On how to find the best gig for you as a guitarist/musician

11 Nov

       In the ever changing world of the music industry, it is getting more and more challenging to find your way as a guitarist (or should I say as a musician) and make a successful career out of it. I think the best piece of advice I can give from my experience, is to do a realistic checklist of your strengths, of where we stand as a musician, of your goals and then make a plan on how to achieve them. It is very important to review these goals from time to time and even more important to renew them once achieved (or missed!!). Without a goal to work toward it is very easy to loose our way.

       First of all there are a few dualities we have to explore: are we a leader or a sideman? Solo artist or band member? Do we find work for ourselves or would we rather be part of a team?  Do you want to be a jack-of-all-trades or the best at just one?

       Do you have a product to ‘sell’ or are you all form and no content?? This could be a CD, a book or even just a song you really believe in. Maybe it is time for you to start writing your own material rather than covering somebody else’s or mimicking parrot-fashion your idol, or the ‘in’ act of the moment. You always stand a better chance to make it with your own material, and believe me the rewards are much bigger, especially from a personal point of view. You can record your own album or demo at home with very little gear, so no excuses there.

       Another misconception I seem to hear many times, is that a musician has to be only a performer to be called a musician…actually some of the most well established guitarists I know are not only performers, but also writers, teachers, producers and more! This is why well rounded musicians stand a better chance to make it. Overnight fame very rarely happens. Most artists concentrate on developing different ‘streams of income’ or earning a living through a combination of session work, writing, producing, and any other music opportunities that may present themselves. Networking is a key element in all this and nowadays it is easier than ever with social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook. Having said that, nothing beats going to live gigs, meeting face to face and building long lasting relationships.

       Building a Mailing list is vital if you want to keep your connections alive! These could be for people that like your music and are your fans, or clubs where you want to play, recording studios, management companies, and more. Keep those email addresses in a safe place, and don’t be afraid to use them!

       After all that, I must say must say that one thing is still true: follow your instincts!!


A short list of websites where to find gigs/work in the UK as a musician:




www.gumtree.com – Pick your town and search in their musicians' section.

www.myspace.com – Musician exchange  section


http://www.bandmeup.co.uk/ – band looking for venues venue looking for bands








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Gianni Chiarello has gained a reputation as an extremely versatile musician, having professional credits as a guitarist, bassist, arranger and producer. His music is a preconception-free mix of Jazz, Funk, Blues, R&B and contemporary elements, influenced by .

Born in Italy, in his forming years he performed with some of his country’s finest musicians working towards developing different styles, from rock to pop, funk and jazz. In 1999 he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, on a scholarship program, where he graduated with a Degree “Magna cum laude” in Professional Music, studying under the direction of Mick Goodrick, Hal Crook, Brett Willmott and Dave Samuels, also playing in the Boston area and along the States’ east coast as a freelance musician.

Alongside studio work, he has been performing with, and leading as Musical Director, numerous bands and orchestras, comping for celebrities from the sixties like The Platters, The Coasters, Bobby Arvon, The Diamonds, Vegas – Broadway entertainers like Tony Tillman, Kenny James, Hal Fraiser, Lorna Luft, Ben Vereen, Susan Anton and Roy Walker. Furthermore his work entailed musical theatre style production reviews, encompassing shows such as “Smokey Joe’s Café”, “We Will Rock You”, “Starlight Express”, “Grease” and “Rent”.

After relocating to the UK in 2005, has performed, amongst others with Robbie McIntosh (John Mayer, Paul Mccartney) Jeremy Stacey (Tom Jones, Sheryl Crow), Jason Rebello (Sting, Jeff Beck), Iain Ballamy and many others. His latest instructional eBooks can now be purchased online: “Contemporary solo guitar” (2008) and “Contemporary blues soloing” (2009) “Contemporary Blues Chords and Comping” (2011)

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