Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 236 - Elevate Your Performance: Becoming a High-Paid Gigging Musician

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

Saturday, July 06, 2024

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared Judge shares his journey to becoming a three to ten thousand dollar musician. He discusses his strategies for making performances more interactive and engaging, drawing inspiration from top-tier performers. Jared also covers the importance of matching your marketing efforts to your performance value and offers insights on how to set and achieve high goals in your music career. Tune in to learn how to transform your gigs and stand out in the competitive music industry.

Best Quote

"But, you know, I want you guys to first understand you guys can create your own edge, too. Just because you don't play electric violin doesn't mean you can't create your own edge."


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- Breaking Into High-end Gigs Masterclass: How I Went From Broke Musician to Thriving By Breaking Into These Largely Unknown High-Paying Gigs


What's up, renegade musicians? It's Jared Judge. Welcome back to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. And this episode is actually recorded the same day that the last episode was after I just got done playing another Thursday wedding.

And I'm excited because this is kind of an update to the Morning podcast, because in the morning podcast, I talked about, you know, how I want to become a three to $10,000 musician, meaning that I get paid three to $10,000 per gig.

And I'm going to do this by making my performances worthy of that payment. And I'm also going to do that by making my marketing of my music worthy of that.

And so it's kind of like a twofold thing. I do believe that my performances could, could have been more valuable. Like, I already think I have a unique category here.

But on the first podcast, the episode I recorded yesterday, I talked about how I saw this saxophone dj player. I think he's based in Texas or California. He travels, and he charges that exact range, three to $10,000 per performance.

He targets mainly the wedding industry, and he accomplishes that by djing, but also by playing live tenor sacks alongside his music that he dj's. And so I'm not interested in djing. So that's that.

However, I do believe I can get there because I, you know, the electric violin category is so unique. Nobody really expects to hear, you know, EDM or hip hop or pop music, t swift on electric violin. So that already kind of gives me an edge.

But, you know, I want you guys to first understand you guys can create your own edge, too. Just because you don't play electric violin doesn't mean you can't create your own edge. And the second part of it is, I was watching his videos, the saxophonist's videos of his performances, and I just noticed how interactive he is with the audience.

He moves his body, he's dancing, he's getting up on chairs and playing, all while maintaining a very good tone, accurate rhythm, and all that jazz. This improv is really on point. And I know that my improv is pretty good, too.

My rhythm is pretty good. And I got to give a quick shout out to Tracy Silverman for teaching me the strum bowing method for how to play kind of rhythmic guitar licks on violin. That has definitely changed the game.

And I think that's actually one of the ways that is helping me break into that higher end. Three thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars mark. So today at this wedding, I decided, you know, screw it.

I'm going to start today. I'm going to start trying to be more interactive, moving my body more and just rocking out. Really making it intentional that I'm going to exert more energy.

Yes. But in a way that's safe. And just look for opportunities to be unique, stand out, be different, be more entertaining.

And I would actually say today was a success. I played the wedding ceremony and the cocktail hour, and what was really cool was that their wedding ceremony was right by these nice rocks. And I'm not talking about small rocks, I'm talking about big boulders, like, big formations.

The interesting part is this was a venue that was probably only, like, ten or 15 minutes away from red rocks, which I played there the other day. And so this venue was really cool. It had a really cool rock formation.

And then where I was stationed was there was, like, a little gazebo at the back of the ceremony. And I decided, you know, the first thing was that I'm going to use those rocks in my performance. Even though it's a wedding, it was, like, perfectly stationed so that I could play.

I play wirelessly these days, so I don't need to worry about running cables. And so I positioned myself on top of these rocks, and it was kind of like hiking up a little boulder and positioning myself there. And then my speakers were kind of far away.

I almost felt like I should have used in ears just because it would have helped me hear the backing track. But I think I was pretty good. The only thing I was concerned about was, like, is my tone quality okay? And is my intonation okay? Because with the electric violin, it doesn't output any sound unless it's going through a speaker.

And the speaker was so far away, it was definitely hard to hear. But being on those rocks, choosing that unique position, taking advantage of that opportunity, really, like, made some heads turn. There was two dj's who were also sharing that little gazebo where I was mainly stationed.

And, you know, we were chatting, and then I said, I'm gonna go play. And then I go get up on the rocks and play my backing tracks. And they were like, holy, you know, crap.

They cursed. What are you doing? Like, in a positive way. They're like, dude, that is effin awesome.

And they took a bunch of photos of me. They took a bunch of pictures. I also attracted the attention of the photographer, and I don't think I was doing this in a way that was taking away from the wedding.

I think I was giving the people coming in something unique to walk into and experience, and that's kind of you know, I mentioned the other day that I went to a nace meeting, national association for catering and events, and there was a presentation there by a live painter, and she was talking about wedding trends and with the way the industry is moving, and she said, one of the huge things is just giving these people an experience.

They need to feel like they're walking into something magical. And I feel like what I did today absolutely did that.

The other thing I did, which I mentioned earlier, that my marketing needs to match these higher end gigs, was I did bring my focus right, and my laptop, and I brought a little tripod, and I got there early, and I recorded myself playing a couple tunes plugged directly into logic pro, so I could actually have really good audio right from the mixer.

