You now have access to the exclusive Camp Electric magazine. Each year students receive this limited edition magazine and now you can download your own copy for free!
Music can be something very personal. Whether you are a musician yourself or you simply enjoy listening to your favorite artists, music is personally affecting and hits each person in a unique way. If you’re wanting to get your Christian band noticed, however, your music needs to grow and be heard by the right people. So how does one take a band that’s brand new or only known in some local circles and get the word out? We’ve got a few ideas.
Build an Identity
Have you ever been to an open mic night where each performer seems like they’re just aimlessly covering a popular song? There’s’ a difference between a forgettable act and one that has an identity. If you look out across the history of music, you’ll see a number of artists who were noticed because they stood out. Your Christian band probably won’t be the next Prince, Elton John, or Elvis Presley (for obvious reasons), but that doesn’t mean you can’t build an identity for yourself in a similar way. Looking at today’s Christian music landscape, there are many talented groups which can get lost in the shuffle, be they worship teams, singer/songwriters, or rock groups. If your band doesn’t have an identity, it’s going to be easier for an audience to forget who you are.
So how does one build an identity? The most obvious way is through your music. What kind of message are you trying to send? One Christian band that does this really well is Skillet. It’s hard to hear one of the group’s songs and not know it’s them. Their lyrics are about empowerment through faith and resisting evil and the hard rock sound complements the message well. Not all of your songs have to sound the same (there’s already enough of that these days), but you should think about what priorities you have as a musician with a platform. Another way you can build your band’s identity is through your stage presence. Are you a high energy group who wants to make the air feel electric? How about a low-key acoustic group where every word you sing lingers through the air? Find who you are and develop that persona. You can also build an identity on the internet, which takes us to our next point...
Be Active on Social Networks
Unless someone happens to see you live, how are they ever going to know you exist? Social networking on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud have changed the game for artists who want to get noticed. By participating in social media your band can track interest from fans, pass on information about performances and public appearances, share music/videos, publish road blogs or video recaps, and so much more. Your Christian band will be noticed by more people when they see you online than when they see your band name at the bottom of a poster.
Once you have begun to see a following online, you can choose how much you would like to interact with fans. For some Christian bands social media is strictly about posting concert dates and album releases, while others want to share daily experiences, pass along funny memes, and do just about everything you like to do on your own page. Engaging in these areas allows for fans to develop a deeper connection and be more invested in your success.
Take Your Music Seriously
Let’s not forget about the main thing. If you want your Christian band to get noticed, your music has to be worth the effort. We live in an entertainment saturated culture where people can listen to more than 1000 bands with a few clicks of the mouse. If you’re not going to take your music seriously, why should anyone else?
Take time to develop your sound. Craft your lyrics and think about the message your songs are sending. You shouldn’t settle for whatever just gets you by, but innovate and adapt. For a lot of younger musicians, it may be difficult to balance school and music, but it can be done. Work with what you have in terms of gear, time, etc. and go from there. Not everyone’s daily grind is the same, but you have to put in the work if you want people to care about your music. Take advantage of any practice time you can have together while also working on your own playing abilities and songwriting ideas when you have a minute alone. It’s one thing for your music to get lost in the shuffle with a dozen great bands in your area, but don’t let your own work ethic be your downfall.
Take Advantage of Opportunities for Your Christian Band
When we think about great entertainers, writers, and musicians throughout the last 50 years, one thing that often made the difference between fame and not making it was taking advantage of opportunities. You can be the Christian band ever, but if you aren’t willing to step out and give your music a chance, no one will ever know about it. No matter what talent level you are at, it takes a little courage and ingenuity to take advantage of the right opportunities.
As a Christian band, you will have to be ready for just about any opportunity to play your music or get your name out there. Maybe you will need to spend summers and winters playing at youth camps. If your music aims at an older audience than that, you might look for chances to play at churches or conferences. If your band is brand new at this, you might have to take some humble pie and play some not-so-great shows. Give them your all and occasionally one of those shows will give your career a boost. The funny thing about all of the opportunities out there is that you won’t know which one is really going to pay off.
This isn’t some get-rich-quick scheme where in four easy steps your band goes from zeroes to heroes. Instead we’re giving you a few simple tips to help you hone your skills and take a step forward in your musical journey. Your Christian band may be the next Casting Crowns or for KING & COUNTRY, but no matter how far you make it, we hope the group plays music to the glory of God and enjoys every step of the path God has laid before it.
One way for young musicians to take that next step is by attending Camp Electric. We bring together artists from the biggest Christian bands to help kids learn in the classroom, on the stage, and as part of a band. Find out how you can be our next student by clicking on the link below.