#1
Hey all! This is my first post on here aside from the obligatory "promote your band" so I'd just like to say hello and go easy on me :P but to the point, me and my friends have been jamming for about 8 months and within the past three we've decided to get more serious with it. We're all good caliber musicians and in college so we practice often and My friend just bought a Peavy P8 mixer so this Saturday we're recording a demo cd, just our 3 strongest originals and a cover. Basically my question is what do we do next? We've got good songs and great chemistry but we're just stuck in that rut where we practice alot and write music but none of us have any idea where to really take it from there because we're all great at playing actual music but we know jack shit about the business aspect. The music scene around here is pretty stale (we live on long island, I've only seen 2 bands come out of here and meet some relative form of "success" and both were that shitty all time low power punk pop rock type and both went under in about a year). Any advice on how to take our next step??
Last edited by pursuit at Mar 29, 2012,
#2
Ignore this, i wrote it before I even checked your profile! sorry!
Last edited by ShockHazard at Mar 29, 2012,
#3
Well what is the whole point of recording a cd? So other people can hear it. If you aren't already get your band on the internet, facebook, reverbnation, soundcloud. Put your songs up there and get your friends to start listening. Do you have some sort of logo or band photos? Get these things and post them on your facebook page. After this you need to start shopping around your band. If you know someone who has some connections to get you a gig then go talk to them, even if you don't personally know someone maybe one of your friends or family members knows someone.

My band didn't know anyone so I went on craiglist and looked under the musicians section. Bars will make posts asking for bands to play at their place. Or maybe there is a battle of the bands being advertised on there. Either way its a great resource and you should check it out. After that it's advertising to the venues directly. When asking to play at a venue make sure you have sell your band to them. Be professional, tell them about your band, send them your music, send them links to your facebook page. You need to always be looking for new opportunities for your band. You never know who has what connections.

Even if its some small crappy bar you have to start somewhere to gig at. Then it's about networking, talk to the guy who got you the show, talk to people at the show, talk to the other bands. This is the best way to get more gigs.

Here is a link to really great article. A lot of this may seem obvious or very generalized but it does a great job of making you look at your band as a business. http://www.howtocallattentiontoyourmusic.com/
#4
Quote by pursuit
Hey all! This is my first post on here aside from the obligatory "promote your band" so I'd just like to say hello and go easy on me :P but to the point, me and my friends have been jamming for about 8 months and within the past three we've decided to get more serious with it. We're all good caliber musicians and in college so we practice often and My friend just bought a Peavy P8 mixer so this Saturday we're recording a demo cd, just our 3 strongest originals and a cover. Basically my question is what do we do next? We've got good songs and great chemistry but we're just stuck in that rut where we practice alot and write music but none of us have any idea where to really take it from there because we're all great at playing actual music but we know jack shit about the business aspect. The music scene around here is pretty stale (we live on long island, I've only seen 2 bands come out of here and meet some relative form of "success" and both were that shitty all time low power punk pop rock type and both went under in about a year). Any advice on how to take our next step??


There are other bands in your area, there has to be, and if you say you don't know of any...find them. And just out of curiosity, what genre are ya'll playing, this makes a big difference in booking gigs, where a rock based band can pretty much get a show anywhere whilst a metal band is going to be severely limited in available gigs. It's just something you have to accept if your the latter. Either way, the wrong band, at the wrong gig, can empty a room in a matter of minutes.

So, with that said, you need to find other bands in your area that are similar to you. It doesn't have to be your immediate are either, find people in the next city over or in NY city if your on long island, and start networking with them to see if you can get an opening slot for them. Your in a great position as far as location to hit the out lying cities. Your what, and hour and half from Boston, maybe 20-30 minutes from NY city, same for Jersey.

Call up venues you've been to, if you play music, I'm assuming you've gone to a local show before? Find out if they have any new music nights or if they have any opening slots for bands coming through and give them your demo.

The live act is really the make or break point for a new band. I've seen local bands just fall apart as soon as they step on stage. A good idea would to have a rehearsal and bring in a few friends to watch and then run through your set just to have an audience (I don't know if ya'll have any gigging/stage experience, assuming not since your asking how to get gigs ) Being a good band to work with as far as setting up, treating the employees and owner with respect, and above all else putting on a good show, will get you asked back time and time again.

And please make sure you have a long enough setlist before even attempting to get gigs, 30-45 minutes is a pretty standard length of time, but call up the potential venues and ask what they're opening set times generally are.

As far as money goes, work the door deal. It's the only way you even have a chance of making any money until your able to bring in a couple hundred people on any given night. Being a new band and probably the opener, you'll probably get something like from 15%, if it's a more local show with all newer bands, you might see more like 30%. Point is, you need to bring in mass amounts of people either way to see money. Once you do that, you can negotiate set prices per show.

