How to Get a Gig

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Tips for singers on how to get a gig

Playing gigs is one of the most effective ways of getting recognised in the music industry and getting your music heard. As so many people attend music events, there is potential to play for a lot of people, providing you with great exposure if you impress. Below is advice on how to get a gig and why it’s so important for singers to play a gigs.

Please ensure you are ready to play at a recognised music venue first; it may pay to do some local Open Mic nights to learn stage craft and build the confidence before going in at the deep end, click here for music events – open mic nights.

Tips on how to get a gig

Learning how to get music gigs is one of the most essential things to master if you want to succeed in the music business. Live gigs are so important for getting your music heard by the right people. It giving them something they can’t get from a studio recording – LIVE ENERGY! Gigs are really great opportunities to build up a fan base. Here are some ways you can get more gigs that you can play and perform at this year.

Gig as much as you can

Gigging is one of the best things to have on your CV as a singer, as it shows you’re willing to make an effort. Also if you impress at a gig it’s most likely to lead to more opportunities such as getting asked to play at other gigs. Many people in the music industry will look at your website and social media to see where you’re performing next and of course the people you’ve impressed previously.

Always ensure you have leaflets and/or CD’s so people can take your details or listen to you on the drive home and it’s also essential that you are searchable on the internet, click here for social media tips.

Word of mouth

Word of mouth is a powerful thing for an artist to have and is one of our top tips on how to get a gig. Constantly make people aware of who you are. All it takes is a few people to be impressed by your performance to tell their friends about you and that gets the ball rolling of expanding your fan base. The more often you play, the more often you increase your chances of this happening, provided you are impressing with your music and performance.

Collaboration opportunities

The more often you gig, the more you will perform with other acts. One of the best ways to get noticed in the industry is to collaborate with other artists. So use gigging as an opportunity to make friends with other acts who would be willing to work on music and other gigs together.

Allows you to network

You never know who will end up coming to watch you play a gig, so it’s smart to go and network after your set is finished. Talking to everyone will give you a good reputation as well as giving the opportunity to talk to someone who might have a contact you could do with.

Selling merchandise 

Getting a regular gig slot also allows you to sell your merchandise to existing and possibly new fans. All it takes is someone to buy your EP and share it with their friends to widen your fan base. Selling merchandise is also another way of getting an income stream.

Create a mailing list

To do this you will need to design a leaflet to take details of people’s names, emails or mobiles to add to a mailing list. You should do this every time you gig, if you gig enough, you’ll soon have a good amount of fan information that you can use to advertise your new songs, gigs or news updates quickly and cheaply!

Make a list of all venues in your area

Don’t just stick to the venues most of the other musicians, bands, and singers play at!

There are some great little places that could be looking for performers. For example, smaller venues such as cafes, bars and restaurants are more likely to book an unestablished act. This gives you the opportunity to build your fan base and get your music heard.

This will then further increase the likelihood of you getting booked to get gigs at larger venues. 

Create a list of contacts for people you know take bookings

Try to find the direct contact details of the people responsible for deciding who gets to play. Name, address, phone numbers, email addresses, are the obvious ones, but you could also try to connect on social media! This reduces work time in the future and gives you a point of reference for the future.

Talk to other musicians and singers in your area. By building great relationships you could get contacts for even more opportunities. You could even be the first one in line for an opportunity should another singer have to drop out of their gig.

Open mic nights are great places to build relationships and make contacts – you can read more about that here. 

Promote yourself with a press kit

Any singer, band, or musician should create themselves a press and PR kit (see what you need to include in our guide to press kits) to help them get more gigs. At its simplest, this should contain your contact information, links to all social media pages, a brief biography, the music you play and your experience. 

This will aid the venue to see what music you play and see where you have played before. If within your budget, include photos and a demo. Remember to keep it simple and engaging preferably concise on one page.