Archive for the ‘Experts Only’ Category

            I can’t speak from experience because I’ve never had a booking agent, so I’ve never had a chance to be better than one.  But my husband Erik, member of the acoustic duo E.T.A., has.  And this is his story.

             Erik & Tom Acoustic.  That’s the ETA part.  They’re just a two-piece guitar and djembe cover band with some free evenings and a love of music.  And they play just about everything, from Sheryl Crow to The Beatles and from John Mellencamp to The Proclaimers.  The old stuff and the new stuff.  But always the fun stuff.

               They’ve got a list about a mile long of the songs they can play at the drop of a hat.  But if you catch them with a request of something they don’t really know, they’ll play it anyway!  And they’ll let the crowd help them learn it right there in the bar (or club or restaurant, whatever the setting may be).

             So Erik and Tom were playing about twice a month, and their booking agent was finding them the gigs.  All they had to do was play!  But when they began to really get noticed, all of a sudden they were getting offers that were being handled directly, without the need of an agent at all.  With Tom’s veteran knowledge of the gigging scene and Erik’s no-nonsense attitude toward the business side of music, they realized that the middle man who was taking a cut of their then-meager earnings was wholly and totally unnecessary, not to mention a waste of money.

             It was hard breaking off from the guy who had gotten them started, really, by getting them in the right doors.  But they had to face the fact that they were beginning to be able to open doors for themselves, and they were getting a lot farther on their own volition than they were using him as a go-between.  Erik, always the financially-focused negotiator, was very persuasive, and with him handling the monetary expectations of the band, they soon found themselves asking for much more than they had dared to before, and even better, they found themselves getting it.

               Right now, Erik and Tom can be seen up to six times a month at a handful of very different venues.  Their undeniable musical versatility as a performing duo has brought them more opportunities than might be offered a genre-specific band.  Their success stems from a number of factors.  They’re very self-contained, owning all their own equipment and needing a meager amount of space to perform in, they can go from low-key background music to high-level party music, they’re very likable guys with a great stage presence and a way with charming crowds in every venue, and as I mentioned before, they can play just about anything you want to hear.

               As far as venues go, they include the swanky Brazilian restaurant Braza in Hartford, http://hartford.about.com/od/dining/fr/aafprbraza.htm ,  the high-energy Irish pub McKinnons in Hartford, http://www.mckinnonsirishpub.com/ , the low-key coffee house Tribeca in Glastonbury, www.tribecacafe.net ,  and the exciting Italian-style Tuscany Grille in Middletown, CT, http://www.tuscany-grill.com .  

               There’s no doubt in my mind that this pair of guys got very lucky, but there’s no reason why you can’t too.  If your booking agent is really not a necessity, why keep on coughing up a percentage of your earnings to him/her?  By all means, when they’re necessary, they’re very necessary, but hey – when they’re not, they’re just not, right?

Kara Nielsen, Editor, www.BandSpace.Fm


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      Submitted by Dawn Jones. Dawn is a professional Booking Expert for performers, speakers & business. You can find a GREAT link at www.bookingworkshop.com/EventDetails.html and has details on various prices that are musicians charge for events. Read more at: www.DawnJones.net or www.BookingWorkShop.com .      


By Dawn Jones:  

     Do you have a burning desire to use your gifts and talents to share the Gospel of Christ?  Are you a musician, singer, songwriter, speaker, actor, artist or even a comedian, and want to know how to take your talent out into your community?

 I am often asked how to book concerts, special events and business meetings with ease; the answer is quite simple, so simple that you can apply these techniques and see a change in your booking success immediately!   

