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#697257 - 02/28/09 04:02 PM How do I get music gigs?  
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
Vincent Witcher Offline
Casual Observer
Vincent Witcher  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
Virginia
Hi! My artist name is VINCENT. I an a one man band and I play keyboards and use dj mixing software to add dance beats to my music. I play Classical/ Easy Listening to Trance/ Techno dance beats. I use virtual dj software to add the beats. I play Classical/ Easy Listening with a beat. I play from sheet music and I play my original songs. Musicians that my music sounds like: Yanni, Enya, and some songs have the regal fanfares of a John Williams. My Trance music is similiar to the mixings of DJ Tiesto and Armin van Buuren,. My Trance dance music is all original.

Here is my personal band website: [img]http://www.vincentwitcher.com[/img] vincent witcher.com
And here is my http://www.myspace.com/vincentawitcher On my SPACE page you will find music and info as well as audio clips that you can download to your computer.

I want to know how do I get music gigs? I bought the Indie Bible and Indie Bible venue info and started emailing people in my area (Virginia and North Carolina) and I haven't heard a word from anyone of the venues. What am I doing wrong? I sent them info about my band, audio clips and links to my website and other sites that I posted my music on.

Any ideas of help anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Vincent


Vincent Witcher
#697276 - 02/28/09 05:29 PM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: Vincent Witcher]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 100 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Nashville, Tn.
Vincent,

Welcome to the wonderful plusses and limits of technology. While you have done well at creating a package around your talents, you have to realize that your competition is out there actually doing what you want to do. They are actually in the clubs and venues building audiences and putting it forth. That is what you are going to have to do and unfortunatly that takes being there.

Clubs are booked in about three ways.First, the people that build up the biggest audiences, either the traveling people that have reputation, record labels, or big intenet following, These can be smaller, up and coming acts, middle income makers or the major stars. Along the way, there might be some local heroes, who bring in their friends, pack the house and while they might not be the top notch, make the club the money that keeps the doors open. Most likely it is word of mouth. A small following tell their friends, start a lot of e-mails, phone calls, and getting the words out, tell their friends, who tell their friends, etc. Over and over again. You really need a good marketing team and plan and get out there spreading the word. It is very political, "Vote for me, my songs and my product."

Most people start out on the open mics, going to the clubs getting the random opening act. But most all of them have got to go there. This can take some doing if it is an area you are not familiar with, which means you don't have enough following to justify them putting you in.

There are casinos,and cruise ships, resorts, vacation spots which offer multiple lounge areas that a multi entertainer like yourself might work in. The problem is that a lot of the multi guys like that look a little loungey,. which is kind of sleezy. You have a lot of bells and whistles, and work well for some back ground music but not really that much of entertainement. Most of those contracts come through booking agencies and are for extended periods, several weeks or months, which mean that people that already have those gigs, are not done with them for a while. A casino is not going to want to have to worry with booking a different act all the times. Same with cruise lines. Most anything you have to do with money making enterprises are around representatives, agents and managers who act as mediators between the venues. And of course, everybody would love to have a well paid gig in Hawaii. Unfortuntatly, most of the resorts,cruise lines and strangely enough, even casinos are going through the same econmic challenges as everyone and are cutting back on their entertainment rosters. So finding a job in a declining job market is a tricky thing. YOu have to be very good and very innovative at demonstrating why that venue should have you in.
In the original world, there are writer's nights, open mics, coffee houses, etc. That feature between three and 30 people a night. These are most often unpaid or little paid. You have to look at each venue and find out what the requirements are.

What you have to keep in mind is kind of like an intern. You start out working for free or very little until you build your reputation.
Why you are not getting any response is that for every guy or girl, or group that is playing in any area, there are probably 100 in that same area trying to get in the doors, and probably another 200 sending in resume's, EPK's, or publicity packages by e-mail. It is the classic "how do I get a job without experience, and how do I get experience without a job. That is the quandry.
Check into booking agents, see what they need, make sure you have your proper packaging, video, CD, publicity package and get on it. But mostly you are going to have to go to clubs, local at first, then regional and national, a little bit at a time.
In this age, anyone who has a venue is besiged by packages and people wanting to be in there. But they most often don't offer enough encouragment to have singers in there. That is who is going to bring in the most money to the venue. That is what keeps the doors open.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 02/28/09 05:30 PM.
#697293 - 02/28/09 06:37 PM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Vincent,

Marc is giving you good info here.

One thing I always recommend is to focus your approach. Your type of music, New Age, Filmscore, Instrumental etc. isn't going to get booked at a country music venue. So find the venues that book your kind of music.

Do a search for live music in your area that fits your style. Look for forums online that cater to your style. Try to find acts online that do what you do. Look at their calendars, see where they are booked.

I took a quick look at your website, it looks good, professionally done (a lot better than my cheesey website...but I love my cheesey website smile it does a cheesey foot proud!)

However, on your website, I saw this:

Vincent has 4 albums, but the best of the 4 are, "Cascade of Emotions," and "Tumult."

Ouch. Don't criticize your own albums, there will be plenty folks who will do that on their own smile Let folks decide what the best are, trust me, you will find some people who believe just the opposite.

So look for acts similar to you that are getting gigs. See where they are working. If one act has been at a club every weekend for years, don't approach the club...approach the act themselves. Tell them you don't want their gig, but would be happy to sub for them if they have to take a day off. Then do that, if the club wants you to play instead, tell them you're honored that they would ask, but you don't want to take the gig from the original act. You will get more other gigs from an act that is an ally, but a club is only one gig.

Also, check out music stores. Their sales staff is often made up of musicians, ask around. They have a business interest in you being successful...you'll buy more stuff.

Anyway, good luck, God bless, write if you need a bass player.

All the Best,
Mike






You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#697310 - 02/28/09 08:21 PM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Good info from the guys....
You have to know the marketplace....know who is getting booked in your local area. Know why they are being booked...and at what venues....Know what kind of stuff they are doing....find out how they are getting booked and if need be adapt so you can offer something similar as well as what you do naturally. Visit the clubs...the pubs...the agents and bookers....Not many bookings are done online ESPECIALLY TO AN UNKNOWN...

I make my living from singing live in clubs and pubs etc. Have done for many many years....Know how many bookings come from online or through the web>?...NONE. Few come from advertising in the papers or yellow pages.

Know how many come from meeting people spreading the word around the clubs wooing agents and generally pestering the life out of people etc?..... ALL OF THEM.

#699152 - 03/06/09 01:56 PM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,173
Tom Shea Offline
Top 100 Poster
Tom Shea  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,173
Nebraska
I would suggest that you start snmall. OIffer your services to local organizations for their functions. Once people hear you, you may get noticed and asked to play for larger events.

Tom


Thomas Shea

Thomas Shea - Songwriting
http://www.soundclick.com/thomasshea

Justice - Songs
http://www.soundclick.com/justice-nebraska

#701846 - 03/16/09 04:45 AM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: Vincent Witcher]  
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,650
WriterTomYeager Offline
Top 100 Poster
WriterTomYeager  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,650
Harrisonburg,Virtginia
Hi Vincent

I am an old Virginia boy myself-came to Nashville about 4 years ago-from Virginia Beach....checked out your website-good music-and it only says-the rolling hills of southern virginia-as far as location.......u mean southwest Virginia?........whatever-anyway-you might wanna contact Cellar Door Entertainment.....they have a website and book alot of gigs all over....I think you have kind of an identity confusion as an artist....you are half-DJ/half musician......no offense meant-maybe thats why you arent getting responses-folks arent sure what you are....DJ's play other peoples stuff of course.....but if you are promoting yourself as an artist you gotta let em know who they can compare you to.......right now-as I see it-thats your problem in selling yourself...........till you are better defined I think it will be hard to get commercial gigs......again-no offense meant-wishin you the best.......

