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Old 14-04-2015, 02:05 AM   #141
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Re: How do you get your first gig?

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Originally Posted by Jaded View Post

You want to get involved, then get involved. If music/djing is truly your passion, then you don't need to be a DJ. There's plenty of stuff you can do. Handing out fliers, working coat check, setting up for events, helping with social media... just to name a few. If you are really passionate about the music, these are the kinds of things you should be doing.
You know how many speakers I carried to get my first gig? The same PA system about a hundred times. I learned that fucking PA inside and out and could set it up like a shit wizard in a piss storm. I passed out fliers to geezers on the street who hadn't heard of "house" or "techno" and crumbled up fliers and threw 'em at me (which I lovingly uncrumbled and passed out again).

I set up green rooms and went to shady parts of town to buy party favors for shitty DJs I couldn't give two flying fucks about. I figured out a way to smuggle in a bottle of some gross, obscure booze the bar didn't serve so a DJ who wasn't even worth such a chore would go on that night (fucking bowl of only brown M&Ms...)

These days, a mix CD means nothing unless you are the absolute tits and are actually doing something special on the 1s and 2s...if all you've done is downloaded the Beatport Top 10 and pressed sync, fuck off to house parties because no one cares, man. To be perfectly honest I don't even care if you spin vinyl on an analog mixer with no laptop nor any serato or any of that...because honestly any monkey can learn to beat match on turntables.

Not trying to be a jerk...but honestly promoters get handed links and CDs constantly and probably have an over stoked stable of average DJs as it is...

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Old 14-04-2015, 04:51 AM   #142
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Re: How do you get your first gig?

Can't say much more than has already been said but I would like to know, how long have you been at this?

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Old 22-04-2015, 07:45 AM   #143
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Re: How to get involved with playing live

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Originally Posted by 8BitReaper View Post
Hey guys,

Just had an interesting thought pop into my head about the idea of playing live somewhere.

Are there any resources out there that kind of hold your hand through the process of being a novice to starting to play live gigs?

I come from a programming background, so considering making moves in music is all very new to me, but I'm becoming increasingly more intrigued by the world of music production. The only problem is that I really don't have a clue how people make the move from being an amateur, to someone who starts to play their music in front of an audience.

I've had a bit of a search round and can't find anyone asking any similar questions to this, so I hope I'm not repeating noobie question 101 =P

I mean, my first guess would be to start approaching local clubs and see if they like my music and would consider letting me do a short set, just to get my feet wet. Something like that, but I can't imagine that many clubs would be interested enough to give you the time to demo your tracks when they can just get some DJ in playing well known tunes. I guess you probably have to get out there and shake some hands and do something to try and stand out to make them want to take the time to check out your work?

I also wondered if I need to learn more about the art of being a DJ, or if it's possible to get by being more of a producer. I mean, I don't know the first thing about using a set of decks, but I can make my own music of course. How blurred do the lines between DJ and producer get with this sort of thing?

I could also do with knowing stuff like what kind of hardware you are expected to have (or if it's usual for the venue to provide all you need). Music-wise, I literally just have 2 laptops, 2 MIDI keyboards and some AKG headphones... I kinda guess that's gonna be way off what's required to get started and am wondering how big an investment it's likely to take to progress that way.

I know this is quite a big set of questions, so I don't mind if it's too much for anyone to cover in any depth, but perhaps someone knows of a book or website or something that may be of use?

Many thanks in advance for any help

SteveO
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Its a hard question to answer as there are so many ways of approaching live performance. The first thing I would say is that promoters and venue owners have little interest in the quality or genre of your music, their primary concern is a busy bar and a full dancefloor. What they are looking for is a product that they can be confident will support their property and its image and will appeal to their customers.

Having said this your primary concern is reaching them. Look through your friends or contacts and find anyone you can who has anything to do with your local venues. Get in contact with them and find out what they are looking for at the moment. Remember the point of this is to understand how to demonstrate the value of your performance in a way they will understand. Its not about changing what you do its about being able to market your ideas to someone who you are ultimately trying to convince to invest a significant amount of time and effort into giving you an opportunity to make money for them.

The bottom line is that at the end of the day promoters want to fill clubs, so it is on your ability to do this for them that they will judge you. Think about how you can demonstrate this to them and you will be closer to having a chance at getting some gigs.
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Old 23-04-2015, 01:54 AM   #144
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Re: How do you get your first gig?

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
You know how many speakers I carried to get my first gig? The same PA system about a hundred times. I learned that fucking PA inside and out and could set it up like a shit wizard in a piss storm. I passed out fliers to geezers on the street who hadn't heard of "house" or "techno" and crumbled up fliers and threw 'em at me (which I lovingly uncrumbled and passed out again).

I set up green rooms and went to shady parts of town to buy party favors for shitty DJs I couldn't give two flying fucks about. I figured out a way to smuggle in a bottle of some gross, obscure booze the bar didn't serve so a DJ who wasn't even worth such a chore would go on that night (fucking bowl of only brown M&Ms...)

These days, a mix CD means nothing unless you are the absolute tits and are actually doing something special on the 1s and 2s...if all you've done is downloaded the Beatport Top 10 and pressed sync, fuck off to house parties because no one cares, man. To be perfectly honest I don't even care if you spin vinyl on an analog mixer with no laptop nor any serato or any of that...because honestly any monkey can learn to beat match on turntables.

Not trying to be a jerk...but honestly promoters get handed links and CDs constantly and probably have an over stoked stable of average DJs as it is...

this is perfect reflections of the more bottom line side of live performance. its a great window into ur daily tasks to getting in the door. the post before this about the reality of "filling a dancefloor with your product"- that soundsore like a business-mindset, which helps you see the live performance from the venue's or party hosts point of view . beautiful all around <3

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Old 27-05-2016, 12:34 AM   #145
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Re: How to get involved with playing live

I've been playing live for the past four years now, but I'm not a DJ and I started out with guitar music, so my trajectory is probably different. It really comes down to what your local music scene is like and whether or not your genre of music is represented in your playing field.

If you don't like your local crews you could always move. If you hang out a lot at the right venues soon enough you'll start finding artists that aren't super big yet but are growing, have been playing for years, have a couple hundred~ couple thousand fans. Start getting close to them, get on their radar, get beers and introduce yourself and your music, facebook message them (not spammy, but be friendly) and they'll open a way for you to gig around.

Or you could get work at a venue you particularly like. Build connections.

Also, get with a crew that's as diverse as possible. Artists of all sorts -- video jockeys, filmmakers, costume designers, painters... gallery gigs are the bomb imho. It's seriously not that hard, you just need to genuinely care about the creative people around you and take interest in their lives, make an effort to go out to gigs that you might not be feeling up to, make friends, and opportunities will show up. Good luck !
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Old 31-05-2016, 03:18 PM   #146
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Re: How to get involved with playing live

At this level you have to run your own PR. People will be more likely to book you if they can google your act and find relevant results. First focus on producing the best music that you possible can, and that you feel proud of and can stand for. Once you feel ready to release it, get a good press pic, a relevant bio and send it out to sites and blogs that you think might be interested. If you get some kind of response, you are
1. probably on the right track, and get to know that your work resonates with people and
2. have some relevant press, which will be a big help in getting you booked for a show.

I know the truth sucks but unless you have someone doing PR for you, or you just happen to blow up, you should not spend 99 % of your time on music and 1 % on e-mailing and networking, the ratio needs to be a lot more balanced than that. People who host clubs wants to book someone that can bring people, and that has got some kind of hype going. It is unfortunately not all about the music, at least not at the "starting out"-stage. The story and image behind someones music is more important than ever, and you can shape that to try and make it into something people will connect to and latch onto.
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:04 PM   #147
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Re: How to get involved with playing live

go to random Mexican restaurants and ask to play, most of them i have ever asked have said yes and I got to set up stuff and watch people be mildly irritated that they "couldn't eat without hearing the annoying machine noises"

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Old 30-06-2016, 10:21 PM   #148
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Re: How to get involved with playing live

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Originally Posted by Somn View Post
At this level you have to run your own PR. People will be more likely to book you if they can google your act and find relevant results. First focus on producing the best music that you possible can, and that you feel proud of and can stand for. Once you feel ready to release it, get a good press pic, a relevant bio and send it out to sites and blogs that you think might be interested. If you get some kind of response, you are
1. probably on the right track, and get to know that your work resonates with people and
2. have some relevant press, which will be a big help in getting you booked for a show.

I know the truth sucks but unless you have someone doing PR for you, or you just happen to blow up, you should not spend 99 % of your time on music and 1 % on e-mailing and networking, the ratio needs to be a lot more balanced than that. People who host clubs wants to book someone that can bring people, and that has got some kind of hype going. It is unfortunately not all about the music, at least not at the "starting out"-stage. The story and image behind someones music is more important than ever, and you can shape that to try and make it into something people will connect to and latch onto.
These are wise words, which I wish I had heard when I was younger and playing guitar in garage rock bands or recording little acoustic songs on cassette in hopes of magically becoming the next Robert Pollard. I've found that unfortunately straight-ahead rock (or for some unearthly reason alt groups) are a lot easier to book than DJing or anything electro-based. Probably because that stuff simply freaks out the fewest number of club-goers.

My advice is to build a bill on your own with local support and then approach the venue you want to book, which is what I do in that sadly 1% of the time I can scrape together to devote to outreach and PR. Artists that are trying to do the same thing as you will be flattered to get tapped to perform or spin, and talent buyers/promoters are definitely more receptive when you do their job (pulling together a lineup) for them.
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Old 16-08-2016, 07:24 AM   #149
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Re: How to get involved with playing live

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Originally Posted by mute machine View Post
go to random Mexican restaurants and ask to play, most of them i have ever asked have said yes and I got to set up stuff and watch people be mildly irritated that they "couldn't eat without hearing the annoying machine noises"
this is still true.

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Old 25-08-2016, 12:29 PM   #150
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Re: How to get involved with playing live

Have you tried festivals? theyre often looking for interesting people to play at off peak times

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