Five Tips for Booking Your Band

Robert Russell By Robert Russell, 17th Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Music>Promoting Music

One of the first hurdles to overcome when you are putting a new band together is to find gigs and venues to play in. Practice and rehearsals are obviously important but the experience gained from live performances is an essential part of developing a band maturity and potential. A good example is the year that the Beatles spent in Hamburg fine-tuning their sound and musical skills.

Tips For Booking a Band

Booking gigs for your band takes time, patience, dedication, and faith in your music and band mates. Ideally, finding a booking agent is the best scenario for a band. Booking agents take a cut of the money but they also have connections and experience. The time and hassle it takes finding gigs can be used for practice and rehearsal and improving the quality of the music. A booking agent won't be interested in entering the experience until the band has a proven track record.The first step is to book as many gigs as possible and gain the experience that will catch a booking agent's attention.

(1) Put together a collection of songs to record as a demo.
The purpose of the demo is to showcase the strength and diversity of the band. Put your strong qualities on display such as songwriting, soloing skills and chops, and interesting musical arrangements. The demo should include three to five songs. The recording quality is important. A variety of home recording technology is available but it is difficult to beat the quality of a professional recording studio.

(2) Assemble a professional promotional package for the band.
In addition to the demo, the promo package should include a band biography and photograph and a short synopsis of the music. List the names of important gigs and venues you have played including the names of famous bands or performers that you shared a bill with. Finally, include excerpts from any newspaper or press coverage that the band may have received.

(3) Explore different gig possibilities for the band.
New bands are tempted to play for free or for a low fee simply because they are anxious to play a gig. Although there is some value in this approach, it involves traps as well. Concentrate more on gigs that play a decent wage. This makes playing music more viable and also helps you to maintain you respect as a musician.

There are a number of ways you can research gigs for the band. Spend time online researching bands whose music is similar to what they do. Look at their tour schedule and pay attention to the venues they play in. A second way is word of mouth. Talking to other musicians and music fans is a good way to find out about some of the more interesting places to play. Expand your horizons and don't limit yourself to bar gigs. Most bar gigs pay very little and they usually discourage original music. Town and cities frequently hold arts and crafts fairs that include musical performers.

(4) Send the promo package to the venues that you are interested in.
Another option is to drop off the promo package in person if you are in the area. Make a follow up phone call to make sure the venue received the promo package. The telephone call also allows you to make an impression and convince the venue that they should hire your band.

(5) Focus attention on attracting an audience
It is one thing to get the gig and it is another thing for the gig to do well. From the venue's perspective, a good gig is one that makes money. In other words, if you are playing to an almost empty house, the band will probably not be asked back. Advertise the all your gigs through social networking sites such as facebook or Myspace. Hang attractive positive and fliers around town so your fans know where you are playing. Compile an fan email list and send out messages about all the gigs. Finally, rely on the tradition word of mouth method to get the word out .


Band Promo Packages, Band Tips, Booking Agents, Booking Gigs, Demo Recordings

Meet the author

author avatar Robert Russell
I play guitar professionally in a Cajun/zydeco band named Creole Stomp. We are a nationally touring band that have been together ten years. I also have a PhD in philosophy.

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author avatar Songbird B
5th Dec 2011 (#)

Great advice and practical information too..Nice share Robert..!

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