EZdrummer2 – My New Best Friend

EZdrummer2 Review – On A Guitar Website??

Ezdrummer2 You might think a review of drumming software is a strange thing to find on a guitar website but there is good reason for it. If you have wrestled with the problem of creating drum tracks for your songs you will love this. I’m a guitarist and songwriter myself and as you’ll see from my journey below drums have been a real bugbear over the years. All that changed recently when I discovered Toontrack’s Ezdrummer 2 software.

Back in the day when I played in a succession of bands, drums were not my problem. The drummer did that. I wrote or co-wrote the songs and played guitar. End of. But things change. As we got better at our craft I got interested in recording. Basically we got fed up paying to record demo’s that a month later we weren’t happy with. Myself and my partner both owned little 4 track recorders and we started recording our bands with those.

EZ Drummer2 – Why You Want It

We would set up the few mics we owned in the barn where we practised. The guitar got one mic, the drums and bass amp shared a PZM – you know those little square plates that the police use to record interviews. Vocals got another. That left one track to use for overdubs. There was very little separation so a lot of the room sound got onto tape. Bizarrely this terrible set up almost got us signed by Creation records but that was down to an enthusiastic performance rather than quality sound.

In the quest for a better sound we then began a long, distracting journey during which drums became something of an obsession for me. We had a great drummer but capturing the sound of his drums perfectly as we progressed from a digital 8 track recorder to it’s 24 track big brother became a real headache. Through this journey I amassed a room full of mics, gates, compressors, samplers and god knows what else. The sound improved hugely from our early efforts but was still not perfect – no matter how many Jon Bonham samples I painstakingly layered over kick drums.

Getting It Done Fast With EZdrummer2

Finally, now working as a two-piece, I got into drum programming using an ancient but fabulous Atari sequencer. We also invested in an electronic drum kit. Neither of us were drummers but it seemed more natural to be hitting actual drums than typing beats into a midi keyboard or drawing them into Cubase. Plus we could just invite our drummer friends round to play on our projects. This got us by for a while but not until recently have I come close replicating the sound and feel of a drummer without one.

Lets face it, us non-drummers don’t really have a clue what these guys do! If you want to imitate them you really need to know what they can and can’t do with those four limbs. Short of taking drum lessons – which holds no interest for me whatsoever – how do you get round it?

Since selling our 24 track digital recorder to a local band I finally started giving serious attention to computer recording. About a year ago I opened the Garageband programme that came with my Macbook Pro. I’d had a brief look at it but nothing more. Somewhere I later heard that the latest version now included a virtual drummer. That got me really interested.

From Programming To Simplicity

EZdrummer2

It seemed that at the touch of a few keys this would create “real” drum parts for your songs. It does! Not only that but you can audition several “drummers” with different styles to suit different genres of songs. Then you can tweak those parts. You can get them to play more or less fills, with more or less swing and add percussion. If you really want to you can even deep edit the parts and change the drum kits they play. Awesome.

It turns out that Garageband drummer is very good indeed. But recently things got even better in our little studio. Again, after some research I discovered EZdrummer2 by Toontracks. I took their free 10-day trial and then bought the full version at a little over £100. Its very, very good. In fact it’s very, very, very good. I’ll leave you to visit Toontrack’s website for the full details but here’s a quick sum up.

Ezdrummer2 is an upgraded version of their immensely successful (who knew) Ezdrummer. Apparently many music producers have used this for some years. It’s a standalone drum sequencer but can also be used with most software recording programmes (DAWs) as a plugin instrument. It’s like Grageband’s drummer in that it comes with a raft of ready to use drum parts in various styles but there is much, much more to it than that.

Garageband Drummer V EZdrummer2

Unlike “Drummer”, the pre-recorded parts include fills, and parts designed for intro’s, pre-chorus builds, choruses, bridges and endings. You have infinite and very simple control of those parts. You also get full control over the impressive range of drums kits, individual drums and percussion pieces they are played on. One of the things I loved about it is that you can type a basic beat in to the programme with a midi keyboard and it will search its library for a matching part. You get a list of parts based on their percentage match to your idea– neat.

