In the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, students in the Jazz Department are sometimes allowed to take time off from their studies in order to play gigs. The college sees it as part of their musical education.
The head of the department must approve these absences, and as a result gets a good overview of which students are playing what gigs.
There is a relatively small number of students in the school so he knows them all well.
The thing is, as he told a gang of us last month, all the students in Guildhall are amazing musicians. But the ones who are off playing at the North Sea Jazz Festival, or in Ronnie Scott’s, or touring with the next big star aren’t always the best players, the ones who can burn up a solo, but the ones with whom it’s a pleasure to work.
So – to answer the question in the title of this blog…how do you get gigs?
Simple – be good, and be nice.