Gigs - an interesting read

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Gigs - an interesting read

Postby DenverEd » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:11 am

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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:50 am

This is probably going to be taken the wrong way, but I read the whole thing and it sounds like just a bunch of whining to me.

The whole "I'm a professional sax player, I'm too important to do any promotion or actual work other than playing my sax" routine just doesn't fly with me. He picked an instrument that's mostly only good for one genre, and it's a dying genre that's part of a live music scene that's also dying.

The guy thinks he should be automatically making a living just because he can play an instrument? That's not how society works. Unlike banking or plubming, playing music is FUN, that's why we do it, and that's why people are willing to do it for less than he is. At the same time, I don't expect a club to book any of my bands just because I exist. It's a business arrangement, and we make them way more money than him and his little Jazz trio. Part of that is constant promotion, and part of it is putting on a show that gets people into clubs.

The reason I personally don't play jazz is that it's generally pretty boring. The music itself is great, but people treat it like pleasant background music for their wine bar or Sunday Brunch. I'm not interested in providing a pleasant background for conversation, I like to engage the audience and make it a fun party.

My advice for Dave Goldberg is to either play better or get a real job. If you put on a show that's compelling and fun and entertaining, getting 50 people to come to a club is no problem. If you can't do that, why should anybody pay you for providing little to no value to society?
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:05 pm

^^^ what the Scoobs said +1 ^^^^
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby mttourpro » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:25 pm

Just like anything else in this world, it pretty much boils down to supply and demand.
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby Charlie » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:30 pm

I think he has a point. But I also think that if you are a serious musician you have make a decision not to play in these types of venues. My experience of the industry here is that once a band gets a reputation for working for nothing, it's really hard to get gigs that actually do pay. The booking agents generally know which venues don't pay. Some bands getting around it by putting together a club repertoire and then going out and doing their own stuff under another name.

Also I don't know what the scene is like in LA, but when I lived in Sydney, most of my work playing jazz was doing weddings and functions (play soft look expensive). As Rusty said, it gets a bit boring but at least these gigs pay OK.
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby Rojack01 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:52 pm

I've played everywhere as a sideman and a whole lot as a front man, and its been My experience that you mostly get paid what you are worth. Nobody is holding a gun to my head making me do anything. I play blues and R&B, funk, fusion, and I book my own trio. I find that the amount of money that I make is directly related to how hard I work. Some crowds are at the bar to get drunk and some come out to hear live music. I have no allusions about being a rock star. I enjoy people paying attention to what I do, But if I am in a place that is a drinking place, I fully understand that is easier to get a crowds attention by sucking really bad. Most places that have a built in crowd want background music, they don't want you to play to loud. The regulars have to be able to hear each other. In all the history of the world, musicians mostly sit in the corner and play to the crowd. at the end of the night you get a little dough. The order of the cosmos doesn't change just cause some horn player is not as good as he thinks he is.
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby Rojack01 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:56 pm

illusions , allusions, I don't know. my girlfriend is nagging me and I am stoned
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby easytoslip » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:03 pm

Rojack01 wrote:I find that the amount of money that I make is directly related to how hard I work..


certainly don't want to jinx anything by bringing this up...but many of us hope for this in life, and I believe if you believe you've got it, you are doing what you are supposed to be doing aka on the right path
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby Octal » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:21 pm

easytoslip wrote:
Rojack01 wrote:I find that the amount of money that I make is directly related to how hard I work..


certainly don't want to jinx anything by bringing this up...but many of us hope for this in life, and I believe if you believe you've got it, you are doing what you are supposed to be doing aka on the right path

I have a feeling it is always the case. However, the two do not increase in synchronicity. 50% more work (as if such a thing could be tangible...) does not mean 50% more money. It may only take 5% more work to make 50% more money in one instance; or it may take 125% more work to make 75% more money--and 124% makes 0% more--in another.