When you find the parts you want Ezdrummer2 will even arrange them into a song structure for you. You can cut and paste to your heart’s content and quickly assemble a complete drum track for your song. When you’re happy with the track you can export it as a wave or midi file ready to import into whatever DAW you use. Alternatively you can just select it as a plugin instrument and have it follow your project. But lets get to the really amazing thing about EZdrummer2: The drums!

The actual drum sounds in Ezdrummer2 have been recorded in Mark Knopfler’s state of the art studio. They’ve been played by top session drummers and recorded by world-class engineers using the best microphones money can buy. Visit Toontrack’s website for the full details. The sounds are divided into modern and vintage. In each section the actual drums used are listed and arranged in categories according to how they have been processed. That’s enough for me but if you want to go mad you can fool around with everything from mic placement to the overall mix of the kits. This is nothing short of wizardry.

Conclusion.

Nothing IMHO can fully compare to playing with a band and a real drummer. But for those of us who don’t this really comes as close as you’ll get. No-one including most drummers will never know the difference. Years ago we worked with a drummer who could programme drums on an Alesis SR16 perfectly. NO-ONE we played the songs to spotted that it was a drum machine. EZdrummer2 makes that sound like the drum demo on a 70’s Bontempi organ.

EZdrummer2If, like me you just want a user friendly way to put together a brilliant sounding “real” drum track quickly with minimal tweaking, this is for you. I no longer want to get bogged down in deep editing midi. If you do then you can go ultra deep with this software but I bought it to get away from all that. Now I can just put a great sounding drum track together quickly. It’s even a great compositional tool. Toontrack also sells a wide range of additional sound libraries. They are comprised of grooves, beats and sounds covering every musical genre. Buy it.

 

Boss GT100 Review

The Boss GT100 – Problem Solved!

Over the years I’ve had a love hate relationship with multi-effects pedals for guitars. Recently however I dived back in and came out with a shiny new Boss GT100 and I love it. Here’s the story and a review of said unit. This is not a full tech review by the way you can find loads of those elsewhere. I really want to come at this from a creative angle.

The trouble I always had with multi fx units is the amount of tweaking they needed to move smoothly from one patch to another. That and the badly translated 400 page user manuals! You’d either get an undesirable drop or surge in volume or a nasty sounding, jarring change in sound. My favourite was an old Korg A4. It married well to the Hiwatt amp and Washburn Chicago guitar set up I had at the time (All of which were stolen from my car one night after a gig) I’ve also used products by Yamaha, Zoom, Alesis, Roland and Line6.

In the end I went back to a variety of single pedals in front of my Marshall TSL 122. That served me well both live and in the studio for years. After “The band broke up woo hoo – and it looks like – woo hoo – we will never play again” (RIP Frank) Those pedals languished in a drawer for a couple of years. They were replaced for home use and recording by my Line6 pod and Roland cube. A few months ago I decided maybe it was time to see if anything had changed in multi-fx land. There’s something to be said for an all in one unit after all.

No More Pedal Dancing

Internet research revealed that things had indeed changed a lot and that the Boss GT100 was a likely looking candidate. Selling all my old pedals netted enough cash for the asking price so I bought one. Maybe you’ve already discovered this gem but f not here’s my review.

The GT100, like many of its kind has 200 preset sounds and space for 200 more of your own creation. Like the Line6 pod and many modern amplifiers and FX units, its also an amp simulator. It contains COSM versions of all the old favourites and some newer amp exotica . They sound pretty good as do some of the preset sounds.

Actually you could do without an amp all together. With a decent PA and monitoring set up you could rock up to a gig with just a GT100. Similarly it replaces amps and mics in a recording studio. What sold it to me however was that it can also be used like a set of stomp boxes – without 200 cables and power packs needed to join them together and power them. Furthermore the pedals in question are from Boss’s renowned stable of stand-alone effects.

