Guest post: Susan Kemman resides in South Park (no kidding), is a Prog music nut and is the Assistant Director of  – and talent scout for – the The Highest Independent Music Tour in the World, The South Park Music Tour. Take it away Susan!

The Summer will be brimming with competitions, festivals, tours and holiday bashes;  many opportunities for getting your Band a gig or a little name recognition.   Talent Searches, Tours and Battle of the Bands  pay out prize money or comps equal to what you would earn at a gig, ALL for just a one hour performance.   Networking with the Bands and Industry people at these Events can offer tremendous earning potential by breaking you into new Venues.

Here are some simple tips to get an edge over your competitors:

1. Play original songs.  You're allowed only one cover song and it's got to be perfect.
2. Your song should have basic structure.  Like in writing; intro, body and conclusion.
3. Songs shouldn't be longer than 5 minutes.
4. Play for your allotted time or less, but never more.
5. Move. Everyone in the Band needs to be active at the same time.
6. Your timing needs to be impeccable. It proves a Band is well rehearsed.
7. Spend very little time with sound checks; one song only with minor quick adjustments if absolutely  required.
8. Get the audience moving.  Play your hottest beats and most gut punching riffs from song one and don't stop.
9. Demonstrate your instrument or vocal talent with a solo.  Have a focus song.  45 seconds of fame.
10. Try to go last in the line-up, leaving a lasting impression.

These competitions not only put cash in your hand but promote your Band.  You will need to register early or go through an acceptance process with small fees to be a performer.  They're usually sponsored by radio stations, sound companies or huge corporations.  Seek out Talent Searchs, Tours and Battle of the Bands to compete and “be seen” in your area.  No matter how small the Venue;  if you come out as the winner, it's a feather in your cap so toot your own horn and post that big win on your message boards.

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