Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 235 - Embracing the Renegade Musician Mindset: Transform Your Gigging Career

Episode 235 - Embracing the Renegade Musician Mindset: Transform Your Gigging Career

Thursday, July 04, 2024

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared Judge shares his insights on how to break free from the cycle of low-paying gigs and become a successful renegade musician. He provides updates on his recent busy gigging schedule, strategies for raising prices, and tips for leveraging Google Business profiles. Jared also discusses the importance of reputation, interacting with the audience, and maintaining a balance between gigging and family life. Tune in to discover how to elevate your music career and achieve a happier, more fulfilling life as a musician.

Best Quote

"And so I call you guys and members of my programs renegade musicians, because we see what the majority of musicians are doing, and we choose to do the opposite. And as a result, we're more successful. We have better gigs, we have a better time playing, we have better relationships with our families, simply because we're not pursuing the same opportunities that everybody else is."


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What's up, renegade musicians? It's Jared Judge. Welcome back to an episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. If you're not familiar with a renegade musician, I talked about this a couple podcast episodes ago, but basically, the idea is that the majority of musicians are not succeeding with their music, right.

They're pursuing all these low end, low paying gigs that every other musician in their area is pursuing them. Dozens of musicians all competing for the same spot. And it's just kind of a no win situation.

And it's not their fault. It's not your fault if you're not a renegade musician yet. It's just kind of, this is the way that it's been done.

And there's so much precedent, so much tradition of different bar, restaurant, even some venues, just not paying musicians very well because there's just so many musicians who are extremely talented competing for the same spot.

And so I call you guys and members of my programs renegade musicians, because we see what the majority of musicians are doing, and we choose to do the opposite. And as a result, we're more successful.

We have better gigs, we have a better time playing, we have better relationships with our families, simply because we're not pursuing the same opportunities that everybody else is. And so I invite you to join me and become a renegade musician. Anyway, I got a couple updates for you guys.

You know, things that have happened in the last couple weeks, first of which is this. Last week was the busiest gig week I've had in Colorado. I moved here about a year and a half ago, and this week, I played a gig on Monday, a gig on Thursday, a gig on Friday, and a gig on Saturday.

All of them high end gigs. I think most of them weddings. One corporate event thrown in there, and, yeah, it was.

It was crazy busy gigging week. That's probably the most gigs I want to play in a week. I just don't want to trade my time for dollars.

So I don't really try to work that many gigs, but I have such a great time doing it. Oh, I forgot to mention, the Saturday gig was my first ever. Quince, I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly, but it was like a sweet 16, or actually, it was 15.

In the latino community, they threw a gigantic party for their daughter, and it was lavish. It was basically like a wedding. I'd say there's at least, like 200 people there.

And it was crazy. They had a. I don't even know what you call it, but kind of like an indoor canopy that created.

They created and they decorated with tons of flowers. They had a stage where they hired a dj. And then for a part of the, like, dancing section, they hired a band.

And then for kind of the dinner hour, they hired me to play electric violin. And there's a video of it on Facebook and my. My socials.

If you look up extreme strings on TikTok or Instagram, you'll see the stage setup, which was crazy. You actually see a video of me playing still Dre by Doctor Dre. I just kind of put on the tune and jammed along in b flat minor to it, which is super fun.

So, yeah, busy gigging weekend, and as a result of me being busy, this was my sign to raise my prices. So as a strategy on gig salad, because I, you know, even though I am a renegade musician, I still am on Gigsalad.

And there's other directories, but I treat them differently than most, because when I first started, when I first moved to Colorado, I did a little mystery shopping to see what similar musicians to me were charging for the gigs that I wanted to play.

And I was shocked on Gigsalad to find several violinists only charging $100 to play a wedding. And it's like, well, I'm not going to do that. But I did start my prices lower than I normally would have with the intention of building a reputation for myself.

And I just saw that the money is a price to pay for building a reputation. And that is the strategy. Like that.

That is a renegade strategy, is like, you need reputation, you need street cred in this industry. People need to see that they are not the first person booking you and that the people who have booked you in the past really got more than what they bargained for in a positive way. And so I started with lower prices.

