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Entries in gigs (14)

Monday
Oct272014

How to Book Your Own Gigs

Every musician has to start out booking their own gigs, but, as you’ve probably realized, this is a lot easier said than done. After all, there are so many musicians and bands competing for very limited performance spots. For promoters, it’s a game of risk management - they want to book bands they know will fill the room - so getting the spot as a new band can be very tricky. There are, however, some things you could be doing that can help you get those gigs!

What is a Promoter?

A promoter or venue owner is someone who buys talent. Depending on the size of the venue, they work independently or with booking agents to book bands and musicians to perform. For local clubs and venues, promoters and venue owners get a percentage of ticket sales and also make money from food and drink sales. As you can see, the business of promoters is really all about numbers - if they don’t fill the room, they don’t make money. This is where you come in. If you want to get the gig, you need to be able to prove that you can bring an audience, therefore lowering the risk for the promoter.

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Monday
Jun092014

Get More Gigs

In today’s music industry, gigging is a huge revenue for a lot of indie musicians. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of competition for the limited gigs available. Just standing out of the crowd of talented performers can be a challenge, especially when you’re trying to grow into cities and towns you’ve never played before.

 

If, however, you are dedicated and have a strategy in mind when looking for gigs, you’ll have a much better chance of getting noticed. I’ve broken it down into 5 basic tips that you can follow as you’re trying to book more gigs.

 

1. Collaborate

Collaboration is the first step to this equation. I’m sure you know how hard it is to get a spot in new venues, especially if you’re not yet at the point where you’re working with a booking agent. Venue owners and promoters just feel safer booking a band that they know can fill the room. If, however, you can connect with the bands the promoter knows, you might be able to get gigs you wouldn’t normally have access to.

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Tuesday
Apr302013

How Often Should You Play? 6 Drawbacks to Playing More Shows

In some of my other articles, such as How to Book SXSW, I mention the importance of playing often. However, I need to add a disclaimer: it isn’t just about the quantity of shows plated, it’s also about the quality. While in theory, it sounds good to perform as much as possible because you can gain more exposure, the results can be quite different.

There is such a thing as playing too often, especially in the same market. Here are some of the biggest reasons why you should limit the number of shows you play:

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Thursday
Feb282013

Landing Musician-For-Hire Gigs with your Presskit

A musician-for-hire is someone who provides a service to an event coordinator, talent buyer, or group of people that caters to the event’s specific needs and generates a notable yearly income. 

You know, the guy that’s singing “Don’t Stop Believing” in the background of a picture-perfect wedding reception, or the guy kicking off “Hava Nagila” at the most anticipated Bar Mitzvah of the year. Even the cover band at the coolest bar in town is an example of musicians-for-hire work. There’s plenty of work like this out there for us to make a living from - but how do you set yourself apart from the rest of the bands trying to compete for these kind of gigs?

Well, although there’s no short answer, there are several steps you can take to set yourself ahead of the competition and create a “wow-factor” for yourself. Indulge:

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Wednesday
Feb132013

5 Things You Need to Know About Unofficial SXSW Showcases

This is the time of year where many artists many artists are starting to get their SXSW rejection letters. It’s also the time of year where you’ll see many contests on SonicbidsReverbNation, and other sites that try to have you have your fans vote your way into a slot at the festival. However, eager artists who want to break into the music industry will begin finding other ways to a part of the action and that includes unofficial SXSW showcases or other festivals taking place in Austin at the same time. Before you jump at any of these opportunities, you better educate yourself.

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Monday
Aug202012

Don't Act Like an Amateur Band

A while ago, I wrote a piece about The Unspoken Rules of How to Treat a Touring Band. Basically, it was some rules on courtesy between bands show share a gig. After going on a few more tours myself, I wanted to share some additional advice on how to make shows run a little more smoothly and how you can be a little more professional in your gigging.

Here are some assorted tips on the pro’s do it:

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Thursday
May242012

How to Get Gigs on Sonicbids

A while ago, I wrote this article about How to Get Better Results From Your Sonicbids Submissions. Since then, there have been a few changes to the site (both for promoters as well as performers). All of the advice from the first article still applies so if you haven’t read it, take a look at it first.

Here’s some practical advice for those of you who would like to use Sonicbids to get gigs and what my thoughts are on it (both as an artist as well as a promoter):

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Thursday
Feb162012

The Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation

The “Four P’s” is a term used to describe the traditional Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. Well, I’m going to borrow from that expression and talk about the Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation, Promotion, Performance, and Post-Show. This series of blog posts will cover the things that you can be doing as a live performer to maximize each show. Part 1 is all about preparation.

The Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation

We’re going to start with the assumption that you’ve chosen a venue and confirmed a date with the venue booker. For tips about getting booked, see one of my previous posts 5 Ways to Impress Venue Bookers and Get More Gigs.

