CREATING THE BAND (PART 3): THE GIGS AND
Last week we covered
equipment needed for a band. This week is all about the gigs and publicity.
There are many ways to
create public awareness of your band. The most obvious are publicity,
competitions, and live performances.
The easiest way to make a
name for your band is to enter competitions. Don’t be too selective about which
competitions you enter. Any publicity is good!
The more competitions you
enter, the more experience your band will get playing under pressure. You may
also want to try putting your hand up to play at functions or at public events,
like school fetes.
Organizers are always
looking for cheap entertainment, and it’s a great opportunity for the public to
hear your sounds. Who knows what type of people the audience may include!
When you first start playing
in public, avoid original songs. Popular cover songs are much safer, as they are
just that – popular! Play them well and the audience will warm to your band.
Once you have built up an audience, then you can slowly try mixing in original
Even though playing cover
songs may go against your creative processes, remember that if you want to make
it as a live act, you are at the mercy of your audience. You must do everything
to attract and hold your audience. A proven formula is the cover song. Find ones
that genuinely reflect the type of band you are. This will give the audience a
feel for your band without hitting them full on with your presence. It is easier
to build up a fan base this way.
Just because you are playing
covers doesn’t mean that you can’t be unique either. Research other bands, see
what they are doing, and do things differently. Play against the norm. It’s a
lot easier to attract attention when you are swimming upstream. Your uniqueness
will stand you out from the crowd.
A large part of attracting
an audience is publicity. Make sure you play to this by getting as much
publicity as you can. Local media is a good start. They are always looking for a
new story. Contact your local newspaper or radio station before gigs or after
any success in competitions. Tell them what you are up to. Often they will find
an angle to it and it may lead to some much needed free publicity. Developing
your own website is always useful as well. It may come as a shock to newbies,
but the fact of the matter is that the product only counts for 10% of the
success. 90% is advertising and publicity, so do what you can to spread the
No matter how popular the
cover songs you pick are, or how frequently you perform, your band will fail
without performance consistency. After working so hard to attract an audience,
you don’t want that audience labeling your band as inconsistent. There is no
excuse for a bad day in the live music industry. If you’re going to take this
seriously, make sure you have had enough practice, and air out any problems (be
they technical or personal) before you hit the stage.
Now you have all the parts
to forming and maintaining a successful band! It can be a tricky process. There
will be ups and downs for any band. The test of a good band will be how they
survive the lows. Keep working at it, because the highs completely over shadow