As a new artist, you’ve probably been advised to start by playing around town. Although starting out with baby steps can be helpful, hitting only your local venue won’t get you anywhere. Do something that other new musicians aren’t doing—start by playing outside your locality! Because without a little adventure, you might just miss out on the new and valuable experiences waiting ahead.
It’ll enhance your networking opportunities
You can’t deny the fact that when you’ve gone out of town for whatever reason—maybe a friend’s party, a gathering, a show—you’ve met a few good peeps. And if it hasn’t happened yet, it will! Before or after your show, you can start off by simply introducing yourself to other musicians around you. Chances are, that there will also be other up-and-coming bands just like yours. Try to identify the people who are most relevant to what you do, what you offer, or what you need. Further, don’t only think about how someone else can help you, but how both of you can mutually benefit.
It can upgrade your music
The people you’ll meet, the music you’ll hear, and the new sounds you’ll be surrounded by could all serve as major catalysts for your music style. The possibilities are endless. Jesus Sons started out as a Garage band in San Francisco in 2011, but their frequent road trips led them to evolve into the bluesy, 70’s, old-school easy riders that they are today. If you look them up, a lot of their photography and even lyrics are influenced by their experiences as freedom-seeking, young and growing, on-the-road musicians.
It’ll widen your pool of fans
Performing locally is usually the first way to expose yourself but targeting other major cities that may be known for busy nightlife or larger popularity can also be a great start! There’s a proverb that goes “no one is prophet in his own country”. Your style can be new to many in a whole different town. Playing in a whole new city, state, or country (for the brave ones out there) can help you practice and, along the way, lead you to new fans. So keep playing, keep getting better, and keep on swimming towards new and different streams.
Your confidence will elevate
There is no doubt that after playing for a variety of crowds, your confidence will rise. The more you do something, the more comfortable and skillful you’ll get. During occasional silent moments at one of The xx concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, vocalist Romy Madley Croft would express how nervous, yet excited, she was to be there. They weren’t too fond of traveling, but it affected them in a positive way. Within less than a year after touring, band member Jamie xx released his own album In Colour, reflecting this new-grown flexibility.
Baby steps start your engine, but daring to get adventurous literally gets you on the road.
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Michelle Aguilar has a strong passion and love for music – and it’s history. She enjoys reading literary books, dancing, trip-hop/indie venues, working on her blog, and digging up new music.