#1
Hey all, thanks for reading.
So I'm a pretty decent guitarist, been playing for over a year now and I'm trying to start a band. I have a drummer (half the battle) and now I need to find a bassist and a singer. So after I find the bassist and singer, what would you suggest I do?
I mean as far as songs, promotion, gigging, etc.
#3
It might be a good idea to write some songs.

Ok, um pick a few songs for all of you to learn and then you guys can kind of figure out your style.
Lets jump in a pool


_____________________________________________
Last edited by I am wet : Today at 03:26 XM.
#4
That's a BIG question which is gonna require a BIG answer, so I'm gonna cheat and copy/paste some of my posts from other threads that deal with more particular problems and add bits to them as and when I think of additions.

Getting Together
So you wanna form a band? Look for people that you can get along with, this really is paramount. If there are two people, one is OK but with a great attitude and the other is a brilliant musician but is big headed, vain, or simply annoying, then go for the OK guy every time.
Ability can be learned and improved upon as you continue, but personality is almost impossible to change.
Once you have a line up, start off just jamming, pick some covers between you to play but don't expect miracles straight away. It takes time for everyone to get used to each others styles, but generaly, the more you practice, the tighter you become.
Once you start getting used to each other and are making some decent noises, you have a decision to make. You can either continue as a cover band, become an original band, or do a mixture of both.
Cover bands tend to get bookings more easily, original bands tend to struggle to be heard and get paid less on the pub/club circuit but the rewards artisticaly are better and if you become well known, financialy a lot more rewarding.
Doing a mixture of both, you tend to get more gigs in front of bigger audiences early on in your career, who you can then play some of your original material to and even sell them recorings.
Tribute bands deserve a mention here as well. Believe me, being in a tribute is hard work, you are limited set wise, you have to play the songs exactly like they were originaly recorded, you need to play a part rather than just being yourself and in this respect, it's kinda more like theatre than the other choices. But it's great fun if you get it right. You play to huge audiences, gigs are pretty easy to come by and you know that everyone in that audience is gonna like what you play because they're all fans of whatever bands you're a tribute to.
Because of the size of the audience that a tribute attracts, you can also charge more than the average band on the pub/club circuit.

Organising The Band
In a band, it helps if people are in charge of different stuff and each have their own department, like maybe one person becomes like the musical director (while still being open to suggestions from the rest of the band obviously) and another in charge of booking gigs, and another in charge of transport, and another being responsible for the safety of the bands gear and keeping an inventory of what gear goes to a gig and making sure it all returns.
This way, everyone has their own department to worry about and very rarely bothers anyone else about their department. It makes everyone feel involved in the day to day running of the band, but avoids arguments.

F'rinstance, in my band, I organise the gigs and write the set lists for the gigs, which is then the set list that we rehearse for each gig. (which I suppose kinda makes me the musical director, but as a tribute band, it never involves actualy writing stuff, although me and the bassist have been writing material together for a future project that will involve the exact same line up doing original numbers under a different name) The guitarist organises transport and where and when we rehearse. The drummer's in charge of the bands inventory and the bassist is the guy who delivers posters, ticket books to ticket outlets, basicaly anything that involves driving a car and also generaly does the sound engineering for any support bands we might have.
He also does the sound engineering when we occasionaly hire out our PA.
Everyone has their own department and doesn't step on anyone else's toes, unless someone seriously screws up, in which case, the other three of us take the p!ss without mercy.

Diarys are important.
Each member of the band should have a diary and the person who organises the gigs should have the 'control' diary.
It's important to just have one member organising gigs, so if another member is asked about a booking, they should point the interested party to the member who sorts out bookings or give them his contact details (this is why bands have business cards)
It's also important that the band has regular sit down meetings, the best time for these are just after a rehearsal. Set aside an hour or so where you can all sit down (possibly with a beer) and just talk about band business. This is where the 'control' diary and everyone elses diaries comes in.
Every person who's gonna be away or unavailable for any reason (holidays, family events ect.) tells the person who has the control diary what date they will be unavailable as soon as they know themselves. Then at the sit down meetings, everyone goes through the control diary together and write down all these dates plus the gig dates that whoever holds the control diary has got for the band.
This way is fairly foolproof if done properly and religiously. It does away with accidental double bookings and ensures that no one will be too busy to play a gig. It also means that whoever is booking the gigs can just glance in the control diary and tell the prospective venue if they are available for a particular date or not straight away without having to check with the rest of the band first, which will come across as very professional.

