#1
So I've formed this band after a LONG LONG LONG time searching for members who are skilled (we don't have a bassist as of now, but neither do many groups in my area). It's a Metal band of a subgenre I'd prefer not to figure out. We've been practicing and coming up with ideas and we've got a few "skeletons" for songs. We get along great and there's an awesome chemistry between us despite the fact that we just met our drummer and the 2nd guitarist has been a bit out of practice lately.

We've got schedules for practices and a good idea of what we want to sound like and when we'd like to start doing gigs. The other members are a few years older than me and have had more experience with bands and playing shows and what not but for all intents and purposes I'm the "bandleader" in the sense that I get the practices scheduled and come-up with most of the ideas for songs. I'd like totake on the role of "manager" for lack of a better word, but I have NO IDEA where to start.

In my 2 year search for players (I'm just 19, btw) I spent most of my time writing songs and working on that aspect in order to draw in quality musicians so I haven't really played gigs outside of high school performances which was mostly covers so I'm not nervous about being on stage, in fact I quite enjoy it =)

If anyone can give me some advice in booking shows and making a setlist and how to rehearse effectivley, please share!


Sorry about so much text...I like to be thorough
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#2
As far as booking, think about places where there will be people who want to hear your kind of music. You obviously wouldn't book a nursing home or a pre-school if you're a metal band.

Simply get in contact with management. Be friendly and professional. Act grateful for any opportunity you get to play. At the same time, don't be an ignorant prick who thinks he's entitled to everything if you get told no. Respect the venue.

I feel it is also important to mention that to make your gigs successful and to get people out, they need to know in ADVANCE. Get the event up online on a band website, Facebook, put up fliers, word of mouth etc.. Give yourself at least a couple of weeks, at best a month. This will give people time to put you on their calendars.

Next, as a musician you are obviously a big fan of music. Think about any shows you've gone to see and how those set lists were or weren't effective. Do you want to start off with a bang and come out blasting into an energetic song? Or do you want to start things off mellow and build into your performance? There is no wrong answer, do what works for your music. Obviously it's hard to know the first couple of times what works but that's ok. Nobody's first gigs are perfect. Learn from your audience! See how they react to your setlist. If you notice that 2 songs don't get a good reaction back to back, change it up the next time. Just like song writing, it's all about trial and error, there is no set formula.

Finally, rehearsing effectively.. You've probably heard the age old sports expression 'practice like you play'. DO IT. Rehearsal should be just that. Rehearsing your songs. Your setlist. It shouldn't be time for people to learn parts, that's what your own time is for. You don't just stop playing your instrument when you're away from the band (at least I hope not) so everybody should know their parts come rehearsal. Make this clear.

That's not to say you shouldn't ever get together to jam out and work on material, that is just as important. It's simply about finding the balance.

Hope this helps man, any other questions feel free to ask!

#3
Thanks. Unfortunatley, I've only been to 3 live shows in my life and 2 of them we're me helping my friends band load in and out and one was a rap concert that I didn't like all that much. Most of my exposure to live music is done through live dvds, youtube or actually onstage. As odd as it sounds, going to see bands play doesn't really interest me.
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#4
Oh yeah, to get in contact with management, do you call them or email them or actually go to the venue?
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#5
Bands in Houston, Texas generally don't have bass players? How interesting.

What you need,

1. Songs. You don't have any. You have skeletons of songs and random riffs. If you're an originals band, you want 30-45 mins worth of music before considering gigging. Don't bother with a manager either. Best case scenario is that you get offered a 30 min set opening for Anthrax and you turn it down because you have no songs (or sound really crap with ones you wrote in the last week).

2. Get a bassist. Dare to be different.

3. Otherwise follow the rest of the advice above.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#6
Quote by sonny bb
Oh yeah, to get in contact with management, do you call them or email them or actually go to the venue?


Ideally you want to meet with them face to face. It's rather in-personable to send an email or a phone call. As Alan said, dare to be different. How many e-mails and phone calls do you think places get? Most places will see it as refreshing that you will come all the way down to introduce yourself. Makes you seem a lot more serious since you showed up. A lot harder to say no to somebodies face to, right?

#7
Quote by AlanHB
Bands in Houston, Texas generally don't have bass players? How interesting.

What you need,

1. Songs. You don't have any. You have skeletons of songs and random riffs. If you're an originals band, you want 30-45 mins worth of music before considering gigging. Don't bother with a manager either. Best case scenario is that you get offered a 30 min set opening for Anthrax and you turn it down because you have no songs (or sound really crap with ones you wrote in the last week).

