Making money as a musician is difficult, but many amateur musicians don’t realize that paying music gigs aren’t just for headliners! Whether you’re getting started in your music career or trying to take things to the next level, here is what you need to know about finding music gigs that pay (in something other than coffee!).
The best place to look for music gigs is in the community that you live and work in. What’s the music scene like in your area? What venues do local musicians play in? What bands in your area seem to get a lot of gigs? Approaching the right venue for your first few paying gigs will lead to more opportunities. If you have trouble getting traction on your own, you can see how other local acts would feel about hiring you to open their sets for experience and a cut of the ticket sales. Don’t get discouraged!
Have the Right Promo Package
The right press kit will set your solo act or band apart from other local artists. You should ensure that your promo package is short and sweet and that it includes everything venues and promoters expect:
- A demo CD
- A short biography or one-sheet that showcases your band
- Newspaper or press clippings
- Additional links to your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.)
Never send attachments if you are communicating via email, as people will not open them.
Know Your Rate for Music Gigs
How much do you charge for a gig? If the answer is “whatever they’ll pay me!” you need to come up with standards for yourself. What is the minimum amount you will accept for a gig? Do you charge by the hour or by the type of gig? Take the time to feel out what the market rates are for your area and price yourself accordingly.
Do You Need to Get More Music Gigs?
- Don’t get bogged down in your requirements for where and when you’ll play, or you will risk isolating venues that could be a great fit for you while you are just starting out.
- Never pay to play. There are many music venues that take advantage of young, inexperienced artists and require them to pay to be included in a showcase. You might need to pay a hiring fee or cover some promotional costs, but you should never be asked to pay more than that.
- Invite music bloggers and local influencers to your shows to create buzz and get more reviews that will lead to more books in the future.
Work with the Professionals at ECHE Music
At ECHE Music, we are dedicated to helping independent Christian recording artists build their fanbase, promote their music effectively and learn the business of music. To join our community, please visit our website.