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Some questions about Original Bands and Promoting

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by ebladeboi123, May 9, 2006.

  1. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    Hey I'm in an original band called Eclyptic. We're all sophmores. 2 year top 3 placers in our states big rock off. And we're almost ready to release our cd. I've been recently just been handing out flyers for our show the 19th (cd release), but I'm wondering- after this show what to do.

    To make money we play alot of bar shows (we play covers as well, a good 2 hours of well known covers, another hour of less known covers for when people get drunk and then about an hour and half of originals we sometimes throw in just for kicks). At a bar show is it inappropiate to push our cd. By this I mean during a break, walking around to people and asking if they want to buy the CD? I've seen this done a few times at venues and I allways see these bands (even if they aren't that great) walk away with the most money in terms of merch.

    Next questions, at shows where its more about us as an original band... How do we push our CD without being retarded? Again after we play do we mingle in the Crowd ask if they'd like to purchase one? Or do we just let them come to us.

    Another question... Our fan base is fairly small, again we're only highschoolers, do you think there is anyting (myspace excluded) we could do to help expand our fan base? We're planning on selling the record online, so I guess that helps. How do we get people to show up at shows... we can get normally 10-50 people on a regular basis (excluding family and girlfriends). I know thats nothing to brag about- which is why I come to TB.

    Last question. With a new CD would new merch make sense? We ahve almost sold out of our 1st set of shirts. All we have left are some M (very few) Larges (some) and XL (5, the most). We started with 100. But it was more based off our 1st album- my brother's agreed to design new ones. We were going to make 3 designs, make a booth and set up a vote at our CD release- sound like a good idea? Or should we just stick with our 1st design...

    Anyway- thanks for reading this, typically I don't ask questions here (being a little exp. in the whole band thing, but we've never done a Full CD we're proud of, our First EP we feel is hunk of ****).
  2. embrase your inner whore.

    More than likely people who come to you show will be willing to buy a cd, but it never hurts to let them know you have one. No need to walk around during you set, just have someone (a family member,friend, or significant other) man the table and mention it at the end of each set. Then after the gig, feel free to mingle and man the table yourself.

    the downside to being in a high school band is that if you play at a bar, most of your crowd can't come. When I was in a high school band, we looked for places we could rent out to play our gigs at. that way anybody who wanted to come could. Myspace rules for band promotion, but never underestimate a street team. Also, if you think you have something, and you guys plan on staying together, look into an agent.

    Finally, don't limit yourself to only one type of merchandise. If you have 3 t-shirt designs, then sell all three. Better chance of everyone being able to pick something they like.

    hope that helps.
  3. Grab a couple of friends (including some good-looking girls) and form a street team. They can help promote shows and during shows can walk around selling stuff. It'll give the impression that you have a large following and some organization. Plus, it allows you guys to be the talent, not the retail whores.:)
  4. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Our band has 3 different CDs for sale at gigs.
    1. A collection of originals written by our keyboard player and a friend of his. Sung by either our girl singer or a Nashville studio singer, played by either Nashville studio guys or the keyboard player in his home studio. I think he used our fiddle player on one track. Our band performs ONE of these songs live, and not very often at that. I've asked repeatedly for us to learn the rest of the songs, but no one else is interested, including the guy who wrote them. :eyebrow:
    2. Our soundman is a longtime bluegrass guy, and has a studio CD of his band. None of those players are in our band, and we don't play any of their songs live. But he sells a few anyway.
    3. A homemade live recording of us from last year at a local town carnival, doing all covers. Prominently features a guitarist/singer who quit the band at the end of last year, and the sound quality is poor. We still do most of these songs now.
    We have t-shirts, mugs etc. available on cafepress.com. You can get ladies thong underwear with my picture on it. Don't tell my mom!
    The soundman typically makes an announcement about the CDs and where they can be bought. We don't go around the room hawking them. We DO go around handing out schedules.
  5. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    I've been at plenty of shows with major acts in smaller venues that have no compunction about informing the crowd usinig the mic and stage as soap box that CDs and other items can be bought over at this or that table. Announce it from the stage at the end of a set as you're taking a break, when people are soon to be milling and swilling and (hopefully) buying swag. I've only been in original bands my whole long playing career because that's what makes me happy and keeps me creatively energized, no covers at all, and my current band has all sorts of goodies (yes, even the ubiquitous thong--must be a cheap premium since there's precious little to 'em). Anyway, it is nice to have someone else conduct the actual transactions, whether it's a friend you trust, a girlfriend, whatever, so you don't have to work the table. Keeps you associated with art and not commerce and gives you more time to recharge your batteries if between sets or tear down if at the end of a show. There's no right or wrong way, but others have given you good ideas. Make it seem like the CDs are valuable, even if you have to plant a few people who grab them and gush over them. And don't be shy about telling people that they're available and where they can be had, at least once or twice during the evening. Good luck.
  6. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    +1... Dude you're in high school. You gotta have some hot friends that can hand out flyers. Also you need to start getting with a promoter, and do a couple of shows where you sell tickets. I know this sucks but this is how you get into big venues. Also this is how you start making money. Afterwhile, it will get easier, and you can hand off that job of tickets and crap to someone else. Standing up and playing is the easiest part. You know you're a true rockstar when that's all you have to do and everything else is taken care of for you. Until then you're a whore, a backbreaking mover of large objects, a promoter, a t-shirt hawker, a vandal putting stickers on the back of stop signs, and then at last a bass player. Accept it. Enjoy it.
  7. Winemule

    Winemule Guest

    Feb 27, 2005
    You have one basic misconception: It is ALWAYS APPROPRIATE to plug your CD. We do it all the time, and we even sell one or two.:p

    Pick up a copy of Marc Davidson's "All Area Access - Personal Management for Unsigned Artists." It's not a great book, but it's a good book, and it might possibly prevent you from doing something you would not do if you stopped to think about it carefully. Most important: You will have a much stronger hand if you and your bandmates take care of business yourselves for as long as you can. You're in a much better position if somebody comes to you and offers to promote you or manage you than the other way around.

    Good luck!

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