BandPagers, if you haven’t been tuning into our BandPage Sessions over at Google Hangouts then you’ve been missing out. Every Thursday at 1:30 PST J sits down with Steve Rennie (Incubus’ Manager) and a slew of other special guest to discuss all things music industry related. From launching successful crowd funded campaigns, to choosing a manager, to the importance of a buying your sound guy a beer- there is no topic that goes uncovered.
Last week J and Steve sat down with the crew from BandsinTown to discuss the best way for musicians to go about booking gigs as well as the small but important things one can do to properly prepare for and improve their live performance. Be sure to check out the video and read about some of the highlights from the informative chat below.
Practice, Practice, Practice. Then Practice Some More
There is no checklist, blog, website, or consultant that is going to magically make you a successful band or artist. So before stepping foot in any venue or picking up a phone to book your first gig, the first thing any young band should do is invest in a rehearsal space and practice, practice, practice. Take the time needed to really fine-tune your craft. Venues are interested in bands that sell tickets, and bands that are great live, sell tickets. Remember just playing gigs does not automatically mean you are entertaining. If you want to create a following and get fans to come back and see you, it’s important you put on a great show. Below are a few ideas mentioned in our BandPage Session that just might help you improve your live game.
- Work on your set-list. Create “moments” in your set that takes fans on an emotional journey.
- Know which songs of yours are going to catch people’s attention and place them accordingly in your set-list.
- Start big and finish big – the old Rock n’ Roll adage. Pull people immediately into your set and leave them wanting more.
- Know where the breaks are going to be in your set and prepare for them. Have an idea of what you want to say to the crowd – don’t just mindlessly repeat you have merch for sale in the back (although that is important to)
Get In Where You Fit In:
The best thing you can do as a band or artist (besides practice) is to first create a following in your own hometown. Before you start trying to figure out the best route for your tour of the Midwest, play a ton of shows and work on winning fans over in your own city. If you’re not popular where you are, how can you expect to be in demand anywhere else? Once you have generated a decent following in your own city, it will enable you to gradually build your audience in the next city as fans from your own hometown travel to watch you perform. But first things first:
- Get familiar with the various venues where bands similar to yours often play. It might be obvious but if you are a punk band you don’t want to try booking gigs at venues that predominantly hosts EDM artists.
- Befriend other local bands in your community. Introduce yourself after shows and get to know people within the scene.
- Trade shows with other bands that are similar to yours. Have other bands add you to their bill in exchange for you adding them to yours.
- Be accessible. Hangout after shows and spend some time talking to the kids who came to see you.
- Throw a party. Put together a fun event that will attract people in your scene and perform at it.
Don’t Forget Your Manners:
It’s amazing how far simply being polite will get you in this business. The smallest token of thankfulness can make all the difference in the world. People in this industry look out for others that are good to them so after your show make sure you thank the promoter for helping you land the gig. Make sure you thank the sound person for taking the time to ensure you sounded ok. Thank the guy at the door. Thank the lighting guy. Send a handwritten note to the venue owner thanking them for the opportunity to play at his/her location. People aren’t thanked enough in this industry so any type of gesture that conveys your appreciation goes a long way. You can bet the next time you play that venue the sound person will spend a little extra time making sure you sound even better or maybe the lighting guy will take the extra time to make sure your set looks great. It’s well worth the effort.