Imitation is the greatest form of . . . brand building!

Brisbane band Sheppard have risen to fame off the back of last year’s hit ‘Let Me Down Easy’ and their current single ‘Geronimo’ which knocked Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ off the number one spot on the charts. Their track record so far has shown that they can produce some pretty awesome music, but they also have a knack for building a relationship with fans!

Apart from coordinating all the cat videos in one place, YouTube has also played a big role in encouraging new musical talent. It is now easier to make and share high-quality recordings than it ever has been in the history of music. And this development has inspired a whole range of talented individuals to put their mark on songs they have fallen in love with and created a whole new genre of covering.

When it comes to covering there are two options. Purchasing the sheet music online or getting some tabs from one of the many guitar tab websites and doing a bit of improvising.

But who said that there could only be two? Sheppard have gone and made a third!

Lead singer, George Sheppard, uploaded a video earlier this year in response to many inquiries they had received about the chords for ‘Let Me Down Easy’. And rather than just post some chords or tell these involved fans to purchase the sheet music . . . he gives a personal demonstration taking them through the multiple combinations on the guitar so they can all play the song as well!

Clever? I think so.

Those individuals who are looking to cover a song are clearly passionate and rather involved with the brand. And the main reason behind covering a song (apart from personal enjoyment) is to share the music with your friends – providing great publicity and a personal recommendation to people who probably like the same music (otherwise, let’s be honest, why are you even friends!). However, all these benefits can come from the purchased sheet music or guitar tabs.

So why do it yourself?

Having the lead singer give the tutorial himself is a great opportunity to develop and build on the relationship these devoted fans have with the band’s brand. They have the confidence that they are learning the correct chords and these musicians get the added benefit of feeling noticed and valued by the inspiring frontman. This leads to a personal connection with the song and an element of responsibility to do this guy justice as he took the time to teach you the song, ultimately creating better promotion for this up-and-coming band who are sure to take over the charts with their next single.

It is a pretty clever idea and one that hasn’t been widely adopted over the internet. Maybe now is the time?

Sheppard are currently touring the UK and are about to return to Australia to support Keith Urban on his national tour. Check out their work on YouTube or visit their website: http://www.wearesheppard.com/

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