Everyone wants gigs, perhaps now more than ever! And let me be clear, this blog post only relates to cover gigs.
If you want cover gigs, smile! Don't cry in the corner!
Musicians are morose people by nature. I get it, I'm a musician too. Like many of you, my thoughts turn dark from time to time. So, I write my original music to sort out what's going on inside, and that's a perfectly fine thing.
BUT - when you want cover gigs, it's time to put on a smile because you are there to entertain others, not yourself. Bars, club and restaurant guests mostly don't go out to be depressed, so be upbeat!
I'm on both sides of the fence. I'm a musician but my company, ShowSlinger, also creates software to help venues book artists and I can tell you, without a doubt, the one gripe we hear from venue owners constantly is how hard it is to find artists that play upbeat tunes with a good attitude. I can personally say that this is totally true.
I was personally booking a venue in Indiana one time, and this was a big city, I must have looked at 300-400 artists and found maybe 4 artists that weren't playing only slow, depressing covers. Many of these guys were very talented too! But look, it's simply harder to get gigs when you don't give your clients (venues) what they want.
Now, I understand that many of you bring crowds that are your fans and they want to hear your interpretations of songs. That's great! But, remember that there are probably a bunch of other people in the venue that didn't come out to hear you. Generally, venues that book cover artists want to keep people happy. Happy people tend to stick around and buy more food and drinks. So please keep that in mind!
I totally understand that slower tunes let your voice shine through and you can really get artisy with your vocal inflections and impress the ladies or dudes in the crowd. I get it. But here's a good rule of thumb, keep your downbeat choices to about 1-2 per hour-long set.
I can already hear the voices of many of you out there shrieking, "I get tons of gigs and I play slow, depressing, downbeat covers". I understand. But think to yourself, could you be getting even more gigs and tips if you change your attitude? Remember, you don't have to BE happy, just ACT happy! After all, musicians are performers and a performer sometimes has to do a little acting.
Next week, we'll chat about press kit basics and how to really shine when creating your online (yes, nobody does hard copy anymore) press kits.