Gigging is what being a musician in a band is all about. Therefore, you want to ensure that the gigs your band plays are as successful as possible. Many bands, especially those that are first starting out, get gigs wrong. It's a shame, because having successful gigs is so easy! In order for your band's gigs to be as successful as they can be, here are the things you and your fellow band members should be doing.
Practice Makes Perfect
Band practices essentially serve two functions. First, they offer a time for new material to be written. Second, they provide a time for old material to be rehearsed. When you're drawing closer to a gig, it's time to shift the focus of your practices from writing to rehearsing. The stage can do funny things to people, so you want to make sure that every band member knows his or her parts inside and out. The only way to make this a reality is to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
Even if you're a hardcore punk band, you should treat your gigs with a certain level of professionalism. This entails doing a number of different things. For one, make sure that your band can efficiently set up and strike its equipment. It seems like a minor thing, but venue operators and booking agents always notice when a band can get on and off the stage efficiently. On that same note, be sure that you stick to the time allotted to you and that you don't encroach on another band's time. Doing this will upset pretty much everyone, and has a high likelihood of costing you future gigs.
Let the Music Speak For Itself
This one is targeted at all you front men and women out there: Keep the stage banter to a minimum. We know your favorite musicians have a gift for gab when they're on stage, but they've earned that rapport with the audience. You haven't, at least not yet. Now, the rest of the band isn't off the hook here. The time in between songs isn't for guitar players to noodle and drummers to bang on the kit; it's a time to make sure everyone's set and ready for the next tune. Part of your rehearsal time before the gig should include shortening the transition time between songs as much as possible. Remember that time you saw your favorite band and they went from one song immediately into the next one? How awesome was that? Be that band.
Stick Around For the Other Bands
A big mistake that a lot of amateur bands make is failing to stick around for the other acts that are playing the same gig. When your band is first starting out, a lot of the opportunities that you're going to get for other gigs are going to come from the other bands that you play with. Therefore, make sure you're showing them your support. As you get more gigs under your belt, you'll begin to notice the acts that only seem to care about themselves, and you'll judge them heartily for it.
Spread Out Your Gigs
Make sure that you're not playing the same venues too often. It's great to get out and play, but if you're playing the same place (or even in the same area) every other Friday, people are going to get sick of you. Keep ample time between your gigs, and use that time to keep your sound and selection of tunes as fresh as possible.
Finally, have fun! The audience is only going to have fun at your gigs if you seem like you're having fun. By doing everything above that we've outlined, hopefully you and your band members can feel nice and relaxed, which will allow you to do what you do best: play music!