oh yes-forgot-also try East Coast Entertainment

Tom

#703576 - 03/20/09 04:11 PM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: WriterTomYeager]  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 556
pRISCILLA Offline
Top 500 Poster
pRISCILLA  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 556
Barcelona, Spain
my problem is that kind of music requires the hiring of certain pro musicians like a cellist and so, I play myself piano, psaltery, flutes and sing, but I simply can't do a show on my own, except for a very simple version on piano which is not the spirit of what I do, that is that I can't really make so many free performances as I wish, neither I 'm so pro performing without a budget except for really striking promotional events. Thus i've made more big events than small ones :(, but they're scarce. Been about to sign with a few agents, but i'm very protective and i'm not sure how to proceed, also we seem to move not locally but going to spot fests in different countries and i would not like to tie myself to a local agent somewhere.
you can see a bit of what we do live here
http://youtube.com/yidneth
I really would love to have advice about it, I love the stage.
so far all the performances have been dealt by me but it's a consuming thing really


Priscilla Hernandez singer-songwriter
http://www.yidneth.com
New album at:
http://theunderliving.com
#704028 - 03/22/09 10:47 AM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: pRISCILLA]  
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 75
Matt Moran Offline
Serious Contributor
Matt Moran  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 75
Lancaster, CA
Hey all,

Haven't posted here in awhile.

Last December, I wrote up a business/marketing plan for my music. I outlined 9 deliverables/goals. Then I took 6 and put them on the backburner for the sake of focus. I simply could not give adequate attention to all of them.

I know have 12 goals but still am concentrating on the first 3.

1) Mailing list - manage it and grow it
2) Venues - contact directly and build relationships
3) Merchandise - recordings, t-shirts, etc.

The first two are working great and I am in the middle of #3. I have grown my mailing list tremendously over 3 months.

In regards to venues, I contact them via phone if at all possible. I set an expectation that I will follow up with them in 3 days (if I don't speak with them) and then I follow up.

I find out what they need to book me.

When I play somewhere I try to get testimonials from the venue owner/manager.

I have a technology, business, and marketing background and decided I needed to apply the same ideas to my music if I wanted to move it forward.

Yesterday I was talking with a friend at how slowly things seem to progress but stepping back, looking at the fact that I am getting booked for paid gigs, gaining fans, and being contacted by venues, I am very pleased. It has been only been 3 months.

Direct contact, being specific as to what you want to achieve (short-term and long-term), and consistency are great places to start.

#704063 - 03/22/09 12:47 PM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: Matt Moran]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,526
Polly Hager Offline
Helping Hand
Polly Hager  Offline
Helping Hand

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,526
Cincinnati, OH USA
Booking is hard! I'm in a band, and the daunting task of booking us fell on me. Used to be, I could walk into a club, have a drink with the owner, and boom! My band was booked. Things have changed. Here in Ohio, we have a stupid smoking ban. It put about 35% of the clubs out of business. Now bands are converging on the same clubs. 50 bands waiting to play each club. New bands (like us) are competing with tried and true acts that have been around for years.

The new thing now, is club owners are playing the demo cds for the happy hour crowd and getting the customers' input as to who they should hire.

Have a promo package (with a professional picture) that has your best work. Club owners don't care about anything but butts on the bar stools and a cash register that rings. So your package should say "I'll fill your bar and hold the crowd". Whenever you do book a gig, promote it like crazy. I make up flyers and put them up everywhere...gas stations, grocery stores, telephone poles, every place within a 10 mile radius. I go to all of the local music websites and put up an ad there too.

