Paying Subs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by DumpsterDave, Mar 25, 2014.


  1. DumpsterDave

    DumpsterDave Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    What are the schools of thought on paying subs. Do you you give them an equal cut of that nights pay, or do you give a percentage to the standing member, say 10-15%, and then pay the sub the remaining 85-90%.
  2. elgecko

    elgecko

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Anasleim, CA
    If I can't make a gig and one of my regular bands uses a sub, I wouldn't expect a single penny.
    Dark Horse, Ironbar, StayLow and 3 others like this.
  3. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Sub gets my full pay. I didn't work, no pay for me.
    Dark Horse and MTFD24 like this.
  4. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Our band pays a full share to the sub. No show = no pay. Some acts pay me a set amount that we agree upon prior to the gig.
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  6. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    Equal cut or more. They're doing the band a huge favor.

    Heck, I was going to pay my sub a retainer fee for our last 4 gigs. It was totally up in the air on whether I could play them or not (wife was pregnant and ready to give birth any day). If I played them, he was getting some of my cut just for being available. If I didn't play them, he took my full cut. As it happened, I wasn't able to play any of them. He got my full cut and played 4 of the best gigs we've had since last summer. I was a little jealous.
    Dark Horse and domdec314 like this.
  7. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    I suppose it depends on the sub and the job call (# of gigs, etc) - their minim may require more money than an equal cut, so be prepared to pay more for someone to bail you out.
    StayLow, carl h. and MTFD24 like this.
  8. BassCliff

    BassCliff

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Hi,

    I agree with the consensus.

    When I've subbed in I've always gotten the regular pay, sometimes a little more. But getting paid more is always unexpected and unnecessary.

    When I don't show for a gig I don't get paid. I wouldn't expect to.


    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
  9. BayStateBass

    BayStateBass

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Location:
    Central Massachusetts
    When I have subbed I've gotten an equal share. When I've hired subs I've paid an equal share. The regulars don't get a cut if they don't play. More often than not a sub is bailing you out.
  10. BrotherMister

    BrotherMister

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    If I were subbing a gig for someone and they took a pay without even being at the gig I would never sub for that person again. You would be hard to find a working musician who would do that. If you don't make the gig and send someone else in to do it then they get the money you should have been paid.

    Some gigs I do such as theatre shows I may get paid weekly or monthly so the sub isn't paid on the night they cover but in those instances I ensure the first thing I do is pay the people who have subbed for me when I get the money. I didn't do the gig so I don't get paid.
  11. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    New Zealand
    If playing in bands was a money spinning thing and you happened to own 1/4 of a sucessful band you would get some cream via the accounts.

    But no.
  12. Steve

    Steve Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    I find out you clip my pay and hell will freeze before I take another call from you.

    I'd pay you out of my pocket before I would do that to you.
  13. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    Newport News, VA via NYC
    Disclosures:
    Kohlman Bassworks
    Why would anyone pay the guy who's not playing and short the sub? I am not playing for any less than the rest of the band members. Why should I?
  14. Joebarnes

    Joebarnes

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    The regular guy gets a cut and doesn't have to play? Hey, I'm your regular guy then. Send me my cut and go hire a sub. Don't worry about me showing up, I can do this job from my home.
  15. jaypee

    jaypee

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga. metro - Kennesaw
    As a sub, you usually have a week or less to cram for the gig. That means brushing up or learning a whole night's worth of material that the regular bass player and band (hopefully) can play with their eyes closed.

    This is a lot of work that usually the regular band members shouldn't have to go through for a regularly scheduled gig. That is a lot of time on the front end for the sub to put into for the gig.

    That being said, to think that a sub should get shorted full pay and the regular should get a "commission" is not only wrong, but it also displays an unrealistic look at the complete picture of what the sub will have to go through to "cover" the regular; especially, if the sub is conscientious and is diligent to do a job worthy of being called in as a sub in the future.
  16. elgecko

    elgecko

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Anasleim, CA
    I have to ask...was this the standing member's idea?
  17. Steve

    Steve Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    just out of curiosity..how much money are we talking about? 10-15% of a bar gig isn't enough money to even consider stepping on toes or pee'ing on legs.

    Or are we talking about covering two nights of Claptons next tour @ 10K a show?

    Don't be that $20 schmuck guy...
  18. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Sutton, MA
    The sub gets a minimum of an equal share. If it's one of those low paying gigs b/c the band just likes to gig then don't be surprised if the sub demands more than an equal share.

    I will sub for a friend's band for an equal share (even if it's low pay) but not for someone that I really don't know.
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  19. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    A good sub gets what a good sub can be hired for.

    Let's say your band booked a low-pay gig largely for promo, and on short notice one of the regular crew became unavailable. You can't cancel the event, and you need a good sub, so that might mean the sub's the only one being paid. I've seen gigs where the BL goes into pocket, the regulars make $75-100, and the sub pockets $250.

    OTOH, on a decent wedding gig, the BL might be making bank while the sub's working for $250-500, a hotel room, and meals. That same gig, the killer sub lead vox or guitar/keys/backing vocalist is making half again as much as the sub bassist who doesn't sing. And the trombone player is working for the pre-gig bandwich and a sixer of Natty Lite.:)
  20. the yeti

    the yeti

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    raleigh, nc
    i would think it'd be a fee, negotiated up front. i would never pay a person who didn't play. if they expected to be paid i'd probably fire them, certainly if they made a big deal out of it.
  21. elgecko

    elgecko

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Anasleim, CA
    ...or are you the standing member wanting a 10-15% cut?

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