Music Is Not A Competition…

It looks like these two have not yet absorbed the message of this blog.

“If I promote other bands, my band won’t be noticed”

It’s not something I hear musicians say a lot but it is certainly often implied. This post is here to kick that way of thinking right in the ball-gina. Musicians, bands: I implore you, help support each other! Stop thinking about your own music as the only music deserving of praise & attention. There is lot’s of cool bands out there, lots of cool artists & many of them work just as hard as you do on your art.

Here’s the rub, if you post a link on your twitter/facebook account about a cool ‘unkown’ band you saw last night with a short message along on the lines of “Saw these guys at the goat-faced-heffer hotel the other night & they rocked. Check them out!” you have just done a very good thing for your local musical community.

The word community is really the key; Music is not a competition, music is a COMMUNITY. & that in-a-nutshell is the essence of this post. I hear musicians bitch & whine all the time “The music scene here is terrible, no-one comes out to see bands” I wonder when the last time they went out to see a local band who they weren’t already friends with. I think as a rule if you’re a musician you should go out at least once-a-week & see a local band. If you’re not doing that then think next time you are going to complain about the local music scene being shit. It’s just a cop-out. What are YOU doing to make it better? Do you hang around to watch the other bands that play after you on a mixed bill? (& not just because you think they have a decent fan-base & might be able to provide a sweet support spot).

Lift up those around you, not because you expect something in return, but just for the sake of being genuinely helpful. Don’t post up a link of another band expecting to get a link back from the other band. Don’t help the old lady cross the street in the hopes that she might give you a fiver. Do it because you would like it if someone did the same for you if it was your band, if it was your grand-ma.

I could go on about ways in which you can help create a musical community but that is not the point here. All those things will come once you change your mentality. If you help get another band onto Bobs iPod, Bob isn’t going to delete your album off his iPod. If you help influence Sally to tell her friends about how awesome another singer-songwriter is, it doesn’t mean she will forget about you. If anything, it will strengthen their foundation as your fan.

I’m not the only one with this crazy idea of a musical community. There are others. But we need to spread the word. We are the resistance & we are fighting a mighty empire of selfish ignorance. We must join forces. Or we could all just use our social media profiles to spout repetitive news about ourselves which people will quickly choose to ignore. The choice is ours. I believe Music is a community but if we don’t come together, it will continue to be a fight.

This post is a nice pre-cursor to an online community I wil be launching soon which revolves around covering a song of someone around you & having your own song covered in return. I’m excited about it! Keep an eye out for it right here. Codename CMICY (pronounced smicky)

Let me know your own thoughts on all this. I enjoy a good discussion.

– Ryan

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9 Responses to “Music Is Not A Competition…”

  1. Definitely agree, Stanmore!

    I believe 100% in “you reap what you sow”… I just can’t understand why a band or a musician who KNOWS firsthand how hard it is to make doing what you love profitable, would not support people who are in the same boat.

    It’s kinda like what I learned at the RISE conference in QLD last year- If there is no “scene” where you live, make one. The world owes you nothing people and the chances of you getting “discovered” are realistically, very minimal, no matter how amazing you are.

    Find a group of people who love doing what they do and start approaching venues to play… play for love not for money… the fans will come!! As a fan of music (who is not herself musically inclined) WE CAN TELL when you’re enjoying yourself and your effort shows… It’s what keeps me coming back to gigs.

  2. here here. you know my thoughts on the subject :)

    all that i can add is (again) go to more gigs & support eachother’s gigs!

    i love your CMICY idea! (is that Cover Me I’ll Cover You)
    I’ll do one of yours if you do one of my shit songs i wrote when i was 16! :)

    • It does stand for that. Well, its ‘Cover Mine, I’ll Cover Yours’ But close enough. Nice guess!

      I just had a brain-wave, we could possibly integrate this concept into a music night. Person A plays their own song and then a cover of person B’s song. Person B plays their own version of their own song and then a cover of person C’s song. & so on. YEAH… Maybe…

      Yeah, I haven’t really heard any of your stuff, send me some?

  3. Great reminders Ryan! I could definitely do more of this after a show.

  4. I have to sort of disagree! Maybe I’m living in a bubble but the musicians I have met are actually really nice and encouraging AND come to other people’s gigs because they’re friends! Perhaps try going to places like 205’s high tea at hibernian house or the new 505 on Cleveland street rather than singer songwriter nights? Anyway, just my opinion, thanks for the blogs Ryan. I love them!

    • It’s great that you have found a community to be a part of.

      I’m not cool enough to have heard of those places :P Invite me!

      Thanks for your comment & readership Ali!

  5. Love it…too many people think that when or if they turn a fan onto another band, said fan will stop liking their music.

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