When I'm looking for new places for us to play, I call the club, get the name of the person who books the bands, and get a time that the person will be there. Don't leave your promo package with the barmaid. It'll get thrown away. Most barmaids are partial to a particular band and tend to discourage competition. Show up and talk directly to the person who books the entertainment.


http://www.soundclick.com/pollyhager
http://www.facebook.com/polly.wilmot
http://www.reverbnation.com/rockcandycincy
You're supposed to be grooving as hard as you can, all of the time. - Stephen Gaskin
#704222 - 03/23/09 02:29 AM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: Polly Hager]  
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,249
Jeff Van Devender Offline
Jeff Van Devender  Offline

Top 200 Poster

Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,249
Colorado
Try Craigslist!

#710908 - 04/15/09 07:40 PM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: Jeff Van Devender]  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 556
pRISCILLA Offline
Top 500 Poster
pRISCILLA  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 556
Barcelona, Spain
i'm being my own agent and it's tiring and time consuming...
still i'm doing relatively ok but i'd pick a manager as soon as finding one worth


Priscilla Hernandez singer-songwriter
http://www.yidneth.com
New album at:
http://theunderliving.com
#710933 - 04/15/09 09:13 PM Re: How do I get music gigs? [Re: pRISCILLA]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 154
Billy Darnell Offline
Serious Contributor
Billy Darnell  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 154
Lebanon, TN
Years back I worked as a soloist, one man band type of thing, me and the guitar. I played everything from 50's to 70's rock, and anything that was county pretty much, but I don't think what your playing is a major factor, it's how well you do whatever you do that is important.

As in any other sales presentation, one must first assess their assets and their liabilities.

Liabilities of the one man bands are normally, not a big band wall of sound, not a known artist, limited exposure, no one to blame but yourself if it sucks, and you can never have a down night, because there's no one to pick up the slack if you don't feel well.

Assets normally are, not too loud which is a problem with most bands, don't have to worry about anyone not showing up the night of the gig but you, unless your a little phsyco there shouldn't be any fighting about what your going to play, or how your going to play it, only being one man you can play for a lot less than a band, and you can play much smaller venues where bands would be too loud, or too big.

Look for smaller venues, lounges in hotels, restaurants, book stores, coffee houses, bars or clubs like VFW's and American legions. ( psssst check out the jukebox and see what the patrons are listening to so you don't end up being an unwanted distraction on Friday and Saturday night )Make sure what your playing will be accepted there. Nice thing about playing in a small venue is you don't have to worry about a band coming in their and knocking you out.

The assets are always good, but never enough by themselves.

The next thing you have to ask yourself is how do I over come the liabilities, or turn them into assets? The biggest one is that your not a known artist, and you have limited exposure.

Here's what I used to do to offset that. First I would check the phone book, and try to find out who already had entertainment in the smaller venues. Then I would put a little bio,a pic, a cassette tape of me singing various songs, and a letter of introduction together, along with how much money I wanted to play for 4 hours.Then I would go to the club, and talk only to the person in charge, and introduce myself, ask them to take a listen to the tape, read the material and if they were interested call me.Once I got outside I wrote down the club name and who I had spoken to, if they didn't call me in a week, I made a return visit to ask what they thought. The most common answer was "Well we are a small club, we don't get much business on the weekend, and I just can't take a chance on paying you that kind of money if there is no business.", or, "I am just not too sure how well you would go over in here.". That's when I brought out my "No Risk, nothing to lose" Package. I would ask them to give me one night, for the next 3 weeks, with the understanding that if they didn't have a better crowd, or they just didn't feel they made any more money, then don't pay me, or pay me whatever they thought was fair based on the amount they made, or to go one step further if their customers didn't like me or the music I played , just come to me and tell me my services would no longer be required , no hard feelings.

I got more jobs that way, and not one time did I not get paid what I asked for in the first place, and sometimes more. Within a year , I didn't have to do that anymore, the jobs came to me, I picked where I wanted to play, and I worked 5 to 6 nights a week.

Hope that helps.

Billy Darnell








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