Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

To gig or not to gig.


alby

Recommended Posts

What is the minimum $'s that everyone would play a gig for?

 

Is it better to play gigs than not play at all?

 

What is the gigging scene in the world.

 

Is there a lot of work around?

 

By the way, music is not my full time job.

 

Regards

Alby

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 38
  • Created
  • Last Reply

What is the minimum $'s that everyone would play a gig for?

That's an impossible question to answer as you must factor in cost of living as well as the state of the music scene in your locale.

 

Like any other business, you need to network a little to find out what the going rates are in your area for a particular kind of music.

 

Is there a lot of work around?

Who knows? What kind of work are you talking about? Studio, playing covers in a club, film scoring?

 

Again this is going to vary depending on locale.

 

If its just gigs, then go check out the clubs to see what kind of bands they book.

 

If you're just getting started (which you must be or you would know these things) you're gonna have to take what you can get.

 

Just keep working at it man. Start to draw a good crowd, then do some quick math as to how many drinks per audience member you're bringing in to the club and then you can up your price.

 

Until then you better just take what you can get - you can't be picky till you've paid your dues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok... what I meant was

 

 

I am sick of being a band leader, and having my drummer cancel on me 3 times because he scored a higher paying gig.

 

We have a weekly residency at a restaurant, and while it is not top dollar, I am assuming a regular residency will

not pay as much as one off gigs - like wedding or corporate functions.

 

 

(Plus we have got several of these higher paying gigs from people that have listened to us at the Restaurant.)

 

I can ask for more money from the Restaurant, but for sure it will mean the end of the gig. There have been already

several bands that are no longer at the Restaurant.

 

So - what do I do? Continue at this residency, and cope with a recalcitrant drummer. Ask for more $ and lose the gig?

 

Regards

Alby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by alby:

Ok... what I meant was

Well, why didn't you ask that (your second message), rather than posting wildly general questions (that, as was pointed out, have no definitive answers, for a dozen factors or more... like the fact that the scene in Toronto has absolutely no bearing on the scene in Australia. ;)

 

I am sick of being a band leader, and having my drummer cancel on me 3 times because he scored a higher paying gig.
So get him higher paying gigs, or get another drummer.... or stop being band leader and find another gig... or... ?

 

We have a weekly residency at a restaurant, and while it is not top dollar, I am assuming a regular residency will

not pay as much as one off gigs - like wedding or corporate functions.

Careful... there's a fine line between "not pay as much" and "undervaluing your own worth, and weakening the overall market." Sure, corporate and wedding gigs will pay more, usually by a large factor, but a house gig shouldn't necessarily pay less than any other restaurant/bar gig... if you weren't doing the gig, the venue would have to go to all the trouble of booking a different band every week (sure, so would you, but you get the point hopefully).

 

(Plus we have got several of these higher paying gigs from people that have listened to us at the Restaurant.)
As is generally the case, if you're professional, and do your networking. ;)

 

I can ask for more money from the Restaurant, but for sure it will mean the end of the gig. There have been already

several bands that are no longer at the Restaurant.

Are those bands playing elsewhere? Was it a choice they made to not get less than they felt they (and other bands) were worth?

 

So - what do I do? Continue at this residency, and cope with a recalcitrant drummer. Ask for more $ and lose the gig?
You seem to be certain that a raise will result in the loss of the gig. Not sure why that is, but... it's really your choice. Find yourself a different drummer, or demand that your current drummer have a sub ready to fill in if he can't make the gig.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sick of being a band leader, and having my drummer cancel on me 3 times because he scored a higher paying gig.

Well, if you've got a leg to stand on musically, and by this I mean you can confidently step out into another situation, why not do that?

 

If not, well if I were you I'd quit and hit the woodshed until you can get with some other guys.

 

But that's just me...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will work for a bit less on weekdays than weekends. Kind of like hotels do in resort areas. I figure my better paying private parties are Fri/Sat nights. Now this doesn't apply to Corp gigs because they are often on a week night and I do charge much more for Corp gigs.