Once the gig is confirmed, here are some things you will need to prepare for the show:

Who will the opening band(s) be?

I guess the first question really is will there even be an opening band? The answer will almost always be yes, as the benefits are clear. An opening band can warm up the crowd, hopefully bring their own fans to the show, and help with the promotion of the show. So when choosing an *opening band, a few things to consider (*and if you happen to be the opening band, much of this advice can still apply):

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Monday
Oct242011

What You Need BEFORE Leaving the Rehearsal Studio

In a word: AWESOMENESS.


As an indie I go to a lot of local shows.  I want to find and network with other bands, make friendships, and help support my scene.  Some bands are great, some are good, and others are…’eh’.


The really great bands are firing on all cylinders.  Great live show, great recordings, great merch table.  The other bands always seem to be lacking in certain areas. 


If the live show is THE most important thing for a band, then I think there are certain aspects, certain ‘Standards of Excellence’ that a band MUST achieve before stepping outside the rehearsal room.  We just cannot afford to suck anymore, at all, no compromises.  That doesn’t mean that you need to be perfect: to play a million notes a second, or whatever.  Not perfection, just a commitment to excellence.


Here are a few Standards of Excellence I feel every band should consider the bare minimum before starting to gig regularly, if they expect to get results that is:

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Thursday
Jun022011

How to Get a Booking Agent to Book Your Band

Dave Cool is the Blogger-In-Residence at musician website and marketing platform Bandzoogle.

One of the most common questions I was asked by artists during my time as a venue booker was how they could find a booking agent. I inevitably answered that they should just keep playing gigs, grow their fan base, and an agent would find them. But is the answer really that simple? In a word, yes. By far the best way to get a professional booking agent is for bands to book themselves until the point where they are selling out shows on a regular basis on their own.

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Tuesday
Apr122011

Introduction: How I Became a Broadway Musician

I played keyboards on my first Broadway show a few weeks ago. For me, this is a milestone in my career and marks the achievement of a major life goal that I’ve been working toward for over 20 years. When I first decided I wanted to play keyboards on Broadway – and this will be a reoccurring theme – I had no idea where to start. There were a lot of very generous musicians who helped guide me along the way. So in an effort to pay back that kindness, and in the hopes that this might help somebody out there with similar goals, I’m going to tell you the story of how I got my gig.

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Monday
Oct252010

7 Reasons Why Writing Well Will Help Your Music Career

As crazy as it sounds, the art of learning how to write well will immensely help in your journey to make a living with your music.

Everything from properly targeted emails to self-penned biographies and album press releases are areas where writing well can have a direct impact on your success in the new music industry.

The great thing about writing is, it’s fairly simple to learn. Set a goal, and write a set amount of words per day. It just might help you in the following ways:

1. Blog Reviews

Want music bloggers’ to review your music? Then you need to create a personal, well targeted email directed solely at them. If your message looks like it’s been cut and pasted to 500 other blogs, you probably won’t get many reviews.

Develop your writing to create relevant emails, that will catch the attention of each individual music blogger.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct182010

10 Things Bands Can Do to Book More Live Shows

Assuming that you have strong songs and an kickass live show, here are ten (10) simple things you can do to get more gigs:

1. Create a YouTube channel for your band.

Upload a live performance video on YouTube that represents your band at its best. Include a phone number and e-mail address too, so that anyone who wants to book you can contact you easily. Say something like “Contact ________ to book us for a live show.” To show professionalism and interest, try your best to respond to every inquiry within 48 hours.

2. Print up nice business cards

…with your band name, links to your music, live videos, and a phone number and e-mail address that can be reached for booking purposes. Also, include a link to your website so they can learn more about you. You’d be surprised how many bands STILL write down their phone numbers on dirty napkins and torn pieces of paper. Wherever you go, tell people who you are, how good you are, where you are playing next, and how easy it is for them to book you directly.

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Monday
Oct122009

Cancellations and Rescheduling

So the show got cancelled. Whether it was your fault, the venues fault, the manager’s fault or the weathers fault, it really doesn’t matter. It is strange to me that when something goes wrong, people seem to be much more about figuring out who did something wrong and assigning blame over the much more obvious and much more effective problem solving and doing what you can to make the best out of the situation.

Gigs are going to get cancelled or rescheduled. Times are going to occur when you are going to be double booked. You can take the right steps to organize and track things the best you can, but problems occur and sometimes they just can’t be helped. I have heard bands scream and moan about this booking agent or that manager messing up. Then I have seen the online postings where bands blast venues and then the venues go back blasting bands. This really doesn’t solve a single thing and it keeps you further as well as takes up time you could use to reschedule, take steps to make sure it does not happen again and reach out to your fans and people that were going to come to the show.

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