2. Get a bassist. Dare to be different.

3. Otherwise follow the rest of the advice above.


1.We do in fact have songs, but we also have bare riffs and 1 minuete sections that we are adding to and working on. We don't need a manager now, true, but neither will we be offered any opening gigs for anthrax...hyper unlikely out here. We just have goals and realistic time tables that we wish to meet.
2. Even though we live in a major city, the music scene is horrible. While we have alot of different cultures and peoples out here, we lack comraderie. Most big artists that come here are rappers or warped tour bands. most others go to austin or dallas.
3. Alot of metal bands down here are missing members, usually singers or bass players, that's just how it is latley. Everyone plays guitar or drums. Houston is very big and spread out which makes it difficult to get from a to b economically
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#8
Quote by sonny bb
Thanks. Unfortunatley, I've only been to 3 live shows in my life and 2 of them we're me helping my friends band load in and out and one was a rap concert that I didn't like all that much. Most of my exposure to live music is done through live dvds, youtube or actually onstage. As odd as it sounds, going to see bands play doesn't really interest me.



You need to start going to live shows. You can make contacts that way.
#9
Quote by sonny bb
1.We do in fact have songs, but we also have bare riffs and 1 minuete sections that we are adding to and working on. We don't need a manager now, true, but neither will we be offered any opening gigs for anthrax...hyper unlikely out here. We just have goals and realistic time tables that we wish to meet.
2. Even though we live in a major city, the music scene is horrible. While we have alot of different cultures and peoples out here, we lack comraderie. Most big artists that come here are rappers or warped tour bands. most others go to austin or dallas.
3. Alot of metal bands down here are missing members, usually singers or bass players, that's just how it is latley. Everyone plays guitar or drums. Houston is very big and spread out which makes it difficult to get from a to b economically

First off, I'd recommend you focus on finding a bassist before playing a show, as shows without bassist generally suck, nobody wants to hear a thin distorted mess.
I'd also reccomend that you start going to concerts, if you aren't interested in seeing other bands live, what makes you think your music will attract fans to a gig?
Just my (biased) opinion as the bassist in a few bands (including metal).
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Last edited by Mr.Cuddles at Dec 30, 2011,
#10
I haven't checked out all these bands, but are you seriously suggesting out of these probably hundred bands, that most of them are missing members? Really??!!

http://www.houstonbands.net/SubmitGenreSearch.html

(sorry, link isn't working just right, but I went to www.houstonbands.net and searched for metal.)

Have you tried the musician classifieds on that site? http://www.houstonbands.net/gigs.html

If so, which ad is yours?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#11
Quote by Zeppelin Addict
Ideally you want to meet with them face to face. It's rather in-personable to send an email or a phone call. As Alan said, dare to be different. How many e-mails and phone calls do you think places get? Most places will see it as refreshing that you will come all the way down to introduce yourself. Makes you seem a lot more serious since you showed up. A lot harder to say no to somebodies face to, right?



Just to add to this...

Consider if you were the booking person at the venue. Some kid comes in and tells you he has a metal band and wants to play.

As the booking person, what do you want to know?

Answer:
How many people can we expect to come?
What kind of following do you have?
What do you sound like? (hint: a demo here would be helpful...)
Will my regulars like them? (hint: who ARE the regulars and what do they like?)

If you don't know the answers to these questions as the booking person, how can you answer to the club owner/manager about why you booked this band?

As the club owner, you'd feel a whole lot better if the booking person was able to say, "listen to these guys. They're good. They figure they can probably bring about 100 people based on a cover charge of $5. I talked to the owner of OtherClubInTown and when they booked them, they had a good night."

As the booking guy, you sure as hell don't want to be on the wrong end of the owner coming in, finding an empty club, a sh!tty band that probably MADE the club empty from anyone who would otherwise have been there, and to make matters worse, a band playing a genre that your patrons don't generally support in the first place.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#12
Quote by sonny bb
1.We do in fact have songs, but we also have bare riffs and 1 minuete sections that we are adding to and working on. We don't need a manager now, true, but neither will we be offered any opening gigs for anthrax...hyper unlikely out here. We just have goals and realistic time tables that we wish to meet.


