How do I get work as a muscian?

Our tips for getting gigs
Understandably the key question for students musicians wanting to transition into generating a full time income from music. The advice for just getting gigs as a hobbyist is also the same.

I have been working successfully and consistently in music since 2003, incidentally while I was studying at SSR. I've been working professionally since 1998, but it was on and off until starting to study professionally. More recently, my work consists purely of performance, lecturing audio engineering and production. It's hard, but there are consistencies in how to approach generating a full time income.

1. Be good and have a good product.

Means have a great product. Sound good. Play good. Know how to interact with your audience. You need to have a good and consistent sound. Success as a performer requires that your audiences enjoy listening to you and your employers like the contributions you make to their band/show/product. Without any of those qualities, you're not much good to anyone and your ability to maintain a long term income will be hard.

If you're putting a band together or performing your own work - make sure you're ready to go and you sound great before you get in front of an audience.

  • 2. Be prepared to be super organised and professional

  • Be prepared for email and WhatsApp enquiries. Know how to communicate without making yourself look like an amateur. Every job ad you apply for is literally a job application - treat it like you would applying for a full time job. Read the spec, answer all of the points the employer wants and offer information that might be relevant to the job that they haven't asked for. Use their name; write professionally; and sign off your email in a professional way - even if you're on WhatsApp.


  • 3. Have a professional advertising base.

  • This means having a good website, social media setup and integrated. People need to be able to instantly look at your site and know you mean business. Think of any business you interact with - Apple, Vodafone, Amazon - your site shouldn't be any different to theirs. Easy to read, easy to see your unique features and your product, and you should be easy to contact.
    It also means having a proper domain name - not a .wix or Wordpress site name. These aren't hard to buy or set up.

  • 4. Have a great video that looks and sounds great.

  • In 2023, this is the number one thing.

    Don’t use phone footage! Don’t use crappy phone audio - similar the website, your target customers will only buy if they like what they hear. Don’t expect them to look past shitty audio and see how your use scales inversions - they won’t care how clever you are. They’ll only want to know you sound good, look good, will enhance their event, give their guests a good time and know that working without isn’t going to be like pulling teeth.

    5. Post reviews and testimonies

    This is both the hardest and the easiest thing to do. I think we can all agree we hate asking for reviews, and being asked for reviews! But you only need a couple to put on the site to make it work, and update when you get some more nice comments. We regularly use comments on our show posts as reviews - any comment that discusses your product is a review!!

    You can be clever and embed your live reviews into your website.

    6. Don't be an idiot

    Finally, just be easy and enjoyable to work with. Musicians are largely self employed - you can be fired or someone can decide not to work with you any more and there's very little the law would do to help you compared to people working in full time employment, where there is heavy regulation. (You are actually protected by contract law - but this is a whole other conversation!)

    It isn’t hard but you’ll be surprised how many people don’t do it in any way half way well!
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