In the past if you were a musician and wanted to make money you were trying to play small paying gigs at bars, weddings, the truck stop and anywhere you could. Your only hope to make the big money was to relocate to a place such as Nashville and try to get your talent shown off to the local bars where the big country music executives may see you in action and be impressed.
Today as a wannabe country music star you still need to play as many low paying gigs as you can get. The $50.00 or so you make playing at the local bar on Saturday night might not be much cash but it will help you out a little bit. More importantly, by playing every gig you can get you will develop you skills more and also create diverse following of fans. In today's musical age you have web sites such as MySpace to help sell and promote your music. MySpace means that a rising country singer no longer has to relocate to Nashville to be heard by country music record executives. Everything you need to build a country music career is in your lap top. The downside is the ease of marketing your amateur music means many more musicians are also getting into the game and that means more music then ever for the big name country music labels to weed through.
In order for you to have any potential of becoming signed to a country label and make the big bucks you need to do a few things. Number on is your music.
You always want to be playing gigs and practicing your music. You need to continue writing new song. If you have a song that you have wrote and performed locally and it has not been very well liked then feel free to tweak it. It is a lot easier to get your name known and new followers on MySpace if you have a song that is very catchy and enjoyable. The Zach Brown Band is a great example of this. They had many songs and not many fans. They then had two hit singles with "Chicken Fried" and "Toes" on one of their albums. Zach Brown obviously was already signed to a major label but the mainstream success of these two songs propelled The Zach Brown Band album sales. The number of followers they have on FaceBook and Twitter jumped drastically. The number of people that began to listen to their other songs because they liked the two songs they heard non stop on the radio caused album sales of The Zach Brown Band to jump.
When writing music and lyrics you want to keep tweaking a song that holds potential. If a song is well received by the bar crowd at your weekend gig then place the song on your MySpace profile. When you are at ANY gig pass out fliers that list your Bands MySpace URL. Many people will become "friends" with a band on MySpace if they heard them locally and liked what they heard. When the number of friends you have increases the number of their friends that will see your songs in their play list will also increase. If you have a song that spreads vitally through out the social networks then you are well on your way to getting signed by a major album label. If you already have a huge following of fans then a label is more likely to sign you.
Even if you do not get signed to a label you can still sell your own MP3's without a major label contract. Many websites enable anybody to sell their own music. For a new band there is a fine line between giving your music out for free and selling it. If you sell you music then a new band will receive few if any sales. By enabling your followers on MySpace to download your music for free it will increase your fan base. By giving out your music for free you will be more enabled to get a high paying music gig or regional concert. If you only sell your music and you have no fan base you will never make money.
You need a musicians profile on MySpace. You need to update your MySpace on a regular basis. If someone wants to be your friend always accept them. Offer your music for free streaming on MySpace. Even if you want to sell your music you can still stream your country music on MySpace for free. All of MySpace can listen to your music for free and add it too their MySpace music player. You can also set it up that if a person wants your MP3 then you can charge for that.
Anytime you have a gig you want to hand out fliers to the audience and actually ask them to find you on MySpace and be your friend. If you have a lot of followers on your MySpace account and your music is getting listened to a lot then you are in a great position. You can then do some research on your fan base.
You can look at all of your followers and see where they are from. If you get many comments from people listen to what they have to say. Your band may be located in Twin Falls Idaho but you may develop a large following of fans in say Helena Montana. If you are getting a lot of interest in Helena Montana then consider setting up a gig in Helena. Many bars and larger venues will be happy to have a new band play if they know that many of the locals already listen to them online.
If your fans say a certain song sucks then it sucks. It does not matter how much heart and soul you pout into writing the lyrics and music. If your fans don;t like the song you need to either scrap it or totally revamp the song in to a new style.
Record Label Contract
Once you band has a gig in Helena you will continue to pass out fliers inviting all of the people to follow you on MySpace. Many of the people at the bar may of came with a friend and have never heard your music yet. You want to get all of the new followers you can. By getting all of your new followers in Helena then your fan base will spread even more.
At this point it is much easier to get some airplay on the radio. It is also easier too get the attention of record executives at major labels. If you continue to spread you fan base, write new songs and lyrics that are catchy, and keep you MySpace band profile actively updated then you will eventually become very successful in the music industry.