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August 01, 2012

Finding gigs and playing gigs can be a challenge. Read on for some pointers

Gigs are shows in the making. If you're an artist looking for gigs to play you'll need to look in the right places at the right time to find a gig. Once you find a gig and get booked it now becomes a show. The show (your show) needs to get promoted so you can have a decent crowd show up to see you. If you already have a following that's great but you want to attract new ears to your shows also. If you want to get gigs, then you are going to search club owners, bar owners, business owners, party planners and people of that nature. This means when you meet them you should sound as professional and convincing as possible. Come prepared with all the gear you need to successfully market yourself so you can book gigs and get paid.

In this industry first impressions are the most important thing. A great first impression might happen online. If they see your newjuke pages first you'll want to make sure you have all the important info posted like videos of you playing live, genre, music type etc. If a prospect sees your newjuke page you want that online impression to carry over and turn into a first meeting. Vague profile pages wont help you it might even harm you. If you want to book gigs then you need to bring the following things with you to a meeting:

  • A resume showing past gigs you played, how long you've been gigging, where you're from, how the band got started etc.
  • A demo on CD or DVD or on your phone or on the net. A video can work wonders for you. It shows exactly what you're all about. You dont want to be applying your metal band to play at a wine tasting. Unless of course that's what the gig is for.
  • A business card with your logo, website and contact info. Maybe even list some of your songs on there. If you specialize in cover music or not. A business card is an inexpensive way to brand yourself.
  • A poster or flyer is another version of a business card only its a graphical representation of your band. Get an aspiring artist at the local art college to draw something up for you at a reasonable price.
  • Price - work out the terms of the gig. You might be able to book more than one day at a venue. For example you can agree to play every Thursday at such and such for 1 year. Work out a price and terms you both agree on and hopefully sign a contract.
  • Attitude - Be yourself but be confident in your abilities to play, and more importantly to be reliable. If you can be trusted word will get around.
  • Appearance - You know the old adage dress for success? Wear something that represents you and your band. Its almost another way to brand your band. Even better ask the gig promoter if they want to see you dressed in your performance dress or not.
  • Instruments - The promoter might want to hear you play some live samples. Ask if they require this and be ready to blow them away with your supersonic playing ability.

Ok so now you've impressed the hell out of the promoter. Ask them out right... "When do we start?" The answer they give you will tell where they are at. They might have a spot open immediately or there might be spots open next year. You want to know this so you can plan your next course of action. If they need you right away then great if not you need to keep on asking every so often. Other bands may have canceled so if you keep on asking you might be the one they go to as a fill in. In the meantime you should be repeating the process for other gigs at other venues as well.

Bars and clubs are not the only potential gigs. You could find possible gigs at the library, winery, music store, book store, coffee shop, high school reunion, restaurant, movie theater, film festival, circus, fair, private party and open mic. Check the classifieds, the local town paper and other publications for possible prospects. Of course you can check newjuke for possible gigs too. When you meet the people running these gigs make sure you follow the same techniques discussed above.

If you make a contact with any potential gig promoter give them your card and ask them if they know any other places offering a gig. This is a great way to find gigs you never knew existed. You might want to keep a journal of all the people you meet. Write their contact info, what happened and the date. People tend to forget who they met so you may want to contact them in the future for any possible gigs.

Have you been playing live shows already? If you have a following you have a great bargaining chip. Bands with a following will most definitely be more appealing to venue owners. The obvious reason being more people will show up at their venue resulting in more sales. You should have a guesstimate as to how many people will show up at your show. You should have a definite number of how many people attended your last show. Keep track of your attendance this will show venue owners that you can deliver. Make sure you're honest about the attendance numbers. If three people showed up at your last show dont be ashamed of it. Your honesty will be more appealing then telling a venue owner you had 150 people and only 4 people attend. There goes your gig career down the drain.

To find gigs you have to act like a detective but finding gigs is only half of the work. Getting hired to play those gigs is another piece of the puzzle you need to figure out. Marketing and networking go a long way and can consume a lot of time and money. If you land a meeting with a promoter be prepared to blow them away with your professional attitude and organization. Don't go to a meeting unprepared it will lead to failure and a waste of your time and money. Your professional presentation as a top notch artist who is reliable and honest will lead to more opportunities and an over all better gig crushing experience.

There is a website you can sign up for free. Here you can let the world know you are For Hire and find possible gigs. go to http://newjuke.com