Getting A Gig

playing guitar

Now that your band has created a look and a style, you want to get as many chances to play live to create a fan base. Exposure is everything, and getting gigs is a process all musicians have to go through until they become a known quantity. There are few simple steps to follow, which will help your organize yourself.


Demo and Press Kit

Having a demo is essential. You can record as many songs as an entire album, or as few as 3 or 4. There can be covered material as well as your own original songs. The point of a demo is to make your particular sound clear. Make sure the band’s name and your contact information are on the CD. Your press kit is like your resume. It tells potential employers where you have played before, what a typical set would be, and what kind of reviews you got. Including some photos of the band is a nice thing to do too.


Send It Out

You want to send out as many CD’s and press kits as your budget allows. To help you, do some research on clubs, bars, coffeehouses, fairs, libraries, etc., and find out what kind of music they like to hire. That way you can save yourself some time and money if some of them don’t hire a band with a sound like yours. Online you can also find out a bit more about the submission process for each venue. You might want to enlist the aid of a booking agent, and the more submissions you make, the greater the likelihood of getting representation. You could also use social media to promote your band. It is free and very effective. Facebook and Twitter are 2 to look at.


Do Your Own Promoting

Create posters to advertise your gig. If other bands are joining you, they can help with the expense. Put the posters everywhere you can – in shop windows, on bulletin boards, around lamp posts. The more exposure the better. Create Facebook events and invite everyone! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at who shows up.



One of the best things you can do as an artist is to network. Whether you are working with other singer songwriters on some collaborations or you offer to do back up guitar at another show, it always pays to know more people. Networking is how you make it in the music industry. There are many venues that you simply cannot play at unless you know someone who knows someone.

Talking to other musicians is always helpful. They can give you insight into venues, owners, and booking agents. They may also be able to steer your band in the direction of a venue that is looking for your special sound. If you know an already established band, ask them if you can be an opening act, and offer to do it for free. The more contacts you make the more gigs you will get. Get to know venue managers.


Open Mic

Get as much exposure as possible, whenever possible. Check into open mic nights at coffee shops and cafes. Famous cafés like the Bluebird Café in Nashville even offer open mic nights for singers and song writers that are trying to make it. If someone offers you an opportunity, take it. You never know where it will lead.


Getting gigs for yourself or your band may not feel easy; but if you organize yourself well and take these simple steps, you will find the road much less bumpy.

The Anatomy of a Song: Steps in the Song Writing Process

How to Write Songs | Wavemaker

Just about everyone has a favorite song; one that follows us through our lives and becomes the soundtrack to significant moments. If you are passionate about music and lyrics, you may wonder just how a great song is born. Of course, there are multitudes of creative ways in which memorable songs are written, but there is also a formula by which many writers and musicians use for collaboration.

A great song tells a story. It takes the listener on a journey. A hit song often has a magical combination of authentic expression and musical skill. Crafting a well written song is a process. And below, we offer you a guide to follow that any lyricist and musician can use to compose their next creation.


Choosing an Inspiring Title

Though there are many great songs throughout history that began with a beat, a rhythm, a chorus, or a phrase; the best way to write a song is to come up with an inspiring title; one that moves you, as the writer, on the inside.

The title of a song is many times, the phrase that all listeners remember. Many songs become automatic hits simply because the title is catchy and addictive. Listeners find themselves singing it over and over again. The title is one of the most important aspects of a song, and helps the writer begin to tell the story.


Find the Questions Hidden Within Your Title

The title of a song asks many questions. It is the songwriter’s job to find the questions that lie within their song title. For example; there are many popular songs in the last few decades, about hotels; “Hotel California” by the Eagles, “Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis, and Michael Jackson’s “Heartbreak Hotel”. Each of these three songs tells a completely different story, but the writers answered many of the same questions within the lyrics. “What is this hotel?” “What is the atmosphere, the energy of this place?” and “What happens there, and to whom does it happen?”


Connect Words and Images With Your Title

Do a brainstorming exercise by making a list of words and images that relate to your title. These words and images are what make the story of the song interesting, poetic and imaginative. Try the words out by using each of them in your verses and chorus until you hear the phrasing that sounds right to your ears.


The Most Common Song Structure

Once you have your title and some of your lyrics, you can begin to form your song structure. There is a popular and common song structure that has worked since people began writing songs. It is best to begin with this structure, and then you can creatively alter it as the spirit of the song moves you.

The song structure is designed in this way:

Verse – Chorus – Verse- Chorus-Bridge- Chorus

This song structure appeals to listeners because it allows for repetitiveness, which makes a song easy for the listener to learn. One of the best parts about enjoying any song is the ability to be able to sing along. This common song structure makes this aspect easy for listeners.