 

That said I am with Sven,... are you so sure that asking for more money will result in getting fired? I would also make demands of your drummer or replace him. You have to take the bad gigs with the good gigs. It's not like a drummer can play a solo gig or be a power single. :D

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by alby:

So - what do I do? Continue at this residency, and cope with a recalcitrant drummer. Ask for more $ and lose the gig?

 

Regards

Alban

Drum machine. I don't say that lightly... it's time to discuss the tradeoffs of low wages in a competitive market with your employer. If your drummer is getting more money from other offers and previous bands now work elsewhere due to wage issues then your employer is not paying a competitive salary. The problem isn't going to go away... every member of your band will seek the best wages so your employer is always going to be faced with transient musicians hence lower quality entertainment. The way to compensate is to replace live musicians with mechanical substitutes and do with fewer members on stage or provide an attractive salary to keep a regular entertainment regime.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm friends with a 79 year old sax player. His attitude - you can stay home and watch TV or you can go out, play, and make some money.

 

If you don't need the money, just take the jobs you like. If you need the money, take the job and start looking around for jobs that pay better.

 

Does this really need to be said?

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am shocked that people think asking for more money can get them fired...

 

Simply going up to someone and saying 'Yo, you are being cheap, SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!' may leave a bad taste in your employee's mouth, and eventually get you fired. However doing your homework and asking politely should not.

 

Find out:

- What are similar places in the area paying similar bands to do similar shows?

- Approximately how much revenue are you bringing in week to week?

 

After this research you may find out that he is paying really little, or you may find out he is being fair.

 

Also, being informed and showing your employer this data, and saying, 'so you see we feel that a raise of XXX makes sense'. If he/she says no, then you have a decision to make.

 

We did this a couple of months ago. We wanted a 100$ raise. We did our research and presented the owner with our offer. He came back with an offer of a 50$ raise. We thought about it for a bit and said okay.

 

Peter

I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by The Pro:

Drum machine.

 

The way to compensate is to replace live musicians with mechanical substitutes and do with fewer members on stage or provide an attractive salary to keep a regular entertainment regime.

I know you're not kidding but...

 

YOU MUST BE KIDDING! :eek:

 

And if your idea doesn't work, I say we all start to use backing tracks produced in China in order to cut costs.

 

Let's all reinvent ourselves and become:

 

POWER SINGLES WHO PAY TO PLAY

 

:rolleyes:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with doing your homework -- gotta find out what the going rate is.

 

I also agree with Dave Horne -- take the jobs based on your financial need.

 

Here in Central Ohio, restaurants pay less for a BAND than a good bar would. I think the reason is simple. Much more profit to be made from heavy drinking patrons in a bar than profit per person in a restaurant.

 

In the band I just left earlier this month, we would play for as little as $250 (4 of us) and as much as $1,500. Bars in town pay anywhere from $150 to $500 flat rate (we stopped playing at the $150-$200 places over a year ago), and you can make more if you bring big crowds to places that pay you with the door fee.

 

Personally my idea of playing is to play in the coolest places regardless of pay. I have a full-time professional job and don't need money from a band. Playing music is my entertainment, not my livelihood.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well....

 

If you're an established act, with a known following, you can command your price.

 

If you're not, then you've got to start somewhere.

 

My band was tickled to death to pick up a first full-blown show for $250 flat. The onus is now on us to pack the place, which will assure us much better pay the next time we play there.

 

Most of the places around here give you the door only. It's actually gotten better, there was a point where bars would pay a percentage of the door - sometimes as little as half. That's a tough way to make money when the venue's maximum capacity is 250 people...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Griffinator:

Well....

 

If you're an established act, with a known following, you can command your price.

 

If you're not, then you've got to start somewhere.

 

My band was tickled to death to pick up a first full-blown show for $250 flat. The onus is now on us to pack the place, which will assure us much better pay the next time we play there.

