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How to start getting gigs?

A Guest Post by Symphonic Distribution

Digital Music Distribution, sell your music online

Digital Music Distribution, sell your music online Getting gigs is one of the most important factors in taking your music from a hobby to a career. It is where the vast majority of musicians make the largest portion of their income, whether it be from performance guarantees or merchandise sales. If you are a musician trying to turn your art into a career, you need to be playing gigs.

Gigs, shows, concerts and whatever else you want to call them aren’t always the easiest things to get a hold of, especially if you are just starting out. Every part of the music business intertwines with all aspects of itself in some way. So what steps can you take with that mindset in order to get gigs?

Before you think about playing a gig you should ask yourself these few important questions:

Can I pull this off live to an above satisfactory level?

There really isn’t much of a point in getting gigs if you can’t perform your music live. This happens a lot with new, eager artists that just want to get their music out to the public. It’s important to take the time to hone your craft and make it as great as you can with the resources you have available. No one is expecting a laser light show at the local coffee shop while you play, but if you can’t play the songs without stopping multiple times or singing off key you should go home and practice. (You should be doing that anyway.)

Do you have a way someone can contact you for a gig?

I’ve gone to a show or festival many times where I saw an artist onstage who I had never heard of but was impressed by, but other than them spouting out an exhausted, “Thank you! We are _____!,” I had no idea who they were. Don’t expect someone to have the time or care to go research who you are themselves. Make sure you have a brand that people can recognize. Making it simple for them makes it simple for you. Have a way someone can contact you, whether it’s email, Facebook or even Twitter; anything and everything helps. Business cards are useful too and may not be a bad way to go, but they aren’t the only tools you can use. Have an email sign-up at your merchandise area if you have one. Mention your name multiple times throughout a set. Have your name on something on stage (banner, drum head, guitar cab). When you’re onstage, you have everyone’s attention. Take advantage of that opportunity!

Do you know how to network?

Now that you are able to blow audiences away with your live music and you have a way for them to contact you about gigs, what are you doing outside of your shows to obtain those gigs? This works at all levels but is by far the most resourceful tool for a new artist who is just starting out. Are you going to shows you aren’t playing at yourself? Are you meeting other artists and forming friendships when you play with them? Are you paying attention to that company on the flyer that is putting on the show? They are a promotion company and many times they do a multitude of shows in your area. And guess what? They probably need openers for those shows. Contact them and let them know who you are and that you are out there looking to perform. Contact venues you go to about performing, they will usually direct you toward someone that can hopefully help you out.

Once you have your feet under you can start contacting booking agents and managers and let them know you are looking to support their artists. At first you will probably hear a lot of “no’s,” but building your art into a career takes lots of time and hard work. I promise you that if you are actively seeking out ways to better your craft and build your fan base, you will grow as an artist.

By: Grant Brandell
Service & Product Sales Manager for Symphonic Distribution

Symphonic Distribution was launched in the winter of 2006 by a Music Producer from Tampa, Florida. The company was launched with the intention of providing new and established record labels cost effective digital distribution to retailers such as iTunes, Beatport, Rhapsody, Amazon, and more with a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction. Today, the company has paid over 3.5 million in royalties and distributes music for over 6,000 independent labels and artists, worldwide, which include, Spain, India, South Africa, Brazil and Russia, and has expanded services to Mastering, Marketing, Design, Licensing and Publishing Administration. Symphonic’s team of nine passionate individuals pride themselves on quick responses and direct one-on-one conversations and advising with clients, from the basics of managing a Social Network to providing Technical and Audio Support to clients.

Check out Music Clout’s list of Gigs and Music Festivals currently looking for artists to book.


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