That covers a lot If there's anything more specific your looking for just ask.
#5
Yeah I understand the "don't think about wanting to 'make it' ethos" I'm in college for English/pre-law so my life plan was decided well before getting serious with a band came along. My drummers mom was in a band in the 70's but it fizzled because their record label wanted to drop her band and hire touring musicians because it was cheaper and it was the '70s so her first reaction was "No way mannnnnn" and that was the end of that, so we realize anything can happen in a moment x) but thank you for the advice its well appreciated. it's just hard for us to get gigs around here becauae none of us have had any real experience with that sort of thing and the environment isn't necesarilly hard for musicians but it isn't music-friendly either, there's a distinct lack of venues >_<
#6
It's a strange combo of genres, we're a three piece but me and the other guitarist switch off between bass and lead vocals on different songs and we each enjoy/play some different kinds of music, I write more doors black keys type psychedelic blues songs and he has more of a lighter pop sentiment for artists like the Beatles (who i adore but just don't really compose music like) and the stones, so it creates a weird fusion, but I guess to pin it to one genre I'd say rock. There are a few local artists I know but it's artists that I couldn't really see myself sharing a bill with, not because I'm conceited or elitist but just because it would be weird, like going to a black keys concert and having chiodos open up for them. Long island bands seem to have this strange infatuation with going straight for whatever new genre is most popular at the very moment, which in all honesty as a musician I don't blame them, I mean work hard for a long time or try to ride the newest trend either one can potentially work, we just prefer the former

Edit: we've been meaning to get out to the city sometime, I think that might be one of our biggest chances to help make something happen haha, it's just hard with school/jobs at the moment it gets hard to keep the band priority #1 24/7 when I have to schlep over to home depot every weekend to make some extra money -_-
Last edited by pursuit at Mar 29, 2012,
#7
Quote by pursuit
It's a strange combo of genres, we're a three piece but me and the other guitarist switch off between bass and lead vocals on different songs and we each enjoy/play some different kinds of music, I write more doors black keys type psychedelic blues songs and he has more of a lighter pop sentiment for artists like the Beatles (who i adore but just don't really compose music like) and the stones, so it creates a weird fusion, but I guess to pin it to one genre I'd say rock. There are a few local artists I know but it's artists that I couldn't really see myself sharing a bill with, not because I'm conceited or elitist but just because it would be weird, like going to a black keys concert and having chiodos open up for them. Long island bands seem to have this strange infatuation with going straight for whatever new genre is most popular at the very moment, which in all honesty as a musician I don't blame them, I mean work hard for a long time or try to ride the newest trend either one can potentially work, we just prefer the former

Edit: we've been meaning to get out to the city sometime, I think that might be one of our biggest chances to help make something happen haha, it's just hard with school/jobs at the moment it gets hard to keep the band priority #1 24/7 when I have to schlep over to home depot every weekend to make some extra money -_-

Just because you don't think you would fit on the same bill with another band doesn't mean you cannot or should not play with them. The point of sharing the stage with another band is that maybe some of their fans will hear your band and become fans. I listen to a wide variety of music, I'm sure you do also, if my Ipod is on shuffle it can easily go from someone like the Beatles to Lamb of God. People like some variety, they don't want to hear the same band 5 times in one night. I went to see the Foo Fighters a few months ago and they had a mariachi band open for them. Don't make excuses not to network with other bands, a show is a show and for the first couple it's probably only going to be your friends and family coming to see your band play, they couldn't care less about who you are playing with.
#8
Quote by TNA
Just because you don't think you would fit on the same bill with another band doesn't mean you cannot or should not play with them. The point of sharing the stage with another band is that maybe some of their fans will hear your band and become fans. I listen to a wide variety of music, I'm sure you do also, if my Ipod is on shuffle it can easily go from someone like the Beatles to Lamb of God. People like some variety, they don't want to hear the same band 5 times in one night. I went to see the Foo Fighters a few months ago and they had a mariachi band open for them. Don't make excuses not to network with other bands, a show is a show and for the first couple it's probably only going to be your friends and family coming to see your band play, they couldn't care less about who you are playing with.


Agreed, as long as there is some connection. Rock is a vast genre and has many different tones.

When I mentioned clearing a room with being booked at the wrong show, it's more referring to crossing major genres. IE. If your a metal band, don't play at a bar with a blues rock band.

Use your head though.
#9
Yeah I get what your both saying, i guess what im getting at is that we don't know HOW to network haha I know it probably sounds really stupid and immature but I mean....we are definition of noobs with this kind of stuff. I really appreciate all this advice though you guys seem really knowledgable!
#10
Quote by pursuit
Yeah I get what your both saying, i guess what im getting at is that we don't know HOW to network haha I know it probably sounds really stupid and immature but I mean....we are definition of noobs with this kind of stuff. I really appreciate all this advice though you guys seem really knowledgable!