To add another thought:
Does the first example of the wine bar promote mediocre musicians? Small, just starting out bands want to play gigs for the excitement of playing a gig. Consequently, making money is secondary to simply being able to play a gig. Professional musicians play gigs to make money, and don't want to play a gig if there isn't money. One class of musician is definitely more affordable (yet they don't draw the same crowds; consequently, they may not save money).
Last edited by Octal on Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby easytoslip » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:05 pm

friends of a friend, a married couple, I bumped into at various venues playing Nothin But Dylan. They wear tap shoes and mic near the wood they stand on, he's on an acoustic guitar and sometimes a harp, she? I forget, but pretty sure she wasn't just vox. Well they insisted coffee bars were the way to go. There's a Pine Loft Cafe up the Berlin Tpke south of Hartford that could be good. I like that they have delicious microbrews, organic hot foods available, and the atmosphere is cozy. The road its on sucks. Tit bars and seedy movie stores. Well, if you're into that it doesn't suck obviously. :hd:
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby Rojack01 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:13 pm

I have a feeling it is always the case. However, the two do not increase in synchronicity. 50% more work (as if such a thing could be tangible...) does not mean 50% more money. It may only take 5% more work to make 50% more money in one instance; or it may take 125% more work to make 75% more money--and 124% makes 0% more--in another.

I can say that setting up and tearing down and covering for other people and that sort of thing doesn't increase the pay. by work I mean promotion, practice, being aware of the type of show I'm doing, being aware of the audience, taking the bar owners feelings into account, making sure my rig is right. all that type of stuff. You should be able to tell what the pay will be like just by looking at the place. If I book a show at a coffee house, I am going to play to my audience. I think that if you don't give the crowd an excuse to like you, alot of times they won't. I play out when it pays or it doesn't cost anything to and I play in when it does cost. all of that depends on my state of mind more then anything else. Making a living as a musician is about putting yourself out there into as many situations as you can for as much money as you can. In the past I have booked myself into places hosting open mics, and I have made a lot of money doing that over the last 15 years. living in a fairly rural area i also have to be careful not to over expose myself in a particular place. If I can make 100 bucks after paying my band I will do it and sometimes i do it for less. If i thought i could make money busking I would do that to. Do you want me to play at your house? Come pick me up and I'll give you a real deal. I'm not trying to rant, but that sax player maybe should think about changing careers. You don't get rich being a musician. There is always that hope i guess, but mainly if you play for a living, you might not have many other options. So you take what you can get. 8)
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:30 pm

You have to start somewhere!
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby Dwarf Rat » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:05 pm

Start at the bottom and work your way down.
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby Mr.Burns » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:52 am

I used to play for $75 or LESS most gigs, in a four or five piece band. Seemed like I was willing to play my own songs for less money than i was willing to play other people's songs for.

When it comes to gigs, money is like air or sex; not a big deal, unless you're not getting any.

In hindsight, the money I made at those gigs is/was the least valuable part of the whole experience. At least that's the way I remember it. :D
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Re: Gigs - an interesting read

Postby hippieguy1954 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:26 am

It's a labor of love! A large part of "compensation" for a musician (as I see it) is the satisfaction of being able to do what you want to do...play music. Of course we want to be paid at least enough to live a meger life and not have to constantly worry about money too much, but unless you have a very together act and are willing to tour on a shoestring budget, or play in numerous bands or one with gigs every night of the week, you will not be able to support a family, buy a house or anything like that.

Back in the 80's when my first child was born, my music income did not cut it (2 or 3 gigs per week) and I had to face the facts. As much as we/I tried to plan things so I could start touring with the band I had at the time (was a tour worthy band too and we started getting booked in bars all over as we planned the touring), mynow xwife became pregnant, about 2 yrs sooner than planned. So, "the plan" did not materialize. I had to stop playing with the band and work a good paying day job with health insurance and all the other bullshit that goes along with it. I kept jamming on weekends (for the love of it) with some buds and still do. Just jamming on weekends and practicing when I could during those years continued to increase my abilities and refine my technique. I'm a lot better now than I was then. No matter what happens, never stop playing!

Now I can do whatever I want and am slowly trying to put something together with some other older farts like me! So, like I said, it's a labor of love! Don't expect it to be easy as far as money goes!
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