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Archive for the ‘Bizzy’ Category

       By: Bizzy Bender

 

 

      I have been playing coffeehouses in and around New England since 1996 and I would like to share a bit about my experiences. Some have been awesome and some not so awesome. I will not name names or point fingers but if you are about to start this adventure you should be prepared for what you might experience. 

      I have played to packed houses and have driven hours to play for a very small number of people. This is not a numbers game. Unless of course you are seriously trying to do this for a living and if that’s the case then you will have a better strategy than the artist who is doing this part time. The more you can develop a following and keep track of your fans and more importantly where they live the better you will do at promoting concerts outside of your own county.

       I have played in venues that looked like someone just threw up a few tables and maybe stuck a candle on it and bought boxed cookies and made bad coffee and I have played venues that went all out and created an amazing environment from exquisite décor to Starbucks like coffee.

       Sound is always an issue to be aware of and while it is good to know what your preferences are sometimes it’s hard to be picky. Often the sound system is barely sufficient and sometimes non-existent in which case you had better have a fall back plan. Usually the venue will give you a heads up but it is better to come prepared than be sorry and play completely unplugged.  Also remember the coffeehouse is usually run by volunteers so be kind always!!

        The more you know before you go the better off you will be. How long will you be playing?  Will you be sharing the stage? What will the compensation be? Can you sell CD’s? Do they want you to share your testimony? Can you do worship songs and do your regulars enjoy singing along or would they rather just listen?

        Will they feed you before or after? Of course you should make sure you know who the main contact is and bring phone #’s along especially if you run into any problems getting there i.e. getting lost is a common problem!

        Be prepared. This may seem very pedantic but don’t forget your instrument! Bring pics, strings, capo’s and anything else you might need!

       Lastly, bring along your best attitude. As I said earlier, these venues are run by volunteers. Make certain you say thank  you to them publicly. It’s a very hard and mostly thank-less job so make a fuss over these people. Without them we wouldn’t have very many places to play. I make it a habit to give a copy of my CD to the person running the venue and oft-times to the sound person and maybe the person overseeing the food if it appears to be a one-person show! 

      So enjoy the adventure, remember to buckle up, it can be a wild ride!

 

Peace, Bizzy

 

Editors note: (You can catch Bizzy at her website our at one of her coffeehouse gigs. She also plays an International Gig called “SoulFest” at GunStock, NH.)  www.BizzyBender.com  or www.thesoulfest.com/2007 .)  

Check Bizzy out on “Our Stage”

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      By Bizzy Bender, musician  

         So, you have been singing with the worship band for a long time now, honed your guitar skills, and written some decent songs and now you are ready to break into the Christian music scene.I am here to tell how not to succeed! Yes, that’s correct, how not to succeed!

     First, make a CD without any forethought. Record it at multiple studios and use all of your friends regardless of their level of talent. Mix and master it yourself then send it off to the absolute cheapest place to reproduce them and make 1000 copies of it. Don’t put a bar code on it – it’s just money well spent! Plan a CD release party. It will be a huge success and you will sell at least 100 copies of your new CD! Ask people to sign your mailing list.

     Now I know you are probably saying to yourselves “this sounds like what I should be doing. What’s wrong with that? Other than mixing and mastering myself that is.”Here’s where you start to set yourself up for failure.  1. Never set goals or make any plans of how this will work or where you want to go with your music ! 2. After your big CD release concert, go home and promptly forget to add all of those names to your data base. Better still, don’t even create a database ! 3. Now you need to sell the other 900 CD’s. So for distribution place a box in the back of your car and keep them there for all future sales.  4. Under no circumstance should you ever be proactive about your music career. Always wait for others to contact you.  5. Sign up for all sorts of contests and seminars. Spending your hard earned money on related fees will greatly add to your lack of success.  6. Create a xianity space and a mymusicespace page [and as many other similar sites] and don’t learn how to use them properly.

       Check in on them only very sporadically. Ask random people to be your friend who will never really be interested in you or your music. Friends from far away countries are very cool, they certainly won’t be coming to one of your gigs anytime soon. 7. Find as many different places to list yourself as an artist online and then do nothing about it. For example, CD Baby, Taxi, Indieheaven, Garageband…8. Email as many different venues as you can find but don’t keep track of who you email and never, absolutely never try calling someone to make a personal connection. That works way too well in securing gigs! 9. Here’s a great way to keep from succeeding. Design your own website. Make sure it’s not in any way, shape or form cool or attractive. Of course you wouldn’t want to find out how to optimize your site by adding metatags to your site to increase the number of hits to your page.  That would be sheer folly!! {I’ve saved the best for last!} 10. Probably the most important tool to increase your chances of failure is to put everything in God’s hands and do nothing else.

    This IS Christian music after all ! Peace, Bizzy

(Editors Footnote: Bizzy is a Musician from Conn. One would call her a cross between from Joni Mitchell to Sheryl Crow. She plays for churches as well as numerous Coffeehouses. BUT, probably her bigger claim to fame is the SoulFest in Gunstock, NH. www.TheSoulFest.com . Bizzy has shared the billing with people like “Tammy Trent”, “Chris Tomlin”, “Casting Crowns”, “Seventh Day Slumber”, etc.  You can contact Bizzy thru   www.BizzyBender.com & listen at www.MySpace.Com/BizzyBenderMusic.)   

Bizzy     

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