[Dixielandjazz] Another way to get your band gigs

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Fri Mar 11 15:04:47 PST 2005

Every major metropolitan area has a BIG CAR DEALER.

Go set up a meeting with the Promotion and advertising manager, Give him/her 
your CDs.

Negotiate a deal whereby they invite your band out to play at their 
dealership all weekend, or even on nice spring or summer weeknights when they don't get 
a lot of traffic. :))

Now Step one to remember is that they ALL advertise on Radio and Television 
constantly so they can be very powerful in the community, they can be very 
persuasive to radio stations and television stations they BUY a lot of Advertising 
on.  Remember how they almost always have some ego maniac Country Bumpkin 
dressed up like a Cowboy, walking around the car lot showing off is cars and 
trying to act like he is the working man's best friend who is so honest he will 
sell you any car on the lot for $1.00 over his invoice.

These clowns are master salesmen folks, learn from them, and better yet go 
join em, put a funny hat on the clown and let him stand in front of your band 
and grin and pretend to play his guitar washboard or whatever.  Most 
importantly, let him get his PICTURE taken with you, Blow one up and put it on the 
showroom wall for him.

Now make a deal for him to use your CD music as background for his dealership 
ads, set up a date to play at his dealership and let him invite all the media 
folks out to cover it, they will show up because he is a big cash pot of 
advertising money for them, newspapers and radio and Television.  Hell cut a demo 
CD with him if he can carry a tune, he will pay for it and distribute it to 
everyone he does business with.

Now tell him you will play for free at his dealership if he buys say 100 CDs 
at $10.00 each and advertised that he will give one to everyone who comes out 
on Monday Night or whenever to test drive a new car.  Hello, you just got a 
paid gig and unloaded 100 CDs to potentially new fans that will come out to see 
you again (If you are any good) and some of them will even hire you at regular 
prices to play for weddings, anniversaries, parties, and dances for the 
social clubs they belong to like Kiwanis, Moose, Foresters, Vets associations and 

The new kids call this NETWORKING, you have to take the music to them they 
will Never Come and find you.

Secondly Get your merchandise together it is a valuable source of revenue and 
promotion that pays for itself in a short period of time and can even turn 
into substantial profits if you learn how to do it right and have a good product 
that folks are willing to buy.

Secondly if your band lives out in what is considered secondary markets, like 
the country and farm areas with long stretches of highway between cities, 
there are lots of small radio stations out there folks that would be happy to 
play your stuff, and better yet have you show up and do a live on air broadcast 
for them,   They also go out and do Remote broadcast in the Wine and Arts 
festivals, street arts and craft events, car shows etc.  hook up with them to play 
at their booths during the event and let em broadcast your show live while you 
have somebody sitting there selling CDs as fast as you can get em out of the 

It really is not all that hard folks if you get up and go out and try it.    
I have many times made $2000. to $4000. playing at events that had no 
entertainment budget, and if they had had one they would have offered me $300.00 to 
play for the day.

We have to take control of our own performances not let these who have no 
clue whatsoever tell us how and where and what to play, but at the same time we 
need to be savvy enough to know which gigs to take and which ones not to take 
that will actually benefit our own agenda and pocketbooks.

Now put your thinking caps on, be realistic, get some good quality 
promotional materials professionally done and go out and get a gig.  If you have a dead 
beat bunch of sidemen, make the promo about YOU the Leader and the name of the 
Band.  Any sidemen who can't or won't see the value in your efforts on their 
behalf and that every photo that circulates with their name and photo on it is 
Publicity and promotion that they are benefiting from should be contributing 
economically and time performance in lieu of cash towards the ultimate goal of 
success for the band.

   Those that do not or will not should be relegated to cheaply paid sidemen 
for their services, or better yet replaced with like minded players and they 
can show up as free subs once in a while and tell both of their remaining 
friends that they USED to play with your group.

Standing in line waiting to get a booking on a Dixieland Jazz Society party 
list is a big waste of time, Set your sites a lot higher than that, go out and 
make yourself worth something to everyone else and these folks will eventually 
come begging you to play and pay you what you are worth as your shows begin 
to draw more paid customers than their events.

Being a good player is not enough, and usually means very little, especially 
if nobody but a small group of other musicians know you, tell most folks you 
are a musician and they will
 often ask you, but what do you really do for a living?

This folks is the fault of Lazy unmotivated musicians and nobody else, 
perhaps those who have no gigs don't deserve any gigs.   At least not until they 
start selling gigs at the Seven Eleven Stores. :))


Tom Wiggins

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