How to Get Your Music Listened To and Get Reviewed
I know we talk a lot about the benefits of having non-promotional content in your arsenal, but being a full-time musician is as much about promoting yourself and your music as it as about perfecting your craft and your marketing.
You could have the best band in the world, but if you don't know how to market yourself, you're going to get lost in the shuffle. While exposure can open you up to criticism, that's a small price to pay for the ability to grow your fan base significantly.
Here are a few tips that will help you to reach a much wider audience with your music.
Network with Other Bands
The music industry can be competitive, but that doesn't mean bands aren't looking out for one another. To gain exposure, you should network with other bands as much as possible. Dotted Music Blog suggests, “always be in networking mode. Be prepared to meet people who might be able to help you everywhere you go. You never know who you are going to meet or who they might know. Also, be aware that many times influential people won’t reveal who they really are until after they have gotten to know you.”
When you want to get your music heard, one approach is to get in touch with local bands in your area and ask about opportunities. If they have enough influence, they should be able to get you in touch with some reviewers. There are a few things to keep in mind, though. You should never be pushy or presumptive about getting your music heard. You should also understand that not every band is going to "get you". This is seldom meant to be personal. When you receive criticism, you can disagree with it, but you shouldn't let it demoralize you.
Let's just say thick skin is a pre-requisite to be a songwriter or musician.
Send Your Music to Local Blogs
So many people find out about their new favorite bands from the searching online. However, you can't just throw up links to your music in hopes that people find it. People inherently value the testimony of others to lead them toward great tunes, so be sure to look for local blogs to send your music to.
Podium recommends, “just be sure that the music blog has some sort of authority, as while many consumers will listen to recommendations, they will only do so if they perceive the review to be authentic and from an authoritative source.” These should be ones that cover music similar to yours. Don't try to send your heavy metal tracks to a blog focused on country music.
You should also include a compelling description in the subject line and body of the email. Include any projects or songs that you anticipate making the best impression. Remember too that blogs receive huge amounts of music to review, and they might not all be able to accept or even respond to your submission. Take time to research and get to know the editors if you can, as it can show that you view them as equal to you.
If you're looking for a local blog or one within your genre, search Google with something like: "your city or state" "submit music for review". You could also replace your city with your genre to create a crossover list.
Ok, this goes without saying... but I'm going to say it anyway.
When you listen to your music, consider what makes it stand out. You might be playing all the notes right and have a nice sound, but is it going to be distinct enough for listeners? Is it your voice? Your instrumentation? Your lyrics? Or even your live show?
Whatever the case, remember, your music isn't about being competent. It's about being exceptional and creating an emotional connection.
If you're not getting much attention for your music, consider how it could be made to stick out more. MusicTech breaks it down like this, “don’t reach for that preset on your favorite synth. If you do, tweak it enough that it’s uniquely yours. Often, when a new synth is released, top producers will use the presets to create successful tracks. Suddenly, everyone who follows with tracks using those same presets will be accused of trying to sound like that producer or artist. Create sounds that are yours by twisting those knobs, adding interesting effects or even layering them with other sounds.”
You don't have to overhaul your sound in a way that betrays your instinct. Instead, you can further enhance it through more nuanced songwriting. Keep at it, and you'll see just how much better your music becomes. Eventually, people will be clamoring to review it and talk about just how impressive it is.
The most successful musical acts didn't get that way overnight. They had to start from the bottom and work their way up through sheer effort and determination. If you believe in your music, then you owe it to your art (and to your future fans) to present it to the world.
These are just a few tips to help spark your creativity. And to help start your research, check out this RSS feed of the Top 30 Indie Music Blogs.When you’re busy making music, keeping up with Facebook or other social media can feel like a hassle. Let us help you! Check out this course for several ways to engage fans on Facebook so you can spend more time getting reviewed!