There’s no one quite like Bob Dylan. After all, it’s hard to compete with a recording career of over 50 years, a long list of achievements and awards, and spots in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
But if the idea of pop princess Kesha covering a Dylan song doesn’t seem right, you may want to stay away from the newest 4-disc compilation “Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.” The project features newly-recorded Dylan covers by 80 artists, including Adele, Sting, Dave Matthews, punk rockers Bad Religion, country duo Sugarland, hip hop artist K’naan, and – yes, we’re not joking – Kesha.
Throughout his career, Dylan shared his talents and influence with fans all over the world, appearing on numerous television programs, headlining several music festivals, and touring extensively around Europe, Australia, and the U.S. If you have a band of your own, it’s important to follow in Dylan’s footsteps – that is, get out there and start playing more shows. Whether it be street performing, neighborhood gigs, or European tours (dream big!), here are 3 great reasons to play live:
1. You’ll Make New Fans
Fans – or your fans-to-be – can’t get excited about your music when you’re playing it for yourself in your rehearsal space, no matter how good it is. Recordings are good – and important – but there is nothing quite like a gig to really get your fans enthusiastic about your music. Think about your own experiences as a fan – are you ever quite as keyed up about music you love as you are when you walk out of a really great gig? A good live experience just makes your fans more loyal to you.
And what happens when your fans are loyal? They tell their friends. They bring their friends to your shows. Some of those friends will become your fans. And then they will tell their friends. And so on and so forth until you need to book a bigger venue to cram them all in.
2. You’ll Hone Your Craft
First of all, don’t shy away from playing live just because you’re not 100% sure you can hit every note without a flub 100% of the time. It’s fine to play when you’re a little rough around the edges – in fact, in some genres, getting too slick will lose you fans.
But the more you play live, the better you will get at it. Your sets will become tighter. Your confidence will grow. Getting comfortable on the stage is a crucial skill for a musician to have, and no, it didn’t just come naturally to all of your favorite bands. It’s something that takes practice, just like everything you do as a musician. You will only get better from show to show.
3. You’ll Open Doors
Live shows are the ultimate in networking opportunities for musicians. At every show, you have the chance of meeting (and making a good impression on) new bookers, promoters, music journalists, musicians, managers, agents and more. Even if, say, the local DJ you meet at your next show isn’t the one to put your new song in heavy rotation, maybe the journalist they mention your show to gets curious, seeks you out and writes a story about you. Maybe the manager of another band on the bill passes your music on to a label. The possibilities are endless – and every new face at a show is potentially the face that will make THE difference in your music career.
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