Of course, these regular meetings are also there to sort out any other band issues and business. Vote on everything, majority rules, if you're outvoted, suck it in and deal with it. This really is the easiest way to sort out any issues, as long as everyone agrees to abide by the majority vote.
If your band is comprised of an even number of people and there is a 50/50 split in the voting, get a well respected member of te band, usualy a roadie, what they think (without telling them what everyone else's opinions are, just give them a simple choice and ask them their opinion) and go with whatever he decides.
Arguments are potentialy band killers and should be avoided like the plague so this is why it's important to have a process that does away with any arguments in decision making that everyone agrees to abide by.

Songwriting
It can be really hard work at times and it all depends on the personalities of your bandmembers.
The ideal mindset that everyone should have is 'What will be best for the band?' not 'How good will this make me sound/look?'
Everyone should be willing to at least try out someone else's idea for a song, whether that's a complete song or just a new section or a change in an already existing song.
They should all be willing to abide by the majority decision of the band, if you are outvoted on anything, tough titties, remember, it's all about what's best for the band, not the individual.

Everyone has a slightly different view or opinion of what is great music and this is where that well known saying ''You can please some of the people all the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.'' comes in. It's a logistical impossibility to please everyone all the time and if everyone realises this, it makes things much easier.
Because everyone is different, that means that when writing together, it's all a compromise.
Each member will have their favourite songs in the set, and these will more often than not be different songs for different people, likewise with least favourite songs, so it' important for each member to realise that the cost of being able to play your own favourite songs of the set is to play your least favourite songs of the set, because your least favourites are invariably going to be someone elses favourites.
If you find that no one in the band particularly likes playing a particular song, then that song should be dropped in favour of a ong that at least someone in the band get's pleasure out of.

These are the basic ground rules, and if you set them out before you start writing together and get everyone to abide by them, songwriting within the band should be easier.
Remember, because each individual member brings their own individual tastes and influences to the band, that makes for great variation within the band and songs themselves, which is a desirable result.
Variation means that your band is never boring to listen to so variation is 'good for the band.'
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Nov 28, 2008,
#5
Gigging
It's a general rule of thumb with bands. Don't commit the band to any performances until you are quite sure the band is ready to do that performance to the best of it's ability.
Obviously, booking the gig before you've even completed the line up couldn't possibly go more against this rule.

So what's the reason for the rule?
Reputation. It's THE most important factor for a performing musician/band. Get a bad reputation and it's like having a giant rock tied around your ankle. It slows you down until you play that one truly great gig that makes your name for yourself. Problem is, if you already have a bad reputation from a truly horrendous performance, how are you gonna get the opportunity to play that truly great gig?

Take your time.
Once everything is sounding good, and it may take quite a bit just to get everyone jamming tightly, then concentrate on a set list.
Once you have a setlist rehearsed and tightened, then look towards playing a gig. You will make an instant impact and your reputation will flourish.

You want gigs? Lots of gigs?
Look at other fairly local bands in your area that seem to play lots of gigs, bands that are not much bigger than yourselves but who seem to be constantly gigging, then look up their websites and check out their gigging lists.
Quite often these gigging lists will have the venue's phone numbers on them but if they don't, you can always find them in the directory. Do this with a few different bands and you'll end up with a pretty decent list of venues.
Next you need a diary and a phone and a couple of days free to ring around all these venues, (if it's someone elses phone, give 'em some money because this bit is gonna cost on their bill)
The diary should be a current one with all the dates marked in that any of your band members may be busy on throughout the year such as birthdays or holidays or any other date that they can think of when they're gonna be busy. Then start ringing around.

