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  #21  
Old 11-24-2012, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by thepontif View Post
Just curious about a consensus here. If you accept a gig on an off night that pays low, and then get an offer for another that pays more, how many of you bail on the lower paying one? And of those who do, how much more must the better gig pay? And do you bother to get a sub?
That's a career killer.
  #22  
Old 11-24-2012, 02:59 PM
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As it's been said, it depends on whether you're an integral part of the band or just the quarter note donkey. If an integral part, then really can't send a sub. If otherwise, line up a competent sub and let the BL know ahead of time. Or sometimes it might be better to just let the sub show up (if he/she really is competent and can handle anything) and that way the BL doesn't have the time to get all into a tizzy and will just be happy to have the player.

But I generally wouldn't dump a gig just b/c there's a better paying one. The tour gig is a different story.
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  #23  
Old 11-24-2012, 03:01 PM
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As it stands, if both your gigs are in the same town, you'd better stick with the first one (unless maybe you could find a sub you can trust to get the job done and not lower the hiring person's bar).

I would have said unequivocally to keep the gig you've agreed to do up until about two years ago. I still think ditching a gig is a bad thing, but my wife once declined a much bigger gig offer in another city and has regretted the choice ever since.
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  #24  
Old 11-24-2012, 04:10 PM
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It's really not a cut and dried thing. I think everyone wants to do the right thing, but circumstances do complicate things sometimes. Under no circumstances should it be left in the bandleader's hands, though.

Some band leaders just don't want the last minute hassle, some feel disrespected, and some just have an attitude about it.
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  #25  
Old 11-24-2012, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepontif
It's really not a cut and dried thing. I think everyone wants to do the right thing, but circumstances do complicate things sometimes. Under no circumstances should it be left in the bandleader's hands, though.

Some band leaders just don't want the last minute hassle, some feel disrespected, and some just have an attitude about it.
From a BL perspective, it is pretty cut and dried. If a musician cancels on me for a better gig, he will not get a call from me again. Now, it may be worth it for that musician, but perspective is everything.

It's not about attitude or respect, but reliability. If a musician cancels once for a better gig and I hire him again, I am affirming his behavior. Based on my experience, he WILL do it again.
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  #26  
Old 11-24-2012, 06:48 PM
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If, as in the case of the OP, music is your primary means of putting food on the table, you have to look at the heavier paying gig when it comes in. And if, as I assume is the case of the OP, you have a GOOD network of subs, most BL's wouldn't mind a switch as long as the gig doesn't suffer. It's all about how you communicate when this stuff comes up.

I'm way past my prime as a full time player, yet I still have 3-4 guys I can call to fill in on very short notice if it was necessary. What isn't cool, under any circumstance, is just bailing on the gig without at least offering some kind of resolution ... Especially if you're taking a date for more coin.
  #27  
Old 11-24-2012, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by guy n. cognito

From a BL perspective, it is pretty cut and dried. If a musician cancels on me for a better gig, he will not get a call from me again. Now, it may be worth it for that musician, but perspective is everything.

It's not about attitude or respect, but reliability. If a musician cancels once for a better gig and I hire him again, I am affirming his behavior. Based on my experience, he WILL do it again.
I guess there's a practical component here. For a bandleader, it's not worth the hassle to call someone he thinks may not follow through on the gig. Same time, if I get a call for a $150.00 gig 8 months before the gig, I'll take it with the caveat that if a tour comes up, I may have to be gone. Just like anyone else might find after a few months that he had to take a business trip, or whatever. You can't condemn somebody for that. So is it LESS hassle if someone cancels for a good reason? Probably not. But you'll be less quick to write them off. And it's because the BL wants a little retribution. And this is why players LIE all the time so they don't look bad. I've seen it and heard of it happening over and over.

Bad idea, but it happens.
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  #28  
Old 11-24-2012, 10:46 PM
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Granted, Madison has a smaller music scene. Players and bandleaders are reasonably well balanced. A player who gets a reputation for bailing on gigs will gradually get weeded out. But on the other hand a bandleader with a long grudge list will have a hard time getting quality players, and their own business will suffer.

