Gin & Tonic / Blog


Well, it's finally happened. I purchased my busking license from the City of Victoria. Gord, Bob, and I headed downtown to test it out last Saturday. It was slow going at first but we really got cookin' when we hit Proud Mary. We made enough to cover our lunches in only two hours.

Busking is a great way to work on stage presence. If people don't pay you any attention on the sidewalk, how will you hold their interest on a stage? The main thing is you've got to get your mojo into it. It's a tricky balance, though: it's hard to get your mojo going alone, you need an audience response. Give a little, you'll get a little more back, and then you've got the ball rolling.

My sidewalk presence is always improving. People like to hear songs they know, rather than the songs I've written. I still throw a few originals in, though: the rush of performing my own material is all too tempting. They also like to see dancing. You've got to be interesting to look at. Facial expressions are just as important as hitting the notes. I try and start conversations with people between songs, too, if they stick around for awhile. Singing for people is so much more than just carrying a melody and strumming a few chords, and busking is really helping me grow as a performer.

Jesse Mueller
Jesse Mueller  (over 7 years ago)

Yea I know what you mean by still searching… I don't write many tunes myself either. I'm an arranger of others original material (mostly from my band members) and some covers that I use for demos. I'm not a front man, though I've put together a number of bands for special shows. I'm more of a behind the scenes musician. I use RN to hear great music from all over the world, to get ideas and to friend musicians of like minds. I like studying the stats of who is listening to my arrangements, but I'm not really interested in moving up the ranks. I connect with (or become a fan of) whoever is listening to my music, not necessarily those that ask me to help them move up the charts (for the most part, those that have to ask are not worthy, anyway)

You want a hot tip for building band equity? It'll make you move up the charts and stay up there awhile. I discovered this by accident when I reported to FEEDBACK/SUPPORT that I thought something was wrong with my stats.

Become a fan of whoever is #1 & 2 globally in ALL genres. Right now that's Dead Sara and Lords of Easton. Dead Sara is excellent rock but Lords of Easton are just drivel pop mush. No matter, become a fan regardless and watch your stats for VISITS to your RN page. I generally get 25-50 visits a day but when I became a fan of them, I got 300 to 600 visits in a day. When your VISITS stat jumps, go back to #1 and/or 2 and leave a positive comment on their page. This will make your icon visible on their page for many days to come and thus increasing the number of visits to your page. Only a small percentage of those visits will bother to LISTEN to your music but a small percentage of those listeners will become legit FANS of your music.

The funny part is you can do this a few more times by removing yourself as a fan of theirs after your VISIT count goes back to normal, wait a few days and then become a fan of theirs again (or whoever is #1 and 2). They have so many fans your removal as a fan hardly effects their Equity. But you gain tremendously. Oh btw it doesn't work with #3 or later for some reason.

I guess the more ways you can think of increasing your exposure, the more visits you get, the more listeners you get and the more potential of those becoming fans, is the way it works.

Gin & Tonic
Gin & Tonic  (over 7 years ago)

Wow! That's great.
I'm not too concerned about moving up the charts, but the more people that listen to my music, the better!
Thanks for the tip

Exploring Reverbnation

Well I don't really understand the ranking system here on Reverbnation. It clearly isn't based on fans, gigs, or tracks uploaded, because Gin & Tonic has skyrocketed to #2 in the Victoria Blues Charts.

This looks great on the profile page, but I wonder what Harry Manx and Dave Harris have to say about it. Harry Manx is currently touring Eastern Canada, it seems; while Dave Harris has been rock steady in Victoria since I was a wee lad walking along the harbour with my mother. This is hardly fair for these artists who have more than a thousand fan. Gin & Tonic are still only dreaming of recording albums!

Somehow, all of this has happened within a week or two of having signed up with this website. Something is amiss, and I think it should be amended. Take note, Reverbstaff. In any case, I'm applying for a busking license to play in the harbour this summer. Maybe I'll be able to convince Dave to have a jam with me on his incredible foot-bass down there.

Thank you everyone for listening to the music I've posted. There's much more to come. Life has inspired much song-writing in the last week or two. It's hard to find time to record it all.

Jesse Mueller
Jesse Mueller  (over 7 years ago)

Hey Gin,

Don't sell yourself short. Your blues stands up with the best of 'em in any market.

And that's really where you compete for rankings. Victoria is a small blues market. Try changing your Postal Code to Vancouver, BC one time which has 3 times as many blues artists on RN. I think you might find yourself further down the chart or maybe not. You may be doing all the things that move you up in rank.

The rankings are based on how well you communicate with your fan base, how many clicks you get everywhere, by how many widgets and banners are getting click thrus to your RN page, how many listeners you get on any particular day, how many referrals you get and how many songs they listen to (and what percentage of the songs they listen to), how often you communicate with your fan base and by what method. This all builds Band Equity which allows you to appear as popular or more so than your idols. (Globally in the r&b charts, I'm about 25 points further up the charts than Beyonce. How could this be? She has tens of thousands of fans out there, I have a little over 1000. She is so big she doesn't bother to communicate to her fans. I commune via Twitter, MySpace, RN, and Facebook and people show an interest in my talents accordingly)

For instance I moved from the blues charts in Mpls/St.Paul (which I quickly climbed to the top of momentarily) over to the r&b charts in Mpls/St.Paul. This proves to be a much tougher market to climb being this a big r&b horn band town. Still I moved into the #3 spot and I don't think I can get much higher. Both #1 & 2 are national acts with much larger fan bases than mine. Some of my bands and other Twin Cities bands could blow #1 off the stage with their talent but we just don't have the throngs of fans to compete. And i really don't care.

Cuz it's about the music for me, not the popularity. You, Gin, have great tunes people are willing to listen to and you thank them for that. That's why you are ahead of the pack.

jesse, minneapolis

Gin & Tonic
Gin & Tonic  (over 7 years ago)

Thanks Jesse,

I'm very grateful that you took the time to explain the points system to me. Now I understand why I've sunk back down to #8. I guess I've just not been 'interacting' much. This little blurb should win me some points, eh? I haven't recorded anything recently, either. More projects on the way soon, I hope.

I'm glad you like what I've put up. I'm still searching for a unique sound, but I have a lot of technical things to learn before I can really explore my songwriting abilities.