Guide to getting and playing better gigs


Press Kit

Gigging Tips
Band Promotion
Stage Act
Stage Presence
Work the Crowd
Set List
Book it
Survive on Tour
Talent Nights
Band in Trouble
The Frontman
Big Break
Band on a Budget
Band Business
Cancelling a Gig
Touring in Europe
Buzz Factor
Check your Gear
Bad Gigs
Benefit Gigs
Gig Fees
Gig Kit
Gigs that Pay
Gig Attendance
Know your Audience
Lies in Music
Mailing List
Outdoor Gigs
Performance Tips
Tour Preparation
Press Kit
Contracts and Riders
Rules of the Road
Band on the Rocks
Play Safe
Gig Sharing
Solo Gigs
Support Band

Your press kit is your calling card so to speak. It will introduce you and your band to the people you need to help your career. Make it interesting. Your press kit should include any reviews you've received for shows, information on current venues, and any reviews from your new CD when they're available.

Include a head or group shot (black and white is the least expensive and generally the best looking), a bio (if you don't have a bio, create one, or get someone to create one for you), a cover letter, one CD, and a business card.

The cover letter, while it shouldn't be more than 1 - 2 pages, should be packed full of information, direct, and to the point. Additionally, try not to make your press kit have more than 7 or 8 pieces of information. You don't want to overload them and you want to save some excitement for later! Keep them a little curious. The packet should go in the following order starting on top:

Press Kit for Major Labels
Business card
Cover letter
Head shot/Group Shot
Reviews (most current on top)
Any press
Lyric Sheets (very important to many A&R personnel. If you already have them in your CD jacket you can forego this unless they specifically request separate lyric sheets.)

Press Kit for Radio PD/MD's
Business card
Cover letter
Head shot/Group Shot
Reviews (most current on top)
Any press
(Some like lyric sheets, but ask this question before you include it. Save on the weight and the cost of the postage if they don't want it.)

After you have sent your press kit, make sure to follow up with a call to make sure your it has arrived safely. Then follow up every two weeks or so AFTER the 3rd week they have got the package. Don't just send the package and expect them to call. Remember, they get hundreds of packages from musicians just like you every single week. Follow up and get noticed!

I know your music is fabulous and you think it should be judged on its own merit, but this is the music industry, and image is everything. (Well, at least for the first 5 seconds to get whoever to open your tape/CD and actually listen to it.)

Your band is competing against a lot of other bands for the same attention of relatively few people. Consider your press kit a weapon which will (figuratively) explode that A&R/critic/judge/club owners' curiosity. (But don't actually include explosives, that would be bad.)

Include the best quality CD/tape you can afford. This is the most important thing you can do. Even if you just duplicate it at home, spend that little extra and buy the best sound quality tape. Nowadays, most A&R types want CDs and say they don't even own a cassette player as CDs are easier to scan through all of a band's songs quickly.

You have about 20 seconds to capture this person's attention so don't put a 5 minute guitar solo as the first track. Use your best song first, preferably an upbeat one, and if they like the sound of the first song, they'll check out the next one.

Cue the tapes up at the very beginning then listen to the tape yourself. Did you cut any of the song off? Did you actually record it? Most music companies receive several blank submission tapes each year.

See also:
Demo Tips

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