How to go from being a “local artist” to “touring musician”

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From Grassrootsy:

STEP 1: PERFECT YOUR PERFORMANCE

Play as many open stages as your can to network with others and solidify your stage presence. Become a familiar face and make sure you get to really know the people. Give this a 6-month time period.

STEP 2: BOOK SHOWS IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Build your following little by little in the areas where your people already are. When you first begin, you will be playing for your friends. Eventually over time your friends will bring their friends to your shows. Those friends will bring more friends…and after some time you won’t recognize even half your audience. This is a good thing. If you are still playing just for your friends in 3 years, then you will know you haven’t accomplished anything. Give this 1-2 years…until you feel like you are very connected and rooted in your city.

STEP 3: EVALUATE

At this point, you should begin to drastically limit the number of shows you are playing in your hometown. In fact, you should expect that all the work you have done in Step 2 will begin to pay off. You shouldn’t have to actively book your own hometown. People will begin to reach out to you to ask you to co-bill, play a private gig, headline an event…etc. If you’ve spent the last 1-2 years wisely, then you’ve become a staple in your city’s music scene and your job has paid off.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Grassrootsy