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Am I being too mercenary ?


Dan Goerg

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(I'll be using the question in the title as AIBTM, maybe a new acronym will get popular ? (LOL))

I joined a band @ a year ago, on the premise that I was to arrange/tighten up intros & outros/add keyboard goodness and generally get them to the "next level". The female singer is excellent, her hubby is a big plus as a utility guy, lead guitar was fine for the type of music, but the bass and drums sucked big-time and I told them ( wife and hubby leaders) so. You cannot build a house on a weak foundation. They agreed to replace the drummer (in February, finally). But, the bassist will stay because he is a good friend. AIBTM?

I realized that this band is never going to (or wanting to) play out more than once a month and the collective skill level is topping off at mediocre, so I started looking around, jamming, going to auditions,etc. AIBTM?

Found an existing band that wanted to add keys, had 3 rehearsals, played a gig and got paid twice the amount I make from band #1, and they are aiming for 3-6 nights a month, plus they have a track record and experience to get that work. Now I'm thinking to juggle two bands- easy, as #1 only plays once in a while for shite money (but are nice people).AIBTM ?

Along comes band #3 - a startup with excellent musicians and connections for work. I'm thinking, i can juggle 2 bands, but 3 ? AIBTM?

Do I get untangled completely from #1 and free myself up for #2 & 3 ? Do I just go with all 3 until the shite hits the fan (double bookings, missed rehearsals,etc.), and then pick the best situation and eff the rest? AIBTM?

I know the decision is ultimately mine, I'm just looking advice/empathy/sympathy. I just wanna play in a band I'm proud of and make some bread at the same time.

AIBTM ?

Formerly âChiefDanGâ - nobody calls me chief anymore.
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It all depends on you and your budget. Do you need the money? No? Then I completely agree, don't play with mediocre players if you don't have to, where's the art in that? Also, things change all the time, you now have band #1 in your contact list and they have you. Who knows what happens next year? Maybe that band blows up, the good singer and guitarist call you again and a whole new thing starts up.

 

Bob

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You know what to do, Dan. I suspect you are having some pangs of guilt, which just means you are a good guy. You only owe them what you commit to do so I would just be straight with band 1. I wouldn't let it get to the point where you are leaving them high and dry by just not showing. Good luck - sounds like you have some good opportunities!
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I went through a similar experience 10 years ago with a horn band. The musicians (except one) were mediocre at best but were all great people which made it difficult to walk away. So i juggled them with other projects. Eventually i gave them my notice and although i thought i'd feel terrible about it the reality was i was relieved and wished i had made the move a year sooner. You'll get over it .. you should move on.

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ChiefDanG, looks like you're in my neck of the woods. Nashville has too many good players for you to be stuck in a bad band. You gave it more of a chance than I would have.

 

Given what most clubs around here pay per person you'd have to be in multiple bands to make any kind of money. It's not being too mercenary, it's being practical.

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

 

 

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ChiefDanG, looks like you're in my neck of the woods. Nashville has too many good players for you to be stuck in a bad band. You gave it more of a chance than I would have.

 

Given what most clubs around here pay per person you'd have to be in multiple bands to make any kind of money. It's not being too mercenary, it's being practical.

 

+1

practical pays the bills

:nopity:
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Thank you, one and all, for your responses.

Yes, this income is important to my budget. I was able to make a living with music for a long while in the 80s and 90s. Life and doo-doo forced me into a 15-year hiatus. Now, I want to call myself a pro again, even though the $$$ amount to do that is fairly low ( just to augment retirement income ).

Scott accused me of being a nice guy w/a conscience. I was remembering all the times that I saw bands all the way to the bitter end when I should have bailed much earlier - didn't help me one iota on any level, except maybe getting me a "nice guy" rep.

Hmmmm, maybe Scott's right.

Band #1 has peaked, time to go.

 

Formerly âChiefDanGâ - nobody calls me chief anymore.
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Around here, most good musicians are in multiple bands. They generally stick with whoever calls them first for a date, or they have a sub lined up so they can take a better gig. (The best bass player in town also plays with the Jim Belushi/Dan Akroyd version of the Blues Brothers, so of course he's going to take one of those over a $75 bar gig.) I'd tell Band #1 that you'll continue working with them on the condition that if #2 or #3 calls you with a better gig, or an important rehearsal, you're going to have to take it, but it's nothing personal, it's for economic reasons. Then it's up to them whether or not they want to continue working with you. Keep in mind, great female singers are hard to come by, so whatever you can do to finesse the situation would be to your advantage. Who knows, you might be able to put together a new band someday featuring that singer (with or without her husband.)
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My sense is that band #1 is a bunch of guys you really connect with in a friendly type way.

Why would you even pose the question, were it not for your attachment to that somewhat hard to find, warm, easy going, feeling, with a semi mediocre band ( a bass player is a key guy ) "yes- this is true", but bunch of guys that get along?

You said a (good band) band 'you can be proud of'?

