Creating a Music Community #2

Tom Waits

Tom Waits

Creating a music community is vital to sustaining the life of your music career.  Here are a few ways to begin opening up the conversation between yourself and your audience.  And check out this previous post on Creating a Music Community #1.

 On-stage Banter
I went to a concert last year where the headliner didn’t speak to the audience for his hour-long set. It was the most dissapointing concert I’ve every been to.  This might just be an opinion, but people go to concerts to experience what they can’t experience by listening to a CD.  Every fan wants to know their favorite artist better.  They want to get a sneak-peak into who the artist really is.  I’m of the opinion that this can only be accomplished through candid on-stage storytelling, song introductions, and/or random comments.  Check out this excellent article at Music Think Tank (MTT):  Do most fans really want anything from you other than your music?

I’m also realizing that people love independent music b/c indie artists are so accessible.  People love accessibility and artists who will return their emails and actually spend time talking with them at shows.

Allow your audience to chime in
Don’t do all the talking. Let your audience chime in from time to time. Let them pick the songs occasionally or ask questions that require an answer. For example, if you’re about to do a song about a girl, ask  if anyoe has ever had a song written about them. Why not?  Even if the communication is “pointless”, having a conversation with your audience does loosen the air, make you more comfortable on stage, and make them feel like they know you better.  

This guy says it best
Here’s an excellent comment by some guy named Justin, in response to the MTT article…

When a fan hears/sees your music and materials, is there a coherent and intriguing message? Are you exporting a worldview that listeners can understand and be interested by, or are you just playing notes?Industry parlance has created terms like your “brand” or “image” to describe the totality of an artist’s presentation to their fanbase. But terms like that encourage people to think that that sort of stuff is just marketing – a flashy gimmick that is unconnected to your true art, which is just the music. This is to rigid a way to look at things. Artists need to realize that their “music” encompasses more than the notes they play and record; they need to craft an assortment of artistic materials and moments that give CONTEXT to your music.

A good, though somewhat extreme example, would be Tom Waits. His ridiculous image perfectly matches his music, and the guy never breaks character. Who knows if he’s even acting? Whatever. He’s weird, he’s cool, he’s consistent. You can go to a show expecting a new experience with that same twisted personality as there is in his records, or whatever strange media appearances he does. If it relates to the music, then it is PART of the music…[read article and reader comments]

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