Create the Melody of Your Song

The melody of a song is often discovered by the repetition of lyrics. There is usually a melody that naturally lives within the lines of a song; a certain rhythm that matches the words, the phrasing. Try singing or simply, humming the song to yourself. The right melody comes through experimentation; and is one of the most intuitive aspects of song writing.


Though much of song writing is truly an intuitive process, knowing how to begin and following a tried and proven structure makes the process easier; while still leaving room for personal creativity.

Promoting Your Music & Getting Fans

How to get fans in the music industry promo

As a vocalist, you have worked extremely hard to perfect your craft. You have put in hours at the studio and have left it all on the stage during your performances. Naturally, the next logical step is to acquire a fan base and get your music to a larger audience. To do this, you are going to want to promote your music. Promoting your work you have worked so hard on is a natural step in the process but unfortunately, it can be a bit tricky but no reward comes without hard work.

Try out some of our tips below while you begin promoting your stuff:

Be Ready

Are you ready? – The first and most important step in the process is making sure you are ready to share your music. Promoting music that sounds more like a rough draft, probably won’t get the best reviews and this can make it hard to bounce back from. Promoting and reputation management go hand-in-hand. We suggest getting feedback from artists or professionals in the industry. Producers and engineers at your recording studio are a great source for feedback.

 Get Your Materials Together

Promotional materials – Start early by having promotional materials produced for distribution. We recommend having these items made professionally at a production company or hiring a freelance graphic design artist to create them for you. Send these promo materials out early and send them often.

 Establish A Social Media Presence

Social media and electronic materials – Get a viral buzz going by promoting via social media. This is a great source to help spread the word whether it’s through Twitter, Facebook, your personal website or a newsletter. The best part is, it doesn’t cost anything! Your dedicated fans will re-tweet, share and help promote for you.

 Take Advantage of Online Music Platforms

Free listening – There are many websites that offer free listening to its users. Seek out any and every one of these sites and get your music out there. Youtube, Soundcloud, Myspace… there are tons of ways to get your stuff to the masses.


Free Swag – Consider giving away various items at your events, for signing up for a newsletter or for purchasing an LP. Fans love free stuff, even if it’s just a beer coozie!  If merchandise isn’t in your budget right away, then offer free tickets to a show or a free mp3. If you don’t want to go the route of free swag, get some t-shirts designed and sell them to fans. It’s free advertising for you, and your friends will have another valuable band tee.

Play Everywhere

Everywhere and anywhere you get the chance to get in front of a crowd, do it. Take advantage of every opportunity to be heard. With that being said, also pay attention to the potential crowd you’ll be serving. A country singer most likely wont find a lot of loyal fans while performing at the corner strip club. Be prepared for your crowd ahead of time.


Preparing Your Voice To Record

how to prepare to perform singing

If you have a recording session coming up or even a performance, it is important that your voice is primed and ready. It is important to prepare your voice, not just to ensure you give your best performance, but you will also want to make sure your vocal cords are protected from fatigue and injury. Putting forth the effort to make sure you have taken the proper precautions will make for a smooth and flawless performance. Pay attention to these points when thinking about your preparation routine:


Know Your Material

Whether you are performing original music, or recording scripted material, you want to know exactly how these pieces should sound in the recording. Multiple takes are possible, but you don’t want to have to spend your whole recording session on just a few lines.


Eliminate Polluted Air

Believe it or not, the dust particles in the air can substantially affect your voice. Sometimes the places we rehearse are filled with more dust than we realize. For this reason, it is important to keep an air filter or purifier in your bedroom and wherever you practice to ensure you breathe clean air before performing. The dust breathed in can get trapped in your throat and lungs, drastically affecting your vocals.


Refrain From Smoking And Drinking

If you drink or smoke, refrain from doing so as soon as possible before the performance. These substances are harsh on the esophagus, causing hefty damage to the throat.


Lubricate Your Vocal Cords

Drink warm water or tea. Room-temperature tea mixed with honey can sooth the vocal cords. Warm tea is great for helping the throat to relax. Be mindful not to drink ice water as it can tighten the vocal cords and don’t drink coffee the day of the performance. Due to the acidity, coffee can dehydrate your vocal cords and throat resulting in a poor performance.



Proper preparation before your recording session will ensure a quality performance that you’ll be proud of. For a list of rates and services, head on over to our website.

Dani Johnson

daniWavemaker is working with Wendy Hauge and Knockout Strategies, Inc. to record client Dani Johnson.  K.O.S. specializes in radio, television and print campaign management.  Chris Homer, president, is a 15-year veteran in the direct response industry.  Wendy has over 10 years of global project management, client relations and business experience.

Dani Johnson is a best-selling author, speaker, success coach trainer and founder of Call to Freedom I. Dani is one of the millionaires starring in the new ABC Network series SECRET MILLIONAIRE (series premier Sun Mar 6 8/7c)