Ways to improve your scene...if it needs it that is.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bassbully, May 22, 2012.

  1. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Well the title says it all. Does your scene suck? What are you doing about it? Is there anything that can be done about it? Is is dying? Gone out of control?

    To those like myself who are living in a struggling music scene what are some ways we can try to work in it, overcome it and plan out survive? Moving away is not an option to many of us or is traveling long distances for a weekend band. Maybe you play covers...maybe originals?

    So any ideas? To gain an edge or should we throw in the towel and join the local cornhole league?

    BTW..it's getting hot here in NE Ohio and them leagues is a startin :p
  2. livinitup0


    Dec 22, 2011
    First and foremost... go out. Go see live music. In my area a good chunk of most crowds are musicians. We've got to support each other if we've got any chance at all of surviving.
  3. BobaFret


    Jan 22, 2008
    Live music before the Internet was rockin'. Now people can 'see' the performances they once could not and I believe it contributes to the lack of attendance.

    I think you need to bring something more to the table then just songs.
  4. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    I can't believe how many of my colleagues say they wish there was more live music to listen to, and when I tell them where people are playing, they never show up. What do they expect.
  5. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012

    If we want more time on stage, go to live shows, and bring friends.
    It doesn't need to be all night or €30 tickets. Have fun and spread the word about good acts.

    New resolution: see a live show at least 4 times a month.:bassist:
  6. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    I agree 1000%
  7. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    THANK YOU! I have friends, family, co-workers who have for years everytime they see me my band comes up when we are together and they will say " Hey where/when are you playing next? I tell them and some have put it in their phones etc. They say they will be there for sure but they never have shown up in years.
    Why do they ask? I don't bring it up or ever tell them at all since I am sick of this game.
    Do you think they feel obligated to act interested and act like they will try to come out?
  8. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    True - crowd interaction, esp the funny stuff, as well as attractive bandmembers... let's not deny it, can
    help turn an online glance into attending a show.

    Straightforward, unanimated performances may be good in person but will make a recording dull - even if confident.

    Live one has the use of the Fletcher-munsen effect!
  9. FenderBassist


    Oct 28, 2005
    I agree as well.

    In my humble opinion, here in Phoenix, the problem we have is "the lazy musician". Cover band individuals that hardly practice at home, use rehearsals to learn songs instead of just work out beginnings and endings. and think playing louder, faster and turning up the bass tone on everything is better.

    They don't serve the song, they think the band is supposed to serve them.

    So, when they perform there's no groove to the songs, people struggle to hear/sing the vocals, and it's just plain too loud for an audience to enjoy it. Can't dance to it. Can't talk (in the opposite end of the room) over it. Can't hear the lyrics to appreciate them.

    I'm dealing with several bands at the moment that just don't get this. If they have good band volume control they don't have knowledge of the material, or vice-versa.

    Who wants to spend money to go see painful performances you can't enjoy in any fashion?
  10. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Ok..Ideas. Lets say I do have more. How do I market it to a bar, club onwer who has been struggling to keep the doors open of a once hoppin music club?
  11. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    If it can be performed on stage. . . maybe a recording of a performance - if mixed / edited well could be a great promo tool.

    I like the idea of a kind of teaser trailer... could be super... if you can get prospective audiences / bookers to watch.

    Mmmmmm. Booker T. Jones.:D
  12. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The scenes that support themselves around here are the consistent ones it seems. If people know that on X night of the week they can see Y genre of music at Z bar, they're more likely to attend (and make it a weekly/biweekly ritual) than when its random and sporadic. Thats the best observation I have as far as mapping local scenes.

    Also, someone mentioned the internet killing the live music scene, but I think that effect is small compared to the huge improvement in communication, advertising, etc. that the internet provides. Shows set up on Facebook months in advance and hyped up with constant news updates / getting people to commit online / inviting their friends / etc. really helps actually bring people to the show and get them hyped for it. I went to one local show that was Facebook scheduled 2 months in advance, and with all the updates and buzz on the events page, I got the impression this was like a mini-festival. I show up to find its just another live local show, nothing outstanding, however it was PACKED and the bands all had fun and the attendees all had fun. Wouldn't have been possible without good internetting skillz.
  13. Im in NW Ohio, and yes, the scene sucks anymore. But it is true what they are saying. People want to entertained, as well as listen to good music (as in played well for whatever genre). I think bands in our area just stopped caring and expected people to just show up, which we see how well that works out. I am meeting with some buddys about jumping back into the heavy original scene, and if they don't understand this, then I will see you on the Cornhole tourney!
  14. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    You have to take this up a notch, or else we'll all be cannibalizing each other. Hair salons don't stay in business giving haircuts to other hairdressers. Plumbers don't make a bulk of their business from other plumbers. Restaurants usually don't promote their place to other chefs.

    As musicians, we can help our fellow musicians in a way that fans can't. When a musician helps a fellow musician, they are sacrificing time and energy they can put towards their passions and goals. Because of that, just going to each other's shows isn't enough.

