If you’re a musician or you’re in a band in Los Angeles, you already know how much fun it is to play and record your own music! With that comes the flipside of having to book your own gigs, though, which can be a little perplexing for artists who are new to the scene. It’s important to play live shows in order to boost awareness of your band and also to improve your sound! Here are a few tips on how to get you, or your band, more shows in the Los Angeles area in order to keep heading down the path toward stardom:
Befriend Other Musicians
The best way to start booking shows in Los Angeles is by making friends. All this means is just having a good attitude, turning up at other shows in your area and chatting with people you’d like to get to know. Being genuine about making friends is the best way to learn more about the music scene in Los Angeles and get people interested in what you are doing.
Find Booking Agents
Booking agents are a valuable tool for you, and the more contact you have with them and the more personal your relationship with them becomes, the better! Remember, they deal with tons of musicians all day long, so anything you can do to help yourself stand out from the crowd will be helpful. For one, just be nice! No one likes someone who is demanding or entitled. Second, you may need to be willing to play smaller shows – for example, let them know that you are up for playing Monday night shows. You have to start small in order to grow big, and they’ll appreciate your flexibility and might throw you bigger gigs in the future.
Form a Community
As mentioned before, it’s important to maintain friends, and this should work toward building a community. Stay apprised of what other bands and artists in Los Angeles are doing. There’s sometimes a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of mentality in the music world, so go see small bands play and talk to them after the show. Follow bands whose music you are genuinely interested in, and your energy will come back to you in spades!
Play for Free
When you’re just starting out in the music scene, you can’t expect your music to pull in riches right away. Be humble and realize that there are hundreds of other people doing the same thing you are. The successful ones are working just as hard and doing everything they can to get their music out in the world. Send press kits out to booking agents, and always carry copies of your songs or CD with you, or at least business cards that let people know how to hear your music. The easier you make it for people to hear you play, the faster you’ll gain a following and start playing more shows in Los Angeles.
Booking shows in Los Angeles can seem a little daunting, but there are certainly ways that you can make it easier for yourself. Start small and slowly build a following, and venues will soon be reaching out to ask you to perform, instead of the other way around!
Photo by Licorice Medusa