Some will say, 'Sorry, no.' in which case, make a note next to their phone number and carry on. Some will say 'you need to speak to....' in which case, ask for the number of the promoter/agent/person you need to speak to and ring them, some will say 'can you ring back at such and such a time?' in which case you take notes and ring back later.
Occasionaly someone will say, 'send us a press pack' or 'send us a demo' in which case you need to be making up a decent press pack that includes a demo and a poster.
Believe it or not, many venues actualy take more notice of the quality of your poster than your demo because they get more of an idea of the quality of your band that way. Y'see, many people who will be booking your band won't actualy be into your kind of music, so they wouldn't really know if you're a fair representation of that kind of music or not, but they can tell if you've put some thought into your posters, a full colour, striking poster of around A2 size will suggest that you're professional, a black and white A4 sized photocopy will make you look unprofessional.
Some venues will 'give you a go' at a reduced rate. Book these on the understanding that if you do well and attract a lot of people, they will re-book you for more money.

Most of the gigs you get will be booked at least three months in advance. If someone offers you a booking on the same date that someone in your band has a personal day booked, like a holiday or birthday, don't say 'I'm sorry, our drummer's going to his grandma's birthday party that night' say 'I'm sorry, our diary is full for that date'
Write all the bookings in your diary making sure to write down the venue's name, address, phone number and how much you've agreed to play for.

Promote each gig you get to the best of your ability and always send the venue a pile of posters.
Hopefully, if you do your job right you should get a decent crowd at your gigs and pretty soon you'll start getting a name for yourselves as a band that attracts a crowd.
Obviously it also helps immensly if you get a good reputation for being punctual and polite to everyone you will be working with, such as venue owners, promoters, agents and other venue staff, right down to the lowliest cleaner.
Networking is important as well, as you play more gigs, you meet more people like other bands, promoters, agents ect who can all help you out. This is another good reason to be polite to everyone you meet.
Your reputation is EVERYTHING in this business, look after it.

It's always worth remembering that your job, even though it may look like you're a musician, is actualy more often than not to sell beer.
You are usualy booked by a venue that has a bar to attract an audience who will then spend money at that bar (and remember, the more they drink, the better you'll sound. ) so the more beer that is being bought over the bar, the better you are going to do.
That's why you get more rock bands than any other genre in small venues, because they attract audiences that drink a lot of beer.

It's an ongoing process, so keep looking for new venues to play, keep ringing them up and sending out press packs (making sure to include any good reviews you may be getting) even the venues that said 'Sorry, no.' when you first rang them because as you gain a good reputation, eventualy they'll say, 'Yeah, I've heard of you, go on then, we'll give you a go.'

But I must warn you, when you first start ringing up venues, it's gonna be a slow process, you may be ringing up venues constantly for 2 whole days and only have 2 confirmed gigs to show for it. Stick with it and put 100% into the promotion and the performances, because you're still just trying to get the ball 'moving', eventualy once you get a fair amount of gigs under your belt and get the ball 'rolling', the gigs will pour in, but you have to keep working at it.

Once you've cracked your local area, start getting gigs further away.
Look at a map of the area where you live, your gigs should slowly radiate outwards in all possible directions, because what should happen is that just slightly further away than where you have played previously, they will have heard of you, which will make it easier to get gigs further away, which makes the towns slightly further down the road more likely to have heard of you, ect, ect.
Once you're doing this and regularly playing in different towns and cities, try not to play the same town twice within the space of about three months, that way you maximise your audience at every gig, which gives you a better reputation, which gets you better gigs.

Theoreticaly, you can keep going, keep gaining a better and better reputation, keep playing in better and better venues releasing material as you go and selling merchandise and eventualy, with enough effort and hard work, you'll be officialy 'famous'.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Nov 26, 2008,
#6
Promoting Gigs
Posters.
You need posters, and flyers.
You can either have a different poster for each gig or you can have a generic poster with the band's name, some sort of artistic design to grab people's attention and a blank white box at the bottom to fill in individual gig information (venue, date, time, price)
Colour posters generaly get more attention, and the bigger the better, but big colour posters are expensive to print, especialy once you get bigger than A3, but with the right artistic design a black and white poster can be very effective too.
Send as many posters as you can to the venue and try and get as many of them put up yourself around the area that the venue is in.
Most towns have laws and rules about flyposting, so walk around a town looking out for shop windows with other event posters in them. These are generaly band-friendly shops who are only too happy to place your poster in their shop window, but occasionaly they may want paying, so weigh it up, if the shop is right in the middle of a busy area, where a LOT of people are gonna see it, if it's only a few quid that they're wanting, it's probably worth paying.

