===LONG POST ALERT!=== A quick summary for those without the time to read the whole post: Where do you begin when you are just starting out as a band, what do you do to generate interest, get gigs, and get people listening to your music and knowing about your group? ===END ALERT=== Hello everyone, What methods of promotion and techniques, tips and tricks, etc would you utilize to generate interest for a new band or music group in your area? And for the moment I'm speaking locally, not generating national interest. This question is also interesting in today's economy, also considering the sad state of the music label business. If the answer is to get signed to a label, great, then answer accordingly. If not, I'm interested in other ideas you may have. For me this is a chicken and egg question. If you start out trying to get booked at multiple local venues, you are often asked where you've played before and what type of crowd did you draw. What if the answer is "Well, we've never really played anywhere before, and we've never drawn a crowd!" How do you overcome this obstacle? I'm in an as-yet-unnamed group that has been quietly and dilligently working on a project of our original songs and music. We've done our best to put a CD together as professionally as possible in a professional studio, trying to skip the 'demo' CD quality and go straight for 'commercial quality' CD. Now the question is, what do we do now? We want people to listen to the music we've made and we want to be able to play the music live for people in our regional area venues. We now believe we are ready or close to ready to share our music with the world, at least locally. I've shared some of the music with a few friends and some strangers, and they've all loved it and wanted to hear more, so I know the music is likable, and strikes a 'chord' so-to-speak with people. We just don't know where to begin to gain any exposure and generate interest in our music. Where exactly do we start? We've considered flyering local neighborhoods with singles from our CD (as in free CD giveaways) by putting them in bags and hanging them on people's doors, and then inviting them to come a show (if we can get booked). We figured we could send our full CD as a demo to any venues that we would like to play at and use that as 'collateral' to speak for us instead of saying "Yeah, we played at X venue and drew a crowd of X size." We figure we could let the music speak for itself. Just check out our CD, see if you like us and let us play at your location. I do realize we have to start somewhere, and I imagine it is at the bottom. A further development of this question would be, how do you get offers to open for larger, more popular and more well known regional and national bands that come through our regional area? I imagine that would also generate interest and gain us some exposure for our music. We have some members of our group that have the attitude like that baseball movie - "If you build it, they will come." Basically implying that all we've got to do is throw up a website, a MySpace, etc and people will start stumbling upon our music. And we have people telling us to get our CD to CDBaby so that our music will be available there and by extension available on iTunes, and then people will 'stumble upon it' - but how do people stumble upon it if they don't know to look for it to begin with? See what I mean by chicken and egg? Thanks in advance for any suggestions and constructive criticism. Oh, and one more thing, lets throw out the 'if only we had enough money' obstacle. Lets assume, for the sake of conversation, we had an unlimited budget for promotional purposes. And that our interest in sharing our music is not primarily to earn money, but first to just generate interest and get people listening to us and coming out to see us at shows.