how do you go about getting gigs?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Davygravy3, Nov 18, 2001.

  1. Davygravy3

    Davygravy3 Guest

    Sep 21, 2000
    If I were in a band (all highschool kids) and we played some jazz and some other classic rock but probably not at the same time at a gig. How would we go about getting gigs? I mean do we just ask or what?
  2. Get a well recorded three song demo tape or CD of your best material.

    Check with your local Chamber of Commerce regarding events with music:
    For example in Santa Rosa, CA:
    First Night
    Thursday Night Markets

    There are other events with music where you can get hired:
    Harvest Fair/Pumpkin Fest.
    County Fair
    Neighboring County Fairs
    Spread the Word that your available for parties.
    Big party times are Christmas/New Year and Graduation time in June.

    Find out about city or county sponsored events with music and make a few phone calls to track down the person in charge of booking. Gov't offices usually have information offices and a Chamber of Commerce or other such source. Once you get booked, if your good and handle yourself well you usually get asked back again. And once your out there gigs start come in by themselves.

    Get a couple County Fair gigs under your belt and you'll be ready for Bars and Weddings by the time your 21. :D
  3. PJR

    PJR Guest

    Jun 20, 2001
    N.E. PA
    ...very sound advice !!!

  4. Davygravy3

    Davygravy3 Guest

    Sep 21, 2000
    can we play songs that arent our own ones we made up? I mean at first for a few teens it may be easier to play jimmi hendrix, beatles, cream then write our own....
  5. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Heck, yeah. In fact, I would say that 75% of the organized bands in the US are strictly cover bands. It is considerably harder to find work as originals, since most people want to hear songs they know. However, there is a place for originals, too. Even if you do plan to play originals, you should know some cover songs, because that's what attracts peoples' attention.

    It is easiest to get people interested if you are playing songs from current Top 40 radio and MTV rotation. Some places like "oldies", but not the majority.

    There are usually places in any town where they will let you play if not pay you. These are frequently coffee shops or small restaurants and the like. If you can get in some of these places, invite everyone you know, and then you might get invited to play some house parties or college frat parties. Make sure you print business cards (do it on your computer), and hand 'em out! You have to play some freebies to get your name out there; don't expect to start getting paid right away.

    Donne's right -- nobody is going to hire a band without hearing them first. You HAVE TO have a demo. Make the song versions SHORT; two minutes of each is plenty. And be sure you choose songs that are highly representative of what you sound like! Print up a complete song list to be sure your customers know what they are getting. Borrow a digital camera and take a group picture with instruments. Then put all of the material into a folder to hand to prospective customers.

    And: read the local entertainment papers to find what places have the same kind of music you play. Go there! Sadly, live music (especially heavier, louder stuff) frequently cohabitates with alcohol, and some of the venues will be unavailable to you until the band turns 21.

    Good luck!
  6. Leech off/partner up with another band in your area. My band has done that and the future is looking better now. :) When you get shows, bring them along if it's possible, and the same vice versa.
  7. Rostek

    Rostek Guest

    Dec 10, 2001
    If you guys are in school, see if you can do anything with your high school, like a talent show. Just this thursday my band closed out our high school's talent show, we had tons of people dancing, and at the end of the night we screamed about our gig on saturday: now we're gonna have at least 50-100 more people. Also, if you see some shows that are in your genre, go, and try and find out who organizes it. Ask 'em if you can open for their next show.
  8. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    Gigs seem to come to me....I don't know why...very lucky I guess
  9. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    If you're anywhere near a college with frats go to the frats and tell them you'll play their party for free. They might make you play earlier and have another band or a dj later on but if they like the way you sound they will invite you back. Other frats will also hear about you and hire you for their parties. That's what happened to my band.
  10. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Now, see, THERE'S a concrete suggestion! Excellent advice.

    DGravy, if you can't get a gig with all this help, then you need to practice!
  11. Dumfish

    Dumfish Guest

    Oct 6, 2001
    Santa Rosa, Ca
    Did you pull that out of a hat or something? Santa Rosa is me (well, I live there).

    How interesting!?!:eek: