Issue 23 Volume 1 May 2011

Page 6


How To Get A Properly Paid Gig

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OK, so you have a gig, putting up a notification on the web can be a way of informing potential punters that the gig is on. The more punters who are aware of the gig the more potential “bums on seats” (see installment 1). But will potential punters find your gig notice? This is the million dollar question and the answer is NO THEY WONT! ……….. unless you have already pointed them to your web presence by SOME OTHER MEANS.

This is really the key to solving the web conundrum and you need to really understand it if you want the web to be a useful tool in promoting your activities.

It is not difficult to set up an online sales system, either yourself or through high profile sites like iTunes. Selling recordings will build your profile and make you money, but once your recording is up there, will any potential customers find it? The answer is again: NO THEY WONT! ……….. unless you have already pointed them to your web presence by SOME OTHER MEANS. See the pattern emeging? The same applies to:

Q: Why make itavailable?
A: Money & promotion
Q: Will anyone find it?
A: See above

Q: Why make it available?
A: More gigs therefore money & promotion
Q: Will anyone find it?
A: See above
Etc, etc, etc….

Let’s just pause and look back. We have identified some stuff we want to hang up, we have identified what we want out of each item’s presence online and we have also identified who could potentially “consume’ what we want to “hang up”. We have also identified the “BIG HURDLE”. Not a bad session’s work actually! We might leave it there for now and allow you to ponder potential solutions to the “BIG HURDLE”.

(Hint: think about “Send Stuff” but don’t imagine that it alone is the whole answer.)






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It seems more and more that musos who are making a living out of music are the ones who have bitten the bullet and decided to take the bull by the horns and do their own marketing. Why is this something we all shy away from? I guess because it can seem so hard, and so un-Australian to blow your own horn (unless you’re a horn player).

Unfortunately the choice appears to be - get over the cultural cringe or get over being a musician. Many of the most successful musicians of recent years have been those who haven’t been afraid of the business side of the music biz – think John Butler Trio.


John Butler

So how do we ‘big-note’ ourselves in a way that is palatable to those we’re big-noting ourselves to so that we walk that fine line between getting gigs and getting a reputation for being a hassle.

Well, probably watch Meet The Robinsons (2007) again for a clue. Talk to a lot of successful musicians and they’ll admit to having been clueless about the biz at the start. The ones who succeed appear to be those most willing to make some spectacular mistakes.

Most music courses now have a ‘token’ music business course that young musicians reluctantly take time off their instrument to attend. David James this edition talks about the death of the music industry and I personally believe if there is to be a re-birth at all, it requires a brand new approach from everyone from the ground up and a lot of bullet biting when it comes to marketing. A willingness to spend half the time on your instrument and half the time promoting the music you make is a good start. And as the young drummer featured in this edition, Gene Peterson points out, it’s also a good idea to start thinking ‘What can I do for my audience’ as opposed to ‘What can my audience do for me.’ In other words what do your audience find entertaining and musical and how can you show them a good time, as opposed to why won’t they buy my music, clap for me, stroke my ego and make me feel good. This doesn’t mean we can’t make art – but we need to make it palatable. Just like gran used to do when she gave me sugar with my celery sticks – ok I ended up with lots of fillings – but I still like celery.

The moral to the story – next time you’re gigging don’t forget to give them some sugar – or something like that.

Megan Albany



PS Feel free to send in all your drummer jokes for publication in the next edition