Podcasting as a tool for engaging, educating and entertaining has been growing rapidly over the past few years. There are two questions that I want to pose here: “What are the interesting existing podcasts aimed at trumpeters?” and “Is a podcast becoming an important marketing tool for today’s professional musician?”
There are a number of great trumpet-related podcasts that I like to listen to when I am on the move:
‘The Other Side of the Bell’ from Bob Reeves Brass – Every month or two, we get a new in-depth interview with top artists and educators. This year has seen some really interesting features with James Thompson, Jon Faddis, Marquis Hill, Randy Brecker, Caleb Hudson and Chris Coletti among others. You can get more details on this podcast here.
‘Trumpet Teacher Talk’ is a great podcast, each episode featuring a top trumpet teacher going in detail on one main pedagogical topic. We have not had a new episode a little while, but the back catalogue is definitely worth checking out here.
‘Trumpet Dynamics’ by James Newcomb is also a good listen. Interviews with a mixture of established and up-and-coming artists as well as comeback players and teachers. There is a nice focus on marketing and musical entrepreneurship too. You can get some more details here.
‘The Brass Junkies’ by Andrew Hitz and Lance LaDuke – Put together by top pros (although not trumpet players!) there is a great variety of interviews here and is definitely worth a visit.
A number of artists are also using podcasts as a way of engaging with and expanding their fanbase. It allows a much more personal touch than your typical Facebook and Twitter posts, and current trends show that more and more people are subscribing to podcasts than ever before. It gives an opportunity to put your message across in much more detail and allows the listener to feel that they are getting to know you better. It is also very cheap and easy to do, with minimal software/hardware requirements and cheap and easy hosting options.
There are a number of different approaches that you can take in developing a new podcast. For performers, it can be a way of bringing the listener with you to work – for instance many groups will do a tour podcast as they are on their travels. For teachers it can be a tool to promote your work, perhaps by offering particular courses available on podcast. For manufacturers and retailers it can be a way of offering added value to your customers through interviews (see Bob Reeves Brass above) and also bringing new customers in through a different door. The possibilities are endless, you just need something to talk about.
In a world that is becoming increasingly mobile and with the popularity of voice-activated technology in our homes (Alexa has become a important family member now!), convenience means that the written word plays a less important part in our lives. The R&D efforts that are currently being put into developing the uses of this technology further show that the big multi-million dollar tech companies agree with me. We need to think of podcasting as ‘YouTube on the move’, and be as proactive with creating audio as we are with video. After all, for all of us that enjoy making music, what we hear is always going to be our priority.