The Boss GT100 Main Features

Better still, everything is tweaked via two big, well-lit windows and a series of knobs. There’s an expression pedal, a tuner and 8 footswitches which are well spaced. There’s also a looping function. It’s a quick learn and a nice solid dance floor to work on. Boss have even provided a quick way to get a genre specific sound. You just pick from a menu of musical styles and off you go. So far then, not too different from multi-fx pedals of old you might think. Think again though as we get under the skin of the Boss GT100…

Like many of us I’ve transitioned from digital workstations to recording music on my Macbook (see my Toontrack EZdrummer2 review to follow that journey) That is where the GT100 really comes into it’s own. Since as mentioned, the unit is designed for both live and studio use, it has a Usb output alongside the standard cable sockets. This has several functions. When recording into a DAW the GT100’s usb port can direct inject its output to a computer. Depending on what inputs your interface has the unit sends a clean signal as well as whatever patch you choose. If the patch isn’t quite what you hoped for you can audition others with the clean version using the GT100 as an AU instrument.

Full Control – Awesome Possibilities

The USB connection also allows you to control the GT100’s parameters on your computer via BOSS’s downloadable Tone Studio software: You can move the effects around in the chain, adjust the individual effects parameters and save patches. Although the devices’s two main windows are excellent, having a big screen editor is fabulous.

Tone Studio also lets you build and store sound libraries of your own patches. This gives you the opportunity to store far more than the 200 user patches in the pedal board itself. You can also buy banks of preset patches created by big name guitarists and load them into your own banks. Rather than spending hours trying to recreate Dave Gilmour’s sound on Comfortably Numb for example, just buy it from someone who has already done it for you.

There’s one more possibility well worth covering here and that is the 4 cable method. Usually guitarists either plug effects or chains of effects straight into their amp’s input or if they have one, into its effects loop. If you have an amp with an FX loop the Boss GT100 lets you do both. Maybe like me you like the sound of your valve amp and would prefer not to use preamp modelling. No problem.

Using The Boss GT100 4 -Cable Method

 

With the 4 cable method and the GT100’s moveable effect chain you can choose to keep your own amp’s unique preamp sound. You simply bypass the unit’s COSM preamp by placing it’s effects in the send/return loop. Of course you can also use those preamps if you want to and still use your amp’s power amp. All this offers a broad range of tonal possibilities you’d be crazy not to mess around with.

An extra bonus for me on top is that the Boss GT100 has made me friends once more with my old 60’s re-issue Stratocaster. It’s a beautiful guitar but I just haven’t been able to get the sound I like from it (until now!) For years I’ve favoured my Les Paul studio, only taking the Strat on tour as a back up. Since getting the Boss I’ve been able to make that baby sing for me like never before.

It’s been around for a while now so you’ll find loads of GT100 tutorials, tips and tricks on Youtube and elsewhere. In summary it offers a ton of sound possibilities and is easy to get the hang of. The result is that you spend more time playing than reading manuals and tweaking knobs. That’s a perfect for the Creative Guitar Lounge ethos.

 

 

 

 

 

Expert Music Career Coaching With Tom Hess

expert music career coaching

Expert Music Career Coaching and So Much More

Creative Guitar Lounge recently teamed up with Tom Hess of the Tom Hess Music Corporation.  I came across Tom Hess while looking around the net to find things that would be valuable to fellow guitarists. Things like correspondence guitar lessons, guitar teacher coaching and expert music career coaching.  When I read what Tom can do I knew I wanted to spread the word!

Hess provides a number of services to musicians. He provides online guitar lessons and has a impressive track record of transforming ordinary people in to extraordinary musicians. That’s probably why he’s a very sought after guitar teacher, teacher …. That’s sounds funny … I mean he teaches, trains and mentors guitar teachers.

The other aspect to the Tom Hess Corp is Music Career Coaching. All very well being the best guitarist on the planet but if you don’t know how to turn that into an actual career you won’t go far. Tom’s expert music career coaching helps you to build a serious career and live the dream.

Guitar Teacher Coaching Too

So I think that’s a pretty impressive package of resources and services for any guitarist who is serious about their passion. Tom’s site is packed with articles, tools, resources and feedback from his many students across the world. Whether you want to become a better player, a more successful teacher or to boost your musical career ambitions, I’m sure you’ll find Tom Hess worth Checking out.