We have a reasonable network of bassists, and bandleaders know which subs can be trusted. I get a lot of my work from subbing.
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  #29  
Old 11-25-2012, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by thepontif View Post
I guess there's a practical component here. For a bandleader, it's not worth the hassle to call someone he thinks may not follow through on the gig. Same time, if I get a call for a $150.00 gig 8 months before the gig, I'll take it with the caveat that if a tour comes up, I may have to be gone. Just like anyone else might find after a few months that he had to take a business trip, or whatever. You can't condemn somebody for that. So is it LESS hassle if someone cancels for a good reason? Probably not. But you'll be less quick to write them off. And it's because the BL wants a little retribution. And this is why players LIE all the time so they don't look bad. I've seen it and heard of it happening over and over.

Bad idea, but it happens.
I don't disagree with the fact that, for the player, it might make sense to burn one bridge in order to cross another one. But to assume that the loss of future opportunities is nothing more that retribution sounds like rationalization to me.

If a guy takes a gig, but let's me know up front that something else might take priority, then I might cut him some slack. If a guy cancels because he can make a little more money, then I won't bother calling him again, because he's proven to be unreliable to me. If a guy cancels at the last minute for a little more money and leaves me in the lurch, then I'll make sure to spread the word.

I had a sub drummer a few years ago cancel on me at the last minute, leaving me in quite a situation. I almost had to cancel a gig, and ended up playing with an unknown hack. He told me he was so sick he couldn't even stand up. I believed him, until a member of the other band he was playing with that night (instead of us) tagged him in a photo.......from their gig. When I commented on the photo the next day, he called me and tried to cover it up. That type of reputation spreads fast.
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  #30  
Old 11-25-2012, 01:33 AM
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In Nashville quite a few years back there was a Society Bandleader who was infamous for booking players 6-8 months in advance for Club Dates with "Tux, white shirt, bow tie, fifty bucks!". I was on those gigs for a long time until I had to let one go about 2 months in advance for something that paid 7 times as much. I got a sub that was a great player and took care of it. He never called me again. Guess what? I didn't miss it! Other work showed up to take it's place and I never worked a Tux gig for fifty bucks ever again.
I'm not afraid to ask a for a minimum acceptable rate or pass something along to a younger player who would really appreciate the work. You don't have to get nasty about it, but being respectful of everyone involved in the transaction will pay dividends.
As a Band Leader with my own projects I go out of my way to make sure that the guys get above the market rate for the gig. If it cuts into my profit margin I chalk it up to the cost of doing business and realize that there are other income streams in my career than that one. Generally, it's pretty rare to have someone bail at the last minute and as I said in an earlier post every chair is 3-4 players deep which is a luxury someplace like Nashville with it's deep talent pool offers.

Last edited by Roy Vogt : 11-25-2012 at 01:36 AM.
  #31  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:01 AM
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Roy, you are very reasonable :-)
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  #32  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepontif View Post
Just curious about a consensus here. If you accept a gig on an off night that pays low, and then get an offer for another that pays more, how many of you bail on the lower paying one? And of those who do, how much more must the better gig pay? And do you bother to get a sub?
If you agree to a gig, you don't bail on it, period. In my opinion a sub is unacceptable. The sub was not hired, you were.
  #33  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:30 AM
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It sort of also depends on the genre. If you are a cover band/original band/club band a sub is more of a PITA than if you are a Wedding/Event Band. I work for 3 Wedding Bands in Nashville. Each one has 5-10 bassists that the leader is comfortable with and we can swap around if need be. These typically have books and if you can read and are up on current Top 40 it's no sweat. I try to use common sense and diplomacy with this stuff-80% of success is showing up and you need to be seen there on time, smiling and playing great when possible. Still, that's a whole lot easier than subbing a self contained band. We all have thrown gigs back and forth, but I have also kept a date at a loss if I couldn't get one of those guys before. It's also the cost of doing business sometimes.
Broadway Musicians have the option to sub up to 50% of the time written into their contracts. There are guys who make a nice living covering shows for other players and it's a good way to get in the network. There are some gems in this interview with Broadway Contractor/Bassist John Miller:
http://www.johnmillerbass.com/media_...sentation.html

