How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
MetalCube
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:09 pm

How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by MetalCube » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:40 am

Not that Im going to be anytime soon. Im just curious as to how you guys started getting live gigs. DJs, Bands, what ever you do tell me your stories.

I think others may find info on what you did to get your first gig too (I know I do). How'd it go?

Geezus
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by Geezus » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:44 am

I'd be interested to know too, for later down the line when I'm actually finishing tracks and making stuff worth listening to

leisuremuffin
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by leisuremuffin » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:35 am

Man, i was a fearless kid when i started, so i just gave out tapes and asked people.


remember tapes?




look for events that are playing the kind of stuff you're interested in and make friends.
play house parties
have house parties

If you're doing something worth hearing, or good at making friends, you'll find places to play.




.lm.
TimeableFloat ???S?e?n?d?I?n?f?o

john doe by choice
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by john doe by choice » Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:07 am

I started DJ'ing first, just mixing, nothing too crazy, then looked for ways in to the better venues - bouncing, barbacking, or working as a stage hand/monitor engineer at the best clubs in town on the shitty nights. After putting up with that nonsense for a little while, the talent buyer (oxymoron, right there) got to know me, and after a while longer, I earned a little favoritism - the first day I hear about a band playing that I wanted to be on the bill with, I have a demo cd ready and tell him I'll help street team for the show as long as my name is on the bill/poster. After a little while of that, I get to know the bands that keep coming through (and their managers), and keep in touch. A gig comes up touring with a good band, and I tell the club I'm outta here for a few months.

That's the long way, but knowing the talent buyer and being on the ball when a show is announced is key in any situation - a ton of DJ's just do nothing but DJ and practice at home, making fat mixes and really nailing it, then get into some contests, whether it be the DMC, or the Guitar Center stuff (people dog GC, but their contests always come up with the best prizes). People who win those contests get noticed a little more than your standard weekly DJ at whatever meat market there is in town (those guys are usually radio DJ's without any mixing skill whatsoever, but who cares, everyone at those clubs are so shitfaced it doesn't matter).

Whatever you do, if you don't have a killer demo (don't worry about the artwork), you'd better have a ton of friends who are buying tickets. Getting in with the band and their managers is an easier route, but longer overall. (It helps knowing their discography and not fucking up the song names when you do get a chance to tell them that you enjoy their music).

In other words, do whatever you can to get in, and be prepared to play dirty, using every advantage you can possibly come up with, be it undercutting a better DJ on price, kissing up to the talent buyer at the local hotspot, mixing the judges favorite tracks at DJ contests, or shmoozing with the band...if you don't do all of that, someone else will, guaranteed. Or just practice so much and have such a great personality and attitude that there really is no other choice for the gig, but those are rare qualities to be found in one person in the entertainment industry. Even if you have all of those qualities, you have to be a great bullshitter, and you can't delude yourself that it's all about the art, because if you aren't selling drinks at the bar, you aren't coming back.

ciw
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by ciw » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:00 am

Third option: start promoting your own night. Book a venue, fill it with people, put on a good party. I didn't actually do this, I got sucked into promoting one after I'd met the people running it. End result is the same though, you get to decide who is on the lineup.

UKRuss
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by UKRuss » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:36 am

I played in bands back in the day, was mostly word of mouth or chatting to other bands at festivals and stuff so you know whats happening next and they can gicve you the name of the organisers etc. never had a problem finding gigs really. The problem for me was the people, always a pain in the arse with other band members around.

Now with Live I perform solo I am getting back into it, started through an invite by a promoter on these 'ere very pages of Ableton. From that I now have another gig at a different venue and an inviote tor eturn next month to the original night. It kind of works itself after a while.

BOB Cooper
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by BOB Cooper » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:38 am

I started with bands, when I was 14 (95/96) (the other guys inthe band, like my father, were adults)
at a student party, in their engineer school
some good (and useful) champagne.
First gig as "solo", ten years after that.

4am
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by 4am » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:57 am

someone asked me, then someone else did and so on...

Steve Wade
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by Steve Wade » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:03 pm

I got my first big gig in San Diego back in the 90's by word of mouth, one of the club managers was at my house and liked my stuff, I got him a mix (mix tape by the way) for the club promoter and I was hired as the resident DJ. Paid my dues, was a bedroom Dj for 5 years. First gig I was pretty nervous, alot different playing on a big system and in front of 100's of people. Also I was opening for Nigel Richards, so that didn't help any. Pretty cool, just through that one venue I was able to share the decks with Micro, Dj Irene, Miss Lisa, Richard Vission, Nigel Richards and Golden Boy Mike just to name a few. That was a pretty cool gig. :mrgreen:

MetalCube
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by MetalCube » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:41 pm

This is great stuff. Not that Im going to be working toward live gigs yet (Maybe in a year) any suggestions for Orlando Florida. Im going to school close so if anything it'll be in there. (Anyone from here anyway)

The only venue in Orlando (Ultra In Miami doesnt count) Ive been to was Club Firestone to see DJ Icey... Im not sure of any others yet...

ThrowAway
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by ThrowAway » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:57 pm

I cant believe firestone is still open, my parents use to go there when they were kids. 8O

There use to be email lists like cfl8ups and cflravers where you could find out about house parties and smaller venue stuff. There would be a house party just about every weekend and people were always asking for djs. I suggest bringing a couple of scary looking friends if your bringing anything of value to parties like this. try searching around on the internet.

kristoffer1989
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by kristoffer1989 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:58 pm

*in my threads*
I will get back to it =)
Kristoffer Lislegaard
Myspace - Soundcloud - Vimeo

robotsound
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by robotsound » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:46 pm

the best thing you could ever do is make friends with other bands from out of town and then trade them shows in your town.
At the same time you must build a local audience so that when your outta town friends come there's a ton of people there they are excited and ready to get you on the shows in their area.

yearlongyeti
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by yearlongyeti » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:55 pm

Agree completely with all above. I tend to do more of a solo acoustic thing and play with bands. Only thing I can add is always have your gear (guitar, laptop whatever) handy, in your car etc. You never know when your having a drink at the bar on a quiet night and the boss goes "go on give us a listen". It really is a small commutnity no matter what town your in.

MetalCube
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Re: How did you guys get started performing gigs?

Post by MetalCube » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:41 pm

Wish I could meet some local house/electro/trance/minnimal DJs in my area that do it for a living...

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