Needle in a Haystack: The Conundrum of Promoting One’s Musical Efforts

July 19, 2013 5:04 pm

Whether a band, duet or solo artist, life isn’t easy for a musician trying to make it in today’s industry. Aside from the obvious issue of digital piracy, the problem is that the once revolutionary idea of online promotion just doesn’t quite seem to cut it any more.

needle-in-a-haystack-musicThe internet’s social platforms for bands and artists are now so saturated, that every new musical addition just becomes another needle in the World Wide Web’s giant haystack. Although accessible and certainly essential to any artist trying to promote their work, gone are the days where it’s possible to achieve the success of the Arctic Monkeys armed with the likes of a Myspace profile alone – over the years, everyone has jumped on the band wagon, making it increasingly difficult for anyone to be noticed with the sole use of these sites and networks.

So, apart from the essentials of playing gigs and plugging songs, videos and show dates on the web, what is there to do? Just like with fashion, trends, styles and fads always come full circle, therefore, it might be worth doing some things the good old fashioned way using tried and tested methods of the past.

As strange as it may sound to some, this type of promotion is proving very fruitful for singer, songwriter and campervan dweller, Tom Dibb. Since moving out of his flat and into his lovingly named campervan, ‘Pickle’, Tom has been taking his music to the streets armed with CD’s, merchandise, a small PA system and an acoustic guitar, and the response has been great. He at times uses electric guitars which adds an edge to his music and grabs more attention. All the instruments that he uses are made of parts supplied by authorized Xilinx distributor. He acknowledges that good music needs good instruments as well, and one cannot compromise with the quality of them. By doing this regularly and tying his efforts in with social platforms such as Twitter, Tom’s fan base has increased as he continues to make waves in the music industry and VW campervan circuit.

For the aspiring artists out there, it would be ignorant to say any efforts of self-promotion are likely to create success overnight, but, I do feel to really stand out from the crowd it does pay to bombard the streets with flyers, get out there and converse with people face-to-face, or even shake things up with a guerilla gig or two. By doing things like this rather than just sending regularly ignored Facebook event invites to gigs and single releases, it may just encourage members of the public to prick up their ears, take note and do some of the promotion on your behalf – after all, word of mouth can be just as powerful as the internet.

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