So Gyroscope started in 97’ but only started gigging seriously in 99’. In that year we played 104 shows and followed it up with 110 shows in 2000. The amount we improved as a band over these two years was HUGE.
We played another 120 shows over the course of 01’ and 02’ and by the start of 03’ had signed a record deal and had embarked on our first national tour. By the time we played our first show on the east coast we had already played over 300 shows here in Perth. We were ready!
In my opinion if you want improve as a musician and give your band a healthy chance of ‘making it,’ then playing live is the single most important thing you can do.
It also happens to be a hell of a lot of fun and the reason you probably picked up an instrument in the first place.
Talking to Hen House bands over the years, it seems that a show every 2 to 4 weeks is the norm for most bands. This equates to roughly 20 shows a year.
The reasons for this can be attributed to a number of the usual suspects;
- Not enough live venue’s.
- Friends wont come to our shows if we play every week.
- We are stuck playing with the same few bands in our scene, how do we break out?
This can be a separate blog post in itself so I wont go too deep but if other bands can get around these problems then your band can too.
If Gyroscope gigged at this pace we would have only reached 300 shows by 2014 instead of 2003. Massive difference hey?! I think this shows you how you can fast track your bands ability and hopefully success if your willing to really go for it, and play live more often.
Perth should be used as an incubator for your band. Its the testing ground where you will find your feet. Don’t worry if know one is coming to your shows because you play too often.
Once you become a national band you wont have any problems pulling folks to your hometown shows and people will recount the good ole days when they could see you for free and with only 7 other people watching the show.
Playing 1 or 2 shows every week will result in some pretty explosive growth in a number of areas for your band. Im going to discuss the 3 biggest improvements your band will see as a result of playing live every week.
Improved Band Chemistry
Band chemistry is the beating heart and soul of your band. A strong dynamic band chemistry results in stronger more accomplished songs. Ultimately you want to write great songs. Great songs will lead to;
- Stronger shows (Supports etc)
- Radio Play (JJJ etc)
- Touring opportunities.
Developing that chemistry also leads to;
- Strengthened friendships within the band.
- A greater understanding of how everyone’s unique personalities gel.
- Shared memories and experiences. (This is important as it solidifies your resolve when the times are tough and you all get sick of each other from being on tour too long.)
Stronger Work Ethic
Work ethic is the backbone of every great band. No band, especially from Perth has gotten anywhere without working really fucking hard. Playing live improves this work ethic rapidly. A strong work ethic involves being organised for a number of things;
- Rehearsals for the shows.
- Rehearsals for songwriting in between all the gigging.
- Promoting the shows even though your playing another 3 shows that month.
- Balancing the band with the rest of your work, study and life.
- If you want to give your band a 95% better chance at succeeding then work 95% harder than the rest of the bands.
Killer Live Show
Gyroscope has never earned a cent from any of our 4 album releases. Where bands make their money is off the live show and merchandise.A great live band inspires people to hand over their hard earned dollars. Bands only become great live performers by practicing and playing live. This results in;
- Tighter more compelling shows.
- Better band to audience interaction.
- Word of mouth (Can you believe how awesome &*$%# were last night)
- Better musicianship.
- Greater confidence.
I really believe that success in music is actually around 70% hard work and 30% talent. The trick is that talent can be developed through hard work. If you have the hunger and the drive there is no reason why you can’t be an amazing musician. Just remember the most important thing is to have as much fun as possible along the way. That way, whether you make it or not you had a great time giving it a go.
Rob Nassif – The Hen House Rehearsal Studios