To Make Your Live Band Better Schedule Gigs

The best way to improve your live band is to schedule a gig and get out and play.

Bonne Nuit Live Show 5-15-10 pic 2
Bonne Nuit Playing A Live Gig

   Every live band wants to be the best band that they can be. I’ve seen so many bands that practice, practice, practice and never really feel ready to get out and play a gig. I’ve seen bands begin and end in the practice studio without ever getting out and playing a live show. The biggest reason for this is the fact that the band never feels ready to get out and play a gig. So they practice and practice until they’re bored and then they end up giving up.   Continue reading “To Make Your Live Band Better Schedule Gigs”

Week Before Gig Preparation

Suggestions for how to prepare your live band the final week before your gig.

In Stereo At 2002 Winter Olympics   Having a big gig on the calender is the main goal of every live band. If you’re lucky, you’ve had plenty of time to prepare for your gig,  you’ve got all the songs learned and your show is completely rehearsed. There are a few things I like to be on top of my game the week before a big gig.

   The first thing I do is spend time alone practicing any parts that I have trouble with. This includes complicated guitar solos, tricky lyrics or anything that gives me rhythmic problems. I like to just put a little more polish and sparkle on my playing the final week before a big gig so I put in some extra time playing with a metronome as well. I try not to overdo it but the extra practice really settles my nerves.

   Continue reading “Week Before Gig Preparation”

Playing Any Gig Is Better Than Playing No Gig At All

If you’re a musician, then playing any live band gig at all will help you become a better musician.

Matt Rushton Playing A Live Gig
Matt Rushton Playing A Live Gig

I’m a guitarist who has been playing for almost 30 years now and I’ve played in live bands almost that entire time. The reason I play is simple, I love to play in front of live audiences. Some things I love about it are the feedback I get from an excited crowd as well as the joy that comes with really nailing the music when the band is playing well.

I’ve played a lot of different styles of music over the years. I’ve played primarily rock-n-roll but I’ve also played country, jazz, pop, electronic and other styles that don’t really fit into any category at all. I’ve played in original bands playing my own music as well as backing up other artists who write their songs. I’ve played in cover bands with all kinds of lineups from two-piece bands all the way up to full size big bands. I’ve also spent time playing in pit orchestras for live stage plays.                              Continue reading “Playing Any Gig Is Better Than Playing No Gig At All”

Being A Musician Playing In Multiple Bands

Playing in multiple bands can be a challenge but it also opens up some excellent performance opportunities.

Matt Rushton - Lead Guitarist
Matt Rushton - Lead Guitarist

   I’ve been playing in live bands since I was 15 years old and in that time I’ve been a member of many different types of bands. I’ve been in cover bands, original bands, wedding bands, jazz bands, country bands, rock bands and the occasional church group. I’ve been in some of these groups simultaneously and I’ve had some interesting times juggling multiple bands.

   There are a few different reasons I like to play in multiple bands. I know a lot of great musicians and I like to play music with all of them. Some of the musicians I know are more skilled at different types of music than others. So I spend time playing with different groups of musicians and I get to play different styles of music with different lineups of musicians. I personally like to play a lot of different types of music so playing in multiple groups allows me to play more varied music styles.     Continue reading “Being A Musician Playing In Multiple Bands”

Weekend Gig Report – In Stereo at Canyon Inn, January 9-10, 2009

Review of In Stereo playing at the Canyon Inn in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 9-10, 2009.

In Stereo Bass Drum Logo
In Stereo Bass Drum Logo

   In Stereo rocked the Canyon Inn this chilly January weekend. The Canyon Inn in Salt Lake City, Utah is a great place for live bands to play and we really enjoyed being there. We hadn’t played for a while so we had quite a bit of rust to knock off for this show. We started out pretty rough on Friday night but by the time we finished on Saturday night we were back in really good form.

   Friday night the effects of the U.S. economies current recession was really evident in the club. Usually during the peak ski season the Canyon Inn fills up to capacity every night. Friday it was only about half full. That was probably a good thing because we didn’t have our sharp edge intact as we were a bit rusty from the time off over the holidays. Luckily we pulled it together and ended up giving a really good show. Continue reading “Weekend Gig Report – In Stereo at Canyon Inn, January 9-10, 2009”

Get Your Band Focused By Scheduling A Gig

In Stereo Gigging The 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City
In Stereo Gigging The 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City

   Nothing, and I mean nothing, will have your live band working together like having a gig scheduled. When you have a deadline for a performance the whole band will suddenly become more focused on creating a great final product to present at the show. The constant tweaking of parts will stop, songs that just aren’t coming together will be dropped and the songs you do well will really start to get tight. Having an upcoming gig will give your band a sense of urgency that really will help you to polish things up and make them presentable.    Continue reading “Get Your Band Focused By Scheduling A Gig”

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”

Weekend Gig Report – In Stereo at Canyon Inn, November 7-8, 2008

In Stereo Bass Drum Logo

  We had a really excellent gig at the Canyon Inn in Salt Lake City this last weekend. In Stereo hadn’t played any shows for about a month and half so we were all rested, charged up and ready to rock! Let’s face it, live musicians are meant to play in front of live audiences and we were really stoked to be playing again. Because we had taken some time off we got together on Thursday and ran through a few songs to knock the rust off before the weekend. The extra practice really paid off because we played great all weekend long.

   Friday night when we arrived at the Canyon Inn it was pretty dead. We were a little worried that the crowd would be small. We shouldn’t have worried because right before we hit the stage people came rolling in. The club filled up really nicely and the crowd was lively and ready to have some fun. Continue reading “Weekend Gig Report – In Stereo at Canyon Inn, November 7-8, 2008”

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”

Hal Leonard Gig Guide Book With CD – The Performance Guide For Bands

Hal Leonard Gig Guide

   I’m always checking out new and interesting products to help make my life in a band easier. I was looking at some guitar tablature books and stumbled onto the Gig Guide series published by Hal Leonard. The Gig Guide series is designed to provide musicians with a blueprint for building bands.

   What Hal Leonard has done in the Gig Guide series is to pick a musical genre, say Classic Rock, and compile a 12-song setlist. It’s the same thing I’ve done for you with the Live Musician Central Set List series. You get several tools to use to learn the songs with the Hal Leonard Gig Guide series. Along with the list of songs are a Lead Sheet with the basic essential parts you’ll need to know to play the songs. This could be as simple as chords and melody. You also get a demo CD with a full band playing the song so you can hear how you should sound. Continue reading “Hal Leonard Gig Guide Book With CD – The Performance Guide For Bands”