Digital media and musicians
“..a phone picture of your instrument can become a social object”. Musician and social media guru Steve Lawson @solobasssteve shares advice for musicians.
[ Notes taken during Steve Lawson’s seminar, Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds, October 2014 ]
Four key things to take away from the session
- Understand that your input into social media as an artist should be to based around ‘conversation’ not ‘broadcast’ (me!, me!, me!)
- Remember playfulness and “make beautiful things”
- Do an audit of what you think is good use of social media and use that as a basis for developing your own style
- Once started be consistent
1,9,90 – Who provides content?
Social theory – see wikipedia.org/wiki/1%25_rule_(Internet_culture)
Get an online toolkit:
- http://instagram.com as aggregator – set up to automatically send to FB, twitter etc
- iftt.com – receipes to link different social media
- bandcamp.com – for your audio.
Jazz and improvised music not suited to ’shallow grazing’ e.g. iTunes style 30 second audio preview clips
* Audiences will listen to jazz at jazz festivals rather than reality of listing to jazz at home
How much time to spend online working on social media?
You still need to practice etc
- Think of spending 15 minutes taking a picture of your instrument in the practice room and uploading to instagram as a ‘fag break’
- Some good free phone apps for making pics more arty – snapseed app (mac or android). Picture of double bass taken with phone camera and edited with snapseed app on phone
Make better use of studio time
If spending money to go into the studio then why not combine with a live streamed gig in the evening ?
You can sell tickets or use a tip jar. Check out these websites:
Paying for music = special experience
Arts economy motivated by gratitude.
“Wow, I enjoyed that, thank you – let me give you some money”
Getting money for your music downloads?
Letting people download with offer to pay what they feel it’s worth to them
A few people may want to pay substantially more than £10
People downloading for free? Why not consider this as a valuable investment of their time if they spend an hour listening to your music. They may return for more music, share their find (you) on social media and show gratitude (pay something to you).
Social networks allow the listener / consumer to build a 1-1 relationship with the artist
If they have that relationship more likely to want to show gratitude
How to help people find your music?
So much recorded music online – need for filtering.
Old world examples – John Peel, Fiona Talkington BBC R3. Who are today’s filters?
Bandcamp fans / artists act as filter.
Imagine social circles like a venn diagram, overlapping circles with soft gradient edges.
Too many musicians have only one big circle full of other musicians!
Creative Commons licence
Think about which Creative Commons licence to use? Benefits of letting someone else re-mix your work?
Different online models for artists
Tag line “Artists For An Ethical and Sustainable Internet #StopArtistExploitation”
* Early adopters of new social web trends have an advantage – keep your eyes open on what’s coming next.
Extrovert v Introvert – internet favours loud mouths. Find your own way to communicate.
Find your style
Do an audit of what you think is good, or you like to read and use as a basis for developing your own style.