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International Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Montreal, Canada Music Scene

The local music scene of Montreal, Canada is diverse and reflects the world-class character of the city. Musical tastes range from classical to metal. It's a region that has something for everyone. Some of the top artists in the region's history have included Celine Dion, Aldo Nova, Sass Jordan, Men Without Hats, Andy Kim, Corey Hart, Leonard Cohen, Oscar Peterson, David Usher, Rufus Wainwright and Karl Wolf. Some of the popular places where live bands play are Casa Del Popolo, L'Abreuvoir, Pub St. Paul, Cafe Chaos, Katacombes and Underworld Cabaret. Bigger venues include The Bell Amphitheatre, Place des Arts and Les Foufounes Electriques.

Montreal presents opportunities for artists to play at big shows such as the Montreal Jazz Festival and Montreaux. Exodus and Voivod have gained a lot of exposure among hard rock fans. Overall, the scene has become more restricted in its recent history, so competition can be tough to get gigs. The city welcomes big name entertainment throughout the year but the local scene tends to be tied to smaller venues and not many local artists end up getting radio airplay unless they are signed to a major label.

Can anything by any given artist be a hit if it gets enough exposure? The answer is maybe if it fits a demand or trend. Some music by Montreal artists is simply novice and doesn't sell due to annoying under-development, such as out of tune singing or poor musicianship. Many times bad timing from the drummer will mess up the entire recording. If an acoustic guitar is not recorded with a condenser microphone it can sound pretty trashy. If a producer allows sounds to distort, it's unlikely the song will gain any following.

Since the official language of Montreal is French, there has been a history of many local artists who sing in French. Local music usually starts with a songwriter who develops a collection of songs and then shares them with other musicians and listeners. Young Montreal bands tend to form organically with friends who happen to play instruments while bands with experienced adults tend to come together more through media platforms such as bulletin boards, publication ads, online classifieds, music stores, associations or other organizations.

The time frame of a band from inception to its first show varies with development, but it's possible for experienced musicians to be playing gigs after one rehearsal. It's rare that a band's first time playing together is a gig in Montreal, but it can happen at special events or jam sessions. Practice is the key to smooth performance. The more a band rehearses together, the more polished they will likely sound. However, it's important to remember that some individuals struggle with music more than others, which can be for a variety of reasons.

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