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Getting gigs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lwknives, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    My band just finished recording a 3 song demo, we have about 2-2.5 hours of music ready to play. I think we are ready to go out and get some gigs!

    We play about 75% original music in sort of a 70's 80's rock/blues style. The lyrics are easy to hear, understand and relate to IMO, its very danceable and catchy. Great stuff for a bar band.

    This is my first band so I dont know much (anything?) about getting gigs. Any tips?
  2. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Now the fun starts....I personally make the 3 song demo and website, and then sell the band 2 months out so we have time to get our repertoire together. I don't build a repertoire until I have a gig in hand.

    ...I like selling off the demo because if the band is a non-starter, then you haven't invested a lot compared to bands who do a demo, website AND invest all that rehearsal in repertoire.

    But anyway now that you have the rep together, its time to see if you can sell the band.

    Anyway, how to get gigs.

    If you want to get a paid gig right off the bat, the best way is to figure out some way of getting a buzzillion people to come see you. Try hooking up with an organization that already has distribution and marketing.

    With my first band, I convinced our student organization at the university to have a social at a club that featured my band. I told the club owner we had 600 people to which to advertise and would promote it to all our staff. At the time, the band wasn't very good, but he had us back for these things every few months because he had a good sales night.

    Attract People == Get Paid Gigs in clubs.

    If you can't do that, then you might have to offer to play for a percent of sales or something at a club on a non-peak night. Even if no one comes you can put the gig on the website.

    Also, hopefully the guys in your band will help you sell I found most musicians will lay back and let the leader book everything. Do all the work. Try to get your musicians involved.

    If you can't get a bar owner to take a chance on you, then try a private party at someone's house and take up a collection for the band or for tips or something.

    I'm doing that with a new startup I'm involved with (a jazz trio).

    You might want to get started on your facebook page. Club owners look at it to see how many people you have. Hopefully there is a thread somewhere about how to increase your facebook following here on TB. I have learned a few things lately about how to do it, but it's not my strong suit.
  3. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Go to jam sessions and ask to sit in as a band.
    Typically 3 tunes, be nice, be polite even if things are ******.
    Go back and do it again.
    this will give you exposure and feedback as to how your material
    is holding up with a crowd.
    Good Luck
  4. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Well, I disagree. You definitely want to have a repertoire before you book a gig. And you want to make sure you are tight and ready to be playing in public. You only get one shot at a first impression and believe me, you want to make a good one.
  5. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Find the local bars/venues in your area and scope them out on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. See which ones have *good* bands, and try to begin networking both with band leaders and venue owners. One thing to remember is that as a musician you are in a sales position, and your product is your band. Always be 'selling', both yourself and your music, to people and places you want to have a work relationship with. Once you've done this enough to figure out where you want to play, you'll want to view each venues website and see how they handle their booking process. Hopefully you've met either the owner and/or the booking person when you went to scope out the venues, and if you have it would not be a bad thing to mention that.

    There's more, but I gotta go take an exam now :bag:
  6. The most important lesson you can learn is this. You are there to increase the bar's revenue in food and beverage sales... period. If you can keep the dance floor full and the bar pouring all night then you're a gig worthy band. It has nothing to do with how well you play music.
  7. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA

    On a more practical level, start making friends in your local music scene and establishing yourself as a solid, knowledgeable presence who can make good things happen. Nothing succeeds like success. Every successful career (in ANY field) can be traced back to a single fateful handshake.
  8. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    Ill at least pretend thats why Im there, lol. :bassist:
  9. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    We have a FB page, hopefully we can get our demo posted on there as well as on soundcloud this week.
    We already have enough material together to play a show. I joined the band recently and dont have most of the songs mastered yet but I can fake it well enough that non-musicians wont be able to tell the difference.
  10. lwknives


    May 6, 2012
    I am also in Knoxville! Ill have to come see y'all play.:bassist: What venues are worth looking into in the Knoxville area? I have no experience with the music scene.
  11. I got three root notes and the truth.
  12. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    schenectady, ny
    We do love our false dichotomies :ninja:
    Certainly entertainment is a factor, which needs to match the venue, and there are a lot more niches in music than bars -
    But it has everything to do with how well you play music, in its fullest meaning, as a musician, entertainer, bard.
  13. Take your 3 song demo and a band picture to a bar and talk the owner into giving you a gig (maybe on an off night) - if you canÂ’t do this, get someone who can.

  14. stagebanter


    May 12, 2012
    In the beginning, we got our gigs just by having lots of friends and being in the right place at the right time. Go through your address book and see if you know anyone who owns a bar or works at a club or something and might be able to hook you up. Then, get lots of people to come to the gig. If you do that a whole bunch, you'll book fast.
  15. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    I don't know the scene in your area,but unless you're sharing the stage that night 2-2.5hrs of material is only 2 sets IMO..I'm not trying to be a jerk,but that's not enough to pull off a full night. You'll also soon find out that almost everybody expects the band to be a live jukebox.

    That aside,welcome to the club! It's a great thing to have a pastime that pays you to party on the weekends! :)
  16. tmntfan


    Oct 6, 2011
    Edmonton canada
    make business cards, cost maby $30 for 250 and are easy to hand out. makes you look like you have the business end taken care of.

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