out and include
those in your package. Then, at least, people will see that you have
been out playing the circuit and know that you have experience and,
probably, at least a small following.
dont forget, OnlineRock is a great
place to promote your musical endeavors. So create a compelling Web
site and offer sound samples for the whole world to hear. Be sure
to check OnlineRocks CoolTools
and Technology sections for
recommended products and valuable information.