Breaking into Your Local Music Scene

Whether you’re new to music, new to town, or finally getting back out there after a long break, it can be really beneficial to make solid connections in your own hometown before you try to conquer the world.

Want to build a loyal audience in your local scene?

In this episode of the DIY Musician Podcast, we’ll discuss:

  • 03:52 Where to begin when you want to make music in a new town
  • 04:22 “Are you terrified? That’s normal.”
  • 06:34 Be a student of your new music scene
  • 07:47 Music scene research checklist
  • 08:52 Be a local culture connoisseur
  • 09:36 Don’t ignore the music stores
  • 10:34 “Remember MySpace?”
  • 11:47 Contact the local “cool guy”
  • 12:10 Account for the quirks
  • 13:11 Big city vs. small town
  • 16:15 Every genre has its own entry point
  • 17:22 The wackiest popup venues!
  • 21:06 “The craziest night of the week”
  • 22:43 Find the club that welcomes new acts
  • 25:37 What do you want from your hometown?
  • 28:15 Maybe you don’t need to build a live audience?
  • 30:14 How to find bandmates & other collaborators
  • 33:15 Places to search for good local musicians
  • 34:07 Steady band vs. hired guns
  • 34:40 People still pull flier tabs
  • 35:32 What does your scene expect from musicians?
  • 37:36 Concentric circles: Build outwards
  • 40:14 You can shape the local scene
  • 41:24 Help gatekeepers solve problems
  • 42:21 “Your friends are not your fans”
  • 43:07 Balance between playing too often and not enough
  • 43:40 Don’t count on an unrealistic draw
  • 45:53 Build a reputation — with video proof
  • 46:30 “Don’t forget where you came from”
  • 47:53 How to get other artists to promote you
  • 50:01 What other skills can you offer your scene?
  • 51:29 The “unhip” publications are thirsty to tell your story
  • 52:17 Making inroads with local press
  • 53:00 Bad press ain’t the end of the world
  • 53:29 Our worst reviews
  • 57:31 Be nice to everyone
  • 58:05 Not every “sorry” is a rejection
  • 59:59 Basic etiquette in your music scene 

Have you made inroads in a new scene?

Gotten results? Still finding your footing?

We’d love to hear your tips and perspective. Comment below!

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