    If someone comes to one of your shows, invite them on stage to perform a few tunes to give them exposure and hype their next show. Introduce that person to your fans, as well as the club manager, promoter, booking agent, etc. Don't treat your fellow musician like another ticket sold or a competitor, but an ally to improve the scene.
    "Look everyone, there's Derek from the Dominoes. Hey, Derek, why don't you come up to play one of your awesome tunes!"
    "Thanks, Eric, it's an awesome pleasure to get to sit in with a talented band like this. Don't you think folks?"
    The crowd cheers, and the band jams one of Derek's tunes, and the crowd is cheering again.
    "Thanks for sitting in with us Derek. If you want to see more of Derek, make sure you visit derekandthedominoes.com to see where he's going to play next."
    Later on.....
    "Hey, Mr Seedy bar owner, I'd like you to meet Derek"
    "Hi Derek, I really liked that tune, how about you play here one of these nights"
    "Sure, Mr Seedy, how about we have Eric's band share the bill?"
    "Sounds good, let me get out my calendar....."

    IMO, to really help a scene, we need to replace competition with collaboration, turf protection with sharing, and cliques with community. To do this, we need to check our egos at the door and realize we're all in this together. "We shall all hang together, or together we shall hang"
  15. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    In my experience, marketing is the key.
    Getting the word out about the gig is paramount to getting people to show up.

    Many, many, many (OK most) bar owners are not marketing geniuses and wouldn't know how to "pack the house" if they had the Allman Brothers playing there.

    Besides playing good music and putting on a good show - which should be givens,
    Being a band that is capable of effectively promoting the gig would be a big win-win for both the venue and the band.

    I'm not talking about printing up some flyer on your sisters computer and taping it to the front door of the bar.
    A bar that always has the sign out front that reads "Live Music - Friday Nights" isn't going to cut it either.

    A band that can efficiently use all of the media available to them, TV, Radio, newspaper, ect... (cost effectively of course) has a good product to sell the bar owner and can charge for it.

    something like:

    "Mr. bar owner, you'll get":
    4 sets of music,
    6 radio spots,
    a 3 day AD in the "What's happening" section of the newspaper,
    A fully stocked Merch. table,
    Facebook shoutout,
    4 or 5 hot chicks shaking it out on the dance floor,
    25 flyers placed in strategic places around town,

    all for the low low price of X amount of dollars.

    Get what I'm saying? Be a "one stop shop" for the bar owner.

    Being able to promote and market the band is as important in my eyes as being able to play.
    Maybe, getting a degree in Marketing could be as valuable as a music degree from Berkeley.

    The more profitable you can make it for them, the more you can charge.
  16. BobaFret


    Jan 22, 2008
    I'm looking at things less like a music performance and more of an entertainment experience. Whatever it takes to make people like something they didn't know existed before.
  17. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    exactly, it's putting on a Show!
    Gotta Pimp it!

    Billy Mays or Vince the Shamwow guy,
    A carnival barker,
    The Monster Truck "SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY" guy,

    Promise a "entertainment experience" and then deliver one.
  18. FenderBassist


    Oct 28, 2005
    A lot of very good ideas here regarding advertising/marketing/consistency.

    Along with all of those good ideas, I think that the music has to have the groove magic of people that are totally "into" the material they play...players in "love" with their instrument that spend more than the bare minimum amount of time on it...completely into the song (not just their individual part)...willing to blend together instead of stand above the others.

    When a band is "on" and the sound is solid without being overbearing, you have something worth coming to see.
  19. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Find a niche which is just begging for a band to fill it. Take Latin music in my city - there are quite a few bands that play salsa, Latin jazz and bossa novas. Some play some tango, but there supposedly aren't enough for all the tango dance clubs. However, all that is basically music which South Americans over the age of 50 party to. I have a band which instead plays music which South Americans under the age of 20 party to - Michel Teló, Buraka Som Sistema, Daddy Yankee, Shakira etc. We literally have no competition from bands in that market, only from DJs who do Latin nights in dance clubs.

    Have at least one DJ in the band. You can keep an afterparty going for hours after you've finished playing, and keep the crowd dancing during breaks. Also, trying to keep the dancefloor as busy as it was during those breaks is a great motivator to not suck.

    Learn to rap. Again, preferably more than one person in the band. Yeah, you're gonna have to either stop playing bass or play extremely rudimentary parts while you rap, but it's worth it anyway.

    In short, have the musical tastes of a teenage girl.
  20. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011
    OK. If you have a professional or semi-pro sports team in town, try this.

    Get a mobil BBQ vendor and go visit the local stadium. Tell them you'll feed and entertain the fans just before the game. This plays into the Jerry Jones Texas Stadium model.

    The JJ model is that the "game" is the foundation of a "whole-day experience". They want to have people at the stadium for lunch (noon), party/mixer meet and greet football signing (2:00 p.m.), music (3:00 p.m.), kick-off (5:00 p.m.).

    Before you know it, the venue has kept a crowd there the whole day, separated the people from their money, and all had a good time!

    If you do this, make sure you RIDE the team's marketing people to get flyers and widgets to you and to get the event on the internet. It's tough to sell something that doesn't exist on the team's home page. Trust me.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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