If you are getting paid handsomely for your shows by a booker or several, this rule does not apply. These tips are designed for indie bands who are playing locally to gain exposure and advance their careers.Beyond researching the topic, I have asked A & B level artists: How often should the “un-famous” gig in their local town? The answers were surprising and quite revealing.. I have compiled the top 5 reasons to play no more than every 6 weeks.
- A serious booker or manager simply will not want to work with a band who is catering to their local fan base on a regular basis. They know a lot more about fan psychology and they have already experimented the odds of how often they should be booking a band. This is almost a good enough reason on it’s own.. they will also worry that the band members who are trying to conquer the world one dive at a time, are more interested in partying than playing.
- It’s the slowest way to build a fan base. Typically after playing in a brand new venue in your home town, you will acquire 1-2 new music fans. If you had put that energy in putting together a line up with bands who are more popular than you and have a different fan base, your fan reach triples by osmosis.
- The chances of getting discovered or getting a huge booking by playing in the same local scene are remote. Chances are the gate keepers of your scene have heard you play by now and if they haven’t, well they do not view checking you out as an urgency, due to the frequency in which you book yourselves.
- You burn the candle at both ends. Even if you’re young and can go seemingly countless nights without proper sleep, professionals can spot a worn performance a mile away. The same way they know if the members have had too many PABSTS BEFORE hitting the stage.. shows are energy period. Do not underestimate how important your energy levels are and save them for traveling out of your city to other major cities.
- Your groupies do not value you. You may think they do because you keep seeing their familiar faces, but the fact is that they know you play often. If they get invited to see another band the same night that they also like, what do you think they will do? Even if they like your band more they will push you off knowing they can soon see you again. Add value to your performance by not diluting the anticipation of your shows. The small cluster of “fans” who go to all shows are fans of hanging out with you vs your actual music, here’s a tip IF they truly loved your music and wanted to support you, they would have bought a CD off of you buy now.
If you enjoy playing gigs frequently and can’t imagine having to wait every 6-8 weeks to do a show. Start with on the edge of monthly. Even monthly puts your less committed fans into thinking to themselves “I’ll see then next month..” 5 weeks is a good number. It’s more random than monthly and it will turn your maybes into attending more often and give your band time to work on all the other areas needed to become career level musicians.