Your musician bio: What it needs and what it doesn’t

biookEver see the phrase “TL;DR” online? It stands for “Too long; didn’t read” and it’s the last thing you want someone saying about your musician bio on your site. Now: this is not to say your bio can’t have some length to it – it can! – but if you’re gonna write  a novel, you better have a damn good story to tell.

Because that’s what it should be: your story. And like any good story, if you spend too much time focusing on things that are irrelevant to the overarching plot, you’re going to bore your reader and they’re going to put your book down.

Of course, there’s more to a great bio than just being succinct. This is your chance to craft your image, focus on the story you want to tell – which, in turn, should help a writer tell that same story – and put your best foot forward.

So, that being said, how do you make your bio shine?

Your musician bio serves a few key purposes: introducing potential fans and visitors to you and your story thus far, and giving journalists a jump-off point for penning an article, show preview, or record review about you and your music.

Do they care about where you grew up, when you started playing music? Probably not.

Do they care about the other local bands you played in previously that no one has heard of? Probably not.

Do they care about how your band met, how many incarnations it took to get to your current lineup, and how you’ve learned to make music together? Probably not. Every band does this.

Do they care about famous people you know or have “shared stages with”? Probably not. Lots of bands open for other bands. Did Drake take you on tour? Worth mentioning. Did you once play a festival (on the local stage) that John Fogerty also played (on the main stage)? Not worth mentioning.

Do they care about awards you’ve won? Depends, but if you start listing them off, it’s just that: a list. Of you bragging about yourself.

So what DO they care about?

You. What makes you unique. The challenges you’ve faced to get where you are. The inside scoop on what it is that makes you think you can stand out from the pack and bring something new to such a saturated market. If you can’t determine that and get it into a few paragraphs, you probably don’t stand much of a chance grabbing anyone’s attention.

So make it count!

Check out this article on CD Baby’s DIY Musician blog for more tips and more articles about this very important aspect of your music. And give us any of your tips in the comments.