#1
So, my friend and I are going to start calling around to try and set up some shows at local coffee houses. I know that most, and probably all, of the money I make comes from tips, so I was wondering if someone that knows more about this can help me. What would be the best way to get people to tip? Does it come from certain songs? Or could it just be from stage presence/them liking me?

The places are going to mostly be indie places, and I will be playing mostly originals mixed with some covers.
#2
We don't really get payed by the audience.. we get payed by the people running the cafe.

We'll have the set price they pay for us (usually we say first gig there is free) and then they will pay extra depending on how much the customers payed attention to us and how many extra coffees they bought.

Sometimes customers will buy or CD's which we generally keep leaning against our cases or (for bigger venues) amps. Or they will sign up to our email list.

We busk, when we want more money. That way it doesn't look weird when you have your case set out with a few coins in it. People feel you are more approachable if others have already gone up to you.
#3
Sorry to bump an old thread, but I have another question that hopefully will be answered.

We have called and emailed a number of coffee houses, but we haven't recieved an email or phone call back from them. When we contacted them, we just let them know that we are interested in playing and we were wondering what we needed to to to possibly be booked (we told them that we could drop off a demo and we gave a link to where they could listen to the music). Should we call/email them again? If so, should we be more assertive (I wish I could think of a better word)?
#4
Call them back. Don't waste time with e-mail which is easy to ignore. Usually when I call someone back I don't even bother asking about things over the phone, I just use the call to set up a face to face meeting with an owner or someone who can actually give me answers about a gig.

If you do that for your first meeting, you can always bring a lap top and show them your demo in person. Make sure your demo material is already coffee shop ready, rather than something like electric material that you simply claim you'll play an acoustic version of.

I don't know about being more assertive, but if every business owner didn't return your calls, there is probably something wrong with the way you've been approaching your calls and emails. Make sure to be as professional as possible, take the initiative to check back within a week,and make the specifics, ie.--how long your set list is, what you'll need to play, volume levels, etc. very clear in your discussion.

That's my take. I've never really played at a coffee shop, but I've done a handful of light gigs for hipsterry, or semi-artsi places and I think those are pretty good rules of thumb.
#5
Be a frequent customer at the places you wish to play. If you want to play there, they most likely have other shows often. Go to as many as possible and start networking like crazy. Don't even mention you're in a band, just talk with the staff, the guys who are running the show, the guys playing the show, and the audience. Make yourself a known individual, so they know you, and you know them....lots of rapport. After a while just kind of drop in that you play, and would like to perform there sometime. No way in hell they will say no if they know you, and your material is solid. Relationships in the business are key.

Edit: This whole process should take place over the course of a month, not a night.
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#6
Quote by freshtunes
Be a frequent customer at the places you wish to play. If you want to play there, they most likely have other shows often. Go to as many as possible and start networking like crazy. Don't even mention you're in a band, just talk with the staff, the guys who are running the show, the guys playing the show, and the audience. Make yourself a known individual, so they know you, and you know them....lots of rapport. After a while just kind of drop in that you play, and would like to perform there sometime. No way in hell they will say no if they know you, and your material is solid. Relationships in the business are key.

Edit: This whole process should take place over the course of a month, not a night.



^^ YES!. Not many people like to take the effort to do that kind of networking when I say they should do that kind of thing. This type of networking is extremely efficient for present and future gigs.
#7
Quote by freshtunes
Be a frequent customer at the places you wish to play. If you want to play there, they most likely have other shows often. Go to as many as possible and start networking like crazy. Don't even mention you're in a band, just talk with the staff, the guys who are running the show, the guys playing the show, and the audience. Make yourself a known individual, so they know you, and you know them....lots of rapport. After a while just kind of drop in that you play, and would like to perform there sometime. No way in hell they will say no if they know you, and your material is solid. Relationships in the business are key.

Edit: This whole process should take place over the course of a month, not a night.


Yeah. Building relationships takes a little longer than one night.

I actually think this is pretty damn good advise TS. Plus you will most likely be making new friends and stuff, which is never bad!

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#8
So, we have recieved a couple of replies from places that seem interested in working with us.

And thanks for the advice. We have been working to network with some local bands and introduce ourselves/build a relationship with a couple of venues.

Actually, JackFlash (if you read this) we're currently students at UNT. Do you know of any places that would be interested in an alternative folk duo? A few songs of ours are uploaded onto my profile if you wouldn't mind listening (that goes to anyone, really). Just please forgive the sound quality. They are very rough demos.
#9
Quote by ceske
So, we have recieved a couple of replies from places that seem interested in working with us.

And thanks for the advice. We have been working to network with some local bands and introduce ourselves/build a relationship with a couple of venues.

Actually, JackFlash (if you read this) we're currently students at UNT. Do you know of any places that would be interested in an alternative folk duo? A few songs of ours are uploaded onto my profile if you wouldn't mind listening (that goes to anyone, really). Just please forgive the sound quality. They are very rough demos.



Yea, actually drop me a line either via email (trvs_mrks@yahoo.com) or my aim sn (TGMarks19). I never check the pms here, but I've been in Denton for close to 7 years playing in, managing, booking, and shooting bands in the area. I can tell you everything you need to know about the Denton music scene haha. Sig check for my website that's being put together specifically for venues and bands(Venuecity). (server had a bunch of gay data loss 6 months ago, so we had to start from scratch again :/)