Written By: Elliott Gallagher Doucette
So, you’ve made your way to Steve’s Music on Queen Street or Long and McQuade on Bloor Street and bought yourself a guitar. Your friend has an old drum set he inherited from his brother who left for university and you’re looking to start a band. Once you’ve learned a handful of songs, the next step to stardom might seem like an impossible hurdle: getting a gig.
How does one get this said gig? You might be thinking: is it just something that happens? Or are there certain steps I need to take? Well, the most important thing about finding your first gig is to start small. Don’t forget that you must put in a fair bit of effort yourself. Try contacting small local establishments like coffee shops and restaurants. Venues like these are always looking to have live music to attract customers. If you’re good enough, the venue will most likely invite you to play again.
So, now that you’ve got a couple shows under your belt, you’re naturally going to catch the “gig fever” (a.k.a wanting to play a bigger venue). The easiest way to do this is by networking online. If you make a Facebook page for your band, it is a lot easier than it seems to make yourself known to larger acts looking for opening bands.
One simple way of getting your name out there is by posting in the Facebook group known as “Indie-Rock Youth Toronto”. This group is designed for people to chat with other musicians and advertise what they have to offer musically. If you’re feeling shy and not looking to throw yourself out there for a bunch of strangers to analyze your music, don’t worry, not all hope is lost for a larger scale gig! There are venues all over the city that anyone can rent to play their own concerts. Of course you’ll need to sell tickets and advertise to your family and friends, but that’s easy! After a little hard work and jitters, you’ll have gigged your way into a great local band! Good luck my fellow musicians.