Writing songs, learning your instrument, getting together with your band is fun! At the end, playing a live music gig is what you enjoy as a musician mostly, right? Here’s our step by step guide to acquiring a great music gig for you as an artist!
Each and one music gig is great energy explosion! This is also a wonderful way of getting more fans and attention. Besides that, venues are the best places for selling merchandising and making new connections that will lead to more shows.
But how to get a music gig if you just started? There are a few things you have to be aware of, in order to play live at a venue.
1) Get together your best music tunes for the gig
Prepare your best tunes to be sent via email or post. When sending an email to venues, festivals or promoters, make sure your songs are easy to find online and listen to.
Record a demo of your songs
There is no need for a recording studio, it can be fully done even on an old iPad or here on sofasession: Click here to sign up and join the community now. However, the quality matters, unless you are a lo-fi band.
Be ready to be found online
It’s also a common practice to just look up for a band on Facebook, so make sure you publish the external music links there too. These links should be mentioned in your email in the order of importance.
Don’t forget about your website: If you have a homepage – that comes first, then Facebook and/or Bandcamp/Soundcloud – these are the most common choices. There is no need to list all the links.
Make your CD stand out
When contacting via post, make sure you send a CD with your three best songs (maximum four). Add a cover image that clearly states your band name and details of a contact person. As once the CD goes around the room, it might not find its way back to the envelope.
Don’t hesitate to call for a request
Remember, that those people get tons of emails daily. Don’t expect them to reply. The package sent via post gives you a bigger chance to stand out and be remembered. Put a real thought into it. In both cases make sure you give a call if you have not received a reply after a few weeks time.
2) Create a press kit
#1 Put thoughts into the cover page
Alternatively called a letter, that is addressed to a particular person. It should say who you are, where one can hear you online, and who is the contact person. Just like every other application.
#2 Set up your band bio
Each band should have a biography. Tell what makes you special. Why should people listen to you? Be confident – this is your story! We want to know where you come from, how you came together, what inspires you, what are your technical abilities and future plans. One page is more than enough. It has to be easy to read. Check grammar mistakes.
When sending electronically, remember to send both the letter and the biography in pdf.
#3 Don’t forget about strong visuals
Your CD needs a cover image that can be easily done these days even online. Disc Makers is a great source of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator templates for various CD covers. If you are not a graphic designer by any means, just keep it simple.
Take a photo that represents the mood and style of your band. Find the colors and fonts you want to work with, and stick to them. If you are a total beginner, check Bighugelabs.com and Web Designer Depot for ideas.
Alternatively find a friend designer, who might do a job without breaking the bank. Note, there is nothing wrong with the neatly done handmade CD covers!
#4 Add some band photos
Don’t forget to send good quality band photos, both in color and black and white, horizontal and vertical.
You are privileged to modern smartphones that can easily replace a good camera. Taking a band photo, think of an interesting background that sets the mood of your music.
Remember – good lighting is the key. You do not need to be a photographer to take a nice quality image with the latest Samsung or iPhone. And you have to start somewhere; once you do a step forward you can consider a professional photo set.
Want a 10-minute photo school? Check this great slideshow from Daniel Lemin.
3) Grow your network
While you are sending out your press kits and waiting for the gig, don’t sit and wait. Go out and make contacts.
Make real life contacts
Go to other local band gigs, open mics, small festivals and talk, make friends and contacts. It is a good idea to go to venues and present your band to managers face to face. If they show the interest, send the press kit or give a CD with contact detail on it.
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Represent your band online
Stay active online, especially on Facebook and Soundcloud, as those are the channels more likely to be checked. If you have a chance to record yourself on video at a rehearsing space, upload it on YouTube.
Authentic self promotion is the key
It is good to do it yourself. And skills will come with practice. Your biography will get updated with each gig and new records on the list. Your language will get polished, too. However, if you need a real help and not sure how to put things together, you can always try paid services like: http://www.reverbnation.com/pricing
This article wouldn’t be a great advice without Patti Smith and her sincere suggestion to the young artists. Good luck!
Want to play with others already now?
You maybe wonder now what to do between your live gigs or while you are still working to get your first band gig. Join sofasession and jam with your band members or other users. Work on new song ideas with the super easy software, be creative and have fun!