The downer of the DIY online muso

Il4 21 c muso marketing

 I’ve mentioned previously all the regrets I have after doing a lot of reading and research about the music industry. Well, I can also see a disadvantage to all the research- what about the time needed to spend on one’s musicianship?

For me, it’s a mute point really. I’m not in a band and I’m not a singer, though I’m trying to sing. I’m at a particular point in my life where I’m using social sites like Youtube and ReverbNation to offload some old ideas and old songs I’ve written over the past ten or so years.

To really do the DIY muso thing these days you probably need to be a business person, marketing wizz, great performer and songwriter all roled into one.

The great thing is, the resources are all available -it’s all happening online, and everybody can get access to it. The bad news is everybody can get access to it.

That means if you’re not doing the homework needed to get ahead, the next guy is, and he or she will have the upper hand.

And I’m talking about both ways on the two-way online highway. You have to have RSS connections to all the relevant sources as well as the right books from Amazon. And you’ve got to work on your own presentation and online presence -a blog, videos, mp3’s, microbloging etc… You have to promote and build a network.

They say the barrier to entry for musicians has been lowered. Strictly speaking the tools are available, but if you’re starting out, you should be in your room practicing, and then gigging, rather than spending hours promoting. But the pro’s have ‘street teams’ and web developers and marketing aids and all the rest of it…

So for guys at the bottom, their best bet is either an original publicity stunt or the hope that the one-in-a-million possibility of their Youtube song going viral will actually happen.

And the viewers learn that for a lot of these freak viral successes and publicity stunts, there’s often not much substance, it’s just a bit of fluff that brightens one’s day and gives a bit of fuel for the established media -like some guy who does a goofy dance in exotic locations around the world, or a guitarist who does a rock version of a popular classical tune…

I think the net has its uses, but I’m guessing pro musicians still have to cut their teeth in the physical world of gigging in pubs, and their bestform of promotion will be their live shows rather than a youtube vid.


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