Networking in your Rehearsal Space
So you're packed into your rehearsal studio. There's literally a hundred other bands who rehearse within a hundred yards of you. There are probably countless connections to be made and ways that you guys can collaborate in order to fuel your respective bands, but it so rarely happens. I think it's time that we all work together to make rehearsal spaces across the country a little more effective and turn them into the mecca for artists that they could be. I know that this can be really tricky and often a little hokey so I wanted to take the time to look at how connections between bands can be formed and try and figure out what might be an effective path forward in order to capitalize on the opportunities that are just behind the curtain.
First and foremost I think that it's easy to get tunnel vision when you are rehearsing and this makes sense. You have three hours to prepare eight songs for your show next week, you don't really have time to be dicking around talking to people. But the odds are that your band rehearses weekly if you're renting a rehearsal space month to month. You probably don't have a show coming up all the time, and same with everyone else in the space. Obviously you need to be somewhat socially aware but becoming buddy buddy with someone you see in the space all the time is only going to help your band. I think it's important to realize that the people rehearsing in these types of studios are all in underground bands, and regardless of genre they probably have a lot of the same ideas and core beliefs that drive them to create music. Aren't you curious to find out more?
Now I understand that a lot of people feel that knocking on a bands door while they are rehearsing to tell them they are rad is weird and kind of neckbeardy, but there are other ways to do it. I know a lot of bands who have been charmed and made connections after another band in the rehearsal space slipped a message under their door when they weren't rehearsing. I know other bands who sometimes, post rehearsal when they are just drinking beers sit in their space with the door open inviting people to come in and chat with them about their work. It's not a hard thing to reach out and to make friends this way and then you can use those connections to help your band flourish. Now some of those things might feel a little awkward at first, but if you come at it wholeheartedly and truly expressing your passion for the art then people are going to see that.
Beyond that I think it's always good to put up posters in your rehearsal space and on your door, with the head of the spaces permission of course. Now I think you need to be careful how you pose these. Show announcements work but everyone does that and that's not really going to work in your favor. What might work though is for example putting up a tray of download cards for interested parties to take and download your bands music. I've seen bands who really get into that idea and even tape on a piece of chocolate to each download card so that people have a positive association with the band. I know that this can come off as a little bit silly and might just lead to people stealing your chocolate, but the odds are tactics like that will win over a fan or two, and that's how the game is played, not in yards but in inches.
Long story short – being in a band is hard and it's not always easy to go for resources, especially when people are jaded and mean like they are in New York City. Sometime so you need to try and push past that though in order to refine a better future for your band. Not everyone wants to fight for the music and so if you can find someone willing to really go for it with you then you need to latch on to them and make sure that your work together grows and gets the attention that you both deserve. It's not an easy path to the top and some of the networking will be painful, but I don't think you chose this path because it would be easy.