 

Fact is, you LIKE these guys... it is not logical, it is psychological, and somewhat counterintuitive to remain with them... but your heart aches at leaving them!

You have my sympathy here.. this is "not easy".

I don't know if you are asking for a "solution", as opposed to sympathy?

I relate to this because many moons ago, I was in just such a band back East.

The band would never ever be great... but there was a real easy to get along with vibe in this band... not common in my experience. They liked me ( a better player than them ) and I liked them too. Then the inevitable came, and a band that had a hot record knocked on my door, so to speak. I could not resist, so I left these guys. BTW it is not like we were super close or anything... it was just a very easy easy going feeling in the band... a great psychological harmony, as opposed to musical harmony. They did not play badly, just not inspiringly ever!! And YES, absolutely, I DID miss them.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Around here, most good musicians are in multiple bands. They generally stick with whoever calls them first for a date, or they have a sub lined up so they can take a better gig. (The best bass player in town also plays with the Jim Belushi/Dan Akroyd version of the Blues Brothers, so of course he's going to take one of those over a $75 bar gig.) I'd tell Band #1 that you'll continue working with them on the condition that if #2 or #3 calls you with a better gig, or an important rehearsal, you're going to have to take it, but it's nothing personal, it's for economic reasons. Then it's up to them whether or not they want to continue working with you. Keep in mind, great female singers are hard to come by, so whatever you can do to finesse the situation would be to your advantage. Who knows, you might be able to put together a new band someday featuring that singer (with or without her husband.)

 

And OP... the above words.. are the logical solution, in today's world. I agree with this advice. If they really want you... they will accept this offer. To a degree you get to have your cake and eat it too. Of course sooner or later, there will be difficult conflicts.. where 2 or even 3 of the bands will want you for the same date. That's a difficult part of music business, that I personally deal with... having to make these decisions.. which band to take that date with.

The other aspect ( I did not read all posts here, so, if redundancy here, sorry bout that !) finding a sub for you, who is both a decent player, and not an overly ambitious, amoral fellow!

 

And CEB just stated "short and sweetly" a half truth... a band is NOT a marriage contract. But it's a little more complicated than that. A band IS like a woman too! You must consider feelings.. the collective feelings of the band(s). I tend to feel out band leaders about my taking off on a date they want me on. I try to make it easy as possible for them to let me out of gig.. I do not insist.. stating in a cut and dry manner what Mr CEB stated 'a band is not a marriage contract' ( this is true, but not entirely true ) - if you are too cut and dried, you will hurt band one's feelings, and you will mar that nice feeling you get when you are with them. Rare bands, can handle in a very grown up way, this kind of stark reality.. that a man has to do what a man has to do.. a band is not a marriage.. and other harsh realities, esp in this economy; which seems to intensify things to me.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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I know the decision is ultimately mine, I'm just looking advice/empathy/sympathy.

 

You're Welcome! :laugh:

 

OK, who want's a beer? ChiefDanG is buyin'! :thu:

 

Tom

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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+1000 for Jon Cleary !!

One of the people I aspire to. ( not sure if that's the right phrase - I would sell my soul to the devil to be Jon )

As for the beer-you guys will hafta make do with the fact that I'm toasting you with mine.

Formerly âChiefDanGâ - nobody calls me chief anymore.
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A Band is not a Wedding contract..... but the folks around N NJ craigslist expect nothing less in add after add for Keys.They say, no multi-band players / freelancers/ only want a full time members. demand 2 reh /week with no current gigs. These bands have often been together w/wo gigs for some time and Keys are an after thought/"iceing to fill out the sound"

For cryin out loud, If one of you loosers could offer me 4 steady gigs a month Id slice my finger & become "blood brothers" never mind band member

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Some folks just dont appreciate the professional mindset. The fellow I play with right now, I have played with on and off for 30 years. If a gig comes up for him then he has to do it. I dont get all bummed about it. If I get a chance to go make some money, then I have to go do it. Some guys like the get together once a week and rehearse fun band thing, have a few brew and play once in a while. Thats great. Its not for me. It boils down to $/hour. How much is the gig worth and what commitment do you want? Can I, with my skill set get the job done easily, or is there tons of preparation required? Sometimes my musical time is better spent in other areas. I am already married.
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A Band is not a Wedding contract..... but the folks around N NJ craigslist expect nothing less in add after add for Keys.They say, no multi-band players / freelancers/ only want a full time members. demand 2 reh /week with no current gigs. These bands have often been together w/wo gigs for some time and Keys are an after thought/"iceing to fill out the sound"

For cryin out loud, If one of you loosers could offer me 4 steady gigs a month Id slice my finger & become "blood brothers" never mind band member

Gosh! No freelancers!.. not many gigs!

Jersey fellow here.. but back in the day when there was loads of work! I feel badly for those who are going through this.

Is going to "places" that have live music.. not a viable option?

From my pov.. you have to impress musicians with your abilities,and or your value to them. I have never felt that craigslist is a way to meet musicians.

