How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 2

How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 2

May 14, 2018

Landing a gig for your band isn't quite as easy as just showing up at a random club like The Blues Brothers did, and talking your way in. In Part 1 of How to Get a Gig, we learned that knowledge of your market is the first priority, and we learned the somewhat less than glamorous process of gathering the information you need. Being an entrepreneur at heart, you have invested your time into creating a tactical 'map' of your market. In this article, you will see how you can use the intelligence you've gathered to build a product (band) that will sell in your market.

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Using a Booster to Get More Out of Your Favorite Guitar Pedal

Using a Booster to Get More Out of Your Favorite Guitar Pedal

May 14, 2018

A popular option for finding the ideal guitar tone is using an always-on guitar pedal. This can be a foundational overdrive pedal, a dedicated preamp box with a DI, or practically any effect that helps you achieve the sound in your head. While nothing beats a great amplifier, musicians who want to travel light, use different backlines frequently, or want to get great tone without having to crank their amp or deal with the acoustic variables at each venue may find a particular pedal or pedals to be a superior option.

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How to Get a Gig: Getting Started (Part 1)

How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 1

May 07, 2018 2 Comments

In our Getting Started series, we have talked about how to prepare yourself for a job as a working musician, as well as highlighting what you must know to succeed as a musician when you get there. However, at some point you may have to be the one to go out and get bookings. Perhaps your band will decide to venture into a new market, or maybe you will decide to start a group of your own. I must warn you to be patient, because even when you have done your homework, getting a gig is a challenge for the most seasoned agents and bandleaders. The task requires a lot of research, making phone calls, and visiting establishments in your market. And no small amount of negotiating skill! The good news is this isn't rocket science once you know what you're doing.  Let's look at a common-sense method that guarantees you the best possible odds of beating the competition and getting work for your band.

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Showtime: Getting Started, Part 2

Showtime: Getting Started, Part 2

April 24, 2018 1 Comment

In this segment we'll continue from Part 1 with five more Rules of the Road which you will need to know in order to be your best on stage. Let's take a look at some more pro tips:

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Showtime: Getting Started, Part 1

Showtime: Getting Started, Part 1

April 20, 2018 3 Comments

Your moment of truth has arrived. You did your homework and mastered your instrument. You know the material. You walk into the gig looking healthy and professional. So far, you have conveyed to the band that you know what you're doing. That's the good news. The bad news is you can blow it all in spite of your hard work if you don't conduct yourself like a pro. But what does that entail? What are the basic expectations demanded of the whole band, and what pitfalls can make you tarnish the solid first impression you've made? In this article, we'll explore the things you need to know at showtime.

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Professionalism: Getting Started Series

Professionalism: Getting Started

April 13, 2018 3 Comments

Knowing how to handle yourself on the job and understanding what people's expectations of you will be are just as important as the quality of your performance. If you have a good reputation, it will open doors for you. Bands often hire based upon two criteria other than musicianship: your experience, and your demeanor. Until you gain experience, all you have to work with is your demeanor. How professional do you come across, on the phone and on the bandstand?  Are you familiar with the business of music in general? Band leaders and managers also want to see how much you know about the local scene, because until you understand it they can't trust you'll know how to draw consistently and perform up to standards. A big part of that is how well you know and follow the basic rules of paid performance.

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Musicianship: Getting Started

Musicianship: Getting Started

April 10, 2018 3 Comments

Whether you are starting out on your career path as a musician, or you just want to take your band (or yourself) to the next level and play some shows, knowing the basics which are expected on every gig is crucial. Of course, you will need to be a good player too. But the players who get the first call are the ones who understand the job at hand. In this series, we will explore the basic expectations demanded of a professional musician.

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Are Tube Amps Worth It?

Are Tube Amps Worth It?

April 05, 2018 14 Comments

Despite their awesome tones, many musicians shy away from using tube amplifiers, instead opting for solid state alternatives. And that’s not a bad thing- solid state amps can sound great too, and it’s all a matter of preference at the end of the day. There are many perceived downsides to tube amplifiers that make potential users hesitant to make the jump. However, these are not necessarily the deal breakers that many make them out to be.

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Four Gig Items You Should Always Have a Backup For

Four Gig Items You Should Always Have a Backup For

March 23, 2018 15 Comments

No matter how well you take care of your gear, anything can happen at a gig. As any professional roadie will tell you, it’s a full time job making sure that every performance goes off without a hitch. But for those of us who haven’t hit the big time yet, dealing with an equipment malfunction or mishap can be a real showstopper. A great insurance policy for any gig is coming prepared with backup gear.

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Five Tips for Downsizing Your Guitar Rig

Five Tips for Downsizing Your Guitar Rig

March 16, 2018 11 Comments

If you’ve been a musician for some time, it’s likely that you’ve had to downsize your guitar or bass rig for one reason or another. It could be that your band’s tour van was tight on space, or you decided to start using public transportation to get to the gig, or you simply didn’t want to lift a heavy amp anymore. Whatever the reason, switching from a big rig to a smaller one isn’t always easy. While some musicians may revel in their quicker, easier load-ins and saving on chiropractic bills, others may find themselves reluctant to ditch their big rigs. And it’s completely understandable - if you’re going from a head and cabinet setup to a practice amp, for instance, you will notice a difference in sound, just by virtue of having less speakers behind you onstage. But with proper planning, downsizing your rig just may end up working out for the better.

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Six Tips to Help Your Fly Date Go Smoothly

Six Tips to Help Your Fly Date Go Smoothly

March 09, 2018

If you’ve been booked for an out of town gig that you need to fly to, there are special considerations that need to be made. With gigs in town, or even in neighboring cities, it’s as simple as loading up your gear in your car and driving to the venue. Fly dates are a different beast - you have to book a flight, arrange transport to and from the airport, choose a hotel near the gig if necessary, and of course, figure out your equipment situation.

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Guitar Tuner Accuracy- How Accurate is Enough?

Guitar Tuner Accuracy- How Accurate is Enough?

March 01, 2018 6 Comments

When choosing the right tuner for your electric guitar or bass, there are many factors to consider. If it’s for onstage use, the tuner should have a clear enough readout, be rugged in construction, and have the ability to mute your signal while tuning. Looking for the ultimate in portability? Handheld and clip on tuners, are your best choice here. Whichever tuning route you go, a tuner’s accuracy is often a component you will want to consider. While just about any tuner can get you in tune, there are certain instances where having a more accurate tuner is required.

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