How long before a startup should gig?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by neosoulchild, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. neosoulchild

    neosoulchild Member

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    Question for those with experience in original bands, how long before you guys begin to gig? I've seen some mention waiting as long as 6 months.. I know it's no exact science, but I'm curious as to other people's experiences. For a bit of background, we're all early 30s, the other 2 guys are pretty much semi pro and have tons of experience. For me this is my first band, but I also write the music and pretty much got everyone together. We've had 4 rehearsals so far, once a week for the last month, each one better than the last, so I feel like we may be close. Is it something you just know? Or should I maybe set a date in mind as a goal for us to shoot for? Just curious, thanks..
     
  2. paranoid70

    paranoid70 Member

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    Don't wait too long, else somebody will probably get bored and drop out.
     
  3. hammersig

    hammersig Member

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    If you are the songwriter and lead the band, do you feel the band currently represents your standard for the songs' quality? If so, then get your marketing in order and get out there.
     
  4. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    How long before you're ready to gig? Impossible to say without knowing:

    1. Originals or covers?
    2. If covers, standards or obscure?
    3. If originals, who's writing them? How fast are you writing? Where will you play?
    4. How good the players are?
    5. How many possible venues where you can book?
    6. How far ahead are these places booked up?

    I've played successful gigs at the last minute with no rehearsal with standard covers, or taken years to get ready with originals.
     
  5. Bankston

    Bankston Member

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    If you're looking to open for someone else, you need 30-45 minutes, which is 5-8 songs.

    When my band started, our singer was offered a spot opening for Dokken. He took it without hesitation. There was just one problem. He didn't have a band and only one song. He put it together in about a month.

    When I joined the band after the guitarist was fired, we had a gig lined up to open for L.A. Guns. I learned 5 songs and we worked up 2 new ones in about 6 weeks.

    The point being that sometimes booking a gig is a great motivator to work up a set.
     
  6. neosoulchild

    neosoulchild Member

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    This is what I'm worried about.. I feel very lucky to have guys with chops that actually want to play my songs, I want to keep things fun and progressive.
     
  7. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    Okay, it's an originals band.

    A lot of variables:

    How long to write a set of material?
    How long before it's tight (depends on skill level of band and difficulty of material)?
    Most clubs book two months in advance--if you wait until you're "ready", you'll probably be sitting around another couple of months until The Big Debut. Keeping people interested and motivated is always a challenge, even more so when it's an originals band, probably with no money involved, and everyone's just doing it as their evening hobby.
    My experience is that unless the band has "momentum"--i.e. more/better gigs, an actual audience (people who only know of you because of the band, not friends/family/etc.) after 12 months, someone will get restless and the band will start to destabilize.
    All that said, personally I'd be wary of any project that took more than three months after the lineup was in place.
     
  8. 4inchjones

    4inchjones Member

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    You only need about 45 minutes of material for a typical originals band set. That shouldn't take too long to get together. If it were me, I'd start booking a gig once we've got a set together. Your first show might suck, but it will be helpful for seeing what needs fine tuning and as a motivator. Everybody starts somewhere.
     
  9. neosoulchild

    neosoulchild Member

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    I'm thinking next time we get together I'll bring up getting booked.. we are still in the embryonic stages, and I'm still thinking of rounding out the group with another player or two.. but I think the idea of an upcoming gig could motivate us to get it together even faster.
     
  10. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    That has always been my experience.
     
  11. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    I think it helps to think in terms of projects. What is the goal of your group? Is it to play out? Record? Score chicks? Each one of those can be considered a project. Generally in an originals group you're looking to write and record your tunes, and then you play live to support those recordings. Of course you also play live because it's fun, but my point is you might want to start thinking a little more about the endgame, especially if you're concerned about how interested the other guys are.

    Some groups write tunes, play them out, make adjustments, then hit the studio. With others writing can be a part of the recording process which is more common if you're doing more electronic/production based stuff (which I thought you might be doing due to your screen name). But generally the goal is to get stuff recorded, which then leads to the next project- releasing that material, touring, video, merch, etc.

    To answer the question, you're ready when you have enough material you think is decent (not embarrassed of) to fill a set. That could be a 30 min opening spot. And yes, sometimes you have to book when you're almost there, IME you'll never be completely ready, you just have to push it.
     
  12. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    FLearn basic tunes asap. Then, gig them in front of people in smaller places as practice as much as possible, as soon as possible, before booking larger shows. An hour of live in the club practice is worth a week of basement rehearsal.
     
  13. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I can't imagine a serious band, cover or original, that only has a weekly rehearsal. My last band was M-W-F every week, and when we started gigging, it became T-Th every week until we went full time. Then, we rehearsed every day 6 days a week. We got real tight, real quick.

    When I was a kid, band practice was damn near as fun as a gig was.
     
  14. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Member

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    I've only done originals since I was 20.

    First band we practiced two or three times a week and gigged as soon as our set list was long enough to play a show.

    We were together a long time, so after a few years, we had more than enough material for a two/three hour set. We had two cds and an EP out, so material wasn't an issue.

    We always practiced like we played, timed it, taped it, any mistakes you had to keep playing through.

    My latest project is with a singer/songwriter type thing and he always jumps the gun. Booked studio time before the songs were even finished. He likes it that way, so I adjusted to suit him.

    I've always enjoyed playing spontaneously and feels it keeps you on your toes, but I need to at least know the song! Modern recording helps a lot because we're able to swap ideas and I can learn songs without being in the room with him, although timing takes a while to get right.

    We played shows where he would throw a song in in the middle of a setlist. Our first gig was New York City, so it's been fun but frustrating at times.
     
  15. speedemon

    speedemon Member

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    Get booked, they need motivation to step up.
     
  16. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    Get booked. The more you gig, the more you gig.
    The first time someone says "we're not ready" the negative momentum will begin and you might never be ready.
    The more notes you play in a rehearsal space, the more faces you aren't melting.
     
  17. emdub123

    emdub123 Supporting Member

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    This sounds great if you don't have a 9-5 job, wife and kids.
     
  18. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    Somebody should put that in their sig.
     
  19. cadduc

    cadduc Member

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    book it now

    there are bands together for years that never gig, and,

    there is no better motivator than a deadline that must be met

    lemme give you this, I play bass, many years ago a friend and I talked about starting a punk band, he organized a band, asked me to sit in on drums, after running thru 2 unfinished tunes we recorded them on a small cassette player
    the lead singer took the tape and booked the band
    they needed a drummer, I did not fit the desired look
    within three weeks they were gigging

    now,
    you know their name, they released many albums, gold and platinum, and world tours, people clamoring for them to reunite.

    so, yeah, book a gig and play it
     
  20. CDP

    CDP Member

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    Gigs solve A LOT of problems. They keep people motivated and focused. In our case, it also helped us made the decision to replace our so-so bassist. Couldn't have turned out better. Gigs on the calendar forced our hand on a few issues. Book a few and launch your project!
     

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