Here are some tips for the solo wind musician. If you play, woodwinds, brass, strings, or any single line instrument. You can make a substantial amount of money using your play-a-long library.That's right!...Your play-a-long library can be a goldmind of income.
I know it works because I've done it. If I can do it, anybody should be able to do it. Here's the plan.
First: You have all of these wonderful play-a-longs that you use to practice with. You have spent many, many hours learning these songs, and perfecting your talent. A lot of these play-a-longs are really great accompaniment, and some are recorded by professional musicians.
Trumpet player (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well!...Why not put together a nice sounding PA, or sound system, (what ever you can afford)use all of those wonderful play-a-longs you've had for years, put some song sets together, go out and target all the venues in your area that would be great for a solo musician as yourself to perform in, and make some easy money. Sound crazy?...think again, you will be surprised to find out just how many places want live entertainment, but dont have the room, or the budget to hire a full band.
Here's an example from my real experiences. I have played a restaurant in early afternoon, a coffee shop after work hours, and played with my regular band that night. The result,...Three times the income that I would have normally made that day.
I charge $50-$100 for small venues, $100-$200 for larger establishments, and parties, $200 and up for high dollar fundtions. You have to be the judge as to how much you need to charge per gig. Also keep in mind your expenses.
Oh!...I forgot to mention the tips. That's extra bravy , or icing on the cake.
So go ahead!...Make that money! Put those old dusty play-a-longs to work.
Since I play mostly jazz, I use this source for my play-a-longs:
THE SOLO MUSICIANS TOOLBOX
If you are a solo musician, there are tools that you should know about, and have in your tool box. It is best to be prepared for whatever comes your way in the form of gigs, and musical opportunities. In this article I will go over some of the general things in the form of gear, hardware, and software, that will give you an edge in this competetive, and demanding world. Keep in mind that these are all suggestions, and it depends on your personal circumstances as to what you are, and are not able to obtain.
I will asume that you already have the musical instrument of your choice, and that you have already spent the thousands of hours that it takes to perfect your talent. There is no way around it!...You get out of it what you put into it. If you spend the time to perfect your talent, you will definatly reap the benefits.
So,...Lets get started. I will list all of the items that I have in mind for this article, and where to obtain them. In some cases, a brief discription on what to do with them.
1. PA equipment: You will need some kind of PA equipment, preferably something small and compact, but of efficient sound quality
2. Microphone: You will need a microphone for the times when you are showing off that great voice of yours. You will also need a microphone stand.
3. Speaker Stands: I recommend speaker stands for your speakers, to raise your speakers up above peoples heads when playing in restaurants, and coffee shops, ect... You dont want to drive people away, or blow anybodys ear drum.
4. Promo Stand: You will need a promo stand that you can use to place your promo material, your CD's, and any of your contact material for people to see, purchase, and take as they come, and go. This can be something that is portable, small and compact, but looks presentable.
5. Tip Jar: I recommend a tip jar, something that, again, looks presentable.
6. Play-a-Long Library: I recommend a play-a-long library for all musicians, especially for solo musicians. As I have stated in my previous article, "Tips for the solo musician", you can make a living just playing solo gigs, and targeting small establishments.
7. CD, or, Cassette player: You should have a CD, or cassette player with a pitch control to play your play-a-longs through your PA.
8. Computer: If at all possible, you should have a powerful enough computer to record your own CD's. You can also make your own Play-a-longs with your own style of music.
9. Recording Software: You will need some kind of recording software for your computer. I recommend, Cakewalk.
10. Soundcard: You will need, in some cases, a sound card for your computer. I recommend, Sound Blaster Live.
11. Keyboard: I think all musicians should have some kind of keyboard. There are hundreds to choose from, according to your budget.
12. CD Burning Software: You should have some kind of CD burning software. Again, there are hundreds of choices. Microsoft Media Player is free.
13. Business Card Software: I recommend some kind of business card software for your computer. "Parabim Business Card Builder", is a very efficient one.
14. Musicians Website: Every musician should have a website. I recommend, "Host Baby", everything you need in a musicians website is here.
15. Internet Promotion Program: A program to help promote your music, and yourself on the internet. I recommend, "Musicians Power Promotion System".
These are just some of the things that will help you on your quest to be a successful solo musician. One thing to remember is,...Always Act...Look...and Dress proffessionally. That first impression can make, or break you.
Just click on the links provided in this article where indicated, and you will be taken to the particular website, were you can find the item.