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Old 08-06-2005, 12:22 AM
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Tips for getting a gig

It seems like some people here are in bands and are having good luck with the music. So how about you guys share the wealth with us. What are some good tips to get plugged into a band and start off making it big as a drummer?
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Old 08-06-2005, 10:03 AM
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full metal full metal is offline
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well I guess the first thing is get good
then once you get good in one area of playing get good in other areas as well.
you wont always find that one band that is playing the type of music that you want to play but if you play with one band and you are good word will get around.
the other thing is to keep looking for a band on web sites and news papers and you local music stores (they useally have a bulitan board with bands looking for musicans)
but keep practicing as much as you can and work on a little bit of everything.

the band you are looking for is out there but it just takes some time to find the right one.
Ive played in a lot of bands but this will be the first one that I got to play with that might go big.
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Old 08-07-2005, 05:11 PM
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well the first one was a very obvious tip.. but i think it applies the most.. thanks for that
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Old 08-07-2005, 06:03 PM
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full metal full metal is offline
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Im sorry
my first tip was kinda a joke.
I have the neil peart a work in progress and he was talking about his carrier and how he got started and that was all he thought when he started was that all he had to do was get good and that was it but he soon found out that it was a lot harder than that and it's not just about being good.
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:14 AM
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yeah i agree with you.. you can be the best drummer in the world but if no one knows who you are and what you can do it's totally worthless. its all about the marketing and being able to sell yourself. reading some business books and marketing books would be good for that
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:08 PM
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it's all a crapshoot if you ask me. and it's already a given that you're a good drummer if you want to get a gig to begin with. if not then stop trying and go back to the drawing board
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:08 AM
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Re: Tips for getting a gig

very good tip guys im still trying its hard out here to just really find people thats all about music now
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:57 AM
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Re: Tips for getting a gig

"Making it big" as a drummer (as you put it) is hard. I mean it's really, really hard. But I'm sure you already know that. My one goal used to be making it big, but after awhile, my focus shifted to just making a living.

There are three pieces of advice that I usually give. They may seem obvious, but these are things I very rarely see people actually do:

1. Make yourself available. Someone touched on this as well and suggested that you get a book about business marketing and that is some pretty good advice. Have some business cards printed up. You can get card stock for your printer and some software that will allow you to print them yourself for pretty cheap. It is very important to appear professional. Put your business cards everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Post "drummer available" ads on Craigslist or on local online musician forums, if you have any.
Also, you may have to play for free sometimes to meet people...but ONLY if you have a chance of making good connections. You don't want to be known as the guy who will play for free. Some bars and venues in my town have "open jam nights". These aren't open mic nights (I would avoid those, if I were you), but musician meet-ups where they just show up and play whatever comes to mind. I've met some great musicians that way and even gotten some gigs out of it (which is the end goal, anyway). If you get any gig offers that way, though, make it very clear that you won't play for free.

2. Be versatile. Learn as much about every style of music possible. It really annoys me to see postings on musician boards like "Metal drummer available" or "Country drummer looking for gigs". If you're just playing for fun, that's one thing, but if you expect to make money then why limit yourself? I play metal. And I play country. I also play jazz, rock, funk, Latin, punk, polka, afro-cuban, etc.
You mentioned that you want to join a band, and that's ok. But I, as a working (read: struggling ) musician don't expect to make much money, if any, when joining a band. I tend to make much more money with session work. This is typically one-off or short term gigs.
Now, it's possible to make decent money in a steady band, but I haven't been able to do it just yet... at least not consistently. The trick, though, is private parties. Venues won't pay you a whole lot until you're established. That is, people will come to the venue just to see your band. That takes awhile. Private parties are where the money is, especially weddings. People expect to spend way too much money at weddings, so you can easily make $200 a person. If you a large band, your own PA, someone who can MC and will learn a song or two specifically for the gig (like for a first dance or a father-daughter dance) you can double or triple that.
Also, it the some vein, be willing to accept paying gigs if you are "less than enthusiastic" about the music, if it pays. And pretend that you like it. The reasons for that should be obvious.

3. Be prepared. Again, this sounds obvious, but it needs to be included. Show up to auditions, rehearsals and (especially) the gig knowing your stuff backward and forward. If you have an audition (or rehearsal) be sure to get a list of music and recordings beforehand. Listen to it constantly and make drum charts. If you have an audition, remember that these guys have probably been playing together for a very long time and if anything goes wrong, they will know that it's your fault...so stay on your toes.

There is one more thing that I will highly suggest. When you are at a gig or a rehearsal, remember that you are getting paid. Therefore you are effectively at work. Show up on time, be prepared to stay late (if need be) and stay sober. No alcohol, no drugs...not even pot. Now, it you're at an open jam or a show with your band at a club that may be different (but not for me). Just always remember, you never know who may be watching. Personally, I don't touch alcohol or anything else if I'm going to be playing my drums (in ANY capacity) in the next 24 hours. That's just a rule that I have.

I hope my advice has been useful.

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Old 08-15-2010, 10:36 PM
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Re: Tips for getting a gig

Well said!!!!! Especially about being willing to go outside of your own little envelope, if you have one.
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:27 AM
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Re: Tips for getting a gig

Im curious by what he means when he says not even pot.? But yeah that seems like pretty good advice im gonna try some of that stuff. Im not really looking to make money though, it would be nice to make some cash so i can get some new additions to my kit. Im just trying to find a band where all the musicians are as passionate about thier instrument as me and i want them to want to jam all the time just like i do. I come up with little riffs and beats all the time but i have no fellow musicians to share them with. So Thats what im truely looking for
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