Have you been inspired by your favorite Buffalo artists? Many people dream of breaking into their local music scene — but whether you’re a Buffalo native or the new kid in town, it’s never easy to take those first steps towards a career in music.
In this post, we’ll be sharing some of our top tips for breaking into the music scene. Whatever your style, these ideas could help you find your feet and get the ball (rock and) rolling.
1. Read Your Local Newspapers — All Of Them
From searching for the best online piano lessons to signing a record deal, the road to becoming a professional performer can be a long and winding one.
One of the best strategies to break into music is to know your local scene inside out. If you prefer to find your news on social media, you might not have picked up a newspaper in years — but your local music sections should become compulsory reading.
Aim to read the entire music section of local papers like The Buffalo News, every week if possible. Reading the music section will help you discover the sort of venues, artists, and releases that are being covered. You can also check out a venue’s online calendar. Town Ballroom posts its schedule months in advance so you have plenty of time to schedule a show.
By familiarizing yourself with the industry, you can stay at the forefront of the music scene and always know who, where, and what is finding success.
2. Support Your Local Events
This is one of the most important tips of all. Showing up to see local bands isn’t just a great way to discover new music. It’s also a crucial part of safeguarding your local music scene, helping to support venues, and giving fledgling acts (just like you) a chance to perform.
From Saturday night open mics to local festivals, there’s plenty of choice in Buffalo for whatever style of music you’re into. And who knows — you might even bump into you next band member or a future fan!
3. Network, Network, Network
We’ve all heard the saying that life is about who you know, not what you know. While this isn’t always the case, networking is a great way to make connections in your local music scene. Going to gigs will give you lots of opportunities to speak to people in the industry, from promoters to other performers.
Although it’s tempting, try not to have an agenda when networking. You never know who you’ll meet or whether they’ll be able to help you, so focus on forming meaningful connections with people you respect rather than begging people to give you a gig or listen to your demo.
Most promoters will be used to musicians trying to sell themselves, so save that speech on why you think you’re the next big thing. Simply show up, be friendly, and get involved.
4. Join Social Media Groups
We may have said you should start reading the newspapers, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect social media. Check Facebook for local musicians’ groups and join as many as you can. If there isn’t one which caters to your niche, you can always start your own and advertise it in existing groups.
Whether you’re looking for other musicians to jam with or even want to organize an open mic, these groups are one of the best places to meet like-minded local people.
If you’re craving connections within Buffalo’s music scene, it’s time to follow your drive and go see some shows!