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David J. Spangenberg
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Commentary #4

"How Come That Band draws So Many People?"

by David J. Spangenberg
Music Business Consultant
Educator & Advisor &
Contract Specialist

© 2004 David J. Spangenberg

I was talking to this singer of a local band that we'll call "the Wannabees" the other day and he was wondering why his band wasn't able to draw too many people to their performances. He wondered how this other band who "wasn't half as good", drew lots more people! Well, I had heard of this "other band" by name, and I decided to go see them perform- and, I took the singer with me.

The place was packed! I could just about walk around in there. The band got up to play and the singer was right- this band didn't have the greatest musicians or singers. However, it was quite obvious why they drew lots of people: they hypnotized their audience. You couldn't take Your eyes off them!

I had this singer think about a wide variety of well-known performers: Michael Jackson, Prince, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Frank Sinatra. Now, what do these people, who performed totally different styles of Music, have in common besides obviously being well-known? None of them can be seriously considered "good-looking" and none of them have particularly great voices.

One major plus, however, that is obvious to me about these Performers, is that each of them was definitely a great "Communicator"! It didn't matter whether it was on records or on stage, they communicated with You!

The reason the Wannabees as well as many other bands will never make it is because they don't communicate with their audience, and they can't communicate with their audience because they spend too much of their time on stage or in a recording studio- thinking. They're thinking about any and everything instead of their audience.

They're thinking about how they and their fellow musicians and singers look and sound; they're thinking about whether or not the audience will like them; they're thinking about whether or not they'll hit the notes they have to hit; they're thinking about their equipment; they're thinking about all of the above, some of the above, none of the above- it doesn't matter. All their thinking, planning, worrying, whatever You want to call it, should have been nailed down before their performance.

Excepting their friends and relatives, whose opinions are slanted, the Wannabees won't be able to fool their audience. If they want to grab their audience and make them a fan of theirs, their audience has to feel like the Artist is talking personally to them; in effect, including them in their performance.

The audience isn't dumb! If the Artist is too busy thinking of themselves and their music, instead of feeling what they're doing, the audience won't be able to become a part of "the experience". To capture an audience and become a huge success, the music's got to bypass the Artist's brain and come straight from the heart!

Simply put, it's impossible to "think" and "communicate" at the same time- they are opposites! Thinking is inward, because You're thinking about Yourself, putting "a wall up" between Yourself and Your audience; while communicating is outward, opening Yourself up to Your audience.

Now, obviously, an Artist can't draw a lot of people into their camp unless they're properly promoted, but what good is promoting an Artist unless the Artist can make them come again and again once they hear the Artist or see them perform. If a person becomes a "fan", they will talk about the Artist to others, ["You gotta see this band!"] and "the others" will talk to still more others, and word-of mouth, the greatest kind of promotion, will occur.

Then the singer or band will graduate and become more than just a Singer or Band - they'll become known by their Name!

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