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#154597 - 11/01/02 08:06 PM Solo gigs
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4187
I recently spent a great deal of time putting together a solo act. Had 5 sets, all backup harmonies on my vs and a great system. Booked a coffee shop and played 4 hours to ONE person (my wife!). Discouraged, I sold all my stuff. I didn't give a chance to determine the solo job availability. Given the notion that I have talent, are there any jobs that are money makers - devode of the coffee shop $50 stuff. . Advice appreciated. Looking to gig in MI/OH.
zuk
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#154598 - 11/02/02 08:50 AM Re: Solo gigs
brickboo Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/04/01
Posts: 2068
Loc: Fruita, Colorado, USA
I put out some flyers I did on the computer at supermarkets and different places around town. I also told the small local news paper and the larger newspaper in the next town and they put us in for free in the annoucements about local entertainment. I played the coffee shop to maybe 40 people. Most stayed and complimented me. I just made $30 in tips.

I don't think you will walk in any place tell them $150 and they will say OK you're hired. You will have to put time in it get to be known and you might pick up some high paying weddings. Uncle Dave, Donny, Scott Don and others didn't start yesterday.

I played in night clubs in the New Orleans area in the 50's with a no pictured Draft Card that beonged to my Uncle for $10 a night when I was 16.

If you need money quick this is not going to happen. I just retired and I'm going at it slowly. If it happens great. If not, I'll go fishing more and continue getting up early and going to the coffee shop. At my age no teenie boppers are going to flock the place and demand my autograph. It will take time, time and more time.

You'll probably have to play for peanuts for some time. This won't happen over night. But of course there is a chance that something great could happen. I just don't expect it and that way I won't be too disappointed.

"Sometimes life is cruel," as my sister-in-law says, "live it." I'm not trying to discourage anyone. I'm just trying to say stay cool. Maybe it will happen.
Hope things work out for you. Keep plugging away. Just try to enjoy entertaining.
Boo
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I'm not prejudiced, I hate everybody!! Ha ha! My Sister-In-Law had this tee shirt. She was a riot!!!

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#154599 - 11/02/02 11:08 AM Re: Solo gigs
trtjazz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 2683
Zuki,
Brick has some great truthful advice in there from my perspective too. The other thing you may consider is look in your local phone beek for entertainment agencies that spealize in parties weddings and the like. Bring them a demo tape or video for them to see.

Another thought about the no or low payin' gigs, that is the place to hone your skills as an entertainer, so you are ready when the crowds start to get bigger you're ready.

100 years ago when I started on the folk circuit in Chicago, they used to have open mic nights....and what it was ...was free entertainment for the clubs on their slow nights. Very few every got hired to do the Friday Saturday gigs at the club from it, but it was a great training ground to get rid of the onstage jitters and see what worked and what didn't.

I will tell you this though and no offense intended if after 1 lousy gig you were so discouraged you sold your equipment you'll never make it even to good part time money gigging. There at this end of the biz is going to be plenty more lousy ones then great ones on the journey.

The other thing to as an unknown....if you do get hired in a public place you need to hit the pavement and promote yourself. Newspapers in the entertainment section will usually print for free that you will be appearing somewhere if you just call them and tell them the particulars. Flyers all around like Brick suggested etc. Others will promote you only when you have a money making value to them, in the meantime you need to promote yourself.
jam on and hang tuff we need more good performers not less,
Terry
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jam on,
Terry
http://www.artisans-world.com/

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#154600 - 11/02/02 04:56 PM Re: Solo gigs
Big Red Offline
Member

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 125
Loc: Canada
Hi Zuki,
There's not a lot I can add to what these guys are saying, the simple fact is that in this biz, you gotta pay your dues. That's the simple cliche, but it's as true now as it ever was.
Yes, you have talent . . . but you gotta let everyone see and hear it - they're not going to come to you.
Put yourself together a simple but professional looking presentation package. It doesn't have to cost a fortune, just a folder with a letter of introduction, your song list, a bio. (keep it short, they don't want to read a book), a good clear photo of yourself and do a short tape of two or three songs of varying styles to show your stuff.
Call people and ask if you can give them your package and then go meet them in person at their convenience. Be on time and be courteous (they're under no obligation to book you). Your own appearance is part of the presentation package - look the part and they'll take you seriously, not as some fly-by-night character.
Give them a week to go over your package, then call them and don't be afraid to ask for the date. This, as I'm sure the other fellas will agree, is no surefire method, but stick at it and you will get through eventually - it's a slow process.
Please, don't give up at the first hurdle. Learn from it and jump over the next one, the next one and the one after that. Jumping hurdles is like anything else - the more you do it, the better you get at it.
Okay, Zuki - now go get 'em!

Best regards,
Big Red

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#154601 - 11/02/02 06:02 PM Re: Solo gigs
Anonymous
Unregistered


Heeeeeeeeeee!

I have been practicing for a solo gig myself! I have a Casio keyboard but it rocks and I know most of my cords already. I might check out the local nursing homes in the area for some experience before I would be able to play in coffee shops. Good luck to you and maybe we'll run into each other some day!

Meeeeeeeeeeeeee

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#154602 - 11/02/02 06:27 PM Re: Solo gigs
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4187
Lite Beer Man,
LOL...See ya in a couple of weeks.....
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#154603 - 11/03/02 12:47 AM Re: Solo gigs
rolandfan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/02
Posts: 918
Loc: South Africa
I have a friend here in SA who's a one man band. He uses a Roland G1000 and XP 60.
Things must be good here cos he charges $1000
per gig. Man I wish I could sing...i can only play the keyboard...and I hate the idea of being part of a band

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#154604 - 11/03/02 05:36 AM Re: Solo gigs
trtjazz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 2683
rolandfan,
There is a call for instrumentals too in the nicer dinner houses as backrounf music..

I don't about in other areas....but in Califronia, the Borders bookstores hire in acts and there are several of them, so one could stay busy with a MELLOW backround sort of act if that fits into your genre. The other place to get after that pays well is corporate events....grand openings, biz parties. So a nice flyer to all the corporations in your area (an endless list I'm sure)may yield some results. Nordstrom's uses piano players every day.

Another thing I did early on was to play anywhere they would let me including street corners with my instrument case open collecting tips.....I did pretty good at times in Chicago and San Francisco. However much you may feel this lowers you, I gained alot of experience and exposure. Again have flyers and biz cards ready for people to take. A battery powered amp can work pretty well for this.
Terry



[This message has been edited by trtjazz (edited 11-03-2002).]
_________________________
jam on,
Terry
http://www.artisans-world.com/

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#154605 - 11/04/02 07:13 AM Re: Solo gigs
The Pro Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 1087
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
Actually I love to see people give up on their first attempt at gigging - leaves the job market open for people who really want to play very badly. If you gave up this easily, you didn't put the hard work in that you should have in the first place. Like any competitive business you have to be aggressive and hungry to be in pro music. If you have the talent, desire and gonads then go take some gigs from less-deserving musos. If not, consider the benefits of home entertainment.
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Jim Eshleman

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#154606 - 11/04/02 07:19 AM Re: Solo gigs
trtjazz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 2683
A couple of other outlets and is where I built a huge mailing list. One can take a booth in arts and crafts show to promote themselves. Some of the larger shows especially at this time of year also book acts to perform on stage.

One could also approach the show promoters and offer to provide free entertainment for the 2/3 days the show is running in exchange for the space and being able to pass out portfolios with booking info. Some of the larger shows can have 40/50,000 people come through in a weekend.
jam on,
Terry
_________________________
jam on,
Terry
http://www.artisans-world.com/

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