School of The Rock


Expand Your Reach

Written by Paul D. Race for SchoolOfTheRock.comô


For most independent musicians, the “end game” is connecting with people through music.  Which means your music has to be good enough to keep people coming back, and you have to make connections.  For most independent musicians the best place to connect with your audience is when you’re standing in front of them doing what you want to do.

But how do you get to that point?  Starting out is the hard part.  “Back in the day,” you usually got someone you knew to pull strings to get someone he knew to let you come play in his venue, even if it was just a pool party or the like.  If you were lucky enough to be featured as a soloist in your school’s show choir or church choir, that would at least give you some experience in front of people. 

Soloists and acoustic duos today may be able to take advantage of open mikes once in a while.  But sooner or later, you want to play more gigs, gigs that let you play a whole set or two, and gigs that actually pay you.

This page is still growing.  We expect to continue providing articles as well as links to resources that are available elsewhere.

On Our Pages

  • Researching Local Gigs, tracking down places that feature live musicians doing the kind of thing you do.
  • Touring Tips, including a great article by guitarist Daryl Shawn, and links to many additional online resources.
  • When Should You Play for Free? - addresses a question facing any musician who wants to try stuff out in front of people but doesn’t like making money for other people and going home with empty pockets. 

On Other Pages

Companies like CDBaby, TuneCore, SonicBids, and DiskMakers provide a lot of free information resources because they depend on the success of the independent musicians who keep them in business.  Some or the resources are more helpful than others, and many of them overlap or contradict each other.  But consider this (and the article above) as a “required reading list” to go through when you’re even considering your next tour, much less planning it.

Personally, I like to download the PDFs in case they are taken down or restricted later.  They also tend to be more comprehensive and better thought-out.  That said, when you share them with your friends, please share the links, not the PDFs.  That’s only fair to the companies that provide them.  Yes, you will get spammed a little, but I don’t mind spam from people I signed up with on purpose.  :-)

  • SonicBids, who makes their money mostly by getting their clients to apply for gigs, has a wealth of resources about getting local gigs here
  • Right now, you’ll also find some other helpful resources in our careers forums

Discussion Forum:  We have started a thread in our discussion forums about this topic.  At the moment, Paul is contributing the vast majority of comments on these forums, but a lot of people are reading them, so we wish very much that you would sign up and join in on the discussion.  Feedback, corrections, additions, etc. are all welcome. 

  • The forum for “Expanding Your Reach,” with many links to articles about getting gigs is here.
  • The form for signing up so you can contribute is here

Keep in Touch:  As always, please contact me with corrections, complaints, clarifications, etc.  If your response is responsible, I'll try to include it in the "reader response" section below.

God bless,



Paul Race playing a banjo. Click to go to Paul's music home page.A Note from Paul: Whatever else you get out of our pages, I hope you enjoy your music and figure out how to make enjoyable music for those around you as well.

And please stay in touch!

    - Paul Race Click to see Paul's music home page Click to contact Paul through this page. Click to see Paul's music page on Facebook Click to visit our discussion forum. Click to hear Paul's music on SoundCloud. Click to see Paul's music blog page Click to learn about our Momma Don't Low Newsletter. Click to see Paul's YouTube Channel. Click to see Paul's Twitter Page

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