5 tips for young bands around what to do next to progress further!
Get to know the local scene. We are fortunate to live in an area which is fairly close to a few major cities (Dudley in the West Midlands). Go and see some shows at local venues. See if you can get to know the bands who play there and the promoters who organise the show. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to find you a slot supporting a bigger band. Once you’ve played a few gigs, you’ll start to make a name for yourself, and before long, you’ll be the headline act with newer bands supporting you! Alternatively, you can easily find a promoter’s contact number and email online simply by searching the name of a town or city followed by the word ‘promoter’.
Apply to M.A.S. Records
Mighty Atom Smasher Records are a Kidderminster based record label who focus on developing young bands. They provide funds for weekly rehearsals at local studios, as well as a professional recording each year. This is a perfect opportunity for young bands who don’t have a substantial income of their own, and is an easy programme to become part of - all you have to do is perform two original songs! They can also help you decide what the best course of action for your band is, and have a lot of links within the industry to help you out.
This one goes for both the individual and the band. You may be tired of hearing it from all your music teachers but there’s a reason they say it so much. No musician has ever improved their abilities without practising. It’s important to play both by yourself and with other musicians, whether these are people in your band, or just other friends who also happen to be musicians; it’s all good stuff. Practising song writing is also something you should do, even if you don’t think you’re very good. With a little practise, you’ll start to see improvements sooner than you think.
Don’t take yourself too seriously
The modern-day music industry has become very superficial and is focused much more on image and popularity than the music itself. It is easy to fall into the trap of caring too much about whether your band appears cool to others or how many likes your band has on Facebook, instead of whether the members are actually enjoying what they are doing. Music is, above all else, a source of fun and self-expression, and, in my opinion, everything else which being in a band entails should come secondary to this. Often, when a band puts their own enjoyment and their own vision first, this is reflected in the music, and is in itself a trait attractive to potential fans.
Don’t give up
Failure is the best teacher, and even the most successful artists have failed countless times before finally making it. I try to teach my students that they will fail multiple times before they get where they want to be, but that this is nothing to be ashamed of as it is an invaluable learning opportunity to see what you could do differently next time so that you might succeed. Above all, you should not let these failures dishearten you, as they are something everyone has to go through before succeeding. The best course of action is to simply pick yourself and try again with a different course of action, and to never give up on your dreams.