Articles / Commentary
Drummer Cafe


Serving drummers and percussionists since 1996.

If you are a solo artist or in a group/band where you need to build your brand, fan base and/or listening audience, these eight different suggestions are definitely approaches you need to be taking (in no particular order). All of this assumes that you are actively performing, which is the best way to promote what you do as a musician.

  • Direct mail can be one the most powerful forms of marketing your band's live shows. Using a well-designed postcard can work much more effectively than a sealed newsletter or other sealed form of marketing materials. Postcards also cost about 30% less to mail. When using direct mail techniques you must start acquiring a large number of names, home addresses, and e-mail addresses to develop your mailing list. Put your friends and other people you know on your list. Be sure at every show to try to get every person in the bar or club on your list. That means you need someone other then a band member to work your list. It is proven that if you have a female working your mailing list you will get a much higher sign up rate. Sad but true.
  • Passing out hand bills is effective but only in large volume. The response percentage on hand bills is between 6% to 10%, so plan on passing out at least a thousand for each gig.
  • Posters are very effective, assuming you can catch somebody's attention. Make sure your poster is at least 16 inches by 20 inches and is in full color. It can be expensive to have these posters professionally printed so in the meantime find a friend who has a talent for visual art and put him or her to work.
  • Your call list can be your most powerful weapon when trying to get a solid following. When comprising your call list have every member write down every one they know along with corresponding phone numbers. I'll bet you'll have close to 100 names! Every 2 weeks personally invite every one on your calling list. Try to get 5 more people on your call list weekly.
  • A newsletter can be a great way for somebody to get to know your band without actually listening to you. Be sure to make your newsletter interesting and comedic to assure that your readers will be more motivated to see your live show.
  • Sending weekly e-mails to your fan base is a great way to generate a consistent turn out to all your gigs. Start obtaining e-mail addresses from anyone who might enjoy your music. Try to get 5 new e-mail addresses a day and start sending weekly reminders of your performances. Offer a discount at the door if they print out the e-mail and bring it to the show. In addition to providing an additional incentive to attend the show, you will also get an indication of who is responding to your online marketing tactics. The best part about an e-mail list is that it's virtually free to operate!
  • Design and maintain your own website, complete with audio, video and performance calendar. The Internet is like the world's yellow-pages — a great way to give the general public access to you and your band 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Be sure that you design your site in such a way that you keep all of your fans with the slow connections happy; pages should within 8 seconds. Also make a point to periodically update your website's pages ... keeping your calendar current AND accurate, as well as including any recent information you may have about you and/or your band.
  • Use social media resources on the Internet (eg. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) to connect with current as well as potential fans and clients.

Bart Elliott

Bart Elliott is a degreed professional musician with a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance, and Master of Music post-graduate work. His 40+ years in the music and entertainment industry, over 100 album recordings to his credit, as well as an exhaustive understanding of contemporary and classical music makes him a complete and skilled master musician.

Bart continues to work as an active drummer, percussionist, composer, producer, music arranger, director, comedian, MC, educator, writer and visual artist. He is the owner and creator of, which he founded in December of 1996.

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