And so I did that, recorded maybe three or so tunes, and also used my iPhone on a tripod to capture the video of that. I'm a little nervous because it was windy, so the tripod definitely was, like, shaking back and forth, but I can probably stabilize that in Capcut.

That's the software I use to edit video. So I got some really good video. And during those videos, I was very intentional about moving and dancing and grooving with the music, and I think it really came across there as well.

So I'm excited to, like, see what I captured and then synchronize the audio with the stuff I recorded in logic. And then, yeah, for cocktail hour, you know, it was in a different spot. But, you know, I use a Bose s one pro.

All my stuff is battery powered, so no cables, really was just one trip for my music stand, an instrument, and then another trip for the Bose s one pro on a. On a speaker stand. So I set up, and then I played a bunch of tunes.

The couple picked a really fun playlist. Cheap thrills by Sia was on it. What else was on it? Despacito, which is always super fun to play.

Here comes the sun driver's license. And then there wasn't. They didn't quite pick enough music for their cocktail hour, so I added to it.

I added a couple zed tunes, which I think were appropriate in case anyone's interested. The songs were beautiful now and thirsty. Those are kind of like some of my favorites to play of Zed in the EDM world.

And, yeah, while I was playing cocktail hour, I was, again, intentional about interacting. I wanted to interact more with the crowd, so I did dance. I moved around a lot, and people were definitely noticing and kind of, like, dancing a little bit along.

I think the thing that I need to do better at is interacting with the crowd, like, making more eye contact, smiling. I think I probably have gig face. You know who has gig face? We all have gigface.

So that's something I want to get better at. But I think I really did a much better job at this gig than I have at, I want to say, any other gig that I have as far as, like, the performance side, not just the musical side.

The music was good, and I think the moving and grooving actually helped contribute to the music being better, more interesting, more locked in with the drums and the bass.

But I think the visuals were much more entertaining. And that was evidenced by the fact that as I was packing up afterwards and people were walking by to get to the dinner, a bunch of people were like, dude, you rock. And in fact, one of the ladies said, she called me king.

And she said, king, you really rock? Or something like that. I was like, thank you so much. I haven't really been called that before, so that felt really nice.

But I'm married. Come calm down. So, yeah, we had a good time at this gig.

And yeah, the DJ's were very impressed. They asked for my card, and then the coordinator of the venue was also very impressed, and I gave him a stack of my cards as well. So all in all, I think the update to this morning's podcast was huge success.

This is definitely something I'm going to incorporate in every performance now. Just the interactivity, the dance ability, just leaning into it more, finding more opportunities to be creative with what I do, like standing on rocks and. Yeah, I think, think it's just going to be a much more popular thing.

I did kind of want to circle back. I don't know if I shared this exactly, but there is a book, some of you may have read this. It's from the twenties or fifties, something like that.

It's called think and grow rich. It's by Napoleon Hill. And one of the chapters, it's like, I don't know, ten or 15 chapter book about how to get rich or how to get what you want out of life.

And one of the chapters was setting your definiteness of purpose, setting your intention in the world. And so you kind of have to actively decide, this is what I want in my life. In my business, I want to be a three to $10,000 violinist per gig.

And so Napoleon Hill said that you have to have definiteness of purpose, declare your intention to the universe, and then figure out how are you going to get there, which for me, I am going to deliver performances worthy of those three to $10,000 gigs.

And my marketing is going to match three to $10,000 gigs. So I hope that you guys are seeing how I'm following that principle.

I've declared my intention, and then I've determined exactly how I am going to do it. The other missing parts of that is I need to go reach out to more venues and deliver more exciting performances and get on more preferred vendor lists.

It reminds me, you know, Bruce Lee, the actor who, you know, did a lot of kung fu films, that kind of thing, he was a big thinking, grow rich fan.

He read it, and he actually wrote a statement of his definiteness of purpose. I don't know it exactly word for word, but he said that he is going to be the first million dollar. He called himself an oriental actor.

That's his words. And the way that he is going to get there is by rendering exceptional performances and becoming the first superstar. And he accomplished his goal because he set his intention, and then he came up with an exact plan of how to do it and then executed brilliantly on that plan.

So, yeah, I'm excited. Obviously, the adrenaline is pumping. Plus, on the way home, I got to drive by Red Rocks, which is my absolute favorite venue in the whole world.

And just seeing those towering red rocks was very inspirational. And, yeah, I hope that you guys get a chance to see it someday. I kind of want to do, like a meetup of all the musicians that I've worked with or who listened to the podcast, and it would be great to do it at Red Rocks.

That's kind of one of my intentions for the world. So if anyone's interested in that, let me know. I could try to plan that in the next couple years, and that's all I got for you guys today.

By the way, if you want to break into the high end gigs, you want to see exactly how to do that, you want to get a step by step plan of executing on that goal. Then I invite you to my free high end gigs masterclass, where I will show you the way to break into the high end gigs. It's totally free.

All you got to do to register is go to There's a dash between high and end, and register for free. It's happening soon, so don't miss your spot. All right, thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

Remember, "Your music will not market itself!". Bye.

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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