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Where to Find Work with Signed Artists?


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Hi Y'all


Ok I know that the first answer to this is always networking and being the best and most prepared you can be at all times (and I preach this to anyone I meet!)


I'm a 22 yr old fulltime professional pianist/producer living in Liverpool, UK and I gig 5/6 nights a week doing functions/bars etc. I programme and produce as much as I humanly can. I'm earning a very good living (around £35,000 a year) but my life aim has always been to play on large tours and work in great studios so by all intents I'm not achieveing what I've always wanted to.


I had my first proper taste of this a couple of weeks ago playing for EMI signed artist Lily Allen. I was depping 2 gigs for her usual dude and all went well. You can see the vids on the front of my site if it interests you: http://www.petewatson.com





I have since been hot on the back of it trying to contact session agencies and management folk forwarding my CV and stuff to see if anything springs up, but its catch 22 as they won't use you if they haven't used you before - so how do you get used once!!?


I was wondering if there are any session agencies (UK based) that you guys recommend, or contacts you have etc. You can hear plenty of my playing on my site to see what kind of things I do/don't do. I'm in a really good position to move to London if I have to as I don't have a rental commitment at the moment and I could move down in the drop of a hat if anything came up!


Also was wondering where people find out about band auditions etc as the "Stage" mag seems to be all function work as far as I can tell.


Anyhows, all avenues are worth pursuing and this is one of em so fingers crossed!


Thanks in advance, Pete

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Pete, the best way to "get on" is to continue practicing what you preach and are presently doing i.e. GIG.


Since you are still fairly young, make sure that you get out there and play i.e. stay on the scene. Gigging with your peers is an excellent way to build up your contacts.


If/when those cats get gigs, they might provide a recommendation for you when it comes to the keyboard work.


Also, you never know who might be in the audience at one of your gigs.


In the years I've been around this business, networking and luck have been the most consistently winning tickets.


Sure, a few people hit the lotto in terms of getting high profile gigs through agencies and other means but it mostly comes down to who you know.


You have to be "in the loop" i.e. around folks who are working within the industry and/or close to it.


Keep pushing and good luck. :cool:



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

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No problem. That is why we hang out here. ;)


Try to put those major commitments on hold as long as possible while trying to establish yourself in the music business.


Not impossible but harder to network and do whatever it takes to get in the game once you have responsibilities unless you have an extremely understanding and patient support system.


Ahhhh, what I might consider to be 22 yrs old again. :cool:



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

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I was depping 2 gigs for her usual dude and all went well.
depping? Translate.


substituting for ...?

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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Oh sorry - depping means "stand in for." Didn't realise it wasn't a common term! I heard it came from the word deputy meaning second in command but this may be made up!


And to reply to Colonel Trouble...not quite certain how I've ended up in the position I'm in now, mostly its been being in the right place at the right time, I was gigging a fair bit whilst at college (age 16 - 18) but everything turned professional when I started university (LIPA) in liverpool : http://www.lipa.ac.uk


The week after i started I got a phonecall from a singer called Toni James who was 25 at the time and she had already been giggin in restaurants lots for the past few years, her pianist was moving to London and she needed a replacement. As it was all jazz duo work she asked if I played left hand bass, I lied and said yes, got some gigs in the diary and then rapidly learnt how to do left hand bass! We've worked loads together over the past 4 years including writing 2 albums which is where my producing comes in.


Through working with her I've met lots of people who have in turn offered work so it was a lucky meet! However, I should clarify that I make my living from playing and producing is my hobby (i'd love to make money from it but no joy as of yet!)


So with regards how you can make a living, theres loads of routes. First off being get a setup to work with (band/singer/solo) then get a rough recording and simple promotional material (biography/pics etc) all can be done for under £100 and consider it an investment in your career! Then set a few days aside to go round bars restaurants, function rooms, wedding planners and agents (this site is unbelievable for them - http://www.agents-uk.com/agents/find/ ) and you'll get at least some work from that, the rest comes from word of mouth and being the best you can be...ie:


1) Be Punctual

2) Turn up Well presented

3) Be Polite

4) Have transport

5) and finally comes talent!


So many musicians I know aren't making a career from there work because they are lazy or suffer from being bad at the firs things in the list - and these are some AMAZING players...however combine all the 5 points and hopefully you will prosper for many years!


Hopefully that helps you out as much as I hoe someone can help me out - good luck with it all anyway, its a great job whereby you can be your own boss and every week is different!



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Thanks for the advice. Ive recently applied for the B.Ed course at the RSAMD in Glasgow. Teaching isnt necessarily what I want to do when I leave UNI , but the degree will leave me with the ability to get a job, and also with some technically skilled piano playing.. But after RSAMD (If I get in) I would like to go to a more industry centred place like LIPA , to try and get work as a player instead of a teacher.. Who knows.
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Hi Colonel


The only problem you may face with going to LIPA after studying at RSAMD is fuding I think. If I'm right then the government will only fund one 3 year degree course (ie, student loans etc.) so with your second that you consider at LIPA, you would have to stum all the money yourself which is hard!


If money isn't an issue then all is fine, but also bear in mind that 6 years of studying is a loooong time ;)



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