And you couldn't open for your mates band outside the cornershop either if you don't have any songs. I don't know how many songs you have, you just said that you have skeletons of songs. Could you play a gig now?

Quote by you
2. Even though we live in a major city, the music scene is horrible. While we have alot of different cultures and peoples out here, we lack comraderie. Most big artists that come here are rappers or warped tour bands. most others go to austin or dallas.


I'm not sure how you figured this out if you don't go to gigs that often. anyway my standard advice is "dont blame the town, blame yourself". Other bands are doing well in Houston, so deal with it.

Quote by you
3. Alot of metal bands down here are missing members, usually singers or bass players, that's just how it is latley. Everyone plays guitar or drums. Houston is very big and spread out which makes it difficult to get from a to b economically


If so you will get a lot of publicity because you will be the only band with a bassist, and people will know you as "that band with the bassist".
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#13
Now, to be completely fair, you obviously don't have the experience, etc. required to fill this scenario....

As the club owner, you'd feel a whole lot better if the booking person was able to say, "listen to these guys. They're good. They figure they can probably bring about 100 people based on a cover charge of $5. I talked to the owner of OtherClubInTown and when they booked them, they had a good night."

You don't HAVE a following, and you have no idea how many people you can expect to come. In fact, I'm guessing you don't even have a demo.

So, you need to get there.

Get a demo.

Get in contact with other metal bands in your area (preferably ones with a singer and a bass player :rollseyes: ) and get them to let you open for them. Yeah, that's right. You actually need to get out there and network. Those bands you approach want to have some faith that you're not going to drive away their crowd, or at least be good enough friends with you that they don't want to say no. Preferably a mix of both.

With the permission of the club owner, you get up and open for this other band. This is where you prove yourself. It's NOT ENOUGH to just get up there and rock. If you're playing to ashtrays and waitstaff, it doesn't matter how good you are. The message to the booking person will be loud and clear - "these guys don't bring people." In other words, if we book these guys, we will have an empty room, which means we will make no money. It looks especially bad if the headlining band brings a ton of people who don't show up until after your set is done, because then you can't blame it on the weather, or the season finale of Dexter, or whatever else. Clearly, the problem is you, because the other band could do it.

So, anyways.... You get that opening slot and bring your friends, your friends' girlfriends, your friends' boyfriends, your mom, your aunt and uncle, your parish priest, the lady who babysat you when you were in grade two, and the neighbours whose driveway you shovel in the winter. Everyone you can. NOW, the message is clear to the person who books bands.... "these guys came out, rocked the hell out of the club and brought 100 enthusiastic people who drank their faces off. The bar made over $1000 before the headliners even started! Holy crap! We gotta get these guys in again!"

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#14
Quote by AlanHB
And you couldn't open for your mates band outside the cornershop either if you don't have any songs. I don't know how many songs you have, you just said that you have skeletons of songs. Could you play a gig now?


I'm not sure how you figured this out if you don't go to gigs that often. anyway my standard advice is "dont blame the town, blame yourself". Other bands are doing well in Houston, so deal with it.


If so you will get a lot of publicity because you will be the only band with a bassist, and people will know you as "that band with the bassist".


Quote by axemanchris
I haven't checked out all these bands, but are you seriously suggesting out of these probably hundred bands, that most of them are missing members? Really??!!

http://www.houstonbands.net/SubmitGenreSearch.html

(sorry, link isn't working just right, but I went to www.houstonbands.net and searched for metal.)

Have you tried the musician classifieds on that site? http://www.houstonbands.net/gigs.html

If so, which ad is yours?

CT


Axemanchris: As of now most of the METAL bands in houston that include members my age and slightly older and a few that are alot older, are in fact missing a member or 2 which for some reason, is either a bass player, or a lead guitar player. I put an ad up about a week ago (and have been for a while now) but they take them down every 7 days and you have to wait a day before a new ad is put up and I put alot of ads on craiglslist because those stay up longer.
Just because I don't go to shows doesn't mean that I am unaware of the music in the area. That's ridiculous to assume.

