Market Your Band By Giving Out Free Swag

Giving away free items at your gigs is a very effective way to market your live band.

Personalized Wristbands
Personalized Wristbands

   Constant marketing is essential for every live musician to promote their music and their band. With marketing your goal is to be able to keep your name and and logo in front of as many people as you can as often as you can. That brings me to the topic of giving away free swag. Yes the term “Free Swag” is a current buzz phrase on the marketing scene especially among the young and the hip. In case you were wondering, the term “Swag” as it’s used here means cool free stuff. Traditionally, swag means booty, goods or money stolen by any thief and is most commonly associated with pirates. Yo-Ho! As I said, it’s really just appealing to the young hipsters of today.

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Playing Christmas Gigs: Good Times, Good Pay, Good Marketing

Playing A Christmas Gig

   For live performing musicians, Christmas gigs can be the most lucrative and funnest gigs of the entire year. There’s just something about the season that brings out the best in people. Some of the best times I’ve had at gigs are the ones I’ve played right around Christmas. The celebratory and giving spirit of the season seems to really affect the club owners and especially the audiences at this time of year.

   A good show is really the coming together of the performer and the audience. Around the holidays people are just ready to relax and have a good time. This really becomes evident as you play gigs around the holidays. The audience is so eager to celebrate that our jobs as entertainers become much easier. You can really draw on the audience for that extra push of energy to take your show to the next level. Having a successful gig at Christmas is as easy as keeping things light and happy onstage. You don’t even have to play exceptionally well as long as you’re having a good time. It’s a great time to market your band because people will remember you if they have had a really good time. Associating your band with good memories is fantastic marketing.    Continue reading “Playing Christmas Gigs: Good Times, Good Pay, Good Marketing”

The Key To Successful Band Marketing, Network

Networking In Action - Eric Clapton's All-Star Jam

   Probably the single most important thing a live musician can do to successfully market themselves, their band and their music is to network with as many other musicians as they possibly can. I can tell you from experience that I’m able to keep playing gigs because of who I know and associate with in my musical realm. I’m not a big self-promoter but I have contacts and friends in the music world that are really good with promotion and finding gigs. Networking with these types of people have really helped me advance my career. By networking with other bands and musicians you can increase your chances of hooking up with them for all sorts of gigs and musical projects.

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Playing A Charity Function Gig

Charity Show For Children's Hospital Autism Program

   Playing a charity gig can be a fantastic way to do some good in your community and give you an excellent opportunity to do some band marketing. Every live musician is looking for as much exposure as possible to be able to market their band and music to as many people as they can reach. If your band gets the chance to play a charity benefit you should take a good look at the potential of reaching a large audience that you normally wouldn’t get to come to your regular shows.

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How To Get People To Come To Your Shows

Shufflin Noah Flyer

   One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a band is getting people to come out and see you when you play. It’s not as big of a problem when you’re in a cover band that’s playing in clubs where there’s a regular crowd every weekend that enjoys music by live musician‘s. If you’re playing original music, it can be difficult to fill up a room consistently. Whatever type of band you’re in, there are a few methods you can use to get people out to your shows.

   The first thing you need to do of course is network all of the bands friends and family. They’ll be your biggest source of quality audience because they should already like you, at least personally. In a lot of clubs you can set up a guest list to get family members in for free. It’s always nice when you can tell your family that you’ll get them in to see you for free and it’s a way to encourage them to show up knowing that they’ll be expected at the door. Continue reading “How To Get People To Come To Your Shows”

How To Approach A Cover Song

Elvis Presley Covers Blue Suede Shoes

   A cover song is a song that has been recorded by another artist and that your band will be playing. Some famous artists that have played cover songs are Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Van Halen, The Rolling Stones. A lot of current artists will play cover songs as well and go on to have big hits playing them. The good thing about playing cover songs is that the song has already been marketed to the masses and has been proven to be a well loved hit. So your chances of having success playing the song is very high. There are a couple ways you can approach playing a cover song.

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Choosing A Band Name

Butthole Surfers - Maybe not the best name

   One of the funnest but most difficult things you’ll have to do as a band is decide on a band name. It can be extremely frustrating deciding on a name that everyone in the band agrees on. Instead of agreeing on a name that everyone loves, it almost always comes down to a name that everyone doesn’t hate. So how can you pick a name for your band?

   The first thing you need to do is come up with a list of potential band names. How do you choose band names? There is really no rule as anything could be used as a band name. I would suggest looking at the type of music the band is playing, or the type of people in the band. Is there something that stands out about your band that you want to point out? In my band Shufflin’ Noah we had written a song called 40 Days And 40 Nights so one of the names suggested was Noah. We felt that was too generic so we decided to add the word Shufflin’ to the front of it. That was on a list that included names like Spoon Playin’ Noah, Street Rappin’ Noah as well as a bunch of others. We finally decided on Shufflin’ Noah because we wanted people to dance to our music. Continue reading “Choosing A Band Name”

Play To Your Strengths With Your Song Selection

Click For Set Lists
Click For Set Lists

   Every band has it’s own unique talent level that comes from each individual band member’s personal skill level. I’ve played with guitarists that are just amazing with Jazz music but couldn’t play even the simplest of Rock-N-Roll music. I’ve played with bass players that could hold down a perfectly steady beat, until they had to play a funk bass line and then they struggled like crazy. I’ve had the same thing happen with bands as whole that I’ve been in. I’ve been in bands that could play classic Rock-N-Roll flawlessly but couldn’t even start to play any heavy metal. I’ve seen bands that play Country like nobody’s business but can’t rock at all.

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Which Songs To Put On Your Demo Recording

Billy Joel Demo Tape

   One of the most important pieces of marketing material you will produce for your band is your demo recording. I’ve already discussed using a live recording in your marketing kit as opposed to a studio produced recording. Today I would like to discuss your song selection that you will be including on your demo. The songs you choose for your demo can sell your band in many different ways.

   I guess it’s a no-brainer that you will want to put your best songs on the demo recording. What determines your best songs? A combination of different things. Obviously you want the songs that you actually play the best. These would be the songs that the band knows like the back of their hand. Songs that you play perfectly every time you play them. It’s very important that you give a great consistent performance of your demo songs so when you play them in another club you will sound like your demo.    Continue reading “Which Songs To Put On Your Demo Recording”