talent buyer

Jim Casson, like many musicians in the GTA, wears a lot of different hats in the music business. I first met Jim when he played drums for a few songs on the Gary Kendall project I sound engineered at Euphonic Sound. Jim is an awesome drummer with boat loads of feel. He’s also a really smart dude with years of experience in multiple facets of the music industry.

The other day Jim posted an email response on facebook to a band that had contacted him for a booking on a show Jim was “buying talent” for. Here is what he said:

OK – quick lesson to all young and part time musicians about how to get gigs from talent buyers. I sent this as a response to an act that wanted me to hire them for a concert series that I run.

Hi ****

Thanks for that email, but as a full time musician, please allow me to give you some advice. And please don’t take this the wrong way as I’m just trying to help you and other area musicians get work.

When you’re trying to get gigs from a venue, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to like you.

For example you sent me instructions on how to google your band’s FB page instead of sending me the direct link. Luckily I’m a bit computer savvy so I got to the page you wanted me to see.

However, when I got there all I could find was some listings of where you were playing and some photos of you playing. It didn’t tell me anything that I wanted to know about you. I scanned it quickly and then got frustrated and left.

You have about 10 seconds to capture the interest of a buyer as there are 100s of bands trying to get the same work.

As a talent buyer, I need to know the following.

What kind of music do you play!!!!
I want to hear that music – NOW!
I want to see video of you playing – NOW!
I want to know who has hired you before and how it went (references and testimonials)
Who’s in the band?

You should have a web page or EPK (electronic press kit) to showcase your band. Even a reverb nation type page or My Space would work. A Facebook fan page does nothing to help get you work. It’s great for telling your current fans where you are playing but nothing else.

I’d love to say I’ll put you on our list for consideration, but you didn’t really give me anything to consider.

I hope you take this the right way as it is intended to help you understand better what is needed to get work like this and not be frustrated when you don’t understand why you were not hired. I get so many requests like this and I truly believe it is because so many musicians don’t understand what buyers need to see.

You may be the greatest band around, but from what you sent me, I’d have no idea.

Good luck with your gigs and I hope to hear from you again next year with a presentation that makes me interested.


Jim could have been a jerk about this. Or not have responded at all. So a big thanks to Jim for sharing his knowledge. What else can be done to increase a bands chances of getting gigs?

Print This Post Print This Post