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Asked to create backing tracks...what would you do?


EscapeRocks

Create track for another band?  

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  1. 1. Create track for another band?

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Hey all..

 

I've been approached by another tribute act that has offered to pay me to create tracks for them. I'd say maybe about 30% of their songs have keys, mostly pads but some signature licks as well.

 

I'm not a huge fan of playing to tracks. Also, I guess I look at it as why not hire a keys player who can also perform other musical functions?

 

So, would you do it? Again, they've offered to pay for my work.

 

Just want to get some of your thoughts.

 

Thanks!

 

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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If you want to do it, do it and charge them what is fair.

 

If you don't want to do it, politely decline.

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Since you are not solely on music income and are doing just fine in that department with your own band to cover your pursuit (do I have this correct?) then I'd decline unless you really just think it'd be something fun and are looking forward to doing it to hone that skill.

 

 

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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Since you are not solely on music income and are doing just fine in that department with your own band to cover your pursuit (do I have this correct?) then I'd decline unless you really just think it'd be something fun and are looking forward to doing it to hone that skill.

 

+1, and instead suggest a muso who needs the work.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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Why the hell not? Some moral belief against the use of backing tracks? They're not gunning for your gig. I'd take the $$ and make 'em.

 

Hey Bob... the gig is one that you currently hold, but without your knowledge the rest of the band has decided to replace you with tracks.

 

Hope you're okay with that. :thu:

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I guess I look at it as why not hire a keys player who can also perform other musical functions?
What are the odds they do this? If it's zero, then you've actually increased the number of musicians paid by this band if you take the gig. In other words, you wouldn't be taking work away from anyone.

 

(Edited to add: I'm not saying I would do it, or not, just throwing the above thought out there.)

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Why the hell not? Some moral belief against the use of backing tracks? They're not gunning for your gig. I'd take the $$ and make 'em.

 

Hey Bob... the gig is one that you currently hold, but without your knowledge the rest of the band has decided to replace you with tracks.

 

Hope you're okay with that. :thu:

 

Well, someone is going to make the tracks. Why should he miss out on any job, even if it's the last one? ;):laugh:

 

I'd make em in a heartbeat. Nobody is screwing a fellow musician here, They have no intention of adding one. When I lived in TX, about 15 of us recorded the music for the "Miss Texas" TV show (big stuff down in TX). I had some idiot come up to me and say "You took someone's job, they could have hired real players for the show". :facepalm::facepalm::facepalm: They did hire real players, and this band is offering a "real" person an opportunity to make money in music.

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There seem to be two tracks of response here:

 

1. ethical implications of "programming" a keyboardist out of work

2. enjoyment of this work, ie, is it time well spent.

 

I just want to make clear, Escape, that my response has nothing to do with #1 (regardless of my feelings on the matter). I sense you really aren't crazy about spending your time doing it. Is that your main dilemma? Whether it should be worth your time? Do you need the extra $$? Or are you wrestling with the ethical dilemma?

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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Good points on both sides, but I wouldn't criticize anyone for doing it.

 

Whether I'd do it would depend on the sum of how interesting plus how much money, and do the math as usual just like any other gig.

 

Frankly, there are so few keyboard players around, compared to other musicians, we're lucky. Seems to me that due to the dearth, we keyboard players get a lot of chances to play with musos who are a step or two above. Perhaps that's less true higher on the payscale. (I'm not even on that ladder.)

 

I'm glad I'm not in a band that uses them. I use them myself mostly for fun at home (I do have fun making my own) and sometimes for a solo "gig" -- not a real gig but providing entertainment at a friend's party or something, or an open mic thing -- and I haven't done that in years either since I have actual bands to play with.

 

I wonder if I'd enjoy the slavery of playing to BT with a whole band. One of the highlights of my soul band is when we play Take Me To The River, which we seem to play differently every time, following wherever the guitarist (who sings it) leads us. It's the "Where the HECK is Bob going now?" game. :laugh: The bass player also sometimes forgets his Al Green-ish bassline and plays something like the Talking Heads version. It's a riot. Next time I think we should try it the way Lady Gaga might.

 

In any case, it takes a drummer who knows how (assuming there's a drummer). It's a lot easier to play to full backing tracks for a "power pop duo" or whatever, than to play to keyboard-only BTs.