Internet.
Of course, you should really have your own website and my-space and anything else you can think of which should be regularly updated. Promote your main website at gigs.
As you meet people at gigs, ask them for their e-mail addresses, with this information you can build up a mailing list which you can even use for sending out a regular newsletter about your band to.
Find websites that allow you to promote your gigs on their forums.

Newspapers.
Each town has a local newspaper, generaly read by most of the local poulation. You are aiming to get a write up in them before playing the corresponding gig. Newspaper ads are OK but they cost money and are generaly glanced over by most people, but a write up or feature has a much bigger impact and attracts more punters to the gig.
Do some homework, find out what the local newspaper for each town is, ring them up, ask to speak to the 'reporter' who handles 'entertainments and ''what's on'' guides' and ask if they would be interested in doing a 'feature' on your band as you will be playing their town as part of your 'latest nationwide tour' and ask if you can send them your 'official' press release.
Then e-mail them a press release that you have already written. This should really play up your band as much as possible, make you sound like the best thing since sliced bread and mention the release of your new album or ep (don't ever say 'demo') and other news about you that springs to mind and tour dates and a discription of your music, a little bit of humour doesn't go amiss either but not too much. (for instance, in one of ours, just after we'd got back together after a 12 month break, we said we'd split up a year ago because of health reasons... we were sick of the sight of each other!)
Try to write it in a typical cheesy reporter style, because what you are actualy doing is the reporter's job for him. If he sees a press release that he hardly has to edit, he's more likely to get it into print.
Make sure you send two pics with the press release, one colour, one black and white.

Radio.
Again, like newspapers, you can pay for your own adverts on local radio stations, but that just costs so much money, you need to be filling a huge venue in order for it to be worthwhile, but there's a cheaper way. Most radio local stations, like newspapers, generaly have a 'what's on' section.
A good idea is, if you are playing a venue with a charge on the door, get in touch with the radio station and ask if any of the DJ's will be interested in running a competition to win two tickets for the gig and either provide the station with two tickets or put the winners on your 'guestlist' at the door.
If a DJ goes for it, try and get friendly with the guy, send him a t-shirt and invite him to your gigs, even go drinking with the guy. He'll want to promote you if he likes you and will become a great asset to your band. (same goes for any newspaper reporters you meet)

Above all, enjoy yourself and remember 'RULE NUMBER ONE'
If it ain't fun, it ain't worth doing!

Hope this helps, I'm going for a lie down now!
Slacker.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Nov 26, 2008,
#8
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Promoting Gigs
Posters.
You need posters, and flyers.
You can either have a different poster for each gig or you can have a generic poster with the band's name, some sort of artistic design to grab people's attention and a blank white box at the bottom to fill in individual gig information (venue, date, time, price)
Colour posters generaly get more attention, and the bigger the better, but big colour posters are expensive to print, especialy once you get bigger than A3, but with the right artistic design a black and white poster can be very effective too.
Send as many posters as you can to the venue and try and get as many of them put up yourself around the area that the venue is in.
Most towns have laws and rules about flyposting, so walk around a town looking out for shop windows with other event posters in them. These are generaly band-friendly shops who are only too happy to place your poster in their shop window, but occasionaly they may want paying, so weigh it up, if the shop is right in the middle of a busy area, where a LOT of people are gonna see it, if it's only a few quid that they're wanting, it's probably worth paying.

Internet.
Of course, you should really have your own website and my-space and anything else you can think of which should be regularly updated. Promote your main website at gigs.
As you meet people at gigs, ask them for their e-mail addresses, with this information you can build up a mailing list which you can even use for sending out a regular newsletter about your band to.
Find websites that allow you to promote your gigs on their forums.

