December 12, 2023

How can I get a gig?

Let’s get down to business, why are you learning to play the guitar?
You may want to learn just for your own enjoyment, or to play at home when family or friends gather. Those are very good reasons but I have to say something that probably I have said in the past, performing live in front of an unknown audience either with a band or solo is probably one of the most rewarding moments in music… so if you are learning to play songs or writing your own and are getting good, maybe you should start thinking about doing some local gigs in your town don’t you think? Get out there and show your music and of course, make a couple of bucks which actually I think is another rewarding part of music. Getting paid for what you love doing… that is a blessing!

Getting a gig is not an easy thing however, especially if you are not well known or you are only starting to promote yourself. Finding a manager? Mmm… leave that for later unless you do find one who is really keen on what you do but getting a manager is a totally different story which might not be required just yet…

I have been playing drums for about 15 years, I spent the first 2 or 3 years playing at home with friends until I got a call to do a gig at a local pub and since then I have been playing “professionally”; by which I mean getting paid for the gigs I do.

Fortunately or unfortunately I have never been the face of a band for getting the gigs, I was only studying the songs at home, going to band practice always on time and of course showing up on time for sound checks and for the gig, that was it. I am currently promoting my current personal music project to take it out there and get as many gigs as we can and man, it is a hard job, it requires a lot of your time, phone calls and moving from east to west, north and south! However, as my dad always says to me, “…everything is possible if you want it and think about it”

So here’s my quick guide to getting yourself a gig:

1. Record your music: Record a demo of the songs in your repertoire. Having this is a must especially with all the new technology that we have in our hands. Doing a quality home recording is now possible. Always try to record your stuff with the highest sound quality you can – it will say a lot about you.

2. Present it well: Make a cover for the CD, put CD into a case or one of those CD envelopes… always remember to put your band or artist name, music style and MOST IMPORTANTLY contact details.

3. Research and deliver: Do you know which are the best places to go around your area? What pubs or bars are welcoming new musicians? Bring your demo to all of them! Also a good thing to do is to show up for “jam nights”, many bars do them during weekdays. This is a great way to meet more musicians and of course a magnificent opportunity to show your music to the locals and more importantly the bar owners.

4. Network and social media: This is one of the new kids on the block. It certainly wasn’t available when I was starting out. Now almost every business has a website, you can either send them an email with your tracks, or simply get in touch for an appointment. Use social media as your secret weapon, get in touch with as many people as you can, show what you do, upload your tracks, upload videos, keep posting your own stuff.

5. Contact: Have you sent your demo to different places, have you sent emails? Call them again! Keep pushing all those contacts you made until you get a date for a show.

6. Patience: As I mentioned earlier, getting gigs is not easy, specially at this stage of your career, so be patient but work hard.

If you have any questions drop us a comment, I am sure someone will have the right answer for you!

Until next time!

Learn more about Luis Tovar on his Google profile.

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