Understand your competition This is particularly pointed at the performing songwriter. We all know that the gig pool is slowly drying up. Some of us have lost focus as to whom and what is our greatest competition is. First is the basic understanding that most of are not in the music business, but the entertainment business. This is an important distinction, because it will open your eyes to what you are really competing against. If your primary goal is to have your music heard by the mass public, you are in the entertainment business. Sure music is your primary focus in the entertainment business, but you are still in the entertainment business. That means you compete with a vast variety of other forms of entertainment. Television, sports, comedy, movies and the list goes on and on. Every form of entertainment that people consume is your competition. If they would rather stay home on Saturday night and watch “Survivor” on TV that go to the local bar to see you or your band, you have lost to your competition. If they would rather that $200 down to a Pistons game then spend $2.00 to see a band at White’s on Friday, you have lost to the competition. Do your own pie chart. How much of your time and money do you spend helping to support the local music scene? I have actually heard people telling others that they wouldn’t spend the money to see another band. Well, I believe you just gave a helping hand to the competition. Sure you believe that the other band is your competition, I believe you are wrong. Think of them more as your teammate. When you help promote them, you help the music community as a whole. The stronger the community the stronger all of its members are. The more we prove ourselves as a profitable alterative to big screen TV’s and Karaoke, the more places that will seek out our form of entertainment. Michael Jordan didn’t just put people in the seats for a Bulls game, but brought in people to every NBA arena across the country. So those who you think are your closest competition are probably your closest teammates. We need to show support for every musical act in this area. When we do show up, pay the cover. Don’t find some backdoor way to get in and avoid the charge. When you do this you just reinforce the idea that people are not willing to spend money on this form of entertainment. Don’t stop at 7/11 and down a few then take up space drinking water. Be kind to the wait staff and tip them generously. Venue owners that still hire musical acts to attract people to their establishment are our friends. They are selecting you and your form of music over a vast amount of entertainment alternatives. Sure we would all like to make more money, but the way to do that is not to beat up on owners. They are in a tough and competitive business. It is our job to prove we are worth the expense. That we will make them more money than if they had another form of entertainment. It is basically on our shoulders as a musical community to prove to everyone that we are needed. We need to convince the public that you will get more entertainment for your dollar than a sporting event or a night at the casino.
This also means supporting your local scene, not just national acts. If you will not part with $5.00 to go see a good local band, then how do think others will. Whenever you are speaking about the local scene be positive. When you know of other acts that are playing make sure that you mention it to everyone. Entertainment is also a matter of habits. If people get accustom to going out to see musical entertainment on the weekends, it becomes a habit. They will start talking their friend into joining them, thus creating more of a demand for musical acts. If a couple decides that they will get more enjoyment out of see their favorite local act, rather than spend half a month wages to see The Eagles, we all win. Our job is to persuade them that we are the best entertainment value. Next time you are going out to hear a local act talk your friends into going with you. Make sure that you speak positively about the evening. Make sure that they have a great time and give the act credit for the wonderful evening. Your friends will feel great about the time they had and in turn might make another evening out with some of their other friends. You can see how this grows. (Amway is a billion dollar company) We are an endangered species. We need to do everything in our power to build up this community or we will become extinct. If we do are jobs, bar owners, coffee houses and small theaters will all seek us out to fill their establishments. It is not their job to fill their clubs, which is what you are hired to do. Let us prove that it is money well spent. Bottom line is we need to pry away every dollar we can from the other forms of entertainment.
New podcast featuring a lot of up and coming artist. The show covers a lot of ground, Blues, Americana, Folk, Singer/Songwriter, and lots more. Host Trish Lewis has a real passion for music and artist. The show started out as a local public radio show on WUCX 90.1 in the Tri-City area of Michigan, but only aired once a week. Because of it growing popularity the decision was made to move it to a podcast were it could be streamed 24/7 or downloaded. It is hosted at http://bobh432000.podbean.com. There is also a cool website that runs in connection with the podcast http://radiochair.com. There Trish post the playlist and a the links to the artist. It is great exposure for any artist that gets featured. The best thing of all she accepts new material from indie artists. You don't have to be on some big label to get featured. All you need to do is send your CD. To submit a disc of music for review: Eclectic Chair, P.O Box 25, Bay City, MI 48707-0025. Trish Lewis Promises To Listen with Big Ears and an Open Heart. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org This is a great way to get your work heard by a wider audience. Also Trish does CD reviews for Review Magazine, so you never know your CD might get a review there also.