#1
Hey all,

Supposing you're in a working originals band and have contacts in bars and concert halls so that you can pretty much do shows whenever you want. How do you work out how many shows to do to maximize your exposure but also make them scarce enough that you're actually drawing people and not playing to empty rooms because not everyone can come to each concert....

Our city has a very vibrant scene, many dozens of places to play and our music style is popular here. When we got the band together, we agreed on one show a month would be a good target.

As it is now, we are doing one show a month but are getting opportunities to play more. This question has divided the band. Half of us think we should jump at every reasonable opportunity and the other half thinks we should stick to our once a month barring incredible exceptions.

Granted your experiences will be different because your music scene is different but I'm curious to see how you guys are handling this balancing act.

Do you differentiate between bar gigs, festival gigs? Opening gigs and headlining gigs? I'd be really curious to see how other bands are doing this.
#2
The band situation I am in now is not the same (we play every week end) but it is often too much for my personal life. If you got into the band knowing that at least some of the members don't want (or need) to play more than once a month you only have two choices 1/ Replace those who can't do it or 2/ Find or form another band.
A few years back I was in a similar situation where I rehearsed with a band that had been working for many years on a full time basis 5 nights a week in clubs. When I joined they said that they were all taking day jobs and were only going to play week ends which was fine with me. After a month of rehearsal the bass player who did the business came in with an offer that the band could play Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in a permanent "house band" situation. I couldn't do it. After playing full time for many years I had taken a good day job and promised that I wouldn't "F" it up by playing during the week. The drummer (who was in a situation like me) and I had to leave and they replaced us and took the job. I felt bad and a little pissed off because it was made very clear right up front that it would be week ends only.
Maybe some of your band members are in a similar situation and for personal reasons cannot play or do not want to play more than once month. If you agreed to it to begin with, it now becomes your problem because they are sticking to original agreement.
#3
You can't do too many gigs. Professional major label band would do 200 gigs a year.

But sure, if you get too busy, have a talk to the other guys about it. I can relate to needing personal time, sometimes I grt absolutely slammed with music stuff which is not cool with a full time job. The other guys might be in the same situation.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#4
You don't want to play too many shows in the same city. If you played every weekend at the same bar, then some people wouldn't put out that extra effort to come see you, because there's always next week.
I WAS BORN
THE SON OF THE SON OF GOD
#5
I have been in bands were we open at one show and close out another at a different location. Playing often is good but the same stale shows don't help much. For me its always been a equation between max exposure and fresh places to play. Hammering out a weekely show at the same bar may get you stage time but if you have four or five different locations to play and you alternate between them regularly the more fresh faces you will see just due to location and demographic of the gig.
#6
Professional bands may do 200 gigs a year but they go on TOUR.

If you want to play more shows, but don't want to oversaturate one scene, time to go out of town. The next step probably isn't a full-blown tour unless you're really ambitious but you can do weekend runs (especially if your day jobs are flexible and you can dip out early on Friday) and hit one or two nearby towns on Friday & Saturday night.
#7
^^^ If you actually get to the point where people don't go to see you because they've seen you enough, that's a really awesome position to be in.

Until then, you can't play too many gigs.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#8
It depends on other things, too, but I'll give you an example. We played a really great show on a Friday and had an awesome turnout. We played on a Sunday the next weekend and it was dead, except for people who hadn't seen us the week before. The fact that a lot of people had just seen us combined with "ugh I have to work in the morning" led to a low turnout. It's happened to me.

I'm not saying don't play, just don't play to the same audience. Drive a few hours and get out there to some fresh ears. It's fun.

I will also add the caveat that you CAN play too much as an original band if you're never writing/recording/rehearsing new material and/or you start hating all your band mates.
#9
It all depends on your goals. If it's an original band and you are looking for max exposure and to do some recording, play as often as you can and expand to other nearby cities. A small summer road trip also may make sense. Remember that there are no more big $$ recording deals being offered by slick A&R Reps out there. It's all you to make it happen and draw a crowd to your music.

If a venue has no regular crowd and requires you to sell tickets or pay-to-play, it's a dead dump. Move on and play where you are valued and respected as an entertainer.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#10
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ If you actually get to the point where people don't go to see you because they've seen you enough, that's a really awesome position to be in.

Until then, you can't play too many gigs.


In the early stages wouldn't it be best for a band to open for as many bands as possible? Because as an opener you aren't expected to bring too many people and you get more exposure to a wider range of people.
Boxing Kangaroo Of The Australia FTW! Club. PM Alter-Bridge or The_Random_Hero to join. Australians only.
Last edited by Aussie_skater at Feb 20, 2014,
#11
^^^ Yep. It's in your interests to gig as much as possible. If you score a place on a bill with a more established band it's a bonus.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#12
Don't do it. Keep to your one month and move on to other locations. While it's important to establish a foundation in your hometown and be able to gig there regularly (once a month/every 4-6 weeks is enough imo), it's more important to expand and play out to other places and expand your fan base.

Networking and making connections is more key to making it as a musician/band than anything else and you can only do that if you play other venues not located in the same general area.

And to the person saying, isn't better to open for as many bands and gather exposure. You obviously have never been an opening band at a decent sized show. Most people either don't show up early enough to the show or the venue only lets so many people in at a time.
#13
Quote by Nosferatu-of-Wo
Don't do it. Keep to your one month and move on to other locations. While it's important to establish a foundation in your hometown and be able to gig there regularly (once a month/every 4-6 weeks is enough imo), it's more important to expand and play out to other places and expand your fan base.

Networking and making connections is more key to making it as a musician/band than anything else and you can only do that if you play other venues not located in the same general area.

And to the person saying, isn't better to open for as many bands and gather exposure. You obviously have never been an opening band at a decent sized show. Most people either don't show up early enough to the show or the venue only lets so many people in at a time.


Okay so its important to expand your fanbase, which when you first start out is 0.

Play once a month, with no fans, so have to settle for opening spot but as you said hardly anyone is there. But that's okay next month we'll come back and do it all over again, that's gonna bring in the fans.

Yes I understand playing an opening slot sucks and you don't always get the crowd you want, but guess what, that's part of starting out. Ever heard of paying your dues? You get shit crowds and no money, but after you stay at it, and are good, you should see an improvement.

It's easy to say play other areas and venues but you're just going to get the opening few slots again, just because you're from out of town doesn't mean people are interested in seeing you. Chances are they're there for the headline act which is a local band who's worked their way up and built a fanbase.

Yes networking is essential in setting up shows and opportunities, but no one is going to take you seriously with 17 likes on your facebook band page and a gig history of 3 shows, none of which you'd be proud to brag about.
Boxing Kangaroo Of The Australia FTW! Club. PM Alter-Bridge or The_Random_Hero to join. Australians only.
#14
Just as a quick tip:

Quote by Aussie_skater
Yes networking is essential in setting up shows and opportunities


It's the most important factor when getting gigs.

Quote by Aussie_skater
17 likes on your facebook band page


Not very essential/important. I have never been refused a gig on the basis of lack of Facebook likes, or scored a gig on the basis of Facebook likes.

Quote by Aussie_skater
and a gig history of 3 shows, none of which you'd be proud to brag about.


It's more important to show how many gigs you have coming in the future, rather than how many you have already done.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#15
OP, you are absolutely correct that you dont want to play too frequently for the same people. thats why you have to start branching out and playing in other nearby cities.

but i mean, if you are in a freaking giant city right now, as long as you are playing at different venues, chances are you will be playing to a different crowd. the point is to increase fanbase, and always leave your fanbase wanting more.
Quote by BryanChampine
It was like a orgasm in my ear.
Chea_man is the best.