Newspapers.
Each town has a local newspaper, generaly read by most of the local poulation. You are aiming to get a write up in them before playing the corresponding gig. Newspaper ads are OK but they cost money and are generaly glanced over by most people, but a write up or feature has a much bigger impact and attracts more punters to the gig.
Do some homework, find out what the local newspaper for each town is, ring them up, ask to speak to the 'reporter' who handles 'entertainments and ''what's on'' guides' and ask if they would be interested in doing a 'feature' on your band as you will be playing their town as part of your 'latest nationwide tour' and ask if you can send them your 'official' press release.
Then e-mail them a press release that you have already written. This should really play up your band as much as possible, make you sound like the best thing since sliced bread and mention the release of your new album or ep (don't ever say 'demo') and other news about you that springs to mind and tour dates and a discription of your music, a little bit of humour doesn't go amiss either but not too much. (for instance, in one of ours, just after we'd got back together after a 12 month break, we said we'd split up a year ago because of health reasons... we were sick of the sight of each other!)
Try to write it in a typical cheesy reporter style, because what you are actualy doing is the reporter's job for him. If he sees a press release that he hardly has to edit, he's more likely to get it into print.
Make sure you send two pics with the press release, one colour, one black and white.

Radio.
Again, like newspapers, you can pay for your own adverts on local radio stations, but that just costs so much money, you need to be filling a huge venue in order for it to be worthwhile, but there's a cheaper way. Most radio local stations, like newspapers, generaly have a 'what's on' section.
A good idea is, if you are playing a venue with a charge on the door, get in touch with the radio station and ask if any of the DJ's will be interested in running a competition to win two tickets for the gig and either provide the station with two tickets or put the winners on your 'guestlist' at the door.
If a DJ goes for it, try and get friendly with the guy, send him a t-shirt and invite him to your gigs, even go drinking with the guy. He'll want to promote you if he likes you and will become a great asset to your band. (same goes for any newspaper reporters you meet)

Above all, enjoy yourself and remember 'RULE NUMBER ONE'
If it ain't fun, it ain't worth doing!

Hope this helps, I'm going for a lie down now!
Slacker.



Tell me you copied and pasted this!
#10
Quote by Hoodoo Child
jesus christ slacker

Well how the hell else are you supposed to answer a question like that?
I tell you what though, all we need is for axmanchris to do a few similar sized posts about recording and studios on this thread, come up with a section between us all on how to fire people and post the heckler putdowns list and the rest of the bandleading section will be practicaly obsolete.

Quote by SeeEmilyPlay
Tell me you copied and pasted this!

Some of it.

Quote by NckSprks
Hehehe thanks a lot all, especially slacker. xD

Anytime bud.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Nov 27, 2008,
#11
This should be stickied, god, it has EVERYTHING!

*Bows to Slacker's all knowing mind.*
#13
Addition.

Talking Between Songs
Many people struggle with this when they are first starting out. Some are naturaly gifted in this department, blessed with what we call 'The Gift of The Gab' and make the best 'frontmen/women' but it is something that can be learned and built upon as your confidence grows.
If you're playing a well known cover, you could say something like 'Here's one you might recognise' or if it's a new one you've written, you could tell the audience 'This is a brand new song and you're the first people to hear it. (I once went to see Saxon on three different dates of the same tour, and they said that about the same song at all three gigs)
You can either introduce a song before it starts, or you can wait until after it's finished and say 'Thankyou. That one was called .... and this next one is called...'

If people applaud you, always be polite and say 'thankyou' even if it's only a few people that's actualy applauding.
By all means tell the odd funny anecdote between songs, but don't make them long ones, the crowd have come to see a band not a comedian, just little one liners like 'Our guitarist locked the keys in the van earlier, it took him half an hour to get the drummer out.' will do nicely, but don't do them after every song, just occasionaly.
If you have a particularly good audience, say so. Say stuff like, 'Y'know, I do believe this crowd are actualy louder than....' and then mention another local town or a town that the town your in has some sort of football rivalry with. That usualy gets a reaction.

Say 'It's good to be here in... (name of the town you're in)' and if you've played there before, say 'It's good to be back here in... It's one of our favourite places to play.'

Try watching some live videos of guys like Ozzy or Dave Lee Roth, that'll give you more of an idea.
And finaly, learn a few decent put down lines in case you get any hecklers, audiences usualy like to see someone who can put a heckler down with a one liner, but don't go overboard because the gig will degenerate into a abuse going bacwards and forwards. And if your mind tends to go blank onstage when it's time to talk, by all means have a few notes at your feet next to your set list, just to promt you.

