32 Flavors

It seems to me that in this day and age everyone wants something a little bit different from the norm.  Just having the choice of vanilla or chocolate isn’t enough and if you were to pick one of these simple flavours you might be tagged as boring.

The same goes for more than just food though. How many times have we heard kids screaming for an iPad white, because, like, everyone has the original one. Even simple things like admiring a friend’s shoes end in you buying them in a different colour, because it just isn’t done to be the same.

But what if you have a product that is better than your average bear? How do you go about promoting it to the masses? After all it should be obvious that what you have is superior to the competition, but unless you have the gift of the gab then no one will know about it.

That’s what has been happening to my best friend. Scott runs LightBeat Laser Disco which is a disco with a difference. The light show is all lasers; he has some of the most up to date lasers in the country and can create stunning effects on a budget that any party host can afford. He really believes in giving his clients the absolute best and so goes the extra mile for clarity of sound and atmospheric lighting for their events.

Don’t believe me? You can check it out at:

www.lightbeat.weebly.com

Standard laser setup

Standard laser setup

Quick Lessons – Don’t Be Good, Be Lucky

It’s the most obvious part of being a gigging musician, especially if you’re a soloist.

ALWAYS SIGN A CONTRACT!

Whilst I was in Africa I set up my own solo act. I’ve been doing it for three years and I have always drawn up my own contract. If the client doesn’t sign it, then there’s no sax at their wedding. So how did I manage to forget that this time?

Now it looks like the gig will be cancelled, meaning hours of practice and music hunting have gone to waste. I cannot emphasise just how much I was kicking myself. Until I got a little email from my client.

“I’m sorry for the inconvenience.  We will, of course, forward you a cancellation fee of 50%”

It helps to be good at what you do. It also helps to be a jammy little bugger.

 

So, take my advice, and remember that contract!

Creative differences

I suppose it was daft of me but I always assumed that ‘creative differences’ happened to bands who had had a good run.  Bands that had either done a few albums or toured all over the place beacuse surely, I reasoned, bands which are just starting out all have the same concept and end game in mind. But apparently not.

In my last post I eargly wrote about the rock n roll band I play for and how we had been signed for an album. We spent a really great week in the studio and were due in one final day (that being today) for the mixing. Then yesterday Shorty Kennett quit. Which poses a problem in a band called Shorty Kennett and the Goldstars. Creative differences, aparrently.

So if you want to be the lead singer of a gigging rock n roll band based in the Andover area do get in touch.  You never know the band could soon be ‘your name here’ and the Goldstars

MusicConnex

This is a quick post with a very important link

http://uk.music-jobs.com/blog/

If, for whatever reason, the link doesn’t take you to the UK Music Jobs blog about the MusicConnex event this link will.

http://www.musicconnex.co.uk/

The events is designed to help self employed musicians connect with other musicians and use social networking to its best advantage.

Tuesday 19th – Thursday 21st April

Kings Place

London

BUT

Tickets start at £199.00 each

(No you didn’t read that wrong.)

What to do with my Baritone Sax – Part Four

It survived!

My good friend Gustav gave me a hand to pack it.  The secret, he said, was to make sure it was completely immobile inside the case.  So, naturally, we stuffed it full of clothes and put a paperback book between the bell and the case.  Next came the bubble wrap inside the case.  As I said in a previous blog I used suitcase straps to hold it closed due to the busted zip. Then the case got covered completely in bubble wrap and about as much packaging tape.

It does sound like overkill now that I write it out but the upside is that the bari has arrived unharmed.

So, there you go.  My tip of the week of you have to travel with an instrument is to immobilized it inside the case.  It seemed to do the trick.

 

Where in the world do you go if you are a musician?

I’ve come to the conclusion recently that the adage ‘the grass is always greener’ is totally inescapable.  No matter where you go or what you do there is always something better just over the horizon.  There is always someone better than you as a player and always a better venue you could have picked.

So where is the best place in the world to live if you are a musician?  I suppose it depend on what kind of musician you are.  If you are a didgeridoo player then you might not find a lot of work in New Orleans. Or if you are a serious classical musician then Lincolnshire is probably not the county for you to live in.

But what if you don’t know?  Is there a way to pick when you can’t honestly say what kind of a musician you are?  My current theory is that if you don’t know take to a Big City where you can have a go at everything until you’re sure. (Or if you’re a student go to uni.)  The only problem with that is that it will take you longer to build a reputation.  Actually, thinking about it, maybe its better that a lot of people know you a little bit rather than having a few people know you well.  Take my cousin’s death metal band, in the death metal circles they are very well known and in Switzerland there are adored, but elsewhere in the world they’re completely unknown.

Is there a perfect town, city or area to live in if you are a musician? I’d seriously like to know.  Just what is it that you as a musician are looking for in a city? And what are the things you hate to see?

The Job Race for Musicians

There is nothing worse than moving moving to somewhere completely new.  I’ve done a lot of moving in my time and the worst part is always beginning the network game from scratch.  You have to get luck and meet the right people at the right time with the right skills.  It’s very difficult.

When I moved out to Cape Town I found the game to be more of a challenge than normal.  They don’t really believe in the internet over there and there are no County Services or other overall governing music bodies.  So moving to England should be a snap.

I’m not long into the race but I thought I’d share some of the sites I’ve found so far that have opportunities for Musicians in England.

http://uk.music-jobs.com/

Is an obvious place to start.  You can sign up for free and create a basic musicians profile.  You then have the option of upgrading your membership to their premium package.  It gives you a great idea of what is out there but you have to upgrade to the premium packages (£10 a month) to be able to apply for anything.

Its a similar story with sites like www.starnow.co.uk and http://www.creativejobscentral.co.uk. The difference between the two is that Creative Jobs Central wont even let you look round the website if you haven’t paid their fee.

www.musicalchairs.info has a fantastic range of job categorised by instrument and its completely free to use.  The only problem is that I have yet to find a posting in the UK.

One brilliant website is www.cv-library.co.uk. Its completely free to use and the range of musician job they have is brilliant. There is also the bonus of creating a profile and perhaps getting head-hunted for the job you desire.

The other websites are the ones that take time to go through.  There are the sites like gumtree, guardian-jobs, job-rapido, fish4jobs, the list goes on an on.  If you are a music teacher these sites are brilliant, if not then try websites such as www.sax.co.uk and look at the notice boards.

If I’ve missed anything that needs a mention do leave me a comment and let me know.