 

Most of the places around here give you the door only. It's actually gotten better, there was a point where bars would pay a percentage of the door - sometimes as little as half. That's a tough way to make money when the venue's maximum capacity is 250 people...

I won't play for the door. If I'm going to play for money, I want to know going in what I'll make. Plus, there's too much opportunity for the club to screw the players of you're working for the door. The only sure way to guarantee fairness is to have someone dedicated to collecting the cover charge and keeping track of it. This need to be someone the band trusts.

 

On occasion I'll play for free, but only if I decide, and only because of the extent of the fun factor. Otherwise, cash at the end of the gig, or no way.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Mr. Nightime:

I won't play for the door. If I'm going to play for money, I want to know going in what I'll make. Plus, there's too much opportunity for the club to screw the players of you're working for the door. The only sure way to guarantee fairness is to have someone dedicated to collecting the cover charge and keeping track of it. This need to be someone the band trusts.

Oh there's just absolutely no question I'd want my own guy collecting the door if that's all we're getting paid. The bar can put a bouncer there to card if they want, but my guy handles the money, and if the bar manager has a problem with that, they can hire a different band for all I care.

 

There's a place in downtown Roanoke whose bar manager is ALL TOO HAPPY to "handle the door" for the band - and "help them count" the take at the end of the night... :freak:

 

Thanks, but no thanks, b***h....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by alby:

Ok... what I meant was

 

 

I am sick of being a band leader, and having my drummer cancel on me 3 times because he scored a higher paying gig.

 

We have a weekly residency at a restaurant, and while it is not top dollar, I am assuming a regular residency will

not pay as much as one off gigs - like wedding or corporate functions.

 

 

(Plus we have got several of these higher paying gigs from people that have listened to us at the Restaurant.)

 

I can ask for more money from the Restaurant, but for sure it will mean the end of the gig. There have been already

several bands that are no longer at the Restaurant.

 

So - what do I do? Continue at this residency, and cope with a recalcitrant drummer. Ask for more $ and lose the gig?

 

Regards

Alban

Alban,

 

You're not really a band leader until you know the answers to these questions and are an experienced negotiator. Have someone more qualified be leader or hire a booking agent and learn everything you can from them.

Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. W. C. Fields
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you play keys, do the following :

 

1). Get yourself a workstation - fantom, triton, motif, whatever that works

 

2). Learn some nice pieces in the style of your choice - jazz, blues, country, whatever

 

3). Sequence entire songs on the workstation (popular ones, preferably).

 

4). Make a CD of 2 or 3 songs.

 

5). Go around and give the CDs to a couple of restaurants

 

6). Wait for them to reply back.

 

7). Make money. Going solo kicks ass, but is more burden on you. I hate when people say "oh, saturday is the big game man, i cant play a gig that day." Screw those f*ckers. Go solo and make music and money.

Dont follow me....i'm lost too....
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by keyman_sam:

If you play keys, do the following :

 

1). Get yourself a workstation - fantom, triton, motif, whatever that works

 

2). Learn some nice pieces in the style of your choice - jazz, blues, country, whatever

 

3). Sequence entire songs on the workstation (popular ones, preferably).

 

4). Make a CD of 2 or 3 songs.

 

5). Go around and give the CDs to a couple of restaurants

 

6). Wait for them to reply back.

 

7). Make money. Going solo kicks ass, but is more burden on you. I hate when people say "oh, saturday is the big game man, i cant play a gig that day." Screw those f*ckers. Go solo and make music and money.

That's my idea of hell.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by keyman_sam:

If you play keys, do the following :

 

1). Get yourself a workstation - fantom, triton, motif, whatever that works

 

2). Learn some nice pieces in the style of your choice - jazz, blues, country, whatever

 

3). Sequence entire songs on the workstation (popular ones, preferably).

 

4). Make a CD of 2 or 3 songs.

 

5). Go around and give the CDs to a couple of restaurants

 

6). Wait for them to reply back.