I actually did 50% discount off of my normal prices and it's been working. I have more verified reviews and bookings on that platform than most violinists in my category who have been here in Denver for like 510 years. But now that I'm busy, that discount has gone away.

So I paid for it. That payment plan has officially ended. And, yeah, we're back to normal prices on gig salad.

And through other channels where I'm not being compared against other musicians, my prices have also gone up. That way. I'm not as busy.

Part of this was inspired. I saw a saxophone player. We actually, in one of our coaching sessions, we kind of dissected the instagram of the saxophone player, who is amazing.

And I checked him out on, he's got profiles on wedding, wearing the knot and his starting price is $3,000 for a wedding, all the way up to $10,000. And we were just kind of dissecting. What about his profile and his videos and his marketing enables him to charge $3,000 at least, you know, $10,000.

And part of the $10,000. Like, I don't want you to be fooled into thinking that a violinist can charge $10,000 for a ceremony, although it's not. Not completely out of the realm of possibility.

It just takes a different mindset than I currently have. But I do want to get to those sorts of prices for myself as a soloist. Three to $10,000.

But he also DJ's, so that's kind of. He charges that full $10,000 for a full day wedding package, including live performance and DJ. All done by him as a soloist, then.

Yeah, so that's kind of that. Sorry, I just got distracted. And so part of his marketing in his videos is he is incredibly interactive.

Well, first, I have to say, he's got a great musical foundation. You know, his performing on saxophone, I think he plays a tenor sax, is very in tune. The groove feel is just there.

It's so good. And he clearly has mastered scales and improvisation because he's playing saxophone on top of, you know, music that he's also djing. But the.

So that's kind of the first thing is musical foundation. I've talked about this. You gotta be a good musician.

You don't have to be the best in the world, but you do have to have solid foundation. Second is the videos demonstrate every single one of his videos. He is interacting with the crowd.

He is on the dance floor, shaking his booty and dancing up, jumping up and down with the crowd, making eye contact with them, and people are smiling. He's like, you know, pointing at them, bumping his fist. And another cool thing is he is like, when it's not a danceable moment, like, he plays a lot of cocktail hours, too.

He still brings that dance floor energy. So he's still dancing, still jumping up and down. And then in several of his videos, he has this party trick where he gets up and jumps on a chair, stands on a chair and still plays and dances and does his thing.

And people go crazy for it. It's. It's crazy.

Like me being an introverted, you know, classically trained violinist who's crossed over into this, you know, groove based world that ten years ago, the thought of doing that would have made me crap my pants. It just wouldn't have uh, it wouldn't have worked. I was too shy.

And even now, the thought of that gives me some resistance. But seeing the reaction he gets from the crowd when he does that and seeing all these other things, you know, his pricing and all that, you got to put two and two together at some point.

And renegade musicians see what the majority of musicians are doing, and the majority of musicians are not doing what he's doing.

He is definitely a renegade musician, and we renegade musicians see what the majority do and do the opposite. And so I am making it a goal to be more interactive with my playing. I'm going to be dancing a bit more.

I may even try the getting on the chair trick. The fun thing is, I have a. June 1, I'm playing two gigs, both of them high end.

In the morning is a wedding at the Flagstaff house in Boulder, and then in the evening, I am actually playing for my first ever bar mitzvah, which I've never played for bar mitzvah before, but I'm excited. I was hired by a dj company, and that is a $1000 gig, which I'm excited about. So I'm like a third of the way there.

Right. So, anyway, at this bar mitzvah, I think things are gonna get turned. You know, 13 year old kids can get pretty crazy.

So I'm gonna try this out, and if the opportunity strikes, they may jump on a chair. We'll see. I imagine it would go over well, but I think I should practice first because I'm not a young spring chicken anymore.

I'm 34. And so these. These bones and joints don't work quite as well as they used to.

But I have nothing to complain about. I'm still fairly fit, and I'm gonna give it a shot. And, hey, if I do a podcast from a hospital bed, so be it.

All right. Anyway, back to some other things. Other updates.

