Finding and playing music events
A good way to get yourself heard is to play at music events such as open mic nights. They may not be quite on a par with an actual gig, but playing at music events like open mic nights will have its benefits for you. Your best bet would be to scout out which venues in your local area host the events, then try and attend maybe one or two every week. It may come at some cost, for example, petrol expenses, but if you are serious about a career in the music industry then it is something that must be done.
Don’t expect too much, too quickly
You may not get paid for all the music events you sing at. To start making money from playing shows you need to build up a solid fan base and play at larger venues. This doesn’t happen overnight and local open mic nights are the first music events you should be hitting to build up your presence in the local area.
Singing at music events
Don’t expect a big crowd
Not all music events are heavily attended. However, it gives more opportunity to interact with the people at music events and get used to being watched by a crowd if you haven’t done any proper gigs yet. It’s all practice as you develop your ability to perform your songs live without the opportunity to stop and start like in a rehearsal.
People at open mic nights don’t tend to be avid fans of any particular style. So don’t worry about people not liking your style of music. Quite often music events such as these offer a variety of musical styles.
Be civil to other singers
Quite often, a chunk of your audience at music events will be fellow musicians. This is a double-edged sword. Sometimes, supporting each other with compliments can lead to building a rapport and potential gig partners in the future. Although not all music events will be full of musicians who wish to support each other, look out for the ones that do!
You have the opportunity to showcase new material and see how it is received at music events. This way after your performance you could ask for any feedback and make any additional changes to the song to give it more appeal. You could use it as a chance to write a proper set list so you keep the best received songs in and remove any that didn’t get much of a reaction.
Performing at music events
Use this not only for your music, but also for your performance skills. Interact with the crowd between songs to avoid any silent patches. This doesn’t mean jump around like a loony running amongst the crowd, just the simple things. For example, not putting your hands in your pockets during instrumentals.
Practice being confident and combating any nerves. Avoid having any kind of arrogance, as you don’t want to potentially annoy fellow musicians who could end up being good contacts for you to have on the gig circuit.
The most important thing is to network. Try different music events all over your area don’t just stick to the same ones. Speaking to other singers and acts will hopefully open up more performance opportunities, shared gigs, promoter details and other gig opportunities.
At the end of the day all practice is one step to being tighter when performing live!