How to Book Your First Gig

William Shakespeare wrote that all the world is a stage. However, as a musician, you probably have a more particular stage in mind. Before you can play Madison Square Garden, you have to book your first gig. Here’s how.

1. Make a demo.

Not every potential venue is going to be able to hold a live audition. Rather, you should prepare a live demo recording or video to send to potential locations. Make sure that the demo shows off your true talent and what makes your performance unique.

2. Do your research.

First, ask around to see if anyone you know is connected to a band that needs an opening act or a restaurant owner who’s looking for live music. You should also look online for local businesses that feature live performances.

3. Get in contact with potential venues.

Once you have a list of potential places to play, the next step is to get in contact with them. If you know someone who can introduce you to the band leader or business owner, then set up a coffee date. If it’s a local business, stop in and see who you can talk to. Otherwise, it’s best to connect with email or a simple phone call.

4. Show them what you’ve got.

Once you’ve gotten in contact with a potential venue, wait for a reply. Don’t push too hard, but it’s alright to follow up after a week or so has passed. Once you do hear back, be ready to send the person your demo or come in for a live audition.

In order to book your first gig, you have to be proactive. Make the first move. You never know what opportunities will open up next.

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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.

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