Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 209 - Harmony and Hustle: Navigating Partnerships and Persistence in the Music Scene

Episode 209 - Harmony and Hustle: Navigating Partnerships and Persistence in the Music Scene

Friday, December 01, 2023

Listen to Today's Episode:


Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared Judge shares a personal and insightful journey about persistence and seizing opportunities in the music industry. He recounts his recent experience partnering with a top DJ company in Denver, detailing the process from initial networking to finally performing together at an award show. Jared candidly discusses the importance of following up, being persistent, and the strategic decisions involved in such collaborations. He also touches on the technical aspects of his setup for the gig, providing valuable insights for fellow musicians. This episode is not just about a gig; it's a lesson in patience, persistence, and the power of networking in the music business.

Best Quote

"Partnering with event planners and venue owners has been a higher priority for me."


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What's up, gigging pros? It's Jared Judge welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

It's actually been a couple weeks since I recorded the last episode. Lots been going on here.

We had Thanksgiving, my wife and I got COVID, so it was like a two person Thanksgiving, which was still great. We actually kind of really enjoyed not know, the stress and pressure of traveling and family in cramped spaces.

Would have been nice to be around other family, but we really made the most of it. And then yeah. So I am actually on my way up north in Colorado to a town that I actually don't know how to pronounce the name.

Maybe some of you will be able to help me out. It's called Bertude Berthoud to a golf course. TPC, Colorado in Bertude or Berthude, I don't know what it is to play a gig with a DJ company that, know, working to kind of do some partnership with.

So it's DJ company. They're a pretty big deal here in the Denver area. I'd say they're one of the top three.

It's kind of interesting how that kind of works in major cities, is that there really are like three or four DJ companies that are the big dogs and then the other guys are more hang on one SEC.

All right, so as I was saying, yeah, there's a couple top DJ companies and the rest are kind of single operated smaller shops for DJs. And the reason why I am playing this gig, this actually is a gig that I've been wanting to partner with this DJ for a while.

I met them over a year ago at a networking event for people in the wedding and private events industry. And as a solo instrumentalist, it's a very popular thing to play alongside DJs. Like, the DJs will mix their tunes and then you will add rhythmic accompaniment or some fun solos on top of it.

And it's an added bonus if you can dance on the dance floor and get people riled up. And that's very popular at weddings and corporate events. And so I've been wanting to work with this company for a while, but we met over a year ago and we chatted.

We actually did a zoom call a year ago that led to him saying, like, yeah, we'll put you on a roster. It'll be fun. Let's make it happen.

And then nothing. Crickets. So I hadn't heard from that DJ company and so know, kept doing my thing, kept marketing myself, marketing my face off as a musician, as we like to do here on The Gigging Musician Podcast.

And then fast forward eight months from then. That brings us to September of this year and I went to another meeting of that networking group. And this time I had already been partnering with two other DJ companies and have played a couple of gigs for one of them.

And at this specific networking event back in September, 1 of those other DJ companies had me play alongside them. We were both sponsoring the event, which is a fantastic strategy to get your name out there.

And I think I've talked about that at length, but you can never talk about it enough because most musicians still don't do it, despite the fact that I show you how many gigs come from it.

So anyway, I was sponsoring this event and I was playing alongside the other DJ company when guess who comes and shakes my hand. It was the original owner of the original DJ company who put me on his roster, but then didn't give me anything, which was totally fine. I didn't mind it.

We all get busy and so we get chatting and it was fun. And he was like, oh, you sound great. We definitely have to work together.

And then I say, yeah, we do. And so we chatted and he's like, I think the first step is let's do a gig together. It's like, okay, that sounds awesome.

When's the next available opportunity? You're probably going to get booked for something before I am. And he said, okay, I've got this gig November 30 at TPC Colorado, the golf course up in Birth, and let's have you play with one of our DJs and we'll make it a fun event. And I said, sounds great.

And so I learned more about this gig, and it's actually an award show for a magazine called NOCO Style, which stands for Northern Colorado. And they're having like their Best of 2023 awards, of which his DJ company, I think, is like they're winning an award for that, which is pretty cool. And so I'm playing under his DJ company.

It's billed as his DJ company, which I'm totally fine with. But what's more important is I'm developing this partnership with him. He's paying me out of his own pocket.

I believe he's sponsoring this event himself, which that's a huge indicator of why musicians should sponsor events, is that DJ companies are sponsoring these events and thus they're getting a crap ton of them. So he's sponsoring the event and he said, I'd like to pay you even though I'm not getting paid. And he offered me a price range.

I would like to pay you between A and B. And I said, okay, let's do a and a half. So right in between A and B, he's like, thanks, man.

Appreciate it, brother. And we agreed to it. Then we had a phone call last night.

Yeah, yesterday, just to go over the final details. And it was like, yeah, why don't you do your thing? You can plug into our sound system. He left it up to me whether I did.

He actually proposed to me. When you're a soloist who plays with backing tracks, you either can play with backing tracks and play with the melody, like what the vocalist would normally sing, or you can play the fully produced track with the vocalist still singing in it, like Beyonce is still going to sing Hips Don't Lie. And then you just add your rhythmic accompaniment and your solo on top of it.

