Sam Newsome

Sam Newsome
"The potential for the saxophone is unlimited." - Steve Lacy

The 55 Bar - Thursday, July 25, 2019

A Noise From The Deep: A Greenleaf Music Podcast with Dave Douglas

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Twitter Strategy

We all know Twitter as the social media platform through which we can communicate with our followers using 140 characters are less--devising what is affectionately known as a tweet. 

I'm not what one would call a habitual tweeter, but when I do compose one, I am amazed at how I never run out of ideas. In fact, you rarely hear of anyone getting tweeter's block--especially Donald Trump.

Twitter is a classic example of how limitations free you up creatively. And I've found it to be creatively liberating for these two reasons: 

(1) Due to being limited to 140 characters, there is no room to get so emotionally invested in what we're creating; 

(2) We don't see our tweets as something that would hurt us if they don't resonate with our followers. You always get another chance.

If we get few likes or if no one retweets what we write, we can just simply compose another one. No big deal. And we can tweet once per day, or 10 times per day. No one is going to yell at you.

When we perform live or release CD recordings, we can experience the same freedom felt when tweeting. The key is not putting so much emphasis on their importance. If one gig doesn't go well, book another one. Or better yet, organize a jam session at your home. Having your peers hear you sound good during a private session can lead to just as many opportunities as playing at a sold out New York City jazz club--maybe even more. Many of the folks at the jazz club won't be musicians looking to hire other musicians. 

And we all know how easy it is to make recordings nowadays. If you release something that does not yield positive feedback and you want another chance, but are low on funds, release a digital download-only recording. Record it on your phone, get it mastered, and put together some low budget artwork. You could release one per month if you wanted. It's just a matter of getting past the old paradigm where major labels had the monopoly. 

Nowadays, the monopoly belongs to the person with the most compelling ideas. 

And let me be clear: I'm not advocating quantity over quality. I'm only stressing that we try to create as many opportunities as possible. I've never met anyone who was penalized for trying too hard. 

There is no shortage of opportunities; they only exist when we refused to recognize them. And they may not always be the ideal performance and recording situations, but they all serve a similar purpose: to help us become better communicators. 

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