Local Wire

How Musicians Can Build a Great Music Community

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1) Be Supportive of The Other Bands I feel like this should be self-explanatory and is a super crucial starting point. Come early and stay late if you can. I understand working musicians bounce from gig to gig (as I do from time to time). However, I also try and not double-book nights of big shows for friends' projects. I love to get to shows early and catch new bands and make new friends. Be social and introduce yourself to everyone. No one wants to play to an empty room and not know anyone's name. However, this will happen frequently to opening bands. And for any band with a draw (local, national, or international), there was a time where your band didn't draw anyone but your closest friends when you begged them via text/phone to come out to your shows and pay $5 to see you and hang out with you. You don't have to like or see every band, but you really should know the bands in your community you can enjoy relationships with and support. Build true community in your music scene by supporting your friends' bands that you truly enjoy, and be genuinely thankful and happy for their successes, not just your own.

2) Be Positive About The City You Live and Play In I hear so much griping about how Phoenix is not a real city, there is not really a scene here, blah, blah, blah. If you haven't noticed, this is a real city, with real people doing real things. I am not saying Phoenix is Los Angeles, but it doesn't have to be or want to be. Yes, Phoenix is a little slower, so if you are craving that crazy pace of New York City or LA, it's not going to happen here. Phoenix metro area has been a great place to cultivate talent, build your confidence as an artist, and take it out into the world. If you do not like your environment, you have the power to change and influence. If you are that disgusted, maybe it's time for you to get out and find a new inspiration in your life. No one wants to hear someone they like talk bad about their hometown. All it does is tear down the people who are trying to make it better. So please, do not talk bad about the city you live and play in. There is no point to it. Remember what happened when Ron Burgundy said, "Go fuck yourself, San Diego"?

3) Be On Time/Courteous of Others' Stage Time Everyone's time is valuable, including your peers and fans that come to your show/play your show. They are choosing to make the time to be with you, and I think there is nothing more disrespectful than making everyone wait for your own ego to be stroked. I understand that shows do not always run on time, but there is big difference in making people wait on you because you can versus a little extra hustle to try and make up for some lost time throughout the event. There is nothing worst than being the last band and seeing your fans leave because they are tired of waiting on the other band to clear the stage.

4) Be Yourself I cannot stress this enough to every artist out there. The second you have lost "you," you have also lost your ability to genuinely connect with people. People are always looking for exciting people to connect and engage with. If you are a carbon copy of another artist, or if you are really ripping off their "vibe," people will see through it eventually. It's a lot easy to garner a quick "buzz" than it is to maintain one. I am not saying you have to constantly reinvent the wheel just to do so, but there has to be something distinct about you that's going to put you into the elite. And only you have the power to unlock that.

5) Be Humble and Stay Humble Being confident is different from being cocky. Egos and entitlement can kill the vibe and creativity of any artist. No matter what level of success you endure in your music career, always be humble and thankful. It didn't exist without your supporters, and you cannot ever forget that. Always keep working hard, because there is always someone who is working just as hard, if not harder, who is ready to replace you.

6) Be Professional Be courteous to your colleagues. We are all human, and strong personalities can, and do, clash. I understand sometimes things get out of hand (I am definitely not above a trite comment or two or three), but it's better to just walk away and leave things at bay. Don't post your beef on social media. Instead, concentrate of making the best "you" possible, and let the others make those careless, tasteless mistakes for you.

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Henri Benard
Contact: Henri Benard