While everyone starts learning their instrument for a different reason, playing live in front of an audience is a goal most musicians share. Whether you’re playing covers or an original band writing your own music, the thrill of stepping out on stage is a surreal feeling. With that being said, here are 6 tips to help take you from playing in your parent’s garage to booking gigs on stage.
1. Practice. Practice. Practice.
It might seem obvious but too often artists approach bookers before they’re gig-ready. If you’re performing cover songs or your own material as a soloist or part of a band, you need to hone your craft before even thinking about performing.
In case it wasn’t already obvious, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. No pressure.
2. Make A Demo
Once you’re sounding great in the studio it’s time to make a demo. This probably goes without saying, but if you want people to listen to your demo, make it easy for them. Upload it to a platform like SoundCloud so it can be listened to on the go.
When it comes to sending your demo to industry figures, other artists, or even friends, it’s important to remember that they’re helping you out by listening to it. Try not to chase anyone for feedback too aggressively, and take constructive criticism graciously, this is how you will improve.
3. Social Media = Best Supporter
Before you’ve even played your first gig, it’s a good idea to set up at least 1 (or more) social media account(s) for your musical group, band and/or artist persona.
Even if you’re not into social media, it’s worth putting in the effort. Once you set up page(s) on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or SoundCloud, you’re setting yourself up to be in a much better position at the start when interacting with other artists, promoters, labels, and venues.
If you don’t ask, the answer will always be ‘no’ – but as you may have already guessed, that’s where networking comes in. A huge part of being an artist is connecting with other artists and industry professionals.
If you want our advice (& you probably do if you’re reading this article), we suggest you target artists and figures who operate in a similar sonic sphere to you as they’ll be able to give you more relevant advice. Also – don’t go after unreachable figures. We hate to be the bearer of bad news but Beyonce, Drake, Morgan Wallen, or Ariana Grande probably won’t reply to your Instagram DM. On the other hand, the band who you saw perform in your local pub last week probably will.
P.S. If Beyonce, Drake, Morgan Wallen, or Ariana Grande just happen to be reading this, we’d love to have you rehearse and/or record a new song or two here at The Playroom. Hit us up – HERE
Anddddd moving on…
5. Supporting Act Gigs
Every hero needs a side kick and a great way to start gigging is to get a support act slot. Go to other bands and artists’ gigs and message the acts that you love on social media because sometimes landing a support gig is as simple as asking for it. (Just keep in mind tip #4.)
6. Submit Radio Tracks
If you are not already, become familiar with the independent radio stations and hosts in your area. To be completely honest, it’s unlikely that your first-ever track sent to a radio station will work, but don’t let that discourage you from still pursuing this avenue. In fact, you could always try contacting local broadcasters directly and asking them to play your music.
Once you start booking gigs, you’ll develop a reputation as a performing artist/band and booking gigs will become easier and easier. Then before you know it, someone is doing it for you. Just remember to keep in mind the steps above and you will be playing your heart out in no time.
The Playroom will do everything possible to accommodate your music needs, no matter your experience level or genre may be. If you need space for tour rehearsal, choreography, band auditions, label showcases, video or photo shoots, or you just need somewhere to turn the volume up, The Playroom is your answer. We are an Amusement Park for Musicians and have been meeting the Southeast’s music rehearsal needs for over 3 decades.
To reserve your time at The Playroom, please contact us.