How to book your first gig

Category: Shows

By The DIY Musician

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Maybe you’ve formed a new band that hasn’t played out yet, but you’re ready to take the stage. Maybe you’re a songwriter looking to transition from open mics to longer shows. Maybe you’re an old pro who’s coming back from a long break and you’re not sure how booking gigs works these days.

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Well, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, as they say, but most musicians I know used some variation of this basic approach in order to book their first gigs:

1. Wait until you’re ready

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No sense in looking for a gig if your first show is going to be a train wreck. Patience, grasshopper. You only get one chance to have a debut performance.

2. Make a “demo” recording or video

“Demo” is kind of an outdated term these days, especially when so many people are recording at home and have the opportunity to tinker until they’ve built a finished song from what started as a demo session. But think of it this way: you need a way to demonstrate your talent and your style to the booking agent. A recording of your best song or a YouTube video of you performing (presumably in your basement or garage, since you haven’t played live yet) is the best way to show a booker what you can offer.

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