4 Ways to Book Your First Gig

So you’ve written some music. Your friends dig it. But, that’s about it.

What now? Aren’t satisfied?

Get out there and play to some randoms!

There are dozens of ways to go about getting your first gig, and it can be an intimidating process at first. So you can delegate more time towards creating your music, I’d like to present some quick, basic methods for booking your first gig:

1) THE INTERNET – There are an insane amount of places you can go on the internet to find somebody willing to give your music a chance. Although it’s popularity is diminishing, I still believe that MySpace is an EXCELLENT starting place to locate venues and booking agents on the net. This is precisely how I booked the first gig for my band.

Of course, at the bare minimum, make sure you have your own MySpace page with a few of your songs available for listening. Once you’ve established that, do a MySpace search within 10-20 miles of your zip code and use keywords like “booking,” “entertainment,” and “agent.” There is bound to be at least a few search results that pop up. Check out their pages carefully and search for e-mail addresses, official website links or other type of contact information. If there is nothing, send them a MySpace message. In your message, briefly tell them why your contacting them and make sure to give them a way to listen to your music and a way to contact you directly. Tell them your extremely interested in working with them and willing to help them in some way. If you sound professional, chances are you will get a reply back.

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[Img Credit: ala.org]

2) THE VENUE – If you’re search results came up empty, don’t give up there! Burn some CD’s, walk around town and look for places (bars, clubs, coffee shops, VFW halls, churches, restaurants, houses) you think may be interested in booking your type of music. Go into the venue and say you would like to talk to whomever is in charge of booking the live music. Introduce yourself to him/her, hand them a CD and tell them you think you’re music will work well in their venue and you would like to play a show sometime. Usually they will direct you to their booking agent or give you their contact information. Follow up a few days later and see if they have any open slots in the near future. If they enjoyed your music they will usually give you a shot. And don’t feel bad if you end up opening for someone; be glad you got on stage in the first place! You have to start somewhere.

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[Img Credit: terragalleria.com]

3) THE COMPETITION – If you’ve found a few places that you’d like to play your first gig at but haven’t been hearing back from any venues or booking agents, get to know some of the bands already playing there. Find a band of similar musical style that you enjoy, and go out and support them! Go up to their merch table after the set and introduce yourself to them. Give them a CD and tell them you’re looking to play your first gig here. More than anyone else these guys will likely sympathize with your situation since they had to book their first gig at one time too. They can put in a good word for you and increase your chances of landing a show date. Befriend your competition.

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[Img Credit: hollywoodteenmovies.com]

4) JUST DO IT NIKE STYLE – If your genre of music can allow for it, just go someplace public and …play. Make some CD’s and hit up a mall, a beach, a street corner, a parking lot, a front porch, a subway, whatever. Somebody new is bound to hear you and who knows – maybe they’ll dig it.

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[Img Credit: republicupdate.com]

_chris

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One Response to “4 Ways to Book Your First Gig”

  1. Good info. Another fun early gig is playing at private parties, either at a house, frat, etc. The pay will suck, but it’s live experience, and great for creating a fanbase. Hand out crap with your name on it, or start an email mailing list to join. The personal atmosphere let’s people connect more than a bar gig or show, and your likely to make some real fans.

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