Don’t take my word for it though. Jump onto Tom’s site and have a look around. Before you do though you need to know that: Tom Hess only teaches rock-based styles – (rock, metal, progressive, neoclassical/shred) pop, indie, classic rock and blues. ) So if you’re looking for country, jazz, classical or folk lessons he’s not the guy for you.

Check out Tom’s Practice Generator HERE  

Jamplay Online Guitar Lessons – Free Account!

Get Your Jamplay Online Guitar Lessons Account FREE!

jamplay online guitar lessons

Got some great news from Kevin over at Jamplay online guitar lessons this morning. That news was that you can now sign up for a FREE yes FREE account with them! This means that you can have a really good look around what they have to offer – and that’s a lot.

Jamplay online guitar lessons cover all the bases. They cater for Acoustic, Electric and bass players at all levels. Whether you are just getting started or you’re a seasoned player who wants to brush up on advanced techniques, or master a certain players chops it’s all there.

In a previous blog I covered the advantages as I see them of learning guitar online you can read that here. In short though being able to choose what YOU want to learn is a no-brainer in my humble opinion.

As I say in the blog I didn’t have that luxury back when I got started. I had some good teachers but my access to them was limited to an hour or two a week. With video based learning you can revisit and go over the material in your own time – like everything else online that means 24/7/365.

There are quite a few online guitar courses out there but when I was looking at them I felt that Jamplay online guitar lessons offered the best bang for your buck.

Being able to choose the style you want to learn, even down to a specific player’s style is amazingly powerful. It stands to reason if you’re loving your lessons your going to learn faster.

Here’s a video showing you a wide array of Jamplay Online Guitar lessons.  Should give you an idea of what they can do.

Just go here to sign up for your free account. You’ll Love it! Obviously you get a limited access to the content with a free account but it’s way more than enough to get a great feel for their style of teaching.

 

Online Guitar Lessons – The Way to Go

 

Learning From Home With Online Guitar Lessons Rocks!

online guitar lessonsWhen I was a pup (longer ago than I care to remember) We didn’t have the internet. I pleaded with my folks until they bought me my first guitar one Christmas. Taking lessons was a condition of the deal and it was a tedious process – not so now. Online guitar lessons have changed all that!

My folks could see that I wasn’t then interested in much else than playing guitar. The saw difficult times and shattered dreams ahead. They thought that classical guitar lessons would therefore be a good idea – sort of a useful skill that might stand me in good stead if Rock stardom failed to materialise. So off I was sent to the strange classical guitar man.

Why Online Guitar Lessons Are So Great

online guitar lessonsIt wasn’t my bag. I don’t regret it now but at the time I had a head full of Sex Pistols and Stranglers. I persevered as long as I could but the folks could see my heart wasn’t in it. So I swapped Etudes in E minor for a slightly more palatable “easy listening” class.

That took place in a draughty village hall where myself and a mixed bag of others learned Mr Tambourine Man, Leaving on a Jet Plane and Country Roads. Again – not my bag but more so than the classical stuff. Eventually I found what I was looking for in books and from friends’ older brothers but it was a long slog.

Things are so different now with what’s available online. You can pick and choose what you want to learn. You don’t need to travel to get lessons. You are not restricted to an hour or two a week with a tutor and it’s cheaper.

Online Guitar Lessons – Your Little Rock Star Will Love You (more) For Them

online guitar lessonsI’ve done my share of guitar tuition and I’ve learned some things.

 

 

  1. People learn better when they love what they’re learning
  2. People practice more when they are passionate about what they are learning
  3. Being able to talk to reach out to your teacher whenever you need to is absolutely priceless.
  4. Nothing discourages learners more than being made to play music they cant identify with
  5. Nothing encourages them more than learning exactly what they DO want to learn.

Online video guitar lessons cover all these bases: You can be very specific about the type of guitar lessons you want; You can stop, pause and replay videos whenever you want to; You can practice with or without the teacher whenever you want to.