This is my own personal onstage list of heckler putdowns that I have collected over the years. I usualy have it right next to my set list on stage so I'm always prepared and never stuck for something to say.
Enjoy, and if you're planning to use any of them, please read the section after the list.

1. I refuse to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent! (always start with this as it also gives fair warning)
2. Aww. I remember my first beer too.
3. Didn't your parents ever ask you to run away from home?
4. There's an alcoholic who doesn't want to remain anonymous.
5. You shouldn't drink on an empty head
6. Now I know why some animals eat their young.
7. What holds your ears apart?
8. Do I come to your place of work & tell you how to sweep up? (or you could replace 'sweep up' with 'flip burgers' or even 'suck dick')
9. Go and lean against the wall in the other room,... that's plastered too!
10. Was your mother a weightlifter? No? How did she manage to raise a dumbell like you then?
11. If I could find enough wood, I'd board your mouth up!
12. I can't believe it. A hundred million sperm...and you were the quickest?
13. Do you still love nature, despite what it did to you?
14. If brains were bricks, you'd be homeless.
15. Are you from the shallow end of the gene pool or something?
16. Why don't you take a piggy back ride on a buzz saw?
17. With a face that ugly, you could put your nose in your ear and blow your brains out.
18. If I wanted to hear from an arsehole I would have farted.
19. I'm sorry, I don't know how to deal with you, I'm a musician not a proctologist.
20. On a scale of one to ten.... you're an dickhead.
21. You're ugly, your dick is short, no one likes you, shut the f**k up.
22. I've seen better faces on a clock, and even then, a cuckoo came out of it.
23. You couldn't get laid in a brothel with a fistful of twenties.
24. Save your breath, you'll need it to blow up your date later.
25. Look man, I grew up in... (name an area with a bad rep near to where you're playing) I've already been through your wallet, I know where you live, now shut the f**k up.
26. Good to see you again, I see you've gone back to wearing men's clothing.
27. (To a man who has just implied that you're gay) You want to know if I'm gay? Why don't you and your girlfriend bend over and see which one I f**k?
28. I could have been your father.... but my brother beat me to it because he had change for a dollar.
29. You'll never be half the man your mother was.
30. I got into this business because I thought it would be a bit of a fanny-magnet, but I didn't think I'd come across as big a c*nt as you.... Then say....I apologize for calling you that. I'm sure you're not a c*nt. You probably don't have the depth or capacity to give pleasure.
31. Hey, I like doing my act the way you like having sex.... alone.
32. You're the load your momma should have swallowed.
33. How did you get here? Did someone leave your cage open?
34. I'd like to see things from your point of view but I can't seem to get my head that far up my ass.
35. I don't know what makes you so stupid.... but it's really working!
36. He's so empty headed, if you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.
37. I honestly don't think you are a fool.... but then what's my opinion worth against thousands of others?
38. Do you know what you have in common with a sperm cell? You both have a 100 million to one chance of becoming a human being.
39. If you want to be on stage we can switch places..... you come up here and entertain the audience, I'll go down there and act like an arsehole.
40. Is that a foreign T-shirt? No? Oh, it's just that I've never seen 'c*nt' spelled that way before.

With this list comes great power, and as all Spider-Man fans know, ''with great power comes great responsibility'', so I'm trusting you guys not to abuse that power. ( Yeah, right.)
As always, it's important to mention that putting down a heckler is an artform. It's not just as simple as hurling abuse at the guy, it needs to be handled with finness and style and also with great timing.
To start with, look at the list. A lot of those will not be suitable for every audience or venue, use some of them in the wrong venue and you might be barred for life, or if you use number 28 for example (which is basicaly calling the guy's mother a prostitute) you better make sure he ain't some hardcase that's gonna hospitalise you, or even worse, that his mother isn't sat next to him. So read your audience first.
The last thing you want to do is get into a slagging match with someone.
The audience is there to see you play not blurt out a tirade of abuse and besides, you don't wanna use up all your lines in one go.
Just say the line and while the audience is laughing, dive straight into the next song, that way the heckler doesn't get the immediate opportunity to answer back, which will put him off his stride.
Also, if you play there again and you get another heckler (or even the same one bent on revenge, it happens, believe me.) try not to use the same lines you used last time.

