#1
Lately me and my fellow musicans have been thinking about what you need to focus on to progress as a band/musican, and subsequently wanted to write our thoughts down somewhere to get a broader view.

The following is roughly what we agreed with.

The basis of making a band successful has to start with how you see the band, and I think the best place to start is to see the band as a business. A business with something to sell.

As someone who works in B2B sales, I know that the key to this is knowing your customer and knowing what it is your trying to sell, and this is something I wanted to get across in our discussion.

In the case of a band or musician I can think of 3 main things you should aim to sell:

1. Your music
2. Yourselves
3. An experience

The main element will obviously be your music, you want to capture your audience and make them want to listen and share your songs. Obviously to maximise your chances of this you have to know your audience and promote your songs correctly to them. For instance, if your aiming at students then there's no point in focusing on getting your songs played on the radio if you can be more successful buying advertising space on a Univeristy campus.

You also want to sell yourselves and your image. It's all good focusing on the music and hoping that'll be enough. But in reality you want people to be interested in you, in what your doing and what your working on. It's always encouraging to get as many facebook fans or twitter followers as possible, but you also want to maximise how many of them actually take an interest in your updates, and how many will be looking out for your next track/video or live show.

And lastly your selling an experience. Your show is your big sell. You need to make people want to make that effort to come see for band play live. If you sell them a great experience then they'll be more inclined to make the effort to spend their time and money to come see you again. A great experience will also encourage those at the show who dont know you, to look you up and follow you further.

Obviously enjoyment is the main factor of been part of any band, but if you want to reach out further than just your friends and family, you need to be more business minded. It'll help keep you focused, make you feel you have a plan, and most importantly help you successfully reach your goals.

So by getting together, doing your research and setting your goals you can ensure that all members of the band know what it is your trying to achieve. Thus helping band harmony and allowing you to focus on creating the best "product" available.

My question is, would you agree with this take on things?

Thank you
#3
Kiss is tried and true proof that you are right, and this formula works. They may be hated by the majority of people on here ( and Gene Simmons rightfully so), but almost 40 years later they've proven that the marketing works.
#4
I agree with what you said.

But I think half of the band's success is finding people who really want to play, not people who play just to be able to say they do.
Don't know if you know what I mean.
#7
I'm not being the least bit sarcastic when I suggest that you understand the business of music better than most people.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
There's a reason it's called a music BUSINESS and this is all part of it. You did an amazing job of summing it up for people who don't understand to comprehend the truth to it.

However! It's also a matter of application. Everything you talked about is important, but even more important is thinking about how you're going to apply these guidelines. What is your music, who are you, and what do you want people to remember and say about you. Just some more food for thought.
#9
Thank you for all your replies and the additional points you've raised.

I wanted to present the basic concept of seeing your band as a business, as obviously how you progress in each of these areas will differ from band to band.

Your feedback is much appreciated as this will be the basis of an article for a local music magazine, and it always helps to have the point of view of other people in the know.
#10
if you want to make a living in music, then you are right on. just don't lose sight of the fact, that it still is supposed to be about playing music. its a fragile balance between the business side and the pure music side of things, if you're trying to do something really original. if you're aiming for pop then the business side is more acceptable. thats a whole other can of worms though. understanding it as a business is important when you realize that if you start dealing with record companies, at some point, you'll have to compromise or do the dance the man wants you to. it's no different than any other job. if you consider it a job, then you're there to make money, so yes if that's your goal, looking at it from that point of view is essential. unfortunately, it's very rare that great, innovative music comes from this point of view though. if you're going with what's hot and what's selling at the moment, you're boxed in as far as your options go for moving forward with the music itself and at risk with getting lumped in as a sound-alike band or generic pop, which in most cases is pretty forgettable once the buzz dies down. so, i dont know how far you're willing to take your band or how close you are to getting there, but these are things you need to think about before you decide your band is a business there to make money, or a band that puts the music first and worries about money second. and if you're good enough, you can have the best of both worlds....but we're not all that lucky.
#11
^^^ It's relevant advice to all music genres, not just pop.

I'll also add some pretty basic advice that people also seem to miss. If you want to be paid as a professional, you'd better act like a professional.

What does this mean?

If you're being paid to play for an hour, you'd better start the minute that hour starts, and finish the minute that hour stops (within reason of course re: stopping).

You don't play around between songs, you skip right to the next.

You play the songs you have been paid to play.

You have enough songs to fill the requested time amount.

If there's breaks between sets, you stick firmly to them (15 mins is the standard, take note of the time).

You arrive at least 30 minutes early to set up.

You immediately set down once finished, and then rest (not before).

You have a setlist, it's on a piece of paper on the floor where you can see it.

You know the songs off by heart (does not apply if you're in an orchestra, but I'd expect it from all other bands).

You are polite to all people present, audience and staff/promoter etc.


And so on. If you don't act professionally, you shouldn't be treated like a professional, or be paid.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#12
@arteestic - Except you can have the most musically sophisticated, paradigm-shifting artistic band in the world with more soul than 100 James Browns, but if you're not treating it like a business, you're still just playing in some dude's basement.

You can build it, but people cannot come if they don't know about it. As soon as you're in "getting it out there" mode, you're entering the business end of music.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
Quote by axemanchris
@arteestic - Except you can have the most musically sophisticated, paradigm-shifting artistic band in the world with more soul than 100 James Browns, but if you're not treating it like a business, you're still just playing in some dude's basement.

You can build it, but people cannot come if they don't know about it. As soon as you're in "getting it out there" mode, you're entering the business end of music.

CT


i agree......promotion is key. what i was getting at was that if you're the band setting the trends....you can do whatever you want (within reason) musically and the record co is still going to love you because youre selling. you wont be bound by the box, because you'd be creating it for other bands to operate within, if they choose......but like i said, very few of us get that lucky.


edit - btw there is a really good website that give some good advice as well as a forum on alot of aspects of the music business. look under the "advice" tab for it www.starpolish.com
Last edited by arteestic1 at Mar 4, 2012,