This is an extension of the closing discussion we had at Little Switzerland 5/6/08. Im starting it it here...maybe it belongs somewhere else.
As I was saying yesterday, at first MySpace music pages can seem really primitive and to some unprofessional. But, I think they are incredibly effective at conveying the 'health' of a musician/band within their scene. It also is amazing at helping connect musicians to musicians, musicians to fans, and to fans to fans. You can roam for hours finding new and interesting music. And most of all, it lends a sense of community to a music scene, instead of each band looking like it own mini-corporation on their won wwww.(yourbandnamehere).com website. There's a place for band websites as well, but I think for local musicians MySpace has surged past in importance/relevance.
Band websites are very static and often dry - myspace is a living breathing thing. Its sort of like a Wiki for all the music in the world, where both music creators and music lovers can post anything they want and say anything they want. Anybody can post their projects in a common format, for free, fairly easily and quickly.
Building a mySpace page/following is not a one time thing - its sort of a daily process of give and take and reaching out to others. Hmm, sounds like this message board :-)
So for a few examples. My friend Jeff Conley is a professional musician, one of his projects is a roots/blues thing called Tin Can Tele. As Roy talked about yesterday, he is a musician that also 'controls' a few rooms around Boston and is very connected to local scene. It shows in his mySpace.
Check out how alive their page is, kind of a like a coral reef:
Really quickly you can see who they are playing with and go to their mySpace pages. Scroll down to the festival they are playing, the 'Naukabout Fesitival' in Cape Cod in August. Jeff doesn't have it set up right now, but you can directly link to other myspace pages in show listings.
Scroll down to friends. These are both fans and other bands. Notice up top 'Old Silver Band' is both playing with them at that festival in August and is one of their friends. I would be likely to go check them out...http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=134671570
One of Old Silver Band's friends is Nectar's in Burlington Vermont (a famous spot in the New England scene ) - venues are also starting to have MySpace pages. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.vi...le&friendid=86911929
So thats sort of a primer on how myspace can create a really thick web of music that people can get stuck in. Take a bunch of time and lurk around myspace if you haven't and see how it works.
Also take note most of the bands in this scene are not playing bars/clubs. For example - Barefoot Truth - http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.vi...le&friendid=38935820 plays more than half it's shows away from the club scene.
Of course it won't book any shows on its own - but I think its a much better conduit for getting to know other bands and promoting 'alternative' music venues like house parties etc.
Anyways, let's continue the discussion...hope this is helpful/informative.
This is great, Mike! Thanks for starting it & starting to clarify the benefits of having a MySpace music page.
Can you tell us about people posting our songs on their pages & other things related to that? Someone mentioned that to me once, but I didn't quite get it.
Tom - Im not quite clear - do you mean individuals taking an artists song and posting it on their personal myspace page as their background music?
I guess so. One of my friends on MySpace said this was a good way to get your music heard.
It is a good way - but it doesn't happen too often on the local level. Of course, a lot of personal myspace pages have music backgrounds, but usually those are more mainstream major label artists.
As far as copyright issues, if someone took one of our songs and put it as their music we were totally cool with it. They usually posted who it was and linked to our myspace. But as I said it didn't happen too often.
The main avenue for people hearing your music on myspace is from other artists pages that are linked to yours.
Hey Mike – In the past I viewed my space as a sight you used to promote your original music and a career in that direction and not as a wedding band/bar band/private party band etc. site. Maybe times have changed or you gave me a different outlook but I do see it in a different light now and as an extension to a web site. Thanks - Roy
Traditionally it has been an outlet for original musicians trying to build a following. I think that community relies more heavily on collaboration and cross promotion, and lends itself more to the 'graffiti' aspect of myspace.
But I think cover/wedding/corporate/event musicians have a place there too. Its all about networking. Say you're a wedding band - I think a good myspace page would include links to chamber musicians who would play the ceremony itself etc.
I don't know of many examples of this now. Maybe someone else has some?
I work the bar band/private party/wedding scene doing cover tunes and in this area many bands use myspace as their only "internet space". Its an easy way to show how you look, how you sound, where you're playing and who's coming to see you. We take pictures every week. Our fans love to see themselves having fun with the band. You can also cross fan bases with all the other bands and be in direct contact with the fans who like to network everyday. This has shown good returns with the private party/wedding bookings.
Around here many fans will put your original music on their myspace as background music which inturn helps bring in new fans who become aquainted with your music.
I'm just starting another band (new country rock) and have a myspace to help get the buzz going with the fans and help with the bookings.
And all of this is free!
Hello grecon - I see the value in that but I already get that on the web site. I also would like to know how myspace works in the search engines. I get the majority of my new work that way. I understand the social aspect of it and how myspace works within itself but can you be found with a simple search such as "wedding bands lincoln ne". Thanks Roy
Feel free to check mine out. I have embedded video's, have audio loaded, have found some really incredible page builders, and have links to all my venues. I am also trying to learn to embed links to reviews that are posted in newspapers online, but haven't been able to figure that one out yet. I will get it soon though.
Kings Court Music My Space.
I just did it last night. I couldn't find one of the venues information pages that I am playing this weekend, so I googled it, and got to my myspace site. Very cool.
Our band's (and I can't even spell "URL")
I feel a little funny about it, seeing as "band" didn't make it (too long), but "something" is, even mathematically, better than "nothing". (You know: divided by zero and all that). It was a real treat to play for alla yiz.
Mike Reports "technical difficulties" and so does the site. More soon on this.
(Meanwhile, back at the ranch...) It works now. Hey; it's a miracle (as far as I'm concerned anyway).This message has been edited. Last edited by: Col. Cliff-at-Bose,
Cliff...took a little doin' but was able to access your site on myspace thru this link:
Very nice music.
I just want to let you know that Myspace is a great way to get seen.
I have over 1500 hits on one of my most recent songs that I have written. It's called "For God and Country". I have had it on Myspace for about 6 months.
It was written in honor of the soldiers and I have had many Iraq vets and current soldiers email me and comment on the song.
There is much said about teenagers and Myspace etc... but it is a great way for bands and musicians to get seen and heard.
I have only been on it a little over a year, and have over 600 friends.
I actively go looking for friends in the areas where I perform. I add my dates to the events calendar, and send out bulletins before I play along with publishing a blog with my dates on it. I have links to all my venues, and other important information like Bose, Taylor and Digitech VL4 sites.
If you could host for free anywhere else with as much reach, I would be doing it, but Myspace lets you tailor your reach to the audience you want.
You can find your audience by hitting the browse button and choosing your demographic by age, zip code and interests. I then just look for the people who like the music that I play and send them a friend request.
I have had many people come up to me at shows and let me know that they found me on Myspace.
Even if I do get my own website at some point, I will still keep my Myspace site just for the reach that it has.
Hope this helps.
Cliff! I NEED that CD Man!
Really, I want to buy several copies for me and my pals - looking forward to when it's available!
Keep on - Mike
Gordy, great information. That sounds like a good idea. Thanks
There are lots of different pre-built sites that will allow you to customize your myspace to a fixed background and layout. Just google myspace enhancements.
My favorite, because it lets you upload your own pictures, and lets you customize colors and type fonts, etc... is Free Code Source
You can layout the site almost to any background, etc that you want to, and it is has a layout generator, so you can see what it will look like before uploading it to your myspace.
The other thing to remember is that you can always start over from scratch.
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