playing to 0-1 person audiences

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Joined: 09/09/12
Posts: 80

It's tough trying to be a musician. It's harder than I thought.

My band keeps having bad luck. We are replacing members in the band almost every 6 to 7 months. College kids join us and then they are moving. Non college guys keep bailing on us.

The last lead guitarist we had just stopped coming to practice and hasn't answered texts, emails or phone calls since he left 6 months ago. No communication whatsoever. He just left. We thought he was dead at one point and had all of us worried. That is until he showed up being active on facebook.

He's still got my distortion pedal by the way and I'm a little ticked off.

and we play free shows all the time. Never get payed. We got payed once. $100.

$25 each.

but we didn't draw enough people for a big crowd so they are not inviting us back.

We did manage to get a little gas money for a house show but they haven't invited us back because we don't go to all the house shows and support them. Not on purpose though. I work night shift. 10pm to 7am. Guess what time the house shows are? 10pm-2am. So I can't go. Since I can't go we don't get to play.

We've played to 0-1 person audiences. That gets really discouraging. We are pretty much having band practice at the local bars.

Sometimes we draw in a crowd but it's nobody random. They are friends that we have to pull their teeth to come or our singers parents and cousins will sometimes come.

I asked this one time on facebook because I was pretty upset.

But I'm beginning to think my band just sucks! We suck! Someone told me you can't be like that. We all think we suck but you will reach out to the proper audience in time.

We rehearse all the time so we are tight on our songs. We are writing new material. We are about to come out with a cd.

So I don't know if we suck or what. I'm doing everything I can to make a presence online but 50 subscribers on youtube and 10-20 views on our videos doesn't cut it.

This sucks.

# 0
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,857
Originally Posted by: NickFerra

It's tough trying to be a musician.

Yes, it is.

Your story is very similar to many other people trying to do the same thing. I've experienced all the things you mention & more. The only thing you can do is to decide if it's worth it. And if it is, then keep going. Try to find a way to make it work. Or, if you decide it's not worth it, then try something different that makes your life more pleasant.

It's extremely unlikely that everyone desiring to make a living playing original music is going to be successful. Or even everyone that want to play music (not even original) is going to make a full time living.

It does sound like you've had a hard time with band members. My suggestion there is to find more commited, professional people that are willing to follow through. But even then, there's no guarantee of anything.

If you are young it's easier to decide to hang in there & keep trying. Why not do it? After all you are only young once. But in the end if you aren't as successful at it as you might desire, it's not the end of the world. Keep trying to enjoy making music & move forward with your life.

Hope this helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 2
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Joined: 09/09/12
Posts: 80

Thanks for the advice.

I guess it feels a little better knowing others have went through the same thing.

I'll never give up on music and guitar.

# 3
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Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 658

I had a friend who taught piano at a university. She told all her students "Don't try to make a living at music, unless you absolutly just can't help it!"

Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 4
Registered User
Joined: 07/23/17
Posts: 27

Thats a sad story! Are you still enjoying it though? Thats the main thing!

Makes me think of my profession (I'm a teacher, not music but chemistry) and how I am always trying to engage. Easier for me, as I have a captive audience, albeit one that mostly doesn't want to be there!

To keep them onside, I'm always doing random, but fun stuff (cannonfire, blue bottle, Van der Graaf) just to keep them engaged. It's great when I overhear students talking about how much fun they have. Does your band have a gimmick like that? Could be something to think about, doesn't have to be anything to crazy, but something that could make people think, "hey, we should see those guys"

Good luck and keep going!

# 5