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.




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.


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!

Artist Advice: Who is your Audience?

This week I’m going to show you some simply ways to help get to know your target audience and monitor your fan base.

It is important for bands and artists to know who their target audience are so that you can market your music using the correct methods and plan gigs and tours more effectively.

Most bands now use Facebook to engage with fans online. Advertising new tracks and events as well as get feedback from listeners on new releases. This is a key platform to help you get a better understanding of who your audience is, where they are from, what age they are etc.

Essential information especially if you’re promoting yourself for an event and need to know how many people in the area may attend. Or if your planning a press release and need to know what magazines your target audience read.

Collecting this information about your audience can be tricky though as there limited resources to show you your current follower demographic.

However there are plenty of services available that can provide such information and analyse all your social platforms and provide you with the audience statistics you desire. Many as well have handy features to help you get more followers. One service for $9 a month is

However there are some 100% free ways to collect information about your fans online. For instance why not set up an online form that asks a few simple questions like, Name, Age, Sex, Postcode / area and email address in exchange for a free download or discounted gig ticket? This will provide you with your statistics and help build your online mailing list.

To create a form that’s free sign up to google docs.

Simple! Just a few ideas to help you monitor your progress and plan your tours and marketing efforts to appeal to your audience demographic.





New Performance Grades

This year has seen the arrival of new updated exam syllabus’ from Rockschool as well as the arrival of new exam assessment criteria. One in particular is Performance grades from the Registry of Guitar Tutors (RGT) validated  by the London College of Music (LCM).

These grades as completely focused on assessing the performance of pieces and pieces only.

Students can choose which pieces to perform for the exam but have to make sure it covers the technical criteria required for the desired grade. Myself or your tutor would be able to advise with this.

Another plus side is that exams can be taken at home! Simply record your performance on a video camera or audio and send it for assessment.

Great if you get nervous in exams.

Also the prices are slightly cheaper than ordinary exams.

A great new way to complete guitar exams.

This service is offered by vincent hearn guitar tuition, RGT / LCM and guitar lessons for more information please get in contact.