Your band, Crunk and the Dunkmasters, has played a few shows now and you are looking to improve your setup, live show, and credibility. You already have an input list. What do you do next?
1 -Write a Biography
The Wrong Way:
We are Crunk and the Dunkmasters and we are the biggest band from Derpcity! We are the first band to play at crapshack jacks last year and were going strong and we will never stop and I promise you that I am in it for the long hall. I will sleep in a box under a bridge to make my dream come true. Like I have many times before We have an eclectic blend of progrock and metal and hardcore screamo and we played for Pennybacks and Caged this summer. For like 800 people! We don’t have a cd yet tho but I will soon. we know u want it.
The Right Way:
“Crunk and the Dunkmasters are a progressive, hardcore band from Derpcity, NY. They served as local support for Pennybacks and Caged at Summer Slam Fest 2015. Writing for their debut album is underway and they are excited to be performing some new music. Please contact Bill at [email protected] for booking information.”
No one knows who you are without a bio, but if you share information in a way that represents you as a band of fools, touting your supposed “fame” and overall sloppy appearance, no one will take you seriously (at least no one but your Derpcity friends.) It never hurts to add your contact information at the end of your bio either. Gmail will be fine until you are paying for a domain and e-mail addresses. You bio doesn’t have to be a book; you’re a new band and that’s okay. Just make sure your bio shows a balance of professionalism and personality. Include whatever accolades and notable concerts you’ve played, press releases, etc.
2 – Schedule a Photo Shoot
To compliment your new and improved biography, a set of good photos is necessary as a next stop toward your career. The temptation to not waste money, and spend it on more gear, will be present. Instead of buying that 5th Behringer 412, put that money toward a decent photographer. Most major and many minor cities will have a few. You can always Google it.
Wear your usual concert attire, or maybe something less sweat-stained, for the photo shoot. Stay true to the band’s image, and try to coordinate colors and clothing style. If three members are wearing heavy, black, leather jackets and skinny jeans, but your bassist is wearing khaki cargo shorts and flip-flops, it’s time to rethink your wardrobe.
Even with a few new images on your computer, the job’s not done yet. You need to pick which ones you’ll use and make sure they fit your Facebook, Reverbnation, Gigsalad, etc, profiles without being stretched and skewed. Whatever you do, DO NOT use MS Paint to edit your photos. If you don’t have access to Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, find someone who does. That photographer you hired probably knows someone.
3 – Stop Wasting Money
There’s this never-ending, insatiable desire for acquiring more equipment. If you’re looking to make a living off of music, do some research and identify your needs versus your wants. Best idea? Figure out what the industry standard is, and use that as a gauge.
Different styles of music require different equipment, so here are a few examples. Definitely try out equipment before you buy it. Most music stores will let you bring in your pedal board and your own guitar.
Fender – Twin Reverb, Deluxe
Vox – AC30, AC15
Orange – AD series, Rockerverb, Thunderverb, etc
Marshall – JCM800, JCM900, JCM2000
Mesaboogie -Rectifier, Mark Series, etc
Peavey – 5150, 6505+, Triple XXX
There are many more, but use these as a starting point. You can almost always find these used for a sizable discount.
It is absolutely acceptable to mix and match amps to cabs, no one will laugh at you (if they do, they have much to learn.) For Crunk and the Dunkmasters, progressive, hardcore band with two guitarists, I would suggest a 6505+ into Mesa 4×12, and a Mesa Dual Rectifier into another Mesa 4×12. But that is just one combination, the Vox or Fender amps most likely wouldn’t be the best fit for those guys.
We’ll get into a detailed, technical breakdown of drums, bass, amps, cabs, speakers, and the Solid State vs Tube war at a later date.
As always, feel free to leave questions or comments here or on our Facebook page!