 

7). Make money. Going solo kicks ass, but is more burden on you. I hate when people say "oh, saturday is the big game man, i cant play a gig that day." Screw those f*ckers. Go solo and make music and money.

No thanks to the hi-tech solo or duo act thing! Been there, done that, and hated every minute of it! Far as I'm concerned, the FUN part of music is human interaction that takes place while creating it. I make a living working on computers - making music is MY funtime! When I announce it's time to "get the drummer loaded", I'm headed for the parking lot - not reaching for CD's, DVD's, floppy disks, memory sticks or other techie paraphenalia!

 

The SpaceNorman :freak:

The SpaceNorman :freak:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Y'know - I just don't feel bad about it... I've seen a lot of guitarists with backing tracks, sequences, drum machines, etc. and nobody seems to think there's anything wrong with it. I'm supposed to feel different because I play keyboards? And I can go out and make a decent living as a soloist, or, I can split that same money amongst 4 or 5 guys because gigging is how I get my human interaction fix... this is a no-brainer folks...

 

If the gig can afford a band and that's what they want, more power to 'em. If they CAN'T afford a band then it's time to figure out how best to spend the money they do have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by wmp:

If I'm playing a solo gig and I happen to die in the middle of it, I think the music ought to stop.

:D:D:D:D

 

That's great! I would expected that as a Dave Horne mantra against power singles.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by wmp:

If I'm playing a solo gig and I happen to die in the middle of it, I think the music ought to stop.

Excellent! First laugh of the day. Thanks!

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Originally posted by wmp:

If I'm playing a solo gig and I happen to die in the middle of it, I think the music ought to stop.

Or at least change to a minor key... ;)
The first quote was funny enough, but THAT is hysterical!!! :D:D:D:D
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It warms my heart to get a smile from my esteemed colleagues. Dave, I knew you'd like that one.

 

Alby, being a band leader is harder than Chinese algebra. I gave up decades ago. I'm in awe of folks who do it well. They all have deep benches. The guy who throws me the most gigs plays guitar and fronts the band. He is the band. He's got a long list of drummers, bass players and keyboard players. He scmoozes at all the jams. He's hands out charts and CDs to players he likes, making it easy for a lot of good players to know his stuff. He can negotiate a gig, get on the phone and have a band confirmed to play it in ten minutes. It's quick and painless for the venue and for the players.

 

The right number for a gig depends on the gig. I sub on a couple of weekly jams every six weeks or so for $50, food and beer. I typically get $80 to $125 for small bar and restaurant gigs. I recently turned down a few $200 gigs because the door is about $4000 before the bar does another $10,000 to $15,000 or more. I don't like the venue. I've sold enough beer for that a**hole. Parties, weddings, corporate, and such can pay a lot more. A good band leader knows the right number for a given gig.

 

Ask for more money only if it makes sense. How much is the door and how much beer are you selling? You have to look at everything from the other guy's perspective. Be fair and honest. If your drummer is in demand, he's probably pretty good. You want to play with good players. They're not going to be available for every gig.

 

Getting a band together and finding a steady gig is a lot of work, but it's only a taste of what it takes to be a good band leader. I don't have what it takes. That's why I'm a ho.

--wmp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by wmp:

If I'm playing a solo gig and I happen to die in the middle of it, I think the music ought to stop.

wmp, that is funny has hell! :D

 

One prerequisite of a "bandleader" is having a handle on the logistical issues surrounding the management of musicians.

 

Negotiating fair price when it comes to gigs is a skill in itself. That is why bands have managers or agents.

 

Gigging is another joy of being a musician. While technology is great, nothing beats the rush of playing with fellow, competent musicians.

 

I also agree with DH's sax player. A musician can stay at home and be broke. No need to depress the market.

 

This sounds like a situation that calls for more knowledge and a deeper rolodex. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by ProfD:

Gigging is another joy of being a musician. While technology is great, nothing beats the rush of playing with fellow, competent musicians.

 

:cool:

Agreed. :thu:
"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...