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Approaching hotels/bars for piano work


MaFunk

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Morning all,

 

Well the recession (as well as the cold) is biting me in the balls at the moment so i thought i would try and take advantage of all the woodshedding ive been doing on jazz piano during the winter months. Im going to approach local hostelries to offer my services for light jazz solo piano during lunch/dinner or at the bar etc.

 

Any tips on the best way to approach the venues? What kind of e-mail works well? I'll be e-mailing but will also be able to pop in person..

 

im in the UK if that makes a blind bit of difference :)

 

Happy new year

 

Matt

WHAT IS HIP?
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Go in person and make them an offer they can't refuse - offer to play three hours for free for their regular guests. If they like what they hear, make an appointment and sit down and talk to them about possible future work.

 

I've learned that sending e-mails is not the best way to go. They want to see a person.

 

The recession is affecting me here as well. I had a job for this Saturday but received an e-mail (before 10 AM Monday) that they didn't have enough reservations so the job was canceled.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Matt, just out of interest, where in the UK are you?

 

Part of the problem you may find is that a lot of places just don't want to pay anything like realistic money. There's a big top-end Chinese restaurant near me which has a white Yamaha grand in it and usually every Friday and Saturday night there's a guy there playing it.

 

I found out on the grapevine that he was getting 20 quid for the dubious pleasure - presumably with all the chow mein he could eat. Unfortunately, stories like that are not uncommon.

 

But Dave's advice strikes me as sound and it could be worth trying, especially if you're in a big metropolitan centre.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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I live in the midlands in Warwick. Its small but fairly 'monied' i suppose. Very historical town so fairly decent tourist trade..

£20 and some egg fried rice seems a little on the stingy side i agree.. I would play 2-3 hrs for £40 - 50 given the opportunity.

 

I think Dave is right too (thanks Mr. Horne :)) - I would only be practising at home, and if it turned into paid work then fantastic!

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Go in person between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00pm and ask for the food and beverage manager. That's their slack time and when you get the best chance of actually talking to them. Have a CD ready - but better yet if there's a piano there offer to play it on the spot. That's because the CD may never get played.

 

If you drop off a promo package, chances are it will never get looked at. An e-mail will never get opened. Some things about this business never change. It's still one-on-one face-to-face.

 

Your timing couldn't be worse. January is traditionally the slowest month of the year for restaurants and bars as people try to make good on their New Year's resolutions, and the credit card statements start coming in from the holidays.

 

You might want to wait until spring. I'm serious.

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Yep, not the best time to hunt for this work, Bill, I agree. But Matt, I think you're in a better position than me - there's still more work around Warwick then Stoke, where I am!

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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Or maybe you nudge the door open now, and keep at it and you'll be there when things pick up. The businesses that succeed when this downturn is over will be the ones laying the groundwork now.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Joe, I think you are correct. Go lay the ground work now for future opportunities as business picks up. But Matt you need to somehow keep the relationship with the F&B manager going once established. Occasionally stopping in for lunch or a quick cocktail to say hello. Remember the old saying "Out of sight, out of mind"......Good Luck!
Montage 7, Mojo 61, PC-3, XK-3c Pro, Kronos 88, Hammond SK-1, Motif XF- 7, Hammond SK-2, Roland FR-1, FR-18, Hammond B3 - Blond, Hammond BV -Cherry
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DH's advice is excellent. ONE free (3) hour gig is no different than practicing at home. Do not let it turn into two or more free gigs and/or playing for egg drop soup. :laugh:

 

In addition to the hotel/bar guests, invite everyone on your mailing list to come out. Good music, a decent turnout and receptive audience should make a good impression.

 

I also agree with beating the pavement while business appears to be slow. Definitely have to remain "in sight" to be considered. Good luck. :cool:

 

 

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Potential employers of music services are hiring musicians to ultimately sell more drinks, food or occupancy. Think of yourself as part of the hospitality and tourism industry and network in the organizations attended by these professionals.

 

In the United States, meeting planners are in MPI and caterers are in NACE. Learn how to be your own agent. Offer music services and not just yourself as a musician.

 

There are organizations for country club managers, wedding planners, food and beverage directors and special event coordinators.

 

The music business is not dying. Music is very much alive. The business is morphing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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