How do you release your band's material/content? And when? What is your preferred platform? Why do you think following this strategy/model is a good idea?

Do you record a demo/EP to have ready at your first gig? Do you release a single or 2 and then an album when the fanbase is a bit more sizable? Maybe you're into releasing singles and EP's only? Do you release it with a bang or slowly build up a buzz with teasers and vague facebook updates? Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Spotify, Last.fm, youtube videos, etc?

How do the esteemed members of UG go about getting their music out there? This is more for interests' sake on my part, I'm in 2 bands right now but neither of them would be ready to record for at least another 6 months. Although I'd be stupid not to take any good advice I do find here Also, assume that there's enough money to afford the recording costs, the music has been written already and that band can perform it well enough to walk in the studio and record at anytime.
I think getting TOO ready for a first gig is a bad idea. I would want feedback in an early stage to see how the material works.
Right now I'm preparing a first gig with a band I'm leading and I'm trying to get to 80% satisfaction of how well we perform the songs.
If I we were to record an album I'd aim for more, but for a show, getting too ready will just consume too much time and might make the band members bored with rehearsing the same songs over and over for that long.

As for giveaway records, that's a good idea but not necessary. You do want people who liked you to have something though, but if it's a youtube video it's good enough imo.
We are coming up with one youtube video of a professionally recorded single and I think it's a good minimal material for listeners to have for later.
My first band already had an ep out but was highly outdated to what we played. My first show we simply played the songs we had been rehearsing for a week, went pretty well. SImply get some songs rolling and like spdmot said, try them out and get feedback before investing too much time/money into it all. The free stuff is always a great idea AFTER you've eastblished your name at the venue a few times. YOu don't want to come out brand new with new stuff already cause who knows what can come. Save it until a few shows and you've got a spec of rep, thats just my two cents
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Last edited by dudester410 at Jun 11, 2014,
You have to keep in mind if you've not even done a gig yet:
Will the songs on that EP reflect what you sound like this time in the near future?
If you've not even gigged yet it's probable that in the near future you will change it up a lot. You might not even play the songs on that EP in a short period of time.

Do you feel like it would be worth the investment, or would a youtube video and a visible link to the profile at your gig (some small banner or on a shirt ETC.) be better? Are you going to be giving them out for free (recommended) or charging people (good luck with that)?

I'm guessing you would be wanting to put out something with decent audio quality as well. I know I wouldn't give out anything if it didn't have a certain standard of audio quality simply because a lot of people will instantly dismiss anything with bad quality regardless of the song quality. Is that something you can/want to put money into for your first gig (or time/effort if you have recording stuff at home).

Honestly, there is no real harm in giving away your EP at your first gig, in fact, it could only benefit you. The real question is, do you think it's worth doing at your first gig? Looking back at a few of my first gigs though, I'm sort of glad I didn't.
When I was eleven I broke the patio window and my mother sued me... She's always been a very aggressive litigator.
Yeah well it's like I said, it's more for interests sake than anything else, it's not for actual career advice or anything. I've always just thought that the thing to do was write the music, gig when you're ready, release a single, release an EP, release an album, tour in support of that album and hope for the best.

I read a blog a few days ago where the author basically suggested a model for releasing singles ONLY. He did make a few valid points on it. For instance, if you release a single say, every month, it's nice for keeping your fans on their toes. Instead of just fading away or cluttering their fb newsfeed with meaningless posts you keep them engaged with new content all the time, it also gets your dusty mailing list going again. He also argued that people wouldn't mind paying $1 for a track every month than pay 12 bucks for an entire album, which might actually be true to an extent.

I wouldn't do this though, I'd much rather prefer writing an album where all of the tracks contribute to make something greater than the sum of its parts. But it got me curious to see if anyone has any other cool ideas like this. I also read a comment in a forum somewhere a while ago where this guy argued that albums are boring because they're too long. That people only listen to like 20 minutes of an album and then the music is too much to digest, so why even bother? Why not just put your all into making 20 minutes worth of the best music you can possibly make than try and spread it out over 45 minutes or an hour? I can see where this guy is coming from.

I'm just looking for opinions and fresh perspective here, this topic doesn't seem to be discussed too much on the internet. Oh, and I think having an EP ready on your debut gig is stupid...the thought never even crossed my mind until I saw a local band do it last week. They rocked up with an EP and lots of merch, giving the impression that they've got their sh*t together. The gig failed because the vocalist kept forgetting his lines and the drummer messed up quite a bit as well...I don't think they sold anything that night.
The music industry is seriously upside down and there are no sure-fire release rules other than having great songs, performed brilliantly, recorded professionally.

Gig first and establish a pattern of attracting increasing numbers of fans who want to hear your music. This is primarily the only way to test your music to see if you have songs that are in demand. If you can't generate regular live audiences banging the doors asking for recordings it is unlikely you will attract listeners on itunes/amazon.

A pro quality EP that is recorded, mixed and mastered by someone with serious skills and credits will cost $5K-10k. Doing one in your bedroom will likely sell to your mom and girlfriend only.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

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Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY