Indie Artist Insider 014 – Booking And Playing Your First Gigs

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INDIE ARTIST INSIDER #014
Booking And Playing Your First Gigs

Welcome to a brand new feature here at SongCast, the Indie Artist Insider.  Every week, we will post a new video containing tips, tricks, and sound advice on how to succeed in the music business.  We will start off targeting those who are new to the music scene and progress into topics for the most seasoned and veteran musicians. 

Welcome to a brand new feature here at SongCast, the Indie Artist Insider.  Every Monday, we will post a new video containing tips, tricks, and sound advice on how to succeed in the music business.  We will start off targeting those who are new to the music scene and progress into topics for the most seasoned and veteran musicians.

INDIE ARTIST INSIDER – #014
Booking And Playing Your First Gigs

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Indie Artist Insider.  In this episode, we will talk about booking and playing your first gigs.

You have written some songs, or learned some songs, possibly recorded some of your own music and you are ready to perform live.  Or, are you?

Rehearsal is key.  Do you have a rehearsal space?  A place that is removed from everyday life, where you can concentrate on your music, without distractions?  If not, you should seek out such a place.  Take a listen to Indie Artist Insider episode #7 for an episode on band practice.

Rehearse the songs you want to play live.  Put together a set.  Practice it from beginning to end, over and over.  Know it.  Keep rehearsing it.  

Start attending small venues around your area.  If these seem like places where you would like to perform, attend more shows.  Watch how things are done.  Network with other bands, fans, and venue employees.  Start checking out the band’s and venue’s social media.  Use that to network with potential new fans.  Walk a fine line, without offensively spamming your band.

See if you can get your band on an opening slot for one of these shows.  Look for “battle of the bands” contests, where you can gain performance experience and possibly win some prizes.  Open mic nights are a great way to rehearse publicly and practice for your first real gigs.

When you are ready to try to book shows and not slide into shows as an opener, you will need a stunning electronic press kit, or EPK.  See Indie Artist #12 for a blog on this subject.  Find out who books shows at venues you are interested in and send your EPK and a request to perform to these venues.  Follow up in a week or so with another email, or possibly a text or other private message.

When you do book your first live performance, as an opener, headliner, however you fit into the bill, make sure you are not doomed by bad or neglected equipment.  Male sure you follow the specs in your EPK, so you and the venue are on the same page.  Check over everything the day before, cables, strings, batteries, electronics; have extras available if needed.  Be able to set up your gear quickly.  You may or may not get a sound check at this stage.  Be prepared for both.  Follow the instructions of the venue’s sound engineer.  Do not noodle away at your instrument unless instructed to do so.  Don’t be annoying!  Arrive on time, with the right equipment, and a friendly, helpful, and appreciative attitude.

Be prepared to set up in front of the headliner, if you are opening.  Be prepared to play a short set, on a cramped space, and cut songs and abbreviate when instructed.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Do a good job, impress, and guarantee they will want to work with you again.  Thank the other bands and venue employees when you are posting photographs and videos of your performance.  Use your first few gigs to network and connect with as many people as possible.  Grow your fan base from show to show.   That is the key.

I’m Joe Kleon for the SongCast Indie Artist Insider.

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If you have any topics you would like to see covered on the Indie Artist Insider, please email host Joe Kleon at promotions@songcastmusic.com

 

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