Tom Olsen Music Social

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How to keep a steady gig going 

One of the goals of many musicians is to find and keep a 'steady' gig. These are regularly scheduled performances that last for months and hopefully years. Over the past 10 years I have enjoyed three weekly gigs at restaurants or churches and have been able to keep one going now for 6 years What is the secret to keeping a gig? I think it involves several things 1. Be on time: start on time, take breaks that are not too long, and end on time. 2. Keep the volume down: no noise complaints. 3. Be…

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A marketing strategy for bands 

So you are a musician, perhaps with a band, and you wonder: how can I get more corporate gigs - like holiday parties, new year's eve parties, client appreciation gigs, etc? I am that musician and I have considered lots of advertising and marketing options. Place some print ads? If so - where and what will you get from that effort? Print some postcards and do a mailing? Where do you get the mailing list? What about an email blast - where do you get the emails to blast? Maybe you could try a trade…

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You know your kids come from parents who are musicians when... 

1. Your preschooler spontaneously starts singing/saying phrases like 'boom chicky wah wah' or 'be-tah chick, be-tah chick...' 2. Your kids grab chopsticks and start banging on pots and pans 3. You overhear one kid say to the other 'I'm sorry, I can't, I have a gig' or 'I have lots of gigs today' 4. Your daughter makes up songs about the sky, trees, bugs, dogs, cats, sun, moon... 5. The end of the movie must play through the credits because it is a cool song 6. A movie is a good movie because the…

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Songs for a funeral 

Recently I played solo piano at a funeral. Although I did not know the deceased personally, I know the family. The service was a Christian one, with a country preacher officiating. I feel honored to play at times like these. It is a way to give of myself and to try and help. While researching some songs to play, I found very few that I recognized. So here is the start of a list I like to play. I expect to keep adding to this list over time Songs for a Christian Funeral Service Amazing Grace My…

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One way to find employment 

One way to find employment is to create something. If you create it, you can potentially earn a living from it. Is this creative career choice conventional? I'm betting not. Truly successful entrepreneurs blaze their own trail Like the comedian Chris Rock said recently when interviewed by Maya Angelou on her radio show. He was in a room with lots of comics auditioning for Saturday Night Live - and noticed most of the others had done way more preparation than he did for the audition. Much to his…

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The Little Shepherd Boy 

When I was in elementary school, I sang in the all city choir and performed a solo that started: 'I'm just a poor little shepherd boy...'. I sang higher than most of the girls in the choir - this boy soprano, with the white hair, who blushed so much I often caused people to point and stare. This was a seminal moment for me, because my singing was recorded on an LP. My dad bought 3 of them I think - only one survived that I know of, and it was recently damaged. But the memory of that song remains with…

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You are Here 

I'm happy. This website is my virtual leap off the end of a diving board and into the world of professional musicians in which I have lived for several years. My signpost in the web-scape stating 'You are Here'. My square footage at the bizarre electronic bazaar; my turn to play; my moment to let my light shine. I have that slightly queasy feeling that I have learned to trust because it has preceded most of my decisions that are correct. I'm here - on the www - and that is awesome My photos on the…

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