whats the best way to make that next step with the band to stop playing little battle of the bands and start playing actual gigs...im just starting to sned messages to local places in attempt to get them to book us, but is there any other steps?
that's about it really...

the other option is to hire a hall and a PA and a sound guy etc and put on the show yourself.

My band does this usually to fill in unbooked Sunday nights.

We have a PA though, and two of us are live sound guys so I guess we have an unfair advantage.

Just promote yourself (Well) to the local venues OR Put on a show yourself.
This water's dark and coldGod's not where you hopedThis moment come and goneIt's time we all moved on
Try setting up in the middle of town on a Saturday. You will probably have to get permission from the council or police.

If people like you , you'll probably get people asking you for bookings on the street, or when you do go into a pub to blag a gig, you may have been seen by a few locals who'll put in a good word for you.

It's happened to me on quite a few occaisions when i've played in town a lot
Quote by KiErAn123
whats the best way to make that next step with the band to stop playing little battle of the bands and start playing actual gigs...im just starting to sned messages to local places in attempt to get them to book us, but is there any other steps?

You want gigs? Lots of gigs?
Look at other fairly local bands in your area that seem to play lots of gigs, bands that are not much bigger than yourselves but who seem to be constantly gigging, then look up their websites and check out their gigging lists.
Quite often these gigging lists will have the venue's phone numbers on them but if they don't, you can always find them in the directory. Do this with a few different bands and you'll end up with a pretty decent list of venues.
Next you need a diary and a phone and a couple of days free to ring around all these venues, (if it's someone elses phone, give 'em some money because this bit is gonna cost on their bill)
The diary should be a current one with all the dates marked in that any of your band members may be busy on throughout the year such as birthdays or holidays or any other date that they can think of when they're gonna be busy. Then start ringing around.

Some will say, 'Sorry, no.' in which case, make a note next to their phone number and carry on. Some will say 'you need to speak to....' in which case, ask for the number of the promoter/agent/person you need to speak to and ring them, some will say 'can you ring back at such and such a time?' in which case you take notes and ring back later.
Occasionaly someone will say, 'send us a press pack' or 'send us a demo' in which case you need to be making up a decent press pack that includes a demo and a poster.
Believe it or not, many venues actualy take more notice of the quality of your poster than your demo because they get more of an idea of the quality of your band that way. Y'see, many people who will be booking your band won't actualy be into your kind of music, so they wouldn't really know if you're a fair representation of that kind of music or not, but they can tell if you've put some thought into your posters, a full colour, striking poster of around A2 size will suggest that you're professional, a black and white A4 sized photocopy will make you look unprofessional.
Some venues will 'give you a go' at a reduced rate. Book these on the understanding that if you do well and attract a lot of people, they will re-book you for more money.

Most of the gigs you get will be booked at least three months in advance. If someone offers you a booking on the same date that someone in your band has a personal day booked, like a holiday or birthday, don't say 'I'm sorry, our drummer's going to his grandma's birthday party that night' say 'I'm sorry, our diary is full for that date'
Write all the bookings in your diary making sure to write down the venue's name, address, phone number and how much you've agreed to play for.

Promote each gig you get to the best of your ability and always send the venue a pile of posters. Many bands design a different poster for each gig with all the gig details on it, but many other bands just design a generic poster with a blank space at the bottom for the venue to fill in their own details. Either way will do, but having one impressive generic poster with a blank space will save money in printing costs as you can get them printed in bulk.
Hopefully, if you do your job right you should get a decent crowd at your gigs and pretty soon you'll start getting a name for yourselves as a band that attracts a crowd.
Obviously it also helps immensly if you get a good reputation for being punctual and polite to everyone you will be working with, such as venue owners, promoters, agents and other venue staff, right down to the lowliest cleaner.
Networking is important as well, as you play more gigs, you meet more people like other bands, promoters, agents ect who can all help you out. This is another good reason to be polite to everyone you meet.
Your reputation is EVERYTHING in this business, look after it.

It's always worth remembering that your job, even though it may look like you're a musician, is actualy more often than not to sell beer.
You are usualy booked by a venue that has a bar to attract an audience who will then spend money at that bar (and remember, the more they drink, the better you'll sound. ) so the more beer that is being bought over the bar, the better you are going to do.
That's why you get more rock bands than any other genre in small venues, because they attract audiences that drink a lot of beer.

It's an ongoing process, so keep looking for new venues to play, keep ringing them up and sending out press packs (making sure to include any good reviews you may be getting) even the venues that said 'Sorry, no.' when you first rang them because as you gain a good reputation, eventualy they'll say, 'Yeah, I've heard of you, go on then, we'll give you a go.'

But I must warn you, when you first start ringing up venues, it's gonna be a slow process, you may be ringing up venues constantly for 2 whole days and only have 2 confirmed gigs to show for it. Stick with it and put 100% into the promotion and the performances, because you're still just trying to get the ball 'moving', eventualy once you get a fair amount of gigs under your belt and get the ball 'rolling', the gigs will pour in, but you have to keep working at it.

Once you've cracked your local area, start getting gigs further away.
Look at a map of the area where you live, your gigs should slowly radiate outwards in all possible directions, because what should happen is that just slightly further away than where you have played previously, they will have heard of you, which will make it easier to get gigs further away, which makes the towns slightly further down the road more likely to have heard of you, ect, ect.
Once you're doing this and regularly playing in different towns and cities, try not to play the same town twice within the space of about three months, that way you maximise your audience at every gig, which gives you a better reputation, which gets you better gigs.

Theoreticaly, you can keep going, keep gaining a better and better reputation, keep playing in better and better venues releasing material as you go and selling merchandise and eventualy, with enough effort and hard work, you'll be officialy 'famous'.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Sep 6, 2008,