#1
I know these threads get old. Sorry. Me and my friend are both 15 and we both want to eventually become musicians. I'm sure there's tons of posts about how teenagers want to be rock stars one day I promise you we're different. We want to start gigging now so we can at least start getting experience, if not having some cash to buy some needed gear. We were planning on going around a village near us (we live on long island so theres a LOT of people especially on fridays, saturdays and sundays. Here are my questions: Do we need originals or could we do covers? How long would each gig be? How much do you think we would get paid? We'd both play acoustic. We're into everything from Dave Matthews to John Mayer to Led Zeppelin so we have a pretty wide audiance. Thanks!
Last edited by ethowitz at Sep 18, 2010,
#2
Ok. So, you and your friend are 15. That's going to cut out playing bars and taverns. That will limit the number of places you can play. Since it's only the two of you playing acoustic, that also rules out playing wedding receptions, which usually want full bands. One sure bet is to play for friends. Another would be playing for a school talent show - if such a thing even exists any more. You might also be able to find some open mics in non-taverns or bars. You might also find open mic nights at coffee houses. How much you get paid all depends on how good you are. How long have you been playing? How long a gig lasts is something you might be able to decide, however it's more likely to be decided by the paying client, who contracts with you to play for x number of hours. Any YouTube videos available?
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Sep 18, 2010,
#3
youd get paid very little consdiering your new musicians
you dont NEED originals many bands are stricly covers
and gigs vary in lenght by venue and such
#5
Quote by ethowitz
I know these threads get old. Sorry. Me and my friend are both 15 and we both want to eventually become musicians. I'm sure there's tons of posts about how teenagers want to be rock stars one day I promise you we're different. We want to start gigging now so we can at least start getting experience, if not having some cash to buy some needed gear.


Firstly, get this idea out of your head. You're not going to get NEAR enough to get decent - good gear until you play about 6 - 7 shows... and that's IF you get paid/save up.

We were planning on going around a village near us (we live on long island so theres a LOT of people especially on fridays, saturdays and sundays. Here are my questions: Do we need originals or could we do covers?
Doesn't matter. Depends where you're playing though. Death Metal/Hardcore/anythingsimilar fans want originals, but a couple covers is nothing bad. For anything else, people LOVE covers. It's how you draw the crowd: open with a cover or two, throw in your song, do a cover, another one of your songs, end with either.

How long would each gig be?


Depends. Are you headlining? Coheadlining? Opening? Usually headliners get about 60 minutes, coheadliners 45, and everyone else gets 30.

How much do you think we would get paid? We'd both play acoustic. We're into everything from Dave Matthews to John Mayer to Led Zeppelin so we have a pretty wide audiance. Thanks!

Depends on where you play, how many people you bring in, the cover charge, how long your set is, whether or not the venue even pays the bands, and if people like you, among other things. The most my band (of 4 people) EVER got was $125, and that's cause we brought in like... 21 people. Now, split that up and I ended up with... ~35 bucks. Not enough for gear.

I started gigging at just barely 15; it's hard. We were in the Death Metal group and people liked us... a lot. If you're good, you'll get a lot of "I thought you were going to suck, cause you were so young, until you started playing". If not, people won't stay.

Best of luck man. Enjoy it while you can!
#6
I don't know what the music scene is like in Long Island, but in most places, originals don't do all that well. Most people want to hear music they already know. That's not to say an original can't work and be popular, but most of the time they don't.
#7
Quote by KG6_Steven
Ok. So, you and your friend are 15. That's going to cut out playing bars and taverns. That will limit the number of places you can play. Since it's only the two of you playing acoustic, that also rules out playing wedding receptions, which usually want full bands. One sure bet is to play for friends. Another would be playing for a school talent show - if such a thing even exists any more. You might also be able to find some open mics in non-taverns or bars. You might also find open mic nights at coffee houses. How much you get paid all depends on how good you are. How long have you been playing? How long a gig lasts is something you might be able to decide, however it's more likely to be decided by the paying client, who contracts with you to play for x number of hours. Any YouTube videos available?

No youtube videos at the moment. We're planning on looking at restaurants and coffee houses for the most part. As for me, I'm working on my vocals but guitar comes naturally to me. I can play Neon by John Mayer which is a pretty difficult song to master if I may say so myself I also improvise blues and jazz almost everyday. As for my friend, he's a great vocalist and I'm helping him to become a better guitarist. I know it's pretty hard to judge our skill based off of this but it's the best I can do since we don't have any videos up.
#8
First thing:

Good for you.

Alot of people are confused on how to start playing and gigging, (did i spell that right?) and have no clue where to start. First build up a forty-five minute setlist of cover songs. You may wish to take your own little twist on things, ex When Aerosmith covered come together by the Beatles.

Once you have a setlist ask around local bars and coffee shops, go to open mic nights, play at your school pep rally/spirit assembly/talent show. This will give you tons of live, onstage experience and build your confidence. you will also begin to get some recognition. Once you start doing better and getting better known, you can move up to bigger gigs.

"How long would each gig be? How much would we get paid?"
This i cannot answer because it really depends on the circumstances.

Lastly, find some sort of a bass instrument like a bass guitar, double bass or something that will give you some depth and harmony to your playing. Also try to find a drummer, but that's not as important (yet) think flight of the Conchords.

Anyway thats my advice

Good luck friend. Rock on
Last edited by joshmckinnon at Sep 18, 2010,
#10
Eh, just because you're young doesn't rule out every single bar in the world. My bands actually played at bars in my hometown for a year from when I was 17 on. Covers are always fun, especially if it's one your audience will know, and ESPECIALLY if you put your own influence into it. But start writing, I always had more fun playing my own songs than covers. The time of the gig depends on the place you're playing, but be sure to see if you're expected to set up/ tear down in your time slot. Also, you won't make enough to get good gear for a while, hate to break it to you.

Gigging is a lot of fun though, best of luck to you!
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#11
Not trying to be mean, but it sounds like you have some work cut out for the both of you. You need work on your vocals and your friend needs work on his guitar playing. These aren't things that are fixed overnight or in a week.

One thing you don't want to do is hit the road and start playing gigs with anything less than perfection. Your best bet might be to start out with you playing guitar and him singing. If he has trouble playing now, imagine what he'll sound like in front of a crowd. Capitolize on your strengths. As you improve your singing skills and he improves his guitar skills, add them into the mix and see if the formula still works. You may find that you don't need to sing and he doesn't need to play, in order for you to have a winning combination.
#12
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's how you draw the crowd: open with a cover or two, throw in your song, do a cover, another one of your songs, end with either.

Re: Set length

Depends. Are you headlining? Coheadlining? Opening? Usually headliners get about 60 minutes, coheadliners 45, and everyone else gets 30.


I think your advice is pretty sound, except for these two points.

You don't have a half cover/half original band. From a marketing angle, the pubs looking for cover bands don't want your originals, and original band venues don't want to hear half your set being covers. For an originals band maybe 3 covers per hour tops.

For setlist length, this again varies with whether you intend to be an originals band or covers. Original bands generally have 45min - 1hr 15 min sets. Cover bands can range from 2 - 4+ hours (although that's including breaks between the sets).

So what then is the first thing every band should do? Identify whether you are a cover band or an originals band. So that's what TS should do first.

Then next is fill the required setlist length. You mentioned playing restaurants and cafes? I have a regular paying gig at a local cafe. That's two hours including one break that we have (maybe 15-20 minutes). 24 or so songs, I forget how much. For that one we get paid AUS$100 an hour, plus a free meal from the cafe.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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