It goes with out saying that most cats wish they had more work, more gigs. The following are 4 extremely effective networking methods that you can put to work immediately. Obviously, your playing is the most important factor. The majority of your time and efforts should be focused on becoming the best player you can. Ability in and of itself will attract opportunity. But that not enough. Besides, having gigs is part of the learning process. Get your playing in shape and follow these simple methods for networking with musicians and soon your phone won’t stop ringing.
1 Go to Other People’s Gigs
One of the best ways to start getting more calls for gigs is to support other musicians. Whether they are your friends or acquaintances or even if you’ve never met them before, supporting their music comes with many benefits. People tend to help people who help them.
Decide ahead of time who you would like to perform with and potentially get called by. Once you have that list, follow their gigs and show up to support them. People tend to call people who they have recently seen. If you have already established a relationship with gigging musicians you can increase your own gigs rather quickly this way, just by being on the scene, being part of the hang.
2 Go on introduce yourself
The more musicians that know you and that know your playing the better, How to share jazz balance and the more gigs you’ll have. Again the key here is to be present on the scene. Chances are that at a jazz gig there will be other musicians in the audience. Get in the habit of meeting a new musician every time you attend a gig.
Now, here’s the thing. Network with the express purpose of meeting new people and developing relationships with them, not selling yourself to them. Selling yourself and talking only about yourself is a real turnoff to people that don’t know you. Don’t talk about how wonderful YOUR music is, or what a badass player YOU are. In fact, you will make a much better impression if you focus on them. Ask them questions about their music and what they’re up to. There’s nothing that people appreciate more than being listened to. Of course you want to tell them about what you do but try to focus more on them. Be sure to follow up with them as well. Email them and begin that relationship. You can write something simple like “Hey Man, Great to meet you the other night. See you on the scene.”
3 Be an Organizer
One great way to further your networking efforts is to organize sessions. Cats love to play sessions but many are simply too lazy or busy to take the time to set them up. Being the guy who organizes will have the effect of positioning you as a leader.
If you don’t have many gigs right now than fill your schedule with sessions. This also has the added benefit of being both necessary for and highly beneficial to your playing. But, be mindful of who you call for your sessions. They should be people with positive attitudes, who want to have productive sessions and whom you want to gig with. After awhile these sessions will begin to turn into gigs.
4 Stay on The Radar
Once you’ve built up a sizeable network of musicians it will be impossible to play sessions with all of them, or attend all of their gigs on a regular basis. They may simply be too busy to play sessions, or you may be. But you still need to stay on their minds.
Ask them to become your friend on Facebook or another social networking site. Then keep them posted about what you’re up to. Let them know about your gigs and other projects.
Also, occasionally drop them a line, send them a text or give them a call simply to say Hi, and see what they’re up to. Stay in touch. The more genuinely interested in what they are doing the better.