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Performance Tip No.6 - Know Your Audience - The Money Gig

As always the performance workshops raise questions that make you think about how you approach performance. This is based on a recent discussion. There is a big difference between playing a concert like performance and playing a, for want of a better word, "money" gig. What I mean here is one where you are earning bread and butter cash while you build your musical chops. Generally your money gigs are bars, restaurants, wineries, cafes, private functions etc. where instead of a single set you are doing 2-4 hours. Firstly, if the venue caters for a specific style or genre, e.g. blues, folk, Australiana, Country, it is a safe bet that that is what the audience is there to here and if you stick within that genre you'll be half way there. The same applies if you are advertised as playing a particular type of music prior to the gig. Again your audience will be receptive to that style. If this is not the case, then you need to think about what type of crowd is likely to be there. Sometimes the person that books you isn't necessarily in tune with their patrons perferences in music. Most standard restaurants want middle of the road and popular covers as background music and to serve a variety of patrons of all ages. Bars may be a younger or older set - find out. They have an 'image' that' you need to fit from start to finish. Private functions are even trickier. For a wedding the music will be generally chosen to suit the tastes of the bride and groom - however there will be parents, aunts, uncles and other miscellaneous folk who perhaps want something a little different. If you can't accommodate the odd request out of your normal repetoire Like it or not, you need these gigs to get references for other gigs or to keep a residency to hone your craft. Make sure you know who is going to be there and what they like. These are the hard yards but they teach you so much about performance.

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