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Mutually Rubbing Elbows

Written by: Rian L. Moses

Rub elbows

U.S., informal. : to meet and talk with (someone) in a friendly way // The basement rock show gave me the opportunity to rub elbows with some of Richmond's best musicians.

Origin of Rubbing Elbows

This expression first appeared in the 1800s. Rub, in this idiom, is synonymous with touch. This idiom refers to the fact that if one is spending time with others in a social setting, they are likely close enough to touch elbows. Imagine a party with many people.

If you are trying to make a name for yourself in any music scene, then people need to actually see you out and about immersing yourself in it. Rubbing elbows for me isn't about getting your face in front of others, it's about building trust and commitment. I'm looking to build music relationships.

Quality Over Quantity

Don't feel like you need to spread yourself too thin by going to every single music show in town. You'll easily get burnt out and may feel over whelmed by all the shows you still aren't able to attend. You are only one person.

Instead, find 3-4 musicians or one venue you enjoy and rotate between their shows for a couple months. Depending on the music style and artists you pick, you may see some of the same people in the crowd after attending a couple shows.

These are some of the best people to build relationships with. They are obviously into the music you are into, but they also have already shown their commitment to the scene by continuously showing up. They may know about other shows not posted on event sites. They may personally know the bands, managers, sound engineers, bookers, promoters etc. They could also be a really cool person themselves.

Go say "hey" to these people. Tell them, in a non creepy way, that you have seen them at a couple shows. Ask them what else they are into and what brings them out to these shows. Make sure you are listening and engaging. Then, you can finally tell them your musical hopes and dreams.

I don't believe we should be walking around in life trying to find others to use for own benefit. It is however, naïve to think we don't live in a "who you know" society when aspiring for success, but it's the "friends you know". The authentic relationships that you are building will naturally lead you to great things. People look out for those they care about and trust.

Go plant friend seeds, nurture those relationships, and watch them blossom into so many opportunities.

Richmond Music Venues

There are sooooooo many spaces that have music related events. HearRVA hasn't captured all of them but we do offer a more concise list to get started with rather than doing a bunch of Google searches. If you know of some venues not on on list below, send us message and we will add them!

It's time to lotion up them elbows and enjoy the show.


Blog Author - Rian L. Moses: What's Up?! I'm one of the founders of HearRVA. Richmond, Virginia has been my home since 2006 and I'm still discovering new things. I'm a visual artist at heart and graduated from VCU in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art (major in video & animation/ minor in painting & printmaking). It feels great to use these skills on all the visuals you see coming out of HearRVA.

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