12 Ways For A Singer Or Musician To Get More Gigs

© 2009 Vinny Ribas

Whether you’re looking to join a band, get called for pick-up gigs or generate demo work, there are ways that you can increase chances. Here are just a few:

1. Be easily accessible. For example, have a Blackberry or other phone that enables you to get phone calls, emails and text messages just about anywhere. That way, you don’t miss a gig because someone is just ‘going down the list’ and taking the first musician or singer who says ‘yes’ to the gig.

2. Advertise. List yourself on Craigslist and every social network site that you can find. Post a stack of your business cards on music store bulletin boards so people can take one. Restock the board often. Also sign up for [private_member]all local musician referral sites. In Nashville, The Referral List and Nashville Music Pros are just 2 of them. Like any advertising, repetition is the key.

3. Carry a demo CD that you can pass on to someone. They just might play it in their car, which doesn’t require Internet access.

4. Get reference letters from artists that you work for.

5. Have your own website with videos, audios, photos etc. This might eliminate the need for an audition. If you sing and play an instrument, or play multiple instruments, be sure to stress that. Also post your calendar so that artists and bandleaders can check your availability immediately. Add your reference letters. Be sure to list all of your contact info, including home and cell phone numbers and your email address. Do not put a contact form on your site. Some people might need to reach you right now, and they don’t want to have to fill out a form to do it. Also list what social network sited you have a presence on and your addresses at those sites.

6. Have business cards that reflect your personality. It’s best to have your photo on it so people remember who you are. Carry them with you at all times!

7. Network! Attend any and music industry networking events, songwriter nights etc. Be where the artists and band leaders are. Get business cards from everyone you meet, and send them a follow up email. Makes sure it has all of your contact info. They might lose your business card, but they will probably not delete your email.

8. Be flexible. Practice enough to be proficient in more than one musical genre, and make singers and bandleaders of each genre know that you are available for hire. If they are not hiring, they might know someone who is.

9. Go the extra mile. Offer to carry equipment in your van. Offer to bring the PA if you have a good one. Offer to rehearse for free. Offer to drive someone else to the gig. Do everything you can to make yourself everyone’s first choice!

10. Be professional. Be on time and dressed appropriately, Develop and follow a checklist of the equipment you need to bring so you don’t forget anything.

11. Refer other singers and/or musicians. Keep your own database, especially that of people with whom you’ve worked. They will do the same to return the favor. Offer to recruit any other musicians or singers that they need.

12. Whenever possible, learn the songs before you show up for the gig. Get a live recording of one of their gigs so you can be familiar with their arrangements. At least get a Songlist and keys so you can make notes or transpose a song into a different key than the one you know it in.

Getting hired as a singer or a musician is no different than running and marketing any other business. Think about how you find and what you look for when shopping for any other service provider – convenience, proficiency, professionalism, reasonable price, someone who has your best interest in mind at all times etc. You most likely would choose someone who is recommended or who has good references than you would someone you don’t know or who has no references. Treat your own business the same way, and you will greatly increase your chances of getting hired on a consistent basis.[/private_member]

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.