So here are my 3 tips to strengthen good karma in the indie music community:
1. Online: Engage with others on social networking sites. A lot of indie musicians seek out other indies online because they are genuinely interested in their music and/or want to glean some advice from a different perspective regarding the common path both are on. So if another musician engages you online be respectful and courteous enough to give them a response. Even if someone has a negative comment or doesn't like your blog post or your music or whatever that's an opportunity to ask the other person to explain their comment further and get to the root of what's on their mind--even if you both disagree mutual respect can be built in the process.
2. At shows: When you play shows and are on a bill with other bands, even if they're not of the same genre, don't be pretentious or egotistical or stand-off-ish or overly competitive to the point that you forget to just be human and easy-to-get-along with. No one likes those shows having to perform back-to-back with other bands that think they're huge stars already and anyone they meet should be flattered to be in their presence. Just be easy-to-work-with and get along with, be genuine and respectful because you never know exactly who you're going to meet--they could become your next best contact or they may know someone else in the industry who can help you by way of an introduction. This is not an industry where you can afford to burn any bridges.
3. Overall: What's great to see, after being in this industry after a while, is that you tend to run into the same folks often. In other words it ends up being a smaller circle of regular players that you keep running into at various gigs and events. As that happens you begin to become friends, and you now have a network of people to call when you have a gig and at the last minute get sick and need to find another musician to fill your slot. And if you've built positive reciprocal relationships, what goes around certainly will come around, and those relationships will serve you well.
Summary: So what did we learn here? The common theme is that being a respectful, down-to-Earth, genuine human being will actually serve you well in building relationships in the music industry. Be yourself and be sincere, offer your own advice and assistance as often as you can--trust me the more you give, the more you receive--and focus on building positive relationships.
Posted by: Nick Venturella