When I was looking for online guitar lessons to promote on my website I came across Jamplay and quickly saw how good their products were. The teachers are all seasoned professionals, many of whom are in demand session players. Pupils can choose from a huge range of styles, even down to a specific famous player’s style or specific songs.

If I were learning now or was looking for lessons for my kids this is without a doubt where I would go. The quality, range and sheer professionalism they offer is awesome.

Check them out on the link below.

How To Record Guitar

How To Record Guitar

how to record guitarHow to record guitar best depends on what you have available really and what the objective is. It’ll also depend on what you’re recording onto i.e A computer, tape or workstation. That will dictate what sorts of inputs you have and therefore whether you can use microphones or will need to use a DI box of some kind.

How To Record Guitar If You Have Unlimited Funds

how to record guitarIf budget is not an issue then the absolutely best way to get that big rock sound is with a number of good microphones placed strategically around the amp in a good sounding room. In that scenario you start with a great amp, a great guitar and new, stretched strings. You would place a mic in front of the speaker (the best sounding one if you have more than one) one behind the amp and one up in a corner of the room.

By experimenting with different mics and playing around with the placement you would eventually achieve several separate “images” of the overall sound which would be blended in the mix.

How To Record Guitar On A Budget

As I say – that’s how to record guitar if you have loads of cash or a record deal. Most of us though don’t have that luxury so we need to think about how to record a guitar best with far more limited resources.

hhow to record guitar at homeThere are a couple of options. One involves microphones – but less of them – one will do actually, the other involves using a preamp or DI box of some kind. Rumour has it that Jimmy page recorded a lot of his parts using a tiny amp in a cupboard so don’t think that recording guitar with a mic is going to involve tons of volume. There are not many places you can get away with that outside of a studio anyway.

How To Record Guitar At Home

When I started experimenting with how to record guitar I used a single SM58 microphone up close to a speaker. I have a Roland recording workstation that has 8 mic inputs that was portable enough to take to rehearsal rooms. When I discovered the Line 6 Pod however I used that a lot in our little home recording studio. It sound ace and as it works on amp modelling, there is rarely any need to add additional effects afterwards.

Some workstations like the Roland have dedicated guitar channels so you can plug straight in and use the onboard amp models and effects in line. What I have found is that if you are doing DI recording its very important to have good leads, sockets and pickup switches. Digital distortion and noise is not nice!

The thing to remember, as I’ve said before, is that when you think about how to record guitar it’s all about the song. Even if you don’t produce technically superb recordings, if you manage to capture the spirit of a performance (of a good song) then it’s job done! So use what you have. These days we have all sorts of possibilities: iphones, Garage band, laptops so it’s actually pretty easy to get things done.

For some fab tips on how to record guitar or anything for that matter, get a copy of Behind the Glass – a classic book about producers and engineers. It’s a gold mine of tips of information from some of the best in the game.

5 Great Pieces of Kit For Your Home Recording Studio

5 Great Pieces of Kit For Your Home Recording Studio

Last time we looked at getting a demo recording done in a studio. This week it’s the home recording studio. At the end of the day, for professional sounding recordings there’s really no substitute to a studio BUT; It costs money. The advantage, if you can afford it is that you and your band mates are free to concentrate on the creative side of things. You don’t need to worry about placing mikes, minimising spill, and a host of other processes. You just play your parts.

Tascam DP – 24 Porta Studio (these are now a fraction of what they cost not long ago – get serious with some awesome old school kit)

Home Recording On A Budget – Old School Rocks

However things have come a long way in recent years in terms of what you can do yourself. You can now arm yourself with a home recording set up that can be little more than a laptop and some software. You even get Garage Band free with an Ipad or Mac and there are obviously PC equivalents.

Line 6 Pod – still brilliant

Personally though I’m from the old school and prefer plugging into a dedicated bit of recording equipment. For a long time now that’s been a Roland digital 24 track recorder and if needs be the recordings made on that can be moved into the Mac and further processed. This all depends on how hands on you want to be when it comes to home recording. I personally like playing with microphones, compressors and machines in general – you might not.

