a great night playing gives you an incredibly
rewarding feeling, and is something that every
professional musician strives for with each gig. Now
aside from your personal satisfaction in your
playing, every gig also provides the potential for
more personal success. The kind of valuable benefit
that you can get from taking advantage of your
breaks, after each set, to "work the
crowd." Getting out in the audience and mingling
with the customers can benefit you in several
important areas. Here are just five ways you can use
this time to improve your career.
Improves Your Image:
This first benefit is probably pretty obvious, yet
many musicians fail to really take advantage of this
opportunity. Getting out to talk and mix with the
people of your audiences can really win them over.
Now that they've met you, they may end up staying
longer at your performance than they had planned on.
Have a schedule of your upcoming performances you can
hand out, or a website address so they can check your
playing schedule out online. Just make sure you have
something that they can take home with them enabling
them to know where you're playing and to become part
of your following. This makes club owners very happy
when you can bring in a lot of your own crowd when
you're booked in his/her club.
If your band has any kind of merchandise, CDs,
t-shirts, hats, etc, this is a time to make a few
sales. Some people may be too shy to approach you
directly, so it helps if you're out mingling with
them. During the conversation with them, you can
mention the CD that you just finished, or something
like that, and this could help make some sales and,
again, could recruit more people for your following.
If they've got your CD to listen to, or your t-shirt
to wear, they'll be likely to want to come see you
Often there'll be amateur guitarists in the crowd
who'll (hopefully) admire your playing. Using your
break times to meet these people could give you the
opportunity to let these players know that you teach
and that you'd be happy to book some lesson time with
them. Even if you're on the road, keep lesson
materials with you in case an opportunity pops up to
do some teaching while you're travelling.
To Future Contacts:
You never know who may be in the crowd. There could
be another band who likes what you do and would like
to offer you a better position in their band. Or
maybe you're happy in your current band. It's still
good to make, and maintain business contacts for the
future. There may also be another club owner, or
agent there who'd be interested in getting you more
The business of music is very "people"
oriented, and the better your social skills are, the
easier time you'll have in the business. Getting out
in the audience every night really pushes you to
improve your people skills. Use your break times to
meet new people. Start conversations with customers
and make them feel good about being there to see you.
Don't ignore people when they want to approach you.
Now, there's a good chance you'll be dealing with
people who may be a little too heavily into
"Party Mode," and may be breathing pure
alcohol into your face while they attempt to speak.
This is a great opportunity to work on your skills at
still being social with them, yet being able to
gracefully move on to another audience member who
wants to talk to you.
a gig to work on your playing is great, just don't
miss the other valuable, and sometimes priceless
opportunities to take advantage of your break times
to "work the crowd!"