In order to make a living as a musician on a regular basis, you will need to concentrate on several things in order to make it happen successfully :
Play well. The better you are at your respective instrument, the more demand there will be for your services, and the more opportunities will present themselves.
Read Well. The better that you can read music, the more bookings will be available to you. This is a mandatory requirement for the higher paying professional gigs.
Have an extensive song list in the style that you play.
If you can sing, the more tunes that you can perform vocally, the better. If two equal musicians are being pursued by a booking agent or club manager , the one that can sing the lead in more songs will usually get the booking.
Play by ear- If you have this ability also, it will increase the amount of work you can get.
Sound good- Make sure that your equipment is set for the appropriate volume levels and is properly tuned. A good sound man is hard to find but always a great addition.
Be punctual On time and dressed for the gig- Dress according to the gig. EXAMPLE-Don’t show up to a country venue with a punk rock look
Be polite and friendly- The more people that like you at the booking, the more chances you will get booked again by referral.
**TREAT ALL EMPLOYESS AT THE GIG WITH RESPECT **
BE SURE TO MENTION THEM TO AUDIENCE THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT. I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE AS AN EMPLOYEE AND AS THE ONE ON THE MICROPHONE THAT THIS IS REAL IMPORTANT. THE MORE RECOGNITION THEY GET, THE MORE MONEY THEY MAKE. THIS CAN DETERMINE HOW WELL LIKED YOU ARE AND HOW LIKELY YOU ARE TO GET THAT GIG AGAIN.
Know what will be expected of you and provide it. Never make promises you can’t keep. Telling a bar manager that you have a huge following is always a mistake because people are unpredictable. You might have a huge following at one venue and think they will follow you to the next only to be left with an empty house. I’ve seen it happen 1000 times.
Enjoy yourself. The more that you enjoy what you are doing, the more others will enjoy you. This leads to more work and a great reputation. People come to see live music to be entertained by positive upbeat musicians.
Be a team player. You are there for the enjoyment of the audience. Work together with your bandmates to make the magic work, and convey that to the audience.
A successful performance should include at least the following:
1. Investigate what is expected of you by the person in charge during the gig.
2. Work with them before, during, and after to make sure that all goes well.
3. Follow the rules of your contract and those of the room that you are working.
4. Be aware of what you are doing and give them their moneys worth.
5. Maintain good relations with everyone involved.
Some factors to assist in accomplishing these goals would be:
1. Show up dressed appropriately.
2. Be aware of the sound level and adjust it if necessary.
3. Like what you are doing and have fun.
4. Be cordial on and off stage.
5. Time your tunes according to the atmosphere of the party.
Investigate- If you do not ask, you cannot possibly know what is expected of you. There are certain gigs that will go according to a prearranged format and others that will take on a life of their own. Be aware of what is expected so that you won’t be surprised later.
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