The Home Studio Advantage

What we used to do was cart the Roland, and a pile of mics and headphones to our rehearsal room and record everything there. I went to the extent of recording the individual drum sounds onto separate tracks and using them to trigger midi drum sounds later so that there would be no spill.

I was looking for perfection on a budget and lost site of the fact that perfection is not really necessary on a demo. We were not thinking demo at the time though as we were producing CD albums that we sold at gigs to finance support tours – so it was worth the extra effort. For home recording demo’s I’d take the following approach.

The Tascam DP-03 Great little multi track recorder. Click to see details

I’ve assembled a few inexpensive home recording devices here that will do what you need. If it won’t offend your drummer I’d also programme the drums – our drummer was ace at doing this and so didn’t feel miffed at not actually being on the recordings – it was after all what he would play in real life. The drums also sounded a lot better than they we could do recording them live in an old barn.

The legendary Alesis SR-16 drum machine

Later on we invested in a set of electronic drums and they were a godsend. We could record everything live in a bedroom sized home recording studio, at hi-fi volume using a pod for guitar and bass. The keyboard was just plugged in direct and vocals done later. This is a great way to work and you can get some superb results.

Roland Electronic drums – Amazing!


Here then are a few bits of kit you could look at investing in. Given the comparative cost of studio time they will pay for them selves many times over in a short space of time. Click on pics to learn more and buy them (these are all from Amazon so if they are not available in your country click through to one of our preferred partners on any of the banners to the right)Hint: Older home recording equipment is a steal right now

How to get Signed – Recording Your First Demo

How to get Signed – Recording Your First Demo

how to get signedAs promised lets have a look at how to get signed and the all important demo – a must have for getting gigs, promotion, support slots and maybe even the elusive record deal. This used to involve going to a recording studio and paying to record your songs. That’s still a good option if you have the budget but these days there are other options depending on what skills you and your band members might already have. Lets deal with the studio first.

Recording A Song – The Studio Process

Back in the distant mists of time when my first band started to record a song or songs for demos, things were very different technology-wise so the recording studio was the only option for us. We would decide based on feedback from our fans and gigs what were our best 3 -5 songs and we’d rehearse those like crazy till we could play them in our sleep.

We would then book 15 hours in a studio to record and mix them. This I have to say is optimistic – we soon realised that a separate session for mixing was a better bet. When recording a song you need to factor in a few things: Are you going for a live recording or are you going to record the instruments one at a time? Basically  recording a song will be a mix of both.  Normally the whole band will play and a guide recording will be done at that stage. That gives you a basis to then re-record the separate parts.  A live recording with just vocals overdubbed can be an option as you’ll see later.

Recording A Song In An Ideal World

In an ideal world we want the drums done first as A. They are the loudest and B. they usually take the longest time to get sounding good. The engineer will be looking to get those down while everyone plays but in booths, listening to the overall sound in headphones. You should all have eye contact even when recording a song in this unnatural situation to preserve at least some of the – band playing live feel.

Most demo type studios have a single soundproofed room so that spill from the other instruments can be eliminated. The very expensive, professional recording studio setup often just has huge rooms and build partitions around drums and amps that allow a degree of spill into the mix through the drum mics to give a liver feel but for your first demo you probably won’t be going there.

So with drums done you now have the basis for the rest of the recording. Bass would be next. The bass player then goes into the booth, straps on the cans and lays their parts down over the great sounding drums and the guide recordings of the other parts. If the studio set up allows everyone else to play along again do it. Even if everyone else just mimes it keeps the band feel going.

Remember when recording a song you are trying to capture a performance – to “sell” the song.

Repeat the process with guitars, keys, trumpets – whatever else is in your band and then it’s time for the vox. Although you might feel a bit miffed to hear it, the important parts of the mix when your record your song are the vocals, kick drum, bass and snare in that order. Vocals might take as long as everything else put together.

recording your music
The Joys of mixing

So when all of the above is done to the engineer’s and your satisfaction (you may need to do any number of re-takes during the process – it’s worth getting it right but bear in mind this is costing you money…) It’s time for the mixing.

