Networking is just a fancy word for making friends.
If you’re new to a scene or don’t know any other musicians/bands in your town, here are some tips to get you started.
Be where the music is
To get into a scene, start off by attending open stage nights and local shows on a regular basis. Talk to other musicians after the show. Typically, musicians love talking about their own music. Show some interest and they’ll be interested in you. Remember to send an email/MySpace/Facebook comment after the show to remind them who you are.
Hang out with other bands
Musicians tend to hang out with each other. The more people that see your face, the more opportunities you have to develop friendships and relationships with like-minded people. You start going to a lot of local shows, you’ll start getting invited to parties, jams, etc..
Join your local music industry association
Joining your local music industry association can be tremendously helpful. In most cases these associations are your link to a larger music world. They can provide funding opportunities, workshops, industry tips, and can give you a solid base to expand your own contacts and music industry knowledge.
Go on tour with another band
Touring as merch guy/tour manager will give you the experience of what it’s like to be on tour. When you’re ready, you can bring that knowledge to your own band’s tour.
Work at a live music club
Get a job at your favorite venue and get to know the person who books the shows. You’ll see how bands approach the booker and why the booker chooses one band over the other. You’ll have a solid connection to the booker if you want to play at the venue. You’ll see a lot of bands and know what differentiates a great live band from a so-so band. You’ll also get to interact with bigger touring acts and build connections there.
Work at a music store
Get a job at your favorite music store. Musicians need to buy gear, so you’ll meet all sorts of like-minded people. You’ll learn and get to test out the latest recording gear. You’ll learn sales, you may even get deals on gear, and you may get some shelf space if your band has a CD.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl6jwab3HWk&feature=related]
Take Control of Your Music