Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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How to Properly Advance Your Shows (And Why It's a Must Every Time)

Ari Herstand. (Photo by Gadi Rouache)

This is a guest post by Ari Herstand, author of How to Make It in the New Music Business and originally appeared on Ari’s Take.

 

A friend of mine with a good following in LA just told me how she showed up to her show last night only to find out that the venue had canceled it without her knowledge. Another touring artist I know discovered just two days before her LA stop that the promoter had a miscommunication with the venue and double booked the night with a wedding (after selling 200 advance tickets online).

I can't tell you how many horror stories I've heard (and experienced) where the venue and artist were on two completely separate pages about the show's details – and sometimes two completely separate calendars.

How do you prevent these catastrophes from happening? Advance the show!

So What Do You Do Again? A Guide to Roles in the Music Industry

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Building your team as an artist can be incredibly overwhelming – especially when roles in the music industry are so loosely defined and everyone does a bit of everything.

Still, there are some hard and fast rules about which team members do what. To get you started, I’ve compiled all that research into one, handy mini-field guide. Happy team building!

5 Ways to Politely Decline an Opportunity You Don't Think is Right for Your Career

The money may be tempting, but if the opportunity isn't right for you, it'll cost you in other ways. (Image via Shutterstock)

Whether you're just starting your music career or you're a seasoned pro, there will always be opportunities that require you to assess whether they're right for your career, your trajectory, and your professional brand.

Do not live by the misleading expression, "Let the bridges you burn the light the way." Rather, try to create, grow, and develop as many genuine and trusting connections as possible and build longstanding relationships you can rely upon.

Not every opportunity is worth your time, energy, and resources. You know those local promoters or that friends’ band who asks you to play a hometown gig every week? Or that tour offer supporting a band that doesn’t really fit your M.O.?

Bless their souls. We all have them and the music industry ecosystem wouldn’t be stable without them. The good news – you can always say no, it’s just about declining the offers politely and tactfully, making sure to preserve the relationship.

Below are five ways to politely decline an opportunity that you don’t think is right for your career.

The 5 Steps to Recover From the Worst Gig of Your Life

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Musicians tend to fall into a few different camps when it comes to evaluating their own performances; some will be unsatisfied, no matter how well it went, while others will think that every show they play is the best show ever.

Then there are the rest of us who tend to waffle back and forth between these two extremes (often simultaneously) experiencing a sense of elation after every gig that’s quickly met with questions like, “What it it didn’t go as well as I thought it did?” or, “What if everyone was just pretending that they liked our set?”

Then again, sometimes you’ll have one of those gigs where it’s plainly obvious to everyone in the band that things simply did not go well. When this happens, the way you react is crucial to your long-term success. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind if you’ve just bombed a set.

10 Dos and Don'ts of Contacting a Venue Owner

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As you begin to book your own shows, you'll want to avoid these don'ts and adhere to these dos instead. Your relationships with talent buyers, booking agents, and venues are crucial to growing your fanbase and career – don't taint them by making mistakes from the get-go.