Mixing – Do’s And Dont’s

Mixing is a subject in it’s own right but here are a few pointers that will save you time, money, frustration and agro.

Try and keep the objective in mind. It’s about a finished, polished sounding representation of your song or songs – it’s not about individual parts. It’s actually a very good idea to take a break before mixing – even to come back another day. Ears get tired and the constant repetition that recording a song often involves is doubly tiring. You get sick of the song to put in bluntly. A common mistake is for the whole band to gather round the desk each chipping in opinions – usually about how their parts sound. Not good for the mixing engineer or for band relationships.

In the ideal world just one or two of the band should be present but of course that relies on everyone else setting their ego’s aside.…… This is the stage where you can spend hours and a lot of money arguing and fussing over details that don’t really matter.

The first demo that ever got us record company interest was recorded live in an old barn using a PZM microphone hanging from a mic stand placed between the bass amp and the drums – to capture both. Guitar and vocals were also recorded live in the same room and all onto a 4 track tape recorder. Keyboards were overdubbed at home later.

This demo got us a showcase gig n London with Creation records and had every record company in the land on the phone to us. It was an ADEQUATELY recorded demo of a catchy song played live bloody well – recording your song is the important thing in the whole “how to get signed” question.  No demo we ever paid for sounded as lively or got the same results even if technically they sounded a thousand times better.

Next time I’ll look at home recording demos: Tip – don’t actually think of recordings as demos when you record your music – think of them as finished recordings of your work and treat the process accordingly.

How To Get Gigs For Your New Band

 

How To Get Gigs For Your New Band

How to get gigsSo your new band has got a few rehearsals under it’s belt, a name has been decided on and you have 10 or twelve songs perfected. What next ? – A gig of course! You need to get in front of people now and the sooner the better. You don’t need to be perfect as audiences at live gigs are usually forgiving of the odd little mistake – especially as it’s likely that you will be providing the first audience yourselves from friends and family. Lets look at how to get gigs.

It’s the experience of being at a gig that people enjoy – the volume, the performance and of course the music. Some of the best bands in the world talk about how much they hated certain gigs although these same gigs are often the ones their fans enjoy most and think of as the best.

Finding Gigs Isn’t Hard

Finding gigs is easier now than ever although getting paid for them is probably harder – especially if you play your own material rather than covers. Social media makes it easy to connect with venues, promoters and other bands. Demos can be sent or links to your Reverbnation or Facebook page.

You can get someone to video your gigs too, chuck them on Youtube and then people can see/hear you play. Put a link under the video to your Social media stuff and get some interest going. Watch the quality though – a badly recorded sound does you no favours at all. Maybe think about recording in the rehearsal room instead.

In general you can easily get  gigs locally with one or more other bands. For quickness and minimal hassle there is usually an element of sharing kit at these gigs – usually drums – sometimes bass or guitar amps. There will usually be a PA system and some mics supplied.

getting gigsBattle of the bands nights are another option and sometimes have the advantage of being held in bigger venues with better sound systems. The downside is that you will usually be required to sell tickets to friends and family to cover the costs. This is Ok for your first few gigs but even the most loyal friends will lose interest in buying yet another ticket to see you play the same set every week or two.

Finding Gigs – Social Media

In theory these give you the chance to pick up fans that aren’t your existing friends but in practice the audience is usually made from each bands little group of fans. Often they clear off as soon as their mates have played so every band battles not to be on last. Every chance to play live is a good thing but I would recommend not doing too many “battle of the bands” type gigs.

Every band goes through the experience of playing to one man and his dog – just part of the getting gigs deal and still worth doing for experience. There is no substitute for live playing and the bigger the audience the better so embrace every chance you can to do it.

When you’ve served your apprenticeship for a while and are a solid, professional sounding unit you cab start looking for  and getting better gigs. A great route to take is to look for bands to support. Start with up and coming local bands. You will need a decent recording for this as it’s not likely anyone will come and see an unknown band so get a demo done. Which will be the subject of the next post ….

The Creative Guitarist's Home From Home