 

My vote would have been "It depends", but that's not a choice. "Pushing play" is TRUE, but it's beside the point. My day job isn't a performance either, but I do it for the money and I enjoy it too.

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Thank all for the replies.

 

I sometimes have knee-jerk reactions based on many of the conversations we have here on KC.

 

Stepping back and looking at this situation:

 

I know the guys well.

They do not have a keyboard player.

They are not going to hire one.

They will find someone to take the money.

Why not me?

 

 

No, I don't need the money, but it is GAS money, and actually a very easy gig. Pads, etc. for about 7 songs.

 

So, I think I will take the money, and put it towards some new gear I want.

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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"Pushing play" is TRUE, but it's beside the point.

My day job isn't a performance either, but I do it for the money and I enjoy it too.

 

I put the "Pushing Play" on there as an homage to TonySounds :)

 

Yes, I concur with the day job analogy. I enjoy mine as well and it isn't a performance. I like the money it pays me. Let's me play music on my terms.

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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This is off topic, but the comment reminded me of the perils of using tracks. A friend of mine "plays" drums with Doo Wop vocal group that had hits in the 60's. He doesn't actually, he just fakes it. Someone hit the play button before the singers were at the mics. Watching them scramble and seeing the looks on their faces was priceless.
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No, I don't need the money, but it is GAS money, and actually a very easy gig. Pads, etc. for about 7 songs.

 

So, I think I will take the money, and put it towards some new gear I want.

 

Over the years I've put together probably hundreds of backing tracks for bands I've been in. It is the most boring, tedious, hair-pulling enterprise involving music that I can think of, and the only rewards I ever got out of it was the pleasure of hearing them played back since I was in the band using them.

 

This sounds simple enough though. Obviously I have no moral objections to it (maybe I have no morals I dunno :/ ) so if you have both the time and patience for this sort of thing - go for it.

 

I didn't vote. I didn't know how to vote given the choices.

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Pantomime is even worse than backing tracks! :o

 

New Idea:

 

Create backing tracks as soundtrack to personal video of your interpretive dance to each of the tunes requested. Write usage contract such that backing tracks cannot be used unless presented with the intended video. Black leotard optional.

 

 

..
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Take the money, tell them to pay you a usage fee from time to time

 

A usage fee may be a little optimistic. Better to just ask for the dollar amount that you'll be happy with in hindsight.

9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it

 

 

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If no one's job is at stake, they don't have a keyboardist and don't plan on hiring one, then do it if you have the time and they'll pay you.

 

I do this once in a while for a friend's rock band who has 4 people (Drums, Bass, Gtr and vox) and once in a blue moon they cover some songs that have keys in them (Sister Christian, Rosanna, Only the Good Die Young,etc). They don't play anywhere near enough to hire a keyboardist and they aren't planning on it since it's just a handful of tunes they play that have keys so it's an easy way to make a buck.

 

It all comes down to if you want to do it, if you have the time and they're paying what you want.

 

Regards,

Frank

www.frankperri.com
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Yeah, take the money or somebody else will.

 

A couple things: I wouldn't do backing tracks for another all 80s band (or in your shoes, a Journey tribute). And even if it was a variety band that had some omg that were in our list, I might make their version not as good as mine.

 

I just talked to a guy Friday night who's starting a band and paying for backing tracks. He said they're paying a LOT of money for them. He said he didn't bother asking me because he knew I didn't have time (he's right!).

 

IMO, they can have the best tracks in the world and will still be at a disadvantage compared to a band with a keyboard player...so who cares? Let them have their backing tracks, then go out and play circles around them live.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Dan,

 

thanks! yeah I don't have much to worry about. They are not in competition with us. Not because they're bad, but because we play totally different genres.

 

They want to have me come to the studio, and play live with them, and take the recording for the tracks off of that.

Should be interesting.

 

 

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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Pantomime is even worse than backing tracks! :o

 

New Idea:

 

Create backing tracks as soundtrack to personal video of your interpretive dance to each of the tunes requested. Write usage contract such that backing tracks cannot be used unless presented with the intended video. Black leotard optional.

 

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilsK7hyEuFI&feature=related

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Take the money, tell them to pay you a usage fee from time to time

 

A usage fee may be a little optimistic. Better to just ask for the dollar amount that you'll be happy with in hindsight.

Indeed, but it wouldn't be a bad bargaining tool to help get a better upfront payday, and who knows - maybe they'll bite.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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