With a Little Help From My Friends by Monica L. Yasher Pittsburgh PA,BTW-We are on the road to the Stanley Cup!

Posted on 6/05/2009 by Monica Yasher

In the music business it isn’t about what you have done or what you are thinking about doing. It’s about what are you working on and with WHO? You are only as good as the job you are presently doing-at any level. Can’t imagine why we artists have to be such high performers, huh? Why do those feelings of great doubt creep into our minds? Go figure. Do amazing things and become forgotten. Put the spin, do amazing things and become even more amazing with the next thing, if you are prepared.

For me, I try to prepare for where I want to go musically by attending various seminars throughout the year. So, that's what I did this past Saturday. This is the only avenue I have at this point in my career to speak with people who have the expertise to drive my songwriting to be heard. I am a needy friend right now. But, I know it will help take me to a place to be a giving friend someday. You need to go to these things to learn because you just can’t know it all. Think about it, in 20 years we have gone from vinyl, 8 track, cassette, cd’s, mp3’s, and now single song downloads. Do you know what is coming tomorrow? I bet you could make some friends who do!

Friends are invaluable. I’m not just speaking the music sense of the deal either. It is these friendships that you create that help move you through your musical journey and yes, life. You can not do music alone. You can not do life alone. Do you realize that these industry reps, seasoned performers, #1 songwriters are people? They have dogs, cats, kids, problems. They are prime friend candidates. Do you know why? These people are special-extremely special. They are people who love music. And, you know what? If you are reading this, you do too! The basis of a great friendship is having the same likes. What a great place to find a friend! I have friends from songwriting seminars, blues camps, and music industry seminars. I hope to make some more from writing here. From my last music industry seminar, here are the some ideas that I have learned that I will tie back into friends:

Because of this mere fact, you should not get out there every week playing. You need to minimize your playing out so you bring in MORE people LESS-rather than LESS people MORE often.
Why? You only have so many friends in this local scene who can pay to see you every week! The bar owners then see small numbers and consequently you may find it difficult to obtain the next gig. This was a big revelation to me. Build the hype slowly.

Determine who the local bands are that have similar sounds and book joint shows.
Why? They need you as much as you need them right now. By combining both fan bases you both will do well in the bar owners eyes.

Suggest to the bar owner to play 1 hour earlier and quit 1 hour earlier with the consideration that you and the band will stick around for a meet and greet session at the end. Or, have a reception party prior to your playing. Make it an event! People remember events.
Why? This is a means for you to connect to your audience. From this, obtain email addresses for direct hits to people who want to be your friends. They did come to your party after all!

Those email addresses that you have from the events you have done-use them! Let those friends know when you will be playing out again. Send two blasts: one 2 weeks prior, one that same week of the event.
Why? This will help you to begin to get that fan base.

You have 10,000 myspace friends you haven’t even met. You think you are ready for life on the road. Do your homework before playing with these new friends. Did you do any analysis on where those myspace friends are? Seriously. Myspace is global.
Why? What’s the sense of being lonely in nofriendtown when you could bE having a great time in allfriendstown. But you gotta know where to go.

Once you know who your friends are and where, start looking up the bands similar to yours in that area. See where they are playing and start making some calls to those venues and begin to place yourself. You can even contact those bands and begin to be real friends! Maybe open for one another?
Why? Since you have so many friends in your town right now, wouldn’t it be cool to have an opener? And, it’s always nice to have a big brother looking after you when you’re not at home.

I have to say in my music journey that I never would have expected the friends that I have made. When I think about it, it is an amazing thing this thing called music. It is so much more than just music. I hope you like the blues song of the week. There can be a good side to the blues-and that’s the friends that we meet and keep while listening or playing the blues. Till next week go to the wild blue yonder.

Performance of the Week: Play the link as you read this for a special effect. It solidifies the message today.

Album of the Week:

PS Yeah, I’ve sang out of key a few times, and my friends still stood on that stage with me-Thanks Guys!

Copyright © 2009 Copyright Monica L. Yasher. All Rights Reserved.

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

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Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

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