How to Get More Gigs.

This weekend I was reading some articles online and in a famous guitar magazine. These articles had features on how to get more gigs and had some great tips in but also some bad advice for current and future musicians.

With expertise in this field here are some of our tips to get you getting more gigs.

1. Invest in yourself.

This is quite a broad point. But perception is important and investing in your product as a peforming artist is important. Invest some money in producing a good EP or single for distribution and also invest in some killer graphics to get you noticed.

Investing a bit of cash at the start of your career will get you taken more seriously and show that you care about what your doing.

Some readers may disagree with the above statement but its true. Think about the things you buy and why you buy them. If you present yourself more professionally you will get more recognition than your competitors.

Don’t produce “demos”. If you have the time and money to record then get it right the first time round. Recording studio time and home recording equipment is getting cheaper and cheaper. There is not excuse not to kill two birds with one stone and produce a record that will get you gigs and that you can sell at gigs and promote yourself online.

2. Is Pay to Play a con?

As mentioned in one of the top guitar magazines currently out there its written that artists should never pay to play and that promoters asking this should be avoided. We feel this advice is misleading.

We have experience in performing gigs and organising events and the “pay to play” scheme is common and on some levels acceptable especially as a starting artist.

Many promoters invest time and money in putting on an event. Therefore its not unreasonable for a promoter to ask the band to sell some tickets on the behalf of the promoter.

There are many venues and promoters big and small that employ this practice but usually offer a commission based sales inventive to the artist for every ticket sold. We used to pay the artist a percentage of the tickets they sold as a thank you. However we never expected the artist to sell any or made it a requirement that they needed to sell a particular amount in order to play. This method was simply to open up a distribution channel for artists family friends and local fans.

Especially in some cases this was the only distribution channel a younger fan with no credit or debit card could acquire a ticket.

If the promoter asks for money up front or that you are required to sell a certain amount of tickets then this is not great practice and should be avoided. But don’t be put off an event should a promoter enquire how many tickets you could sell and whether you would be willing to help sell tickets to fans for a commission.

This kind of leg work really does help your cause and is worth doing. A large amount of promoters that book small bands do employ these tactics but for the right reasons.

As a new band you should expect to put in some leg work and co-operate with promoters (to a reasonable extent). You should also not be expected to be paid until you are worth paying for. If you don’t get involved with marketing and invest in your product then why should anyone else? especially the promoter.

3. Play nice and Network!

Make sure your nice to other bands, sound engineers and promotors. These guys are all potential contacts that can help your bands career. So be nice! get some phone numbers and build your network of music industry professionals.

4. Put on a good show!

Goes without saying really. Make sure you perform your best and impress your audience and other artists. You want them all raving and tweeting about how great you were and buying your merchandise.

5. Don’t just promote online.

Although as a new band the investment in posters and flyers can be seen as a waste of money it is still important to get your image and brand out there into the public via any medium possible. Keep the investment in flyers and posters to a minimum as many could end up in the bin within minutes. Instead go and place them in strategic locations.

Promote your music! do a you tube video, release a track on iTunes. Get people sharing your content across, Facebook, twitter, myspace etc. Offer an incentive to fans who invite their friends to your page or event or share your posts.

Press and radio! get involved with local press and radio. They want to know about you and what you have to offer. If you have something to promote then send a few emails.

The unsigned guide is a great resource for music industry contact information for only around £35. So a worthwhile investment. But best bit of advice is DO NOT SPAM! take time to get you know your contacts and avoid sending mass emails. Once you get marked as spammed too many times the likely hood of anyone getting your emails is slim.

6. Play anywhere.

Don’t let your ego get in the way of a good gig. Sometimes the really unappealing gigs can turn out amazing! Charity, pubs, clubs, fetes. Don’t be picky.

7. Merchandise

Have some decent merchandise for sale. Get some snazzy merch properly made. Its not as expensive as you think. Check out EBAY for small companies that provide some great custom CD printing and sleeves as well as t-shirts.

Also have something for FREE. Whether it be a free download with a link on a flyer or QR code. Its good to have something for FREE available for fans to take away. As a reminder to check you out online when they get home.

Stickers are also good for this purpose.

 

 

Conclusion

In conclusion make sure you put on a good show, consider all your performance options, don’t let your ego get in the way or successful networking and make sure you have something to promote before getting out there and performing.

Should you have any more tips you would like to add to the above list please feel free to get in touch

Essential Items for Beginners

When learning the Guitar there are a few basic items (in addition to the guitar) you will need or need in the future.

1. Guitar Tuner

This is the most important piece of kit. You will need to tune your guitar every time you play. Therefore purchasing an electronic tuner is essential to help you tune your instrument.

Price £5-£15

Recommended models Korg CA-1 available from Amazon

Chromatic tuners are more versatile and therefore are recommended over standard tuners. Electronic tuners are better and easier to use than traditional pitch pipes.

2. Capo

Capos are useful for playing more adventurous songs and some songs that may exceed your current ability as a beginner at the time.

These can be as cheap as £2.99 and go up to £12. Ebay is a great source for Capos as bargain prices.

There are several types of capo. There is one particular that uses a fabric strap to attach to the guitar. These are not ideal as the fabric stretches and wears out over time. Ideally a sturdy metal capo is best. See pic below.

capo

3. Spare Strings

Spare strings are essential simply to replace ones that break. Check the gauge your guitar came with and then buy some spares from a local shop or online.

