EvO:R-Pedia - Music Survival - 7 Tips to Gigging in a Bad Economy
By Dae Hite

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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.

    Music Survival - 7 Tips to Gigging in a Bad Economy
    By Dae Hite

    When the economy goes bad, entertainment is especially hit hard. People go out less, bar owners want free entertainment for the few customers they do have, if they hire entertainment at all, and mid size venues close their doors en masse. Musicians are left out in the cold with very few places to actually play, and usually for little to no money. The joke, " What is a guitarist without a girlfriend?" Homeless" takes on new meaning when the girlfriend is also homeless. Many musicians are probably putting their instruments in the closet and their amplifiers in the basement as I type this, or perhaps they are just selling off their gear getting as much cash as they can together. Whatever the case is, where there is a will, there is a way.

    No one wants to play gigs for free, and if you have a good following, you won't ever play for free. Consider this option. Work out a deal with the bar owner to take the door. With enough people for the night, you are paid and the bar owner is happy. There is not one single bar owner that would turn down this deal. If you do not have any following at all, then you may find yourself playing freebies just to build one. Bar owners are always the hardest to please, and for them, it equals the bottom line. If their pocket books are expanding and the crowd is buying, they will hire you over and over.

    If you are the type of band that wants to entertain existing clientele, then instead of taking the door, place out a tip jar. Yes this is a rough one because you've seen those tip jars and never wanted to put anything in them. For cover bands entertaining an existing crowd, choose people from the audience, ask them what song they want to hear and play it. If you don't know it, then you had better fake it all the way. After a few people, the tip jar starts filling up. If you are an original band attempting the tip jar, you will be highly challenged. Here is a way to be very successful at filling the tip jar as an original band. Get your crowd involved in your original songs. Bring up 1 or 2 people from the audience and teach them the chorus, then have them teach the chorus to everyone in the bar. Once everyone is singing your chorus, get the song rolling with your guests playing the part of getting the crowd involved. Watch your tip jar begin to fill up!

    Consider taking your 4-member band down to an acoustic 2-member band. With this setup, you can charge far less money and still make what you normally made with your full band. Bar owners like this setup also because it means less cash out of their pockets at the end of the night. If you cannot live without your full band, then consider this option. Get a weekday gig as an acoustic act by running an open mic night. I know what you are thinking, " Oh how tedious". No one said getting gigs would be easy or that you would even enjoy some of them. Seriously though, once you put your pride and joy into running an open mic night, you will love it. Not only will you make lots of new musician friends, but you will also gain lots of new fans.

    Get in on the college scene! Every college hires entertainment. They always have a budget for bands, even in a bad economy. Don't be afraid to give up the bar scene and go entertain at the colleges. Getting the younger crowd involved in your music also pays off, and if you look younger even better. If not, you might want to focus on your image before hitting the college crowds or risk becoming an instant comedy act.

    Festivals and did I mention festivals...every city has festivals, along with specialized groups such as ethnic, crafts, and general music festivals. Entertainment at these events is a must! Look for festivals where your music will be appreciated. If you play bluegrass, then there are plenty of bluegrass festivals to get booked at. Rock; look for festivals in the cities. You must start early with booking festivals, as competition is pretty stiff.

    Consider traveling to a gig. College towns, no matter where they are, are always hiring because college students do not pay much attention to an oncoming depression. Be prepared to travel a few hours and book every college town you can. The extra travel, especially since gas is cheap at the moment, amounts to time. College town gigs are not only a blast, but pay decently also.

    Busking, has anyone ever taken busking seriously. Even in a bad economy, people in cities are still going to work and still have spare change. I know I know..." I'm just too proud to beg on the street", but you would be surprised at the money you can make, along with the promotion you can do for any future booked gigs. If people like what they see, they will come see you play. So take 1 night and make time to hit the streets. Be sure to contact the city to find out about permits and ordinances. Many cities don't have them, but some do and you do not want to end up dealing with the police for a venture that was suppose to be fun and different.

    When you want to gig, you can. Most musicians, if they are feeling the effects of a downturn in the economy, automatically add the barrier themselves. Follow through with my 7 tips, and just have a blast with it. You'll be saying, " Bad economy, what bad economy?"

    Original article Posted: http://www.musicXspot.com

    Written by Dae Hite

    Dae is a musician and a sound engineer. She has over 20 years experience in the music business. Her experience covers a wide range of subjects from jazz theory to recording to the know hows of booking, gigging and live stage setup. She is currently working on several music projects. These include singer/songwriter productions, The Acoustic Duo, Cd recording, and a new band. Putting her experience to work comes naturally.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dae_Hite

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