Whether you’re playing in New York City or Telluride, Colorado, there’s bound to be a place to play music nearby. Setting roots in a local scene has a lot of benefits and is often the first step towards success for any musician.
Here are a few reasons why musicians should play locally.
1. You can tap into the music community.
No matter the city or the genre, there’s always a community of like-minded musicians. Small or big, being close with a few other performers is always helpful. Sometimes a gig will need an opener, or a group might be looking for a feature.
Making a few friends in the same area is a great way to grow an audience and get more opportunities.
2. You may become a regular, or resident.
Getting a residency is cool as heck. It’s like getting a steady stream of listeners and a steady income just by playing music. That’s a hard thing to come by, and this is one of the easiest ways to do it.
Especially when getting started, a residency is a great way to hone the craft of performing. Even the Beatles started out with a regular gig, and for them, it was pivotal to their long-term success.
3. You’ll build local support.
Play enough local gigs, and any performer will get a number one fan, maybe even a fan club. The best part of playing locally and often is that people start to notice the act. A lot of people will probably see it more than once, see it improving, and start to love it.
Fanbases are so often thought of as an online phenomenon, but it doesn’t always have to be. It might be easier, depending on the community, to get support locally. Shaking a few hands and having a few conversations after a show can go a long way.
Where there is music, there is a community of people engaging in it. Whether it’s fans or other bands, get out there and get to know the people around you by performing locally and supporting other local bands.
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Gabriel Dufurrena is a mathematician, writer, and educator living in Oakland, CA. When he’s not watching YouTube videos or teaching math, he’s getting into shenanigans with his other writer friends.