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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

Ryan Collings is otherwise known as Stanmore Phoenix. Creating his unique alternative acoustic art rock on the streets of Sydney is where you can find him. Or at his blog you can find a bunch of links down the right-hand margin.

References (1)

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Reader Comments (3)

In the interest of forwarding other musicians check out

April 23 | Unregistered CommenterBlack Mouse

Oh, it's definitely still a competition.

The only question is what kind of competitor your are -- are you a good sport or a needy, hateful little poodle?

Smart competitors want good competition and level playing fields. For every point we can make about the benefits of community, there's also an equally valid Machiavellian logic to making yourself look good and becoming indispensable to your enemies.

April 24 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

Hei Justin Boland,
I'd say there are two ways to see our world (same as the music-world) according to what this article was about.
There is a selfish/Ego-interested way
a NON selfish/Ego-interested one

i dont want to say to your comment reveals you as a selfish person, but that you await a profit from your actions/efforts.

and as i understood this article; it was exactely about a non direct profit of ones actions.

And to Article; I totaly agree. Foremost with "music is not a competition" that may be translatd into "music shouldnt be a competition"

March 7 | Unregistered CommenterBH-LilPepper

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