Twitter and The Band – How To Make Beautiful Music

October 28, 2009 at 10:52 pm 1 comment

DSC02642Twitter and the High School Band – it’s like a mirror image. Artistic. Noisy. Vital. Here are 5 tips to make the most of both.

I just attended my nephew’s high school band concert. He plays the trombone in the symphony band, and since I don’t get to see him often, it was a great pleasure to hear his music live. And it all reminded me of Twitter.

Both have a relatively small but incredibly devoted group of followers. Both groups of fans have an equally difficult time explaining to non-followers their passions. Both can receive lifelong rewards for their continued appreciation of the craft, if they promise to do more than just follow.

Here are the simple rules for the continued benefit and growth of staying in and supporting the high-school band – as well as Twitter.

  1. Be a student of the form. When I was in the high school band, I recall the best musicians were those who played or attempted to play more than one instrument. Continued experimentation and exploration into the depth of the art always delivered better performance. Same for Twitter. If you do more than just tweet – like communicating through blogs, experimenting with a variety of search tools and being active in online communities, you’ll be a far more valuable citizen of Twitterville.
  2. Follow the leaders. This goes beyond simply keeping time with the conductor. If success in band was that easy, you’d need nothing more than a metronome. Listen to and take guidance from the band leader – like following Chris Brogan, Mashable, and @ev himself – and you will discover new worlds in the arts. Leaders will take you beyond your own borders, introducing you to new people, new ideas and new challenges.
  3. Respect your place in the group. As a member of the band, you must play softly when directed, and you’ll get your spotlight moments when they’re due. Your commitment to the group means the group itself is most important. If you want to be a soloist, take your horn out back and blow all by yourself, maybe someone will listen. Similarly, if you want to write for yourself (and all about yourself), pencil like crazy in your journal then lock it up at night.
  4. Judge the participation, not the content. Anyone who has heard a high school band knows this is the most important rule. And if you’ve heard the same high school band twice, you, too, are a true believer! Learning the art takes time, involves mistakes, and often sounds like a lot of noise. But practice – showing up regularly and participating – leads to amazing improvements, maybe even a pro career. Of course, many beginning tweeters make horrible noises, too. But by showing up again and again, they’re soon tweeting like songbirds.
  5. Learn to appreciate all musical styles. I’m always amazed to hear of the musical influences of some of my favorite musicians. Then it always makes sense – the best musicians opened their eyes and ears wide and allowed classical, jazz, R&B, rock and more to enter their musical spheres. Your tweeting universe needs to be equally broad. Into politics? You should follow Obama as well as Limbaugh.

Yes, there is noise. Some of it is probably coming from you. So listen carefully, be a good student and know your place. You may soon be asked to move up to first chair.


Entry filed under: Branding, Communications, Social Media, Writing.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. hansenhouse  |  October 30, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I love music, and I am learning to love Twitter, hoping I can contribute to it.


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