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Archive for January, 2013

Gig #45 Log Jam (a low key evening)

Gig #45
1/4/2013
Gig #45 The Log Jam (a low key evening)

The Gig:
Not much new to write about here. Chris, the owner of the Log Jam in Grand Ledge MI. has been having me in regularly on Fridays the last couple of months.

The Lesson Learned:
After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I assumed that venue would be pretty quiet and low key compared to last several gigs that I did at the Log Jam. My assumption was correct, normally when I arrive about 8:00 to bring in and set up my gear, the place is pretty much packed, but tonight it was pretty quiet . I was actually kind of relieved, I know that a small turnout is not good business, but I was looking forward to a more relaxed evening myself.

Thinking back, I kind of remember being a little bummed at a gig I was doing one night because the attendance was so low. But this time I was in a different mind set, plus as I’ve been growing musically I knew that I still needed to provide a positive experience for the listeners regardless of there numbers. I used this opportunity to create a more intimate experience for the listener and of course in hopes to gain another fan or two. I spent the evening interacting as much as possible with the patrons. I made eye contact (as much as I can without glasses) with as many people as possible. I acknowledged every applause. Every time someone would say something to me between songs or make a comment, I acknowledged them and responded kindly back. All of this worked well. I could tell that some of these people really felt involved, it seemed as though they were making a conscious effort to make sure they never missed an opportunity to clap or make a comment between songs, like a new friend who wanted make sure that I knew that they were paying close attention. I learned a lot at this gig and will always be as involved as the listener’s will allow me to be.

I would like to touch a little more on the subject of getting involved with the patrons. Over the almost two years that I have been involved in this project, I have gone to watch a lot more solo acts than I ever have. I have also paid much closer attention to the performer and his performance, trying to see what works well and what doesn’t. What works is very obvious, it the guy who interacts with the patrons. I’ve become kind of a “fan snob” if there is such a thing. Kind of like a wine snob. If I spend the time to come out, spend a few bucks and maybe even bring a few friends out to listen and support an artist the last thing I want to expense is some stuck snob that thinks for some reason he rides on a higher pain than his listeners do. This is surly a one-way road to disaster. How can one grow his fan base if he has an arrogant attitude? Again, remember you are only there because your presence brings in more dollars for the owners. End of story

How did I create a “buzz” for this gig? (An added new segment)

As I mentioned in my Gig #43 commentary, I don’t think I’ve talked at all about marketing one’s self yet. This is a subject that I’ll get into more throughout my remaining blogs.
It is always good to try to create some type of a “buzz” for lack of a better term about your gigs, to draw in as many people as possible, hence tims52gigs blog.

If there was a buzz, it would have been though association. I explained what I mean by association in my last blog entry titled Gig # 44. The association would have been though getting as involved as possible with the listeners, thus giving them a little more to remember me by.

The Music:
It’s kind of funny. I’ve found that usually my first 3, 4 or 5 songs go pretty well. Then I start to get a little self-conscious which makes me a little nervous which then tends to lead mistakes. Next, I always seem to settle down and regain some confidence. This night was no different. Once I worked though this state, everything went good. The 2nd and 3rd set went really well. I was quite satisfied with my performance

Special thanks to:
• To Chris (the owner of the Log Jam) for inviting me back again
• some of my friends that came out once again to show the support
• My wife Kim, for enduring yet another Friday having to listen to her husband sing in lieu of several other things she could be doing. Thanks again for the support honey.

Looking forward to the next one,
Tim

 

Gig #44, The Log Jam (tips for a cause)

Gig #44
12/7/12
Gig #44 The Log jam (tips for a cause)

The Gig:
Not much new to write about here. Chris, the owner of the Log Jam in Grand Ledge MI. has been having me in regularly on Fridays the last couple of months.

I had recently learned that one of our local guitar player/singer solo acts Joe Wright has been raising money to provide a Christmas party for some of our homeless veterans both here in the Lansing area as well as a community south east of us in a town called Niles. As I learned more about the event though the event’s website at http://voachristmas.com/, Facebook and other media sources, I felt compelled to do something to help. One of the ways that Joe had been raising money was though music, including a fund raiser at the Whiskey Barrel Saloon in East Lansing, Michigan where Joe and 5 or 6 other bands gathered on a Sunday to raise money for the event. That gave me the idea to put out a tip jar at my next gig and donate %100 percent of the proceeds to his charity. Even though I didn’t expect to raise much I remember what Joe had written in the VOA website “It’s not a sales pitch when I say that everything counts. $5 … $10 … a few dozen cookies … or a crock pot of meatballs. It all makes a difference” . That was enough for me to feel even one night’s tips were worthwhile.
Before my gig the following Friday I had made up some flyers requesting tips for the cause. At my gig I taped them up everywhere I could including my speakers, mic stand and music stand. Several of the patrons expressed their application and donated.
I caught up with Joe at one of his gigs the following Sunday and gave him the donations. I’m hoping to do more for next year’s event though the power of music.

