So you want to make some cash playing guitar?

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  •  The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section

    Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.

    So you want to make some cash playing guitar?
    at large installment

    We've put together some information on a few different ways that you can make-a-buck.
    1. Assemble Your Band: The first thing you need to do is get your band together. Find people that are about your own age and have similar musical interests and abilities. Music seminars are good places to look for prospective band members, so are school music programs, local music teachers, and music stores. Placing ads in the newspaper can be effective but also costly. You are generally better off posting an ad in the local music store or simply talking to people and building your band on word of mouth and reputation. Internet bulletin boards are another resource you have to find band members, click here to post on our musicians wanted boards.

    2. Get the Rhythm Right: When forming your band, a good place to start is with your drummer. Your drummer will keep the beat of the song, and if your drummer canít hold a beat, then the rest of the band will be off. Try out several different people until you have a solid rhythm section that you are comfortable with.

    3. Find a Place to Rehearse: Once you have tried out a few different people and assembled your band, you are going to need to rehearse and put a song list together for a show. You need to consider the market in your area and how your act will be perceived by the local market- if that is where you are going to play. You are also going to need a place to practice as a band. Usually that means one of the band memberís house or garage. In any case, you need to find a space where you can make some noise without interruptions. If you find you canít practice at anyoneís house, there are other options. Some music stores have practice rooms. Schools, churches, community centers, warehouses, teen centers and basements, are all good places to check when looking for rehearsal space.

    4. Define Your Decision Making Process: Decide how decisions are made. Usually someone in the band will step up and take a leadership position. It is important that everyone in the band understands and agrees on how decisions are made. You may decide that each member of the band has an equal vote in the decision making process, however, this requires that all members of the band be present in order to make a decision. A band manager can be helpful in taking care of the day-to-day business of the band such as booking, banking, and promotions. Band managers are essentially a member of the band and usually take an equal cut in any profits. It is a good idea to open a bank account for the band and decide what the profits will be used for and how they are divided.

    5. Get Your Style Right: Your appearance is almost as important as your music. Remember you are an entertainer now. You need to decide on a style that reflects the mood of your music and that everyone in the band is comfortable with. All eyes are on you, so make a good impression.

    6. Get the Word Out: After you have put together a tight set and have enough material for at least an hour, you can now start to search for gigs. You will need to put together a promotional package that has pictures of the band, personal bios, a song list, and a recording of the band if possible. Find some venues that you would like to play and send them your promotional package. Call them on the phone 1-week later to follow up. Youíll want to start by sending your promo package to restaurants, clubs, coffee houses, festivals, fairs, private parties, schools, convention centers, and anywhere that people come together to have a good time. If your have an entrepreneurial spirit, you can even rent local halls and put on your own shows.

    7. Play Whenever You Can: In the beginning youíll want to get every gig you can. The more exposure you get, the more gigs you will get, and if you are well received, the better the gigs will get. Some musicians start out playing for free or next to nothing on their first couple gigs. It is important to be prepared when playing a gig and always have business cards and a business attitude. You are at work, even if it is at a party! You are an entertainer, and it is your responsibility to engage and entertain your audience. You want fans and word-of-mouth advertising. You need repeat business and steady gigs to survive as a performer. So everything you do will either take away or contribute to your bandís success. The best place to start out if you are a local teenage band is at your local school and community functions.

    8. Record Yourself: After you have built a following and perfected your skills as a band, youíre going to get requests for a CD. Recording a CD can be costly but it is your next step in the development of your career. You can recoup these costs by selling your CDís locally, on the Internet, and at your gigs.

    There are two ways that you can go when recording. The first traditional way is to go into a recording studio and pay the going rate. The second route is to buy a new digital workstation that is capable of creating a very presentable product at a fraction of the price. Granted you are going to have to learn a little about sound recording and mixing, but you are going to have to do that anyway. Having a recorder and recording your jam sessions will increase your musicianship 10 fold, because you are forced to listen to and critique your sound. After you have completed your master disc, get some prices from large duplication houses like www.discmakers.com and then see if your local duplicator can beat the price.

    Quantity will always get you a lower unit cost. The artwork for the CD can be done by a friend or by yourself on a home computer. Be sure to have pictures of the band on your first CD and be sure that they represent your attitude and sound. Once your have perfected your producer skills, you might want to make some extra money doing it for other local bands.

    1. Promote Your Services: Once you have mastered your basic guitar skills, you can now start to charge money to teach people who have none. You will need to let people know that you are now a guitar instructor. Advertise in your local newspaper and music stores. Be sure to include your contact information, what you will charge per hour, where you are located, and the hours that you are available. Also include what level of guitar that you are teaching (starter, intermediate, or advanced) and what style of music you teach.

    2. Be Prepared and Organized: Be honest and have integrity. It is not easy being a teacher; you need to know your stuff. Be prepared, punctual, and have a logical week-by-week learning schedule. Remember, you are now running a business, not just jamming with some friends. Keep your lessons to no more than one hour and when the hour is up, so is the lesson. Always give your students stuff to work on during the week, so that when they come next, they (and you) can see progress and what needs a little more work. Remember the most important thing about teaching is giving your students the confidence and motivation to keep playing.

    3. Take Care of Business: It is best to collect the money at the beginning of the lesson, and if possible have them pay by the month. This way you will know where you students stand and they wonít get behind in payments. You will find that if a student gets behind in payments, they will probably quit rather than pay up. Beside you donít want that sort of tension in your teacher-student relationship. Once again, this is a business, donít forget it.

    4. Use the Kit: If you are teaching beginner guitar, use the Kit. Seasoned guitar instructor Jimmy Stewart states, "Iíve never seen a better beginning guitar method in my many years of teaching." The Book component of the AudioBook can be especially helpful because it contains the diagrams you will need, its small, portable, and can sit right in the lap of your student. If you have questions or would like more tips on how to teach guitar, contact GuitarStu.


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