You’re probably thinking we are a little crazy for saying this, but new bands need to focus on playing shows that are more outside of their hometown. It’s always hard to break into areas that don’t know you, but if no one knows you yet, why not start outside of your own area?
If you play too much in your home town area, people won’t feel bad if they miss your show because they can always catch another one. If you’re out playing all over the place, it’s almost a treat when you do come home to your area. It gives them a sense of wanting your music. Start that early on in your career.
Making friends is awesome! Music, and the business of music, is an inherently social thing, which can be hard for all of the artsy introverts out there to come to terms with. But the good thing about playing other towns is you get to find all the other artsy introverts out there.
Learning the ropes on a smaller scale can help prepare you for the longer tours in the future. A lot of problems pop up when you tour, and learning how to identify the issues and solve them quickly and efficiently while still being relatively close to home is a good idea.
When you’re not playing in front of your friends and family, you’re bound to get a more “honest” reaction. Your home town is going to come out to support you because of who you are, but the people that don’t know you and hear your music, will be able to make a real decision based only on your music and your performance. It will give you the feedback to see what’s working and what’s not. It will be like you’re a totally different and more awesome version of yourself when you do come back home to play.