Yeah, so I guess just kind of one other update, which is something to watch out for. If one of the marketing strategies that we in the events industry can use is having a Google business profile, and that's free to have, you have to sign up for it, though. They won't just give you one.

And what that gives you is when somebody's searching for a violinist in Denver, you will show up not just in the listings of search results, but on the right side in Google. It suggests a business name, and you can see their phone number, website directions to them on Google Maps and reviews. That is a Google Business profile.

It also shows up on Google Maps, and that's super powerful because that is a lot of real estate on somebody's screen when they're searching.

And so if they're searching and you're just a solo feature of you on the right shows up and takes up, you know, like half of the screen, as opposed to the ten or so listings that are just one line of text with a link and maybe a slight small description.

Well, which one do you think they're going to be more attracted to? The one on the right, the Google Business profile.

So sign up for that. Definitely. I had signed up for this for extreme strings probably a year ago, and then I only recently discovered that it was shut down.

My profile got shut down back in March of this year, so two months ago and I had no idea. I didn't even get a notification. And it turns out, you know, the reason why that was happening was my email account got flagged for spam because I was sending out a lot of these marketing messages directly from my Google account, whereas I should have been using an email service to do that.

And they got marked as spam because I was sending the same repeated message over and over again. I got that revoked back in March because I needed my email account, like ASAP. But I didn't realize I needed to reinstate my Google business account.

And so I had like eleven reviews on it and nobody could see those reviews. So last week I discovered that and after going through this five stages of grief, decided I'm going to submit an appeal. And so I submitted an appeal to Google and then just yesterday they reinstated it.

And when they reinstated, I was like looking at it and it was like, oh crap, all my reviews are gone. What do I do? And so I was freaking out a little bit and then I started sending messages to people who have heard me play in the past and including the same dj company that I'm playing the bar mitzvah for like, hey, my Google business profile got shut down. Would you mind just leaving me a quick review? And luckily a couple people did come in and leave me a review, which was so nice.

I just got one while I was recording this podcast, which is awesome. You could check that out. And then after the first review was left, I noticed that all of my eleven reviews showed back up, which, big relief, because, you know, as a renegade musician, that is one of the marketing strategies we use that most musicians don't.

So, yeah, that's kind of a couple stories for you there. Hopefully some thoughts and inspiration. And yeah, this week is not as busy.

You know, I've talked about my wife and I, we have established agreements about how many gigs or how many weekends a month I play and how many are for family, which most renegade musicians don't. Establish those boundaries. And as a result, we.

We live a happier life, I think. And so this weekend is family weekend. I'm excited.

It's memorial day weekend, so we're gonna have a good time. One of the things that we've got planned is we're doing the Coors brewing tour on Sunday, which is in Golden, Colorado. It's about a half hour away from us, so I'm excited for that.

Hopefully there will be some live music as part of whatever we do, whether we see it at a farmers market or, you know, sometimes I just like to go and busk on the street, not for the money, but because it's really fun and it's paid practice. And I do have a spot that does pay very well, but I'm gonna keep that a little secret. You guys will have to chase me down to find it.

So, anyway, that's kind of all I got for you guys today. So thanks for tuning into another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. By the way, if you're interested in breaking into high end gigs, I've got just the thing for you, which is my free workshop, which I do on a pretty regular basis.

But you can check it out for free at That will give you a registration page.

You'll see the date and the time of the next live workshop. I did these live so you can ask me questions, interact with me, and have a good time. But yeah, check that out totally free, and that'll help you break into high end gigs.

All right, that's all I got for you today. Thanks for tuning into another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember, "Your music will not market itself!".


Episode 238 - Breaking into the Bar Mitzvah Scene: Jared’s Electric Violin Experience

Episode 237 - Mastering the Art of Gigging: From Weddings to Bar Mitzvahs

Episode 236 - Elevate Your Performance: Becoming a High-Paid Gigging Musician

Episode 235 - Embracing the Renegade Musician Mindset: Transform Your Gigging Career

Episode 234 - Building a Music Community: Lessons from EDM and Metal Fusion

Episode 233 - Think Like a DJ: Elevate Your Music Career with High-End Gigs

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

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


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