After the first set of gigs?

theroan

Member
Messages
5,973
So you've done your first bunch of gigs. Your friends have all come and they're out of money and are tired of the same old songs.

How do you keep getting 30 - 40 people out to all your shows?
 

re-animator

Senior Member
Messages
8,240
do something new. spice up your stage show. start shopping your act to better bands (become an opener for bigger acts). play in better places. put on your OWN shows (i.e. rent the place and book the bands).
 

shark_bite

Member
Messages
5,189
Start working on getting people who don't know you personally to come to your shows. You should have been doing that from day 1. Friends are great to have around, but but if even they can't help with a little word of mouth, they're not doing you much good. You want to get folks to show up who actually want to be there, not a bunch of hostages of social obligation. Promotion is a pain in the ass, but it's necessary if you want to keep playing good gigs (that is, gigs that are fun for you, profitable, and at good venues).
 

ganttmann

Member
Messages
587
If you're playing clubs you need to figure out how to attract woman. Woman draw men, men drink. Booze pays the band. Your friends will either come for the women or the booze or because you really rock. Or not. If you're counting on your friends to keep you in business you'll have a short career.

So you've done your first bunch of gigs. Your friends have all come and they're out of money and are tired of the same old songs.

How do you keep getting 30 - 40 people out to all your shows?
 

cbstrat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
425
If you're playing clubs you need to figure out how to attract woman. Woman draw men, men drink. Booze pays the band. Your friends will either come for the women or the booze or because you really rock. Or not. If you're counting on your friends to keep you in business you'll have a short career.
take the money you make from the gig and hire cute/hot girls to come to the club. Invest in the future. :beer
 

JamonGrande

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,725
agreed, after a while it becomes kind of a strain to keep having your friends come out. the number will start to dwindle to less and less.

i'm a big believer in finding a place that has some sort of built in crowd (doesn't need to be huge), and then rocking their world. If it goes over well, you will be asked back and will play to a somewhat different crowd. expand from there. if its originals, break out into smaller duos and do some open mics to get some attention. if its covers, find your niche in the local scene and establish yourself in the areas that will appreciate that type of music

I usually make a point to invite friends to only one gig from any given project. if they want to come to others great, but I have no expectations. much easier on the friendships.

joe
 

MuseCafeChris

Senior Member
Messages
7,827
Helps to have at least one barfly in the band, ideally the frontperson, who is happy to be out and about at the clubs pimping your band on your off nights.
 

cram

Member
Messages
13,830
Ok - I'm good at this. But I'll qualify: I'm good at this with our particular situation.

Aside from writing/performing more and different material, some ideas can be developed based upon your band. Being creative at gigs can take many forms.

We too have a decent following based upon our close friends and we play it up to the gills for them.

I've worked on ways to incorporate them into the show. We play a lot of parties during the sumer months so it's a different sort of draw than a friday night at a bar - but things like this lead into those gigs for the crowd.

We use shutterfly to manage and get prints for photos and one feature (for free) is to create your own site and give people log in information to contribute photos. I wound up with about 400 photos. The reason for the large amount is that a few girlfriends of the group just had huge amounts to offer.

I got them all developed into varying sizes - the funny ones I even put captions on.. I took donations to suppliment the cost from a few people, which helped, but I got a 4x8 sheet of 3x8'' plywood and made this huge collage, which was fun to do as well because we hosted a friday night jam night and a few people were cutting out photos and placing them up on this huge sheet!

I wrapped that with 1x3 pine as a frame and we had it stood up for display at a party we played. Most of the key people in the crowd were somewhere in the photos, so for most of the party there were people checking it all out, trying to find their face somewhere on the board and some coming back to take a look because someone had spotted them in it all.

The point of it was to involve that core group to make them feel as part of the fun - which they entirely are!

3 photos were so damn funny looking and I put a space below for people to caption it.. The results where hillarious.

I've had varied thoughts based in that concept and using other mediums to deliver it. I've seen bands use a projector against a cloth backdrop at clubs and thought it would be cool to page through a directory of photos like that.

At parties there are a few friends that bust out the video to capture the more embarrasing or hillarious things that can occur. A friend of the band is quite good at mixing up video and sound - he actually helps me manage the PA and records us from time to time...