I once saw a singer ask a heckler if the girl sat next to him was his girlfriend, the heckler said that she was so the singer asked if she was good in bed. Of course the heckler had to say that she was because she was sat right next to him, so the singer then said 'How do you think she got to be that good?'
Now, although this got a big laugh, the young lady in question ran out of the place in tears, which was unfair because it wasn't her fault that her boyfriend was a loudmouthed jerk. As far as the club owner was concerened it was a step too far and they never played there again.

The funniest one I ever saw was actualy a drummer I was working with one night.
Some guy who couldn't win at heckling had stood in front of the band, dropped his pants and showed the band his bare backside.
We kinda ignored it and got on with our set but a few songs later, our drummer suddenly stopped us mid song (something that is usualy a big no no during a gig)
He'd seen the guy walking into the gent's toilets, so he stood up, grabbed a spotlight, turned it until it lit this guy up in the toilet doorway and said over his mic 'While you're there, wipe your arse you dirty bastard!'
Nobody could play a thing for laughing for a little while after that one and the audience was in hysterics and believe it or not, the guy even bought us all a round of drinks afterwards because even he thought it was funny.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Nov 28, 2008,
#14
Promotional Items
Many bands have promotional items such as t-shirts, button badges, baseball caps ect. and if you do it correctly a promotional items side to your business can be a great asset.
I'll just talk about t-shirts here because each promotional item is much the same really, but obviously it's worth looking at your market. What are average music fans more likely to buy? T-shirts or a sandwitch box with your name on it? Obviously the t-shirt, but badges and baseball hats are also good sellers (maybe baseball caps don't sell quite as well as the other two though)
CDs of your band are also good sellers but unless you wanna fork out in copyright costs, it must be original material and must be of the best quality you can manage. Obviously the quality of the product must reflect in the price you're selling them for.

So, t-shirts. Get a wad of cash together, just get each member to cough up an equal amount and have say 100 shirts printed.
Have at least half of them in large, and maybe a quarter medium and a quarter small (or possibly just the other half medium) because you'll sell more large than any other size.
T-shirts are usualy screen printed, that means that for each colour you want on your shirt a screen must be made. Usualy a screen printing company will charge you for making the screen/s before you've even had any shirts printed
You can have whatever colour design you want, but the more colours you have in the design, the more expensive it will be in initial screen making costs, time costs and ink costs.
So if you can come up with a suitably impressive single colour design, it's gonna cost you less per shirt. But variation sells too, people might like your band, decide to buy a shirt, then when they see two different shirts, but both of them. A very cheap way of getting this kinda thing going is to simply change the colour of the shirt and design itself.
So you can have white shirts with a black logo, black shirts with a white logo, or blue shirts or red shirts or yellow shirts or green shirts or purple shirts or orange shirts with whatever colour logo looks good with whatever colour shirt.... and because of this variation you'll have slightly more sales. But don't give 'em too much choice, there's such a thing as over-kill after all. Too much choice and a punter will say 'Ahhh sod it, I'll just have the black one!' but a choice between just two or three different variations will get you extra sales.

So you've got your shirts printed, now sell them at twice the cost of printing them and put the money from sales to one side. Half of the money can go to repay the band for their initial outlay/investment, the other half will pay for your next batch of 100 shirts (which will be cheaper now because you're not having to pay the company to make screens)
From now on half of the money from t-shirt sales goes back into the kitty for the next batch and the other half is pure profit.
Once you notice a slump in sales and lots of people already wearing your shirts at gigs, change the design on the print. It'll cost you again in screen making, but those that already have your old shirts and regularly come to your gigs will probably buy these too.
Remember to ask the printing company to same your old screen though, at some point in the future, people will start asking if they can buy another of the original design, maybe their old one got torn or was just washed so many times that it's faded beyond recognition, but you also tend to get a particular mentality among music fans that want that original design just so that they can say 'I was into them when they first started out!' These people will probably buy every single variation and design of shirt that you come out with.

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Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Nov 28, 2008,