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Cool tip jars?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Zephrant, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Zephrant


    Dec 10, 2013
    Spokane, WA
    Anyone ever come up with a cool tip jar setup? Please post a picture.

    I've been thinking of doing something electronic- they put in money, and something lights up, shoots lasers out for 30s or something. Maybe a burst of smoke sprays out onto the dance floor.

    Basically a way to makes it fun to put money in the tip jar.
  2. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I've heard it's not professional to have a tip jar. :confused:

    See this thread: Band Tip plan

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  3. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I have never seen a band with a tip jar and would never consider doing it. I would rather be in a good band that can demand a good night's pay from the venue.
  4. Bow tie

    Bow tie

    Jan 9, 2014
    Upstate NY
    What's with the tip jar hate? Some of the best musicians also busk (Stanley Clark is the only one that comes to mind). If your playing for free otherwise a tip jar seems perfectly cool to me.
    I don't have a tip jar photo - but the funniest one I ever saw was a piano bar dude who put a little nerf-hoop in front of the tip jar. Whenever someone "scored" he would instantly break into to that "Ba da da da de sum" musical exclamation, and then flawlessly drop right back into the song. He made nice money just from people just trying to make him to his little break. Granted, all the money was wadded up into balls….
  5. Wow, no I've never seen a tip jar like that before - but that would be way cool. If you find one please post a link here. Thanks
  6. Slade N

    Slade N sunn #91 AZ Bands #?

    May 28, 2005
    we have a tip jar that is also a prop, so it still serves a purpose...ill try and get a pick today
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    During free shows we would use an old floor tom with a hole in the top head. Worked great.
  8. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    We pull 30k a year out of ours. It ain't going anywhere.

    Yes. It IS a jukebox shaped cookie jar.
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    My first reaction was: You guys have tip jars?

    I guess if the "artists" at subway can put a jar out why not a band.

    What does your band pull in that you get 30k in tips Steve? Better yet, tell me all the details of your band, because it sounds like you are doing something right.
  10. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    Looks like the poster is in a special demographics area, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I willing to bet that the patrons really appreciate live music up there. Just sayin.
  11. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I does depend on the gig. We play a lot of corporate events, amusement parks, showcase venues, so, no, there's no tip jar.

    If you're playing a local honky tonk that barely pays gas money, then, sure, I don't see a problem with a tip jar. I've even had people walk up to me and ask, "Where's your tip jar?" A lot of folks in little neighborhood watering holes don't mind tossing you a couple of bucks to hear their favorite song.

    I sub in with a classic rock band that plays a lot of sports bars and they really hype the "human jukebox" angle. They put out laminated song lists and request cards on every table. Most patrons will return those request cards to the stage with a few bucks. The band usually pulls in a couple of hundred extra bucks a night. That makes an average paying gig turn into a decent paying gig. The crowd hears what they want, the musicians make a little extra scratch. Everybody wins.


    Thank you for your indulgence,

  12. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Not really. It's called being a total mercenary money whore. Hardly anything to be artistically proud of. The guy I work for is just an absolute genius as to how far you can push the schtick.

    The band plays 5 nights a week there is a solicitation for requests from the audience about every third song followed by, "Sure, we can do that, step right up to the juke box."

    There is NEVER less than $100 in that thing and frequently $200. It'll go over $300 maybe 6 times a year.

    SO, here's the secret: Play every song you ever despised, twice a night sometimes if the tip is big enough.
  13. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    I've played in clubs where the crowd demanded that we, the band, put out a tip jar. Are we supposed to take a stand on principle against