He said, well, which would you like to do? I heard you play at that meeting, like the events industry meeting, and you were playing solo in addition to mixing with the tracks. I know you could do both. Why don't you pick what you want to do? And so we did a little bit of Deliberation and decided, let's just do me playing with karaoke tracks.

And I'll plug into his DJ's sound system and make it sound really good. And so that's the planning that happened. So now I'm on my way to Berthud, which was an hour and 15 minutes north of me.

And it's a really pretty drive, actually. Didn't really have me go on highways. I think the highways had a lot of traffic.

It's like 430 right now, so it'll have me getting there at five one, which is exciting. And then that gives me about an hour to set up and sound check, which should be plenty because it's a pretty simple setup. I just brought my electric violin, my mixer.

I'm going to play my tracks off of my iPad. I got a new like one of the things I love about the Bose S One Pro, which I'm not using at this gig, is the fact that it's got Bluetooth. So I have my backing tracks playing off of an app on my iPad called Forscore.

Some of you might use forscore already. And it's cool because you can have your sheet music if you use sheet music or lyrics. And then you can attach the backing track to it and then play it while reading the sheet music or reading your lyrics.

And then you can have the iPad connected via Bluetooth to the Bose S One Pro to play the backing track. And then you connect your instrument with a quarter inch to the S One Pro, and it has an onboard mixer to handle that. So I am not using my Bose S one pro.

And I realize there are going to be a lot of situations where I won't be using the S One Pro, but I still want to use the Bluetooth capabilities of my iPad. So I bought on Amazon for like $25. I hope it works well.

I've got backups in place if it doesn't. A Bluetooth receiver, that's typically for stereos, and what it does is sorry, you lost train of thought there. You connect your iPad to this receiver via Bluetooth, and then it has an output of whatever you want.

So a quarter inch or RCA out. Actually, it's 8th inch or RCA. So I'm going to use the RCA outs to go into my mixer, which has RCA in, and then I'm going to be plugging my electric violin via quarter inch to one of the other inputs on the mixer and then give the DJ XLR out so that he could run it through his system.

So hopefully that's not too technical for you, but maybe some of you guys nerd out about that stuff, like me, and I'm going to pause right now. Sorry about that. Drove right by a cop and didn't want them seeing me recording a podcast.

Anyway, this podcast is getting over nine minutes here, which I try to keep it under ten minutes, so I'm going to wrap things up, but hopefully that gave you guys some good insight about following up and persistence, because I guess I didn't really do a great job of following up with this DJ.

I could have done a better job, but truth be told, I had other priorities. Partnering with DJs is not the top priority for me since I want people to book my own act independently of any other company.

So partnering with event planners and venue owners has been a higher priority for me. But that being said, these opportunities still can bear fruit, so don't just ignore them.

Luckily, I had a built in opportunity to follow up because he came to the event that I was sponsoring, which was pretty awesome.

But there are more active ways to go about this, so that's the lesson there. Hope you guys enjoyed hearing that story. And by the way, we are running our very next challenge starting December 18.

It is the wedding gig challenge. So if you want to Book Your First (or Next) Wedding Gig and you want to know how to do it, maybe you've never done one before, or maybe you have and you want to book more, fill out that 2024 calendar, then go to, that's Wedding Gig Challenge with Dashes in between the words and sign yourself up.

It's totally free. It's five days an hour training each day. There will be homework for you to accomplish that will actually get you closer to booking a wedding gig.

In fact, some of you may book a wedding gig during the challenge, which I'm really excited for. So go ahead and grab your spot there before signups close. And remember, "Your music will not market itself!".

Take care, everybody. Bye.

Episode 232 - From Bar Gigs to High-End Events: The Renegade Musician's Guide to Success

Episode 231 - Leadership in the Music Industry: How to Secure High-Profile Gigs and Take Charge of Your Career

Episode 230 - Unlocking the Secrets of Consistent Networking and Modern Sales for Musicians

Episode 229 - The Power of Networking and Recommendations in the Music Industry

Episode 228 - Navigating the Gig Economy: Venue Tours, Expos, and the Power of Numbers

Episode 227 - Strategic Moves: Venue Tours, Expos, and Unexpected Gigs

Episode 226 - Maximizing Gigs: New Tools for Tracking Success and Boosting Bookings

Episode 225 - Unlocking Gigs: Venue Tours and Strategic Partnerships

Episode 224 - A Day in the Life: Venue Tours, Unexpected Gigs, and Networking Wins

Episode 223 - Landing Gigs Post-Wedding Expo: A Musician's Success Story

Episode 222 - Navigating the Wedding Expo Scene: A Musician's Journey to Success

Episode 221 - Maximizing Success at Wedding Expos: A Musician's Guide

Episode 220 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: Venue Tours and Virtual Assistant Strategies

Episode 219 - Maximizing Your Music Career: The Power of a Personal Assistant

Episode 218 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: A Musician's Guide to Preferred Vendor Success

Episode 217 - Gigging Musician Podcast: Joe Deninzon Interview


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