Last edited by Roy Vogt : 11-25-2012 at 08:35 AM.
  #34  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Eye

If you agree to a gig, you don't bail on it, period. In my opinion a sub is unacceptable. The sub was not hired, you were.
So, you hire me for 2 weddings that pay $200 a piece, then Dave Sanborn calls and asks me to go on the road for a month. So I turn him down because of the two weddings? In my case, that is the reality of the situation. So "this is what you do, PERIOD" is not reasonable. Anybody can play satin doll for the people.
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  #35  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:52 AM
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Again, right on Roy.


For me, it boils down to a delicate balance between work that I need, and work that I want. I want to be touring the world and playing for audiences who are there to hear us play. But the reality is that I have to take local work to pay the bills. I rarely take a gig I don't WANT to do, but if a tour comes up, I'm most likely going to take it, and I doubt anyone in the same situation would do differently.

However, I would never turn down a local $100 gig I accepted in order to do a local $300 gig though. That's just lame. The extra $200 just doesn't mean anything.
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  #36  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:53 AM
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It's hilarious to me that some of the people in this thread have no idea who they're talking to. Quite enjoyable.

The realities that exist at different levels of the music business are vastly different. Subbing is one way to bridge the gaps between those levels. Call me anytime, Mike!
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  #37  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:53 AM
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I would say you definitely don't want to get a rep as a bailer. That will hurt, especially in the smaller areas. Word gets around quickly. I, like most everyone else, would do my best to line up a sub, and if I couldn't, I'd keep the original gig, unless there were some real mitigating circumstances, some truly compelling and legitimate reason why I couldn't pass up the second gig.

One might make more money short term, but it's hard to make money in the long run if people won't hire you for a bad rep.

I always hated it when people bailed on me for no legitimate reason, and iam sure plenty others feel the same way.
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  #38  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thepontif

So, you hire me for 2 weddings that pay $200 a piece, then Dave Sanborn calls and asks me to go on the road for a month. So I turn him down because of the two weddings? In my case, that is the reality of the situation. So "this is what you do, PERIOD" is not reasonable. Anybody can play satin doll for the people.
I think that you guys are not dealing with the same gigging environment. Metal guy, meet Jazz guy. Jazz guy, meet Metal guy.
My keyboardist/cowriter took an Olivia Newton-John tour and I had to cover some gigs. No big deal-I couldn't match the 6 grand a week he was making there so I covered the gigs. Fortunately it being Nashville his sub was Karlton Taylor from the Victor Wooten Band. I had a good time with what Karlton (and Kenny Zarider, a fine session keyboardist) brought to the gig.

Last edited by Roy Vogt : 11-25-2012 at 09:03 AM.
  #39  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Pacman View Post
It's hilarious to me that some of the people in this thread have no idea who they're talking to. Quite enjoyable.

The realities that exist at different levels of the music business are vastly different. Subbing is one way to bridge the gaps between those levels. Call me anytime, Mike!
Exactly. A local BL has to realize that if he/she books a world class player like Mike on a gig, there's a chance that he might not be available come the gig date b/c of a tour.
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  #40  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Roy Vogt

I think that you guys are not dealing with the same gigging environment. Metal guy, meet Jazz guy. Jazz guy, meet Metal guy.
My keyboardist/cowriter took an Olivia Newton-John tour and I had to cover some gigs. No big deal-I couldn't match the 6 grand a week he was making there so I covered the gigs. Fortunately it being Nashville his sub was Karlton Taylor from the Victor Wooten Band. I had a good time with what Karlton (and Kenny Zarider, a fine session keyboardist) brought to the gig.
Again, right on.
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