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Bar gigs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Theonestarchild, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. Theonestarchild

    Theonestarchild Artfully lost

    Aug 23, 2005
    North Carolina
    Hey... I've done some gigging before, but that was at a "Battle of the bands" or a "Teen Band Night". I want to play a bar, but we are all too wussed out to just ask. How might we go about getting a gig at this bar?
  2. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    BAR GIGS! :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:

    My favorite! I could post stories here on TB from now 'til this time next year, but I'd probably get banned from the website after relating some of them... ;) Bar gigs are all we do now out here in Paradise. I've done some concerts, and other really big venues... but give me a smoke-filled, stale beer stenching, nasty girl-filled bar gig... I'm 53, and these gigs still keep me feeling young! :D

    The best advice I have for you is not only very simple, but pretty obvious... at least to me: if you got any kind of recording of your band, and your song list... that's usually enough. Pictures always help. Some bars are known to get a free gig out of you... a.k.a. 'audition'... however, if you nail it, and kill 'em... you're in there!

    Speaking of bar gigs... it's a little after 6 p.m.... I have to fix dinner for my lovely wife, then get myself ready for my bar gig tonight... lot's of smoke... bikers... drunk girls... neon beer signs all over the walls... and they have one hellava house PA!

    Good luck! :bassist:
  3. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    You need some kind of a press kit and it also helps to be of age. You can also get to know some of the bands that are playing at the bars you wish to play and have them get you face to face with the manager.
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I wouldn't mind bar gigs if I could go home at eleven o'clock. Since California is a no-smoking state, we're lucky not to have that gawd-awful stench in the bars.
  5. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Are you kidding me? How can you play in a bar with no smoke?
    I can't sing in a smoke free bar.:D
  6. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    Wah. Smoke in bars. Bars need to be healthy places, you know!

    It should be up to the bar owner. And I don't smoke, either!

    The new smoke eaters are a lot more effective now too... 10-15 years ago, the bars were filled with smoke. Nowadays, we play a bar, we're in there 6+ hours, and we come home and you can barely smell the smoke in our clothes.

    Bar gigs are great. College bar gigs are even better. ;)
  7. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Its been mentioned, but you need a "promo-pack." Something that communicates in a tangible way what it is that you do. Promo demo CD (spend the money for studio time - its worth it), a brief bio (and I mean brief, none of this life history stuff- just the necessary practicals) and a setlist is helpful too.

    I followed my own advice and went to five clubs that I thought suitable. We were booked at three of those within a month.

    For me, one thing led to another after that and I met some folks, joined an additional working band and now I have 10 or 12 rooms booked every weekend through June.
  8. I'm doin a bar gig tomorrow night, which is wierd because my band isn't really a bar gig kind of show.... but I digress.

    The smoke sucks. Especially if you have long hair, it takes about ten seconds for your hair to reek of smoke in most bars. Yuck...

    We'll just have to rock the stink off.:bassist:
  9. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    You would absolutely LOVE The Lone Star Bar, in Jonestown, TX. Smokiest, funkiest got-danged bar in Texas. I have to clean my leather jacket if I go in there twice. The owner is a good ol' boy who used to be a headbanger, and welcomes any kind of music that can keep the people coming in. The place has pool tables, it has a jukebox with nothing but country and the rock and blues bands that play there, it has big cedar timbers and a stained, smoked ceiling, a floor that is a combination of concrete, stone and wood, a flagstone "backyard", a hoppin' beer-and-setups bar, and you can order pizza delivered from next door for $5, which establishment is owned by a one-legged bass player.

    The mayor comes in every weekend. He gave a friend of mine some most-excellent incense from Malaysia or somewhere. It was incense, I swear!

    I Love This Bar!

    Cherie :)
  10. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    After doing nothing but bar gigs the last couple of years, I'm damn glad to be doing a corporate/reception/festival type band now.
    Better pay, less smoke, and I'm usually home by midnight!
  11. Bass2x


    Jul 25, 2005
    That's exactly how it went down for us. First gig free, packed the house, now we're in the paid rotation. SoNJ.
  12. Bar gigs can be pretty easy to get, depending on the bar. Often times, you can just drop off a CD with the bartender and tell them you want to play. Bars with web sites will usually have an address or phone number for booking.

    Bar gigs are fun. :)

    - Dave
  13. It also depends on the bar. Lots of bars are just social gathering places where any band is little more than a live jukebox in the background, playing too loud for easy conversation or for hook-up lines.

    The fun ones are the ones where people come there to SEE bands. I've seen some fantastic bands finish up great songs to the sound of 50 or 60 conversations and two or three people clapping. And I've seen very average bands just get roaring ovations, depending on the bar.
  14. Bass2x


    Jul 25, 2005
    That may be the case with cover bands, but original music bands are kinda limited to venues that cater to shows rather than jukebox/dancing bands. At least that's how it is around here. SoNJ.
  15. Yeah, I forgot about the cover band thing. It's not that much of an issue in the Bay Area (San Francisco/Oakland). There are plenty of places for original music. Most cover bands that have any kind of name for themselves seem to be tribute bands and just just party cover bands.

    I can't remember the last time I've even seen a cover band advertised at any of the clubs I go to.

    - Dave
  16. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Which is why I prefer to book at bars where the emphasis is on music. If I *had* to, I'd book a sports bar, pub, or pickup joint, but I'd rather not. I don't like to play for people who would rather watch the playoffs or hit on the aging blonde at the end of the bar. If I'm gonna, I want to be paid well for doing all the work for people who are not going to be listening.