AlanHB: Houston is killing its own music scene; selective noise ordinance's, lack of comraderie, one track-minds and the fact that it is very spread out. NO we couldn't play a show now, we've only been together for about 3 weeks, but we do have a couple of songs. Other bands are doing well somewhere in houston, but most of them are not METAL bands. The only one that comes to mind is Scale the Summit and I guess Rusty Cooley, but he doesn't technically live in "Houston"
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#15
Quote by sonny bb
AlanHB: Houston is killing its own music scene; selective noise ordinance's, lack of comraderie, one track-minds and the fact that it is very spread out. NO we couldn't play a show now, we've only been together for about 3 weeks, but we do have a couple of songs. Other bands are doing well somewhere in houston, but most of them are not METAL bands. The only one that comes to mind is Scale the Summit and I guess Rusty Cooley, but he doesn't technically live in "Houston"


Only together 3 weeks, I'd be surprised if ANY originals band would have a set complete.

You seem to be a real pro at all this music stuff, I'm not sure why you're asking our opinions only to shoot them down. We can point out that other bands are doing well in your area, that lots of other bands have bassists, what you need to start, but you seem to have the attitude that you already have all the stuff down.

Are you looking for the following answer then?

Your band is awesome, ready to rock! Go without the bassist - no bands have those these days. Too bad you live in Houston otherwise you'd make the big time!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#16
Whether another band is doing well or has a bassist in my area is useless info to me, they aren't my band, they don't affect me. ZepplinAddict and Mr.Shadows are the only ones who told me anything I needed to know which is how to book a show and make contacts. I don't need to be told to get a bass player or to get a set before we book a show or to record a demo we don't need right now. Those things are obvious. I just wanted to know some ways to book a show when that time does in fact come. Thats all. I didn't shoot anything down, I explained the situation of my band and my area.
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#18
I've only been to 3 live shows in my life


This is a huge problem.

How can you possibly expect to put on a good show if you haven't been to a lot of shows - good, bad, and indifferent. You need to make a habit of going to a lot of shows. Yes, this will give you networking opportunities with other bands, which is important.

That you talk about booking a show before you're a regular at going to shows suggests that you have a huge cart-before-horse problem. There are a thousand bad performance mistakes that you don't know are bad performance mistakes because you haven't seen anyone do them. There are a thousand great ideas for connecting with an audience which you don't know because you haven't seen anyone do them.

You say you don't need a demo, and that's wrong. Because when you're going to shows, making friends with the guys in other bands in your genre, at some point they're going to ask you about your music - that is, assuming you come off like less of a douchebag than you just did talking to Alan. And you need to be able to say, "well, here's a couple of tracks we laid down."

If you want to get those opening slots that axeman is talking about, you have to be able to convince the headliners that you're not completely wasting their time. People aren't just going to give those to you. So stuff like having a demo, having complete songs ... those are important.

Because the thing is when some noob comes along and starts acting like they're further along than they are, everybody says, "Oh, he's that douchebag who cares more about getting a show than getting the music." And once you've burned those bridges, you're making life a lot harder for yourself because it's hard to change someone's first impression of you. eg, Alan is one of the best resources on this board, and you've just basically told him that helping you is a waste of his time.
#19
Quote by HotspurJr
Alan is one of the best resources on this board, and you've just basically told him that helping you is a waste of his time.


Aww thanks mate! All my advice comes from personal experience. I'm not on slacker's level though, with his multiple tours and awesome tribute band. And Axemanchris definitely had some good things going scoring a TV spot for his (ex) band.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#20
Look, I just wanted to know how to book a show and meet new people in the scene; 1. Go to more shows 2. Meeting a booking agent/ venue owner in person is better than through e-mail. Thanks.
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#21
Quote by sonny bb
Axemanchris: As of now most of the METAL bands in houston that include members my age and slightly older and a few that are alot older, are in fact missing a member or 2 which for some reason, is either a bass player, or a lead guitar player.


Okay... houstonbands.net search = metal

A Bitter Season = alt/metal originals = seem to have all members and are pretty decent
A Dream Asleep - original hardcore/metal - seem to have all members - pretty decent, though not my cup of tea
Adumus - original metal - all positions filled so far as I can tell - recordings sound awful, but they're touring
Advent Scars - hardcore, metalcore, screamo - original - all members present - sound decent
All Dead Here - sludge metal - original - all positions filled apparently - sound okay

So, out of probably well over a hundred search results for metal, I eliminated cover bands and classic rock/metal bands, and experimental electronic metal bands and just stuck with original metal bands. I also eliminated anyone specifically not from Houston.

I'm not even done with the A's and found five fully-functioning original metal bands with demos to listen to and all members apparently present.

Your suggestion that most metal bands are without some members is starting to look pretty weak.

Quote by sonny bb
I put an ad up about a week ago (and have been for a while now) but they take them down every 7 days and you have to wait a day before a new ad is put up and I put alot of ads on craiglslist because those stay up longer.


So, pretend I'm a bass player in Houston looking for a metal band. Link me right now to where I can find your ad. Or is this the "eighth day" on houstonbands.net and you're between ads on Craigslist?

Quote by sonny bb

Just because I don't go to shows doesn't mean that I am unaware of the music in the area. That's ridiculous to assume.


Okay, can you tell me why I can apparently disprove your notion that most metal bands are missing bass players or lead guitar players, even though I'm probably 1300 miles away?

Who are all these fully functioning bands? Who is in them, and what are they doing? They live in your town. You should know who they are.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#22
Quote by sonny bb
Look, I just wanted to know how to book a show and meet new people in the scene; 1. Go to more shows 2. Meeting a booking agent/ venue owner in person is better than through e-mail. Thanks.


1. Go to shows
2. Go to shows
3. Go to shows

Do you see a pattern emerging here?

I'm in Houston, know at least 3 good bassists that might be looking, and am apparently vastly more familiar with the music scene here than you are since not only does it NOT suck, it's alive and well in more venues than you can imagine. I can think of 7 shows going on TONIGHT just off the top of my head...

And unfortunately, given the attitude you've shown here, I'm not particularly inclined to help you out.

Good luck.

Edit: 2 Bass player ads on Houstonbands.net in the first 17 ads shown, one SPECIFICALLY looking for a metal band, and you can't find a bassist? Really?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Dec 30, 2011,
#23
Quote by sonny bb
Look, I just wanted to know how to book a show and meet new people in the scene; 1. Go to more shows 2. Meeting a booking agent/ venue owner in person is better than through e-mail. Thanks.


Here is how you get on a show.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=28830034&postcount=13

If you want to put your own show on with you as the headliner, here is what you have to do:

Contact a venue and convince them to book you. See link above. If you can't convince them to book you, then you need to book your own venue.

Consider house parties, community centers, etc. For a community center or something, you will need to pay for the venue up front, usually, and provide your own PA and lights, paid for up front too. You'll be doing well to hire someone to run sound as well. Consider getting a liquor license - another fee. Also, if you want to sell tickets in advance (advisable), you'll need to get them made up.

In any case, your challenge will be to get people out. You can NOT expect to put up a bunch of fliers on phone poles and expect people to show up. You have to hustle the people you know to come out - just like I suggested in the linked post above.

If you have convinced a venue to book you, your future at that venue is at stake, depending on whether or not you get a bunch of people out.

If you have booked your own venue and don't hustle to get people out, you're out the money from your pocket that you laid out for your advance expenses.

Hopefully by now you're starting to see the value in connecting yourself with the local scene by getting to know musicians, talent buyers/booking people, etc.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#24
Quote by sonny bb

AlanHB: Houston is killing its own music scene; selective noise ordinance's, lack of comraderie, one track-minds and the fact that it is very spread out. NO we couldn't play a show now, we've only been together for about 3 weeks, but we do have a couple of songs. Other bands are doing well somewhere in houston, but most of them are not METAL bands. The only one that comes to mind is Scale the Summit and I guess Rusty Cooley, but he doesn't technically live in "Houston"

Scale the Summit isn't just doing "well" they're dominating, but that's irrelevant, If this my personal experience helps at all I USED to think that the music scene in my area was garbage (toronto) but after playing a few shows and actually seeking out bands I liked i discovered that it's in fact quite large and filled with some talented mother ****ers.
and I can definatly tell that you have not even begun to explore your music scene, and to be hinest, once you know a few musicians in your scene and if your demos are good, you'll have promoters lineing up to book you, as well as a lot bands offering you slots at their gigs.
Once again this is just my personal experience, but once you have your demo and full line up, everything else will fall into place.

(also +1 to everything alan says, ever.)
Quote by Eliyahu
Mr.Cuddles killed The Metal!!!! FUCK YES!

Quote by TheReverend724
Mr Cuddles pretty much nailed it...

Quote by thanksgiving

"Oh Mr.Cuddles, you make my pants go boom boom. I are horny. Do not disappoint I"


Viscara (my band)
#25
At the risk of sounding like the "old pro" (I AM old) All your questions will be answered with time and experience. At my age I've figured out that running a band can be a great pleasure, or be like raising four or five unruly step-children. Just keep an open mind and remain curious. Enjoy!