I asked Smash and Thrash if I could write an introduction type thread to this forum. They were kind enough to let me do so, and then I flaked for the longest time, but I'm finally getting around to it. I had the idea for this thread Yes, another forum suggestion. | TalkBass.com based upon an R&B Live Performance class that I've taken, on and off for the past 8+ years), at a local JC in the East Bay Area. This class was phenomenal because not only did it surround you with other non-classical/jazz musicians in an abundant way, but the teacher provided a very well rounded curriculum. Not only did he teach technique, songwriting and theory, but he taught how to manage a band. So many of us here at Talkbass are involved in one or more bands, that we would like to see become successful, whether we define success as playing clubs/bars, touring, signing a recording deal, or whatever. As artists, no one ever takes the time to teach us that we are not only artists, we're business people. We spend all of our hours in the shed, but many don't know how to promote the band, create a strong press kit, market ourselves. Well, here at Talkbass we have a wealth of experience, and people from all walks of life. First, this forum is not for recounting gig stories, let's be clear on that. Post those in the "Bass Humor and Gig Stories" forum. This forum is about how to manage your band, or yourself, and how to perform. Here is a short list of some of the topics I envisioned this forum covering: Marketing: This is such a broad topic. How do you get your band's name/logo out there to the venues you want to play? Who do you talk to? Demos, Press Kits, Flyers, Online Postings, all of these areas are not self-explanatory. Let's make it it's own category. Winning Fans The New-Fashioned Way Demos: How many songs should go on a demo? Do I have to pay royalties for covers? How can I find cheap, talented musicians for hire to help with my project? What equipment should I bring? How do I communicate with engineers and producers? Press Kits: What is it? How do I build one? What should be included? How can I produce a good, yet affordable press kit? What are the do's and don'ts of press kits? Promo Pack Question Resume: Should I have one? How do I do it? What should be on it? How long should it be? Biographies: I need a bio too? How do I write one? What's in it? Booking the Band: Contracts. How do I talk to? How much should I expect to make? How do I ensured I get paid? Insurance? What to look for? Getting Paid The Going Rate - what's it pay ? Managing and Booking Your Own Band Booking Agent Deals Advertising: How do I let people know about my show? How do I reach the right demographic? What is my demographic? Flyers & Postering "Everything is either a gig or a flyer" - Mike Watt Communicating with Club/BarFestival/Corporate Management: Like most things in life, business is about communication. How do I work out a mutually beneficial, mature, professional relationship with the people in charge of hiring me/my band? How To Get Management What Should A Manager Do? Booking Agent Trouble - what to do? Do's and Don'ts of Live Performance: It's easy right? Just get up there and play, right? Just have at it. Well, it depends upon what you're looking for. If you're interested in maintaining your crowd, you have to know what they like. Like anything else, there are do's and don'ts of live performance. It can range from setting up and takedown, to talking to the audience, to appearance, to stage "antics", and so much more. Tips For Gigs Backup Gear Auditions - how to Auditions - music choices My first band !? My first gig ! Act The Fool Live? - Jump up and get down. Business: Going Legit - forming an LLC Band Business Models Getting Started as a Pro Miscellany: More great links ! Mixerman Documentary - a typical major label recording session. Sad but true. Maintaining a successful working band, (or solo act), is not as easy as rehearsing the songs and getting them to sound good. A lot goes into making successful bands work. While it's true that 1% is luck, 99% is hard work, determination, strong planning and a good understanding of the business. If something isn't going right with your band, or you're just simply not getting as far as you'd hope, or you just want to know how to get the band off the ground at all, this forum is the place to go.