  1. Why Should They Book You?  Getting booked at a place or an event is easy if you understand and can explain why they should book you.  When I ask artists why they should be booked, the most common answers I hear are “well, I’m called to this” or “I’ve been told there’s an anointing on my music” or I just love Jesus and want to tell everyone how He has changed my life.”  While these are sincere answers, they’re also very vague.  Remember, your ministry must be unique, yet appeal to a broad audience.
  2. What Makes You Unique?  The Bible reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made; made for a purpose, for God’s purpose.  God has created you with certain gifts to express the beauty of your relationship with Him.  When refined, your talent is an outward expression of God’s gifting in you.  The Bible also reminds us that in our brokenness Christ’s strength is made complete.  When people see our brokenness and the change that Christ has made in our lives, then they too can have the hope that Christ can change their lives as well. What is your brokenness?  What is the Egypt that you’ve been delivered from?  For it is in the blending of these two areas that you will discover what it is that makes you unique.
  3. Wow Them! How Them! And Now Them!  Once you’ve determined what makes you unique, create a “Compelling Sentence” to describe your ministry.  This sentence should capture the attention of your listener and cause them to respond with a “Wow!  They will then be more interested in what you do which brings us to your “Conversational Paragraph,” this is where you will have conversation with the person who is interested in booking you.  You will tell them “How” you do what you do; what your concert/worship set looks like and why they should book you.  Which brings us to “Now.” If your ministry is unique, sincere, and transparent; one built on sound doctrine that reaches a broad audience, you now have a reason to get the booking. 
  4. Who Are You Trying To Reach?  Literally!  Who is your audience?  A Sunday morning congregation; the youth group or an adult Bible study group?  Or perhaps a Saturday night coffee house; college campus or even the local jail ministry.  Once you determine whom you are trying to reach, taking your ministry to that audience is as simple as connecting with the person who does the scheduling for those groups.
  5. Making the Phone Call.  Practice makes permanent!  If you practice what you’re going to say before you make the call, you’ll feel much more comfortable once you’re on the phone; conversely, if you practice “winging it” your conversation will be full of filler words like “ah, um, and so, well, like, you know.”  So why should the pastor trust a musician with the church platform for an hour if the musician can’t communicate in 5-minutes what he or she’s going to do during that hour?  Think about it, its like singing a song, would you stand before your audience, microphone in hand and think to yourself “I have no idea what I’m going to sing, I’m just going to make the words up as I go along.”  Of course not!  You practice and take ownership of that song so that you can communicate in 3 to 5 minutes the heart of the song.  The same thing goes for the phone.  When you take the time to practice what you’re going to say, you’ll be clearer, more concise and to the point—and you’ll feel a lot more comfortable!
  6. KISSS = Keep It Short Singer Speaker!  If you’re goal is to book an hour presentation or concert, it should take about 5-minutes to describe what that hour event will look like.  Just give the highlights, not the entire event.  Be prepared with a few bullet points describing what actually takes place during your concert/event, and make sure to say what is unique about what you do along with mentioning references of people who can recommend you and your ministry.
  7. Using Voicemail.  What’s in a Big Mac™?  Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun!  Though this advertising campaign hasn’t been run in years, most people can still recite it.  That’s the power of repetition.  The same goes for your voicemail!  Say the same thing each time when you leave voicemail—in 90 seconds tell them who you are, why you’re calling, dates you’re looking at booking and that you’ll call them back in a few days unless you hear from them first. 
  8. Using Email.  Email is a powerful booking tool because it allows people to hear from you when it’s convenient for them.  Make your email stand out by including a picture or a link to your website or music.  If you don’t have a website, then highlight the important parts of the email for quick review.  Say the same thing in your emails that you do in your voicemails—remember the power of repetition.
  9. Keep a Good Attitude.  Many artists I consult with get discouraged because people don’t return their calls.  Remember, pastors receive all sorts of phone calls, emails and junk mail vying for their time and pulpit.  If you understand that most people who don’t know you don’t feel obligated to call you back, instead of being disappointed, you can plan your strategy accordingly, and with a good attitude.  Your job is to make their job of booking you as easy as possible.  Smile when you speak be sincere, and always be mindful that ministry is a privilege that God has entrusted you with.
  10. Be Persistent!  Rather than calling 50 places to get a booking, just choose about ten places to call where you’d like to share your ministry.  Here’s a bonus tip:  Call each place at least 3 times and repeat each voicemail as stated above.  Space your calls about 3-5 days apart.  Use voicemail, email and if you have a website include that as well.  Galatians 6:9 tells us not to grow tired of doing good, for in the end you will reap the harvest!  You have the talent, the passion and the call…remember to pray and ask God to go before you and to guide and direct your steps.  Until next time… Live Your God Given Dreams!


Carl Slicer,  Sr Editor, www.BandSpace.Fm    

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        Want to start a career in music production?  Check out www.FullSail.com . Full Sail School of Recording Arts can jump start those dreams!  Their website boasts that “for more than 25 years, Full Sail has trained some of the most respected engineers, producers, and mixers in the audio industry.  Full Sail’s Recording Arts Degree Program gives you the training you need to get started in the world of music production.”      

         Their website currently features a graduate who has done especially well for himself.  His name is Sean Spuehler, and he has worked with Madonna, No Doubt, and Beck.  He’s quoted as saying, “Every studio I go to, I run into Full Sail people… they definitely jump start your career.”               Production is not for everyone, but neither is performance.  This is why it’s important to find out what your specific musical interest is.  Some talented musicians begin their careers as teachers or performers, but they quickly lose interest if this isn’t their real passion.  If you think you might prefer being behind the booth instead of on the stage, check out Full Sail’s website.  You can enter your information and they’ll send you a free overview of the school and what it offers.             Want to be more in the middle of the action?  Check out the Los Angeles Recording School at www.LaRecordingSchool.com to begin taking classes in the music capital of the world.  They offer 15 studio lab environments to “provide the perfect training ground for you to get hands-on and start learning all aspects of music production and audio engineering.”  They have a great mission statement, outlining their goal to clarify the world of professional audio equipment and techniques, and to offer students the latest technology to practice on, and the most competent faculty to guide them along.  They also guarantee that their graduates will be provided with the greatest possible opportunities for career advancement. 

            On the East Coast, check out Berklee College of Music for classes in music production, www.berklee.edu .  In the heart of Boston, a place where some of the finest musicians serenade you on the subway, you will be surrounded by the best of the best, and you’ll get to work with some of the world’s most talented individuals.  From famous faculty (including Livingston Taylor) to amazing opportunities (including working on tracks with major artists), you’re sure to find something to feed any passion.   You can major in Music Production and Engineering or just opt to take a few choice classes.  They offer courses in Music Acoustics, Audio Technology, Mix Techniques, Sound Reinforcement, Creative Production Skills, Multitrack Recording Techniques, Vocal Production, Masters Engineering, and Production Analysis, to name just a few. 

             So whether your passion is fading on performance, or you’re just beginning in the music industry and production has caught your eye, check out these hot schools and see if they’ve got what you need.

Kara Nielsen, Editor   (3/15/07) www.BandSpace.Fm  

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