Bernie Schallehn

Life, Literature, and All Things Lyrical

Booking?--Be Brief!

December 15, 2012

Tags: music, bands, booking, musicians

Taglines are used when you're pitching a book to an agent or editor. When you're trying to option or sell your screenplay, it's called a logline. In either case, it answers the question, "What's it about?" Here's the line I use when pitching either my script or book called PARKIE: After losing both his wife and his job, a nerdy accountant winds up living in a bizarre, but oddly idyllic trailer park.
When booking your band be brief! Club owners/managers don't have the time (or patience) to hear you stumble through a poorly-worded or vague definition of what you're trying to sell.
Compare these two pitches and determine which one is more likely to land the gig:
Example#1
Club owner: "So what kind of music do you play?"
You: "Well, uh, we're kinda, sorta, like an alternative Americana jam funk post punk band."
Example#2
Club owner: "So what kind of music do you play?"
You: "Blues."
Now, not every song in your repertoire has to be a blues tune, but those songs should be in the majority. Examine your set lists and determine your genre. ( Many bands are helter-skelter when it comes to their repertoires. The types of songs are a mish-mash of too many genres. These musical ensembles are an all-service diner when they should be an Italian, Chinese, or Mexican restaurant.) However, it's okay to mix a bit when you're pitching. "We play Classic Rock with a little bit of Modern Country" is a cogent and acceptable pitch. "Hip Hop, Rap and a little R&B" is easily and quickly understood. And you can get a bit more specific within the genre. "Three part harmony-driven Acoustic Rock" works just fine.
So, in sum:
1) Know your genre(s)
2) Be brief in your pitch
3) Speak with confidence
And ALWAYS tell the club owner you have a HUGE following! HA!
Until next time...
Play on

~Bernie

Selected Works

Fiction
The saga of a septic tank cleaner desperate to hit big in country music.
The life and times of a female traveling hypnotist in the late 1880s.
A nerdy accountant winds up in a bizarre, but oddly idyllic trailer park.
A dark, semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama involving two brothers.
Self-help
Mind Matters assists the drummer in conquering mental and emotional obstacles inherent to the art.

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