Then there is this. I exited Jersey twice ( I returned once - but ancient history ) the last time I left, was 1991 Nov. At that time I would do this. I made myself available to a much wider group of musicians. Guess how? I was willing to play with a band as far away as Atlantic City , Long Island, New York City. Even Conn.

This approach cuts into profit... but I never got into music for "profit" per se.

I would play any gig, whether musically satisfying or not. As I have said here before.. being busy, meeting new people, is an energetic approach. I think it could be called "beat the carpet". You have to do what you have to do, IF playing music, is that important to you.

Another old saying comes to my mind... "water seeks its own level". With this energetic, willing to do almost anything ( travel wise. lower standards wise ) you will keep meeting people. Meeting people, is the KEY. This is what your present approach is, only via an inert web site.

KEEP meeting people, do not stop. keep preparing when you eventually have to learn a bands repertoire. You CAN keep very busy with this approach.

The problem is the economy.. and recorded music.. these two factors, did us in, so to speak. So now extra effort is needed. Be willing to do anything.

Do this for at least a year. Then you can reevaluate. You cannot just sit at home.. it is tough on your state of mind.. confidence, creating discouragement. You can continue to use Craigslist, but spread out from Long Valley.. spread way out! I just read another opinion.. the above member has said it boils down to $per hour. I think whether you are married is a major factor, that I omitted. If married, that changes my advice. In that case, good luck!

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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A Band is not a Wedding contract..... but the folks around N NJ craigslist expect nothing less in add after add for Keys.They say, no multi-band players / freelancers/ only want a full time members. demand 2 reh /week with no current gigs. These bands have often been together w/wo gigs for some time and Keys are an after thought/"iceing to fill out the sound"

For cryin out loud, If one of you loosers could offer me 4 steady gigs a month Id slice my finger & become "blood brothers" never mind band member

 

Travel for no pay to ct or li.is alot more $ @350/gal yes im married. I am in 2 bands now but can only get 2 gigs /mo. Avr for $50 earlier

Gosh! No freelancers!.. not many gigs!

Jersey fellow here.. but back in the day when there was loads of work! I feel badly for those who are going through this.

Is going to "places" that have live music.. not a viable option?

From my pov.. you have to impress musicians with your abilities,and or your value to them. I have never felt that craigslist is a way to meet musicians.

Then there is this. I exited Jersey twice ( I returned once - but ancient history ) the last time I left, was 1991 Nov. At that time I would do this. I made myself available to a much wider group of musicians. Guess how? I was willing to play with a band as far away as Atlantic City , Long Island, New York City. Even Conn.

This approach cuts into profit... but I never got into music for "profit" per se.

I would play any gig, whether musically satisfying or not. As I have said here before.. being busy, meeting new people, is an energetic approach. I think it could be called "beat the carpet". You have to do what you have to do, IF playing music, is that important to you.

Another old saying comes to my mind... "water seeks its own level". With this energetic, willing to do almost anything ( travel wise. lower standards wise ) you will keep meeting people. Meeting people, is the KEY. This is what your present approach is, only via an inert web site.

KEEP meeting people, do not stop. keep preparing when you eventually have to learn a bands repertoire. You CAN keep very busy with this approach.

The problem is the economy.. and recorded music.. these two factors, did us in, so to speak. So now extra effort is needed. Be willing to do anything.

Do this for at least a year. Then you can reevaluate. You cannot just sit at home.. it is tough on your state of mind.. confidence, creating discouragement. You can continue to use Craigslist, but spread out from Long Valley.. spread way out! I just read another opinion.. the above member has said it boils down to $per hour. I think whether you are married is a major factor, that I omitted. If married, that changes my advice. In that case, good luck!

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A Band is not a Wedding contract..... but the folks around N NJ craigslist expect nothing less in add after add for Keys.They say, no multi-band players / freelancers/ only want a full time members. demand 2 reh /week with no current gigs. These bands have often been together w/wo gigs for some time and Keys are an after thought/"iceing to fill out the sound"

For cryin out loud, If one of you loosers could offer me 4 steady gigs a month Id slice my finger & become "blood brothers" never mind band member

 

Sounds like a website over here called joinmyband.co.uk. I call it "Join My Cult". Same thing: "Must be fully committed to this project! We rehearse twice a week!" (Why, FFS, can NONE of you still get the right chords to Let's Stay Together?). Any gigs in the diary? Er...

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Yup

Theres a whole lot of folks with too much time . They dont want an efficient $ and music band theyd rather rehearse...i mean drink beer talk sports in the way too comfy mancave. That just happens to be in their town but 40mi away from me.

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I don't commit to "projects', but rather to the humans within any given project. It is that human connection between musicians playing together to create a "whole" that leads to the "magic" that I seek musically.

 

If I click both on a musical level and a personality level with any musician, I will seek to join together with them to create, to attain that magic. And that is when my commitment kicks in.

 

From that point it becomes our mutual goal to make that magic turn into money. But not the other way around. For me.

Nobody told me there'd be days like these...
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