He and I spent a night taking audio from the clips we had. We have a really open sounding original jam we play at some point during our sets and he sat there with his computer plugged into the mixer and would play the audio samples in certain spots. He had a blast with it and the bar was dying laughing - he had some of the more funny ones slowed down to accentuate a stupid/funny sound byte! Way funny and it went off with out a hitch.

Another time we were playing a party and the hostess kept friggin' asking me to make announcements about stuff and that's when our "British Master of Ceremonies" was borne! Another friend is from the UK and is not shy so I invited him to take any announcement duties. He loved it: he really hammed up what was asked of him to say and had the place in fits of laughter. This one was off the cuff, but a pleasant addition.


Now - there have been things we did that "fell flat on face". This has happenned twice with us or actually ME because I didn't think through an idea. So the key is planning it out well enough so anyone contributing is comfortable with the change and making sure things test out properly (sound, levels, beer) at the gig. One thing I've learned though is to not let it "take the show". Have it suppliment what you're doing.

All of these things - good or bad, have people thinking they don't want to miss us play because something new always happens. We're just a small family outfit and we have a blast with it.

All the best man - have fun with whatever you add to it!
 

AJ Love

Senior Member
Messages
4,370
You have to give the people what they want. figuring out what they want is challenge #1. Developing the talent to give them what they want everytime out is challenge #2

If you can achieve both of those objectives, you are golden. Personally, I'm still working on both
 

cram

Member
Messages
13,830
Helps to have at least one barfly in the band, ideally the frontperson, who is happy to be out and about at the clubs pimping your band on your off nights.
Oh we've got those.
They're so good at being barflies that they have made the sound financial commitment to join a club that has huge discounts on beer.
 

theroan

Member
Messages
5,973
I'll note that we haven't done a gig yet, we have our first show in February. I just want to think long-term. We're a metal band too. I wish we could do open mic nights.
 

mcknigs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,135
A lot of good advice. I'll expand on this bit:

do something new. spice up your stage show.
Whether you're dependednt soley on friends or on fans (the line between them can be vague), you need to consider ways to make each show different. Doing the same arrangements of the same songs while wearing the same clothes and uttering the same between-song patter will get boring pretty quick. I always try to do something (or to allow something to happen) that never happened before and will never happen again. Make the audience afraid to *not* come, for fear that they'll miss something.

It helps to have good musicians that can do new things without a lot of preparation. It helps to have a quick-witted front person (or persons) that can be entertaining while doing things off the cuff. It helps to have the time to come up with good ideas and make preparations to pull them off. Everyone go to the thrift store and buy a lot of wacky clothes to wear onstage. Then have a trivia contest during the night where the prizes are articles of clothing that you're wearing so that you're playing in your underwear by the last number. Rent a smoke machine for a night. Memorize jokes suitable for a mixed audience to tell during a string break, but never tell the same joke twice. Learn an entire classic album and play it for one of your sets, making sure to advertise that you're going to do it, and that you're never going to do it again. Play stump the band --don't worry if your version of a suggested song sucks, the point is to try it. If it's great, people will be impressed. If it's not, people will laugh *with* you. (That's not to say you shouldn't always try to keep the level of musicianship as high as possible).

Then, when you have all these methods to keep things new, gauge your audience. If they're all new people you needn't take risks on wacky new stuff -- just do the stuff you do best. If you get a bunch of repeat fans, play around with some new stuff.

-Scott
 

germs

Member
Messages
6,024
Like it or not, you're in business.

Your business is to keep people entertained.

Invest money in a stage show (lights, lasers, backdrops, etc).

If you're playing out every week (or at least want to be) you'd better have new material every 2-3 weeks ready for the stage, because people get bored easily.

If you're doing originals, record an EP and promote it for a maximum of 1 year. That sounds strange to some people, but that's really where it starts to get stale unless you're constantly expanding. And if you are, then you should be doing it anyway to diversify your revenue streams. Supplement or rotate some good covers into the set (singalong type songs) that will get people going and remember you.

The rest is up to you. There's really no "handbook" to this. It's like...well...business.
 

jjboogie

Member
Messages
3,779
Actually what you need to do is gig less in the same area......that way when they haven't seen you in a while when you come back they will be ready to see you again. At the same time yes make some changes to the show.

Over exposure to the same market is a common problem.
 






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