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aberdeen-music

finding work as a musician in aberdeen


Ally Anderson
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i get where your coming from i am just trying to find out the best way of getting gigs and how other local musicians go about this?

Ahh, right. In most cities unless you're a fairly well-known name you're going to have to get some free gigs first. Open mic nights, etc. If you're "above that", i.e. have been playing them for a few months or have a bigger sound (or indeed are in a band) then handing in demos to local venues is a good way of landing opening slots at fairly decent gigs. Further than that, you can seek out booking agencies. Aberdeen Gig Promotions are a good one, as is Interesting Music Productions. Both of these can be found on Facebook and presumably on Google. I would advise you get a few small gigs under your belt, some of them unpaid(!), before you even think about getting an agency to represent you.

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Not strictly true, i know people in Aberdeen who play in bands rather than work, not everyone is in it for the art. You can make good money up in Aberdeen if your doing the right kinda thing.

True, I suppose; wedding bands/cover acts will probably make a lot of easy money if they're good at their stuff.

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Yeah, weddings and functions are the way to go, but even then making a living would be a lot of work. An average function band can get £250-300 for a friday or saturday in a bar and in today's climate few if any bars take on bands mid-week. At 5 members, that a max of £120 per weekend. Wedding bands I've seen charge anything from £500-£3,000 but you've gotta be GOOD, be willing/able to learn a couple's song requests at little notice and all that jazz.

Just write a song and sell it to Simon Cowell or something?

xx

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True, I suppose; wedding bands/cover acts will probably make a lot of easy money if they're good at their stuff.

Yeah man, to put it in perspective, i play in a covers band, part time now a days as the guys live outwith Aberdeen, we played a wedding just over a year ago and got £1000 for the night, we got the gig because we were just about a grand cheaper than the next option they had. When we did normal gigs in BOD and town we were on £400 a gig, £600 for xmas eve and £800 for hogmany. If you can get a gig a week you can make a hell of a lot of money. Personally i got bored of gigging every two weeks as we were back then, but i was working full time, practising twice a week and gigging every friday or sat so it got too much after a while. If your not working you can quite easily make a living.

You wont make a living playing original music in Aberdeen tho, not to that extent anyway.

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

all the above is true assuming you are talking about 'band' work but as a musician just about anyone has the potential to make money regardless of their geographical location due to the little old internet.

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If it's original stuff you want to do, going to gigs is a good way to network and find people to play with. Getting in with local musicians usually gets you in contact with local promoters. Hen at The Tunnels is a good starting point.

Plus, going to gigs is fun!

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thanks to everyone for your input greatly appreciated.!!

the reason why i asked the question was to find out if aspiring musicians found it easy enough to get gigs themselves. my dad played all over scotland for the best part of 30 years whilst my mum did all the bookings for him and a good few other bands, and seemed to do quite well from it.

anyway i am trying to research as much as possible into the promotion/booking side of things to see if iT can be improved and made easier for musicians to get gigs in aberdeen and aberdeenshire.

i have a few ideas i would like to develop if there are bands or artists finding it hard to get gigs or getting there music out to people.

if anybody is interested in helping develop some ideas just get in touch ...

thanks to all who replied to my first question!!

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There are agents up here who can help you if its covers stuff, we used a few but found it a bit of a waste of time as most of the gigs they could book were ones you could do on your own, they would just take a cut of your money for the evening.

Its like most things band wise, you need to meet a few people to really get you going, we knew a few of the people that run the football club out in Ellon, so we used to get to play their fund-raisers out in the hotel to the right as you come over the bridge (canna mind the name) and from playing them we got offered various other country side gigs. From there and the fact we played a lot in bod to this day we can get gigs at the drop of a hat we just dont play very often anymore.

I would be interested in hearing your ideas none the less, give me a PM on here or mail me @ milnerpoint@hotmail.com.

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Ally, I'm not sure where you're coming from pal. Are you aiming to do stuff for yourself or are you looking to set yourself up as an agent?

Not strictly true, i know people in Aberdeen who play in bands rather than work, not everyone is in it for the art.

At the end of the day playing covers can be great fun and is a perfectly valid form of musical expression.

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Wedding bands... blah blah... but you've gotta be GOOD

Not true. I've been to two weddings in the past couple of years and both wedding bands were toss. You can make it as a wedding band by being toss, it seems.

One thing about getting gigs is how cliquey EVERYWHERE ON EARTH can be. It's not about being the best, it's about knowing the right folk.

Fixed so it is now correct.

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