The Lesson Learned :
See the next segment below.

 

How did I create a “buzz” for this gig? (An added new segment)

As I mentioned in my Gig #43 commentary, I don’t think I’ve talked at all about marketing one’s self yet. This is a subject that I’ll get into more throughout my remaining blogs.
It is always good to try to create some type of a “buzz” for lack of a better term about your gigs, to draw in as many people as possible, hence tims52gigs blog.

Although my intentions when I decided to donate my tips (that I hoped to raise at my gig) to the Volunteers of America’s Homeless Veteran’s Christmas Party was not to create a buzz around myself, the ripple effect though association did just that. What I mean by this is that one technique to help someone remember something or someone is to associate the person or thing to something that they create though their owe thought process. If you have trouble remembering names of people you meet, try to associate them to someone else you know with the same name. As an example: if you meet someone named Mike, and you have friend named Mike, think to yourself, he doesn’t look like my friend Mike. His hair a black and my friend Mike’s hair is red and his nose is long and Mikes is small and so on. What this does is help you recall Mike’s name next time you see him because you have associated other thought to his name. You have made it more than just a name. You have given more resources for your brain to help you remember his name easier. Thus some of the patrons at my gig have more to remember me by than just the singer/guitar player at the bar one night, they also subconsciously associated the singer/guitar player to the guy who was also donating his tips to a cause. And even more so to the people that engaged in the act of walking up and physically putting money in my tip bucket because they added association by creating the action.

The Music:
The music went pretty good. I back off my reverb a little which seemed to add a little more clarity to the sound.
One couple that had met up with friends for dinner stayed and listened until I was done even though there friends had left a couple of hours earlier.

Special thanks to:
• To Chris (the owner of the Log Jam) for inviting me back again
• Several of my friends that came out once again to show the support
• My wife Kim, for enduring yet another Friday having to listen to her husband sing in lieu of several other things she could be doing. Thanks again for the support honey.

Looking forward to the next one,
Tim

Gig #43 The Log jam with the Lansing Night out (website) crew

Gig #43
11/30/12
Gig #43 The Log jam with the Lansing Night out crew

The Gig:
Not much new to write about here. Chris, the owner of the Log Jam in Grand Ledge MI. has been having me in regularly on Fridays the last couple of months.

The Lesson Learned:
I don’t think I’ve talked at all about marketing one’s self yet. This is a subject that I’ll get into more throughout my remaining blogs.
It is always good to try to create some type of a “buzz” for lack of a better term about your gigs, to draw in as many people as possible, hence tims52gigs blog. One must always remember that the only reason a bar owner pays to bring in entertainment is for the payback. This is accomplished with the hope that the entertainment would draw in additional patrons (including his friends and family) and, by keeping people at the establishment eating and drinking longer than they would have if entertainment wasn’t available. So it is your job to do everything you can to bring in as many people as you can. The bottom line is, if you don’t, you may not be asked back.

How did I create a “buzz” for this gig? (an added new segment)
I’m always keeping my eye on the Musicians link listed my local craigslist website under the “Community” tab. I found a listing that said something about advertising your gig’s for free. I checked it out; the listing directed me to a website called Lansingnightout.com. I attempted to list my gig but was having problems getting my info to post. I found the site administrator contact info and sent an email asking for help. I ended up talking on the phone to Rob who I think is one of the co-owners of the site. We chatted for quite a while about music and why they started the site. He said the site was pretty new (to our area) and said that I may have been the first person who has attempted to use the self-posting tool, he would look into it and get back to me.
Rob texted me back a little while later and said something like “dude, you are the first person to post your own gig on the site”. Though our correspondence, Rob said that he/they may come out to my gig if they had time. Rob did show up and introduced me to Jen and 4 or 5 other people (sorry, not so good at names) that he bought with him including their website photographer who took several pictures which ended up on their their website. So how cool is that, I met the owners of a website that list local entertainment. Learned how to post my gig on the site. Then they came out and took some of pictures of me and some of my friends which the posted on their site. And in turn they got to pass out their cards and promote their site. I call that creating quite a buzz.

The Music:
I was pretty nerves. The place was packed. I would say the music was just okay. Just got to keep moving forward and do the best I can.
Since I got called back to play again, it must have been good enough.

Special thanks to:
Chris (Log Jam owner)for giving me yet another opportunity to hone my skills and do what I love.
• To Ron, Jen and the lansingnightout crew for joining the party.

Looking forward to the next one,
Tim