How to Get a Gig – Making that Jump to Being a Full Time Performing Musician
I live in ‘Hot ‘Lanta’ where we are very fortunate to have a pretty “happening scene.” There are jam sessions every night around town from complete improv with no tunes or keys called to predominately singers interpreting the “Great American Songbook”. Many of musicians here are very busy with touring, local gigs, studio dates, etc. Most of the players I see around town are professionals. They gig and teach… and teach and gig from local stores to homes to high schools and institutions of higher learning. Some of these musicians hold down day jobs and gig regularly for extra cash, for the love of the music and the camaraderie with fellow musicians.
A lot of musicians who gig around town want to break into the ranks of full time performer.
They are constantly working hard to make that leap. So, what does it take to make that jump to full time performing musician today? This is a topic I continue to ask respected musicians, club owners and agents. This topic will be addressed and explored in upcoming Jazz Guitar Today articles authored by guest contributors. If you would like to have specific questions asked, please contact me via the form below.
In the meantime, let me suggest a few things.
If you have been getting some opportunities but you have little in your resume and therefore, no real ‘promotion’ cachet – you have to make the most of what you do have. Here goes…
1 – Keep track of your gigs and be prepared to provide a list as both a leader and sideman.
2 – Have content, this can be CD’s, video, pictures from gigs, reviews, recommendations from people and establishments you have performed in.
3 – Make an EPK, (electronic press kit). Basically this is a one page website that quickly tells your story in the best possible light.
4- That EPK, keep it honest… One of the worst shows I ever produced was from an EPK where the performer very dishonestly misrepresented himself.
5- The last thing for now and important to keep in mind –
Making a living in any art form turns your passion into a business.
I know artists that say they spend up to 90% of their time in the marketing and promotion of their art. This can be discouraging to some as they just want to play and exciting to others who enjoy mixing it up.
Again, I would like to hear from you! Drop me a line using the form below.