Start going to some local shows, that's honestly the best way to network. Find some bands that are similar to yours, go watch them, catch them afterwards and start talking it up with them. Don't try to sound needy, but start up a conversation, and then at some point ask how they got started in the area and mention your band. If they're cool and ya'll hit it off, they may very well say you can play with them sometime. If not, take what ever advice from them you can get as far as venue or another band to get in touch with.

We can give you broad advice about what to do, but none of us since we don't live up there can really help to the to any great extent, it's all very general. The bands playing around you know how the scene is, who to talk to, where to play, etc.

Best of luck man, once you get the ball rolling it seems to get a little easier.
#11
Totally agree with about just going to local shows and go chat with the band after their set. You should be talking about your band with everyone though. Which goes back to my point of you never know what connections the person you are talking to has. Talk to the people in the crowd at the local show, chances are they know other bands, or may even be in a band themselves. Hang out at guitar center and talk to people around there, the local practice spot. I met a guy from another band yesterday because I was selling something on craigslist. You need to turn your small talk into band talk. If someone asks you what you've been doing lately you say I've been practicing with my band a lot. Just make people aware that your band exists. Don't be pushy but also let them know that you are looking for gigs to play.

Also check out craiglist like I mentioned. I got our first gig from some promoter advertising that he was looking for bands. We had no connections at this point, just put our facebook up so we had maybe 50 likes on there. Really nothing to prove we would be a good book for the show. But the guy liked our music and gave us a shot. We met the other bands, the show went well, I contacted the promoter after the show and he booked us another show. Bottom line is you need to just get out there and play, even its a small show, or with other bands you probably wouldn't normally play with, or you are playing a bad timeslot. Playing shows will get you more shows.
#12
Quote by TNA
Totally agree with about just going to local shows and go chat with the band after their set. You should be talking about your band with everyone though. Which goes back to my point of you never know what connections the person you are talking to has. Talk to the people in the crowd at the local show, chances are they know other bands, or may even be in a band themselves. Hang out at guitar center and talk to people around there, the local practice spot. I met a guy from another band yesterday because I was selling something on craigslist. You need to turn your small talk into band talk. If someone asks you what you've been doing lately you say I've been practicing with my band a lot. Just make people aware that your band exists. Don't be pushy but also let them know that you are looking for gigs to play.

Also check out craiglist like I mentioned. I got our first gig from some promoter advertising that he was looking for bands. We had no connections at this point, just put our facebook up so we had maybe 50 likes on there. Really nothing to prove we would be a good book for the show. But the guy liked our music and gave us a shot. We met the other bands, the show went well, I contacted the promoter after the show and he booked us another show. Bottom line is you need to just get out there and play, even its a small show, or with other bands you probably wouldn't normally play with, or you are playing a bad timeslot. Playing shows will get you more shows.


Story of my life hahaha, typical conversation with me "yeah so what's your major??" "Well I'm English/Pre-Law BUUUT I just started this new band...." do you have a link to your music? I wouldn't mind checking out your band
#13
Here's my band Lost Frequency http://www.facebook.com/LostFrequencyBand . We only started gigging about a month ago and we already are able to book ourselves every week a month ahead. The recordings are all home recordings, but I found a guy on craigslist who is going to a good recordings school here and offered to record us for free using the schools top of the line equipment.
#14
Not bad at all man I'm especially diggin the vox, really good shit, gave you guys a like cuz 100 looks hella better than 99 haha
#15
you're from long island?
So am I. Where are you guys based, because we may be able to fit on a similar bill. PM me. With links to songs if possible.
Strauss!
"I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way." - Gustav Mahler.

Quote by AeolianWolf
absolutely what will said

Yay, my first compliment!
#16
Quote by pursuit
Not bad at all man I'm especially diggin the vox, really good shit, gave you guys a like cuz 100 looks hella better than 99 haha

Sweet thanks dude, I'll go like your band also. The singer is the one we usually get the most criticism about. My parents can't stand his voice.
#17
Haha wow small world! Miller place, it's pretty much right smack dab in the middle of LI, towards the north. I'll PM you my bands link but keep in mind we're gonne re record everything Saturday and it's gonna sound completely different because our chops have improved immensely since then, but it'll give you a rough idea of the genre
#18
Quote by TNA
Sweet thanks dude, I'll go like your band also. The singer is the one we usually get the most criticism about. My parents can't stand his voice.


Haha singers are either loved or hated, I liked it though in that live video he reminded me a lot of Chris Cornell (hope that's a compliment!)