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Getting that FIRST gig

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jazlikethat, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Jazlikethat


    Feb 25, 2008
    I would have posted this in the double bass forum but they don't have a board on bands, I guess double bassists don't gig :)

    anywho, I've got a jazz quartet and we are pretty darn good. For three months we had a gig at a restaurant every friday and saturday that was sweet and all until we got laid off. I got the gig originally when I heard a rumor that the restaurant was looking for a band: I called em up and had an audition in a week. After getting that gig I thought that getting gigs was easy. Now though, it's practically impossible. I call multiple places and they flat out say "we don't do live music." as soon as they hear me mention the word band. We're just some high school kids and therefor have no part in those larger organizations that pimp musicians or unions or anything. So my question is, how did you get your first gig, how'd you get your foot in the door long enough for them to listen to your demo.

    All I want is a gig haha, I'm desperate!
  2. eedre


    Feb 26, 2007
    St. Louis,MO
    Some churches will hire musicians!
  3. waffle puzzle

    waffle puzzle space and time coordinator

    Aug 22, 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    jazz quartet eh ? What city are you in..?....makes a huge difference whether or not
    the gigs will come for that genre.

    One thing that has helped my bands get gigs is ......find complementary bands in your town and offer to OPEN for them...this works way better in clubs than in restaurants,though.

    good luck
  4. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    You have to find places that hire the kind of bands you are. Go for a night on the town. See the bands play. That will do 2 things. You will meet the band and can ask them where they've played in the past, and you can possibly meet the person in charge, after you've spent money in his joint. He may be more likely to hire you vs blindly calling him on the telephone.
  5. watspan


    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    agree--check websites of similar type bands and see where they're playing. play on your past experience--get a reference from them if possible. It will be very tough to get an establishment that doesn't have live music to start offering it--you have to go w/ places that already offer music--and start with those that offer your type--be persistent too--if you're bugging them, they'll let you know!
  6. gig-getter


    Oct 5, 2007
    Author of Gig-Getter & Rouse the Crowd
    Agreed with the above, don't try to "convert" venues to live music.

    You'll need plenty of venues to target. Go for the easy option. Venues that currently feature live bands ideally with a similar type of music as yours.

    Check venue press ads, keep your eyes open when you're out and about and Google search for jazz bands in your area. If this throws up other band names search their website under the "Gigs" section. You should find lists of venues to contact...

    If yours is a unique type of music and you don't really find it being played live anywhere else in your area it'll be a little more difficult. You'll need to convince live venues in your area that they should try something fresh, give their audiences something which they can't get in every live bar. Make sure you have some reasons why your band could attract the punters though...
  7. Don't forget that "press kit" when you leave.

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