4. Spare leads

Leads break. Therefore having a spare is a good idea.

More essentials coming soon!

Credit and Debit Card Payments

It is not possible for Credit and Debit Card Payments to be taken at lessons. However should you wish to use this facility we can offer a secure and safe method via google checkout.

If you wish to pay an outstanding fee or for a lesson then please email us with your name and email address and we will send you a secure email invoice that you can use to pay online.

However please note there is a 3.4% Service charge for paying online.

Alternatively if you have online banking you can request details to be able to send a bank transfer to our account free of charge.

Again to initiate this service please contact us.

Post a review!

If you’ve have had lessons in the past with myself or currently having lessons then please leave a review on google!

All reviews are appreciated. Also if you have any comments or questions regarding improvement of lessons then send them over in an email direct so it can be worked on.

To leave a review simply google “guitar lessons petersfield” Then find and click on the write a review link below the listing.

Thanks!

 

Metronomes are boring

Getting bord or practicing to a metronome?

Then why not try playing and practicing you chords etc to a drum machine. If you don’t have one or can’t afford one and have nothing like Garageband or any sort of Music Software then check out drum bot.

http://www.drumbot.com/projects/drumbot/

A free online drum machine that can make practice a little more exciting. Simply select a genre and drop the files into the window and hit play. You can also modify the tempo using the slider to the top right.

 

Half Term Guitar Lessons

Looking for something to do this october half term? Then why not give guitar a go. Various slots are available for you to give guitar a go including daytime slots.

Learn in a relaxed atmosphere with a professional tutor and musician. All contemporary styles taught.

New clients booking this half term can have 25% off their first booking. Simply quote “Rock-tober” when chatting or emailing us.

For  more information please get in touch.

 

How to read key signatures

In this lesson we are going to look at a simple way to read key signatures.

You will need to know

  • Notes on the fretboard
  • Notes on the stave

[cleeng_content id=”431904345″ description=”Open Position Major Chords Lesson – Guitar” price=”0.99″ t=”article” referral=”0.1″]Download the file below

how to read key sigs[/cleeng_content]

Power Chords Lesson

In this lesson we are going to look at power chords. Power chords are properly known as 5th chords as they contain the root note and a 5th interval.

You will need to know

  • Notes on the fretboard
  • How to read chord diagrams

[cleeng_content id=”676627180″ description=”Power (aka 5th) Chords Lesson – Guitar” price=”0.99″ t=”article” referral=”0.1″]Power chords commonly make up most modern rock songs performed by artists such as Green Day, Paramore etc

Power Chords are also known as 5th Chords. Because they contain only the Root note and the 5th interval of a chord. Power chords feature on a large amount of modern rock, punk and pop songs such as Greenday and Paramore.

Power chords are favored amongst many young musicians as you only need to learn a couple of chord shapes and simply move them around the fretboard to change the chord.

To the right is an example of a power chord. To play this F5 you simply place your first finger on the first fret Thickest E string, your third finger on the 3rd fret A string and your forth finger on the 3rd fret of the D string.

Then strum the strings your holding down.

Then you will get F5 (F power chord). This is called an F5 simply because your first finger is playing an F note. (1st fret E string).

 

If you were to move all the notes in this chord retaining its shape so that your first finger was on the thickest E of the 5th fret and your 3rd and 4th fingers are in the 7th then you would be now playing an A5. Because your first finger is playing A (the root note).

This chord can also be moved down a string so your first finger thats playing the root note can start on the A string. This will again change the chord and its name because your first finger will be on a different root note. Simply refer to your “notes on a fretboard” lesson to work this out.

Playing power chords from the D string.

If you want to play a power chord from the D string you have to make one simple change. Move all your fingers so that your playing a power chord as normal from any note you wish on the D string and simply move your little (4th) finger up 1 semi tone (1fret). Thats it! thats all you have to do to successfully play a power chord from the D string.

To get the chord you want just place your first finger on the root note you require.[/cleeng_content]

Lesson 2.3: Open Position Minor Chords

This article is designed to teach you open position minor chords.

[cleeng_content id=”168040140″ description=”Open Position Minor Chords Lesson – Guitar” price=”0.99″ t=”article” referral=”0.1″]The same technique applies to learning the Minor chords. Practice them daily with an aim to memorise them. A good practice technique is to play these chords varying the order each time. Make sure you play the notes in the chords with your finger tips to avoid muting any other strings and apply enough pressure to allow all the notes to ring out. Don’t be put off if the chord doesn’t ring out initially or sounds a bit quiet. With persistence most problems will eventually resolve themselves.

You will notice that Fm (F minor) requires you to use your first finger to cover all the strings within the first fret. This is a technique known as barring. Barring and bar chords will be explained in more detail later on in the course.

The most common chords you should start with that will get you going with a lot of popular songs is the A Minor, D minor and E Minor. When learning these chords learn them gradually even whilst working on a song.

In this section we have looked at how to play open position Major and Minor Chords.

  • To practice this segment simply practice the chords in varying order on a daily basis with the aim to be able to play them without having the diagrams in front of you.
  • Practice changing between chords in a varying order with an aim to increase the speed of the change over time.
  • Remember to play using your finger tips and arch your fingers so that you don’t touch or play any unwanted strings.
  • Apply pressure to ensure that every note in the chord rings out when strummed.
  • Apply pressure to your thumb on the back of the neck should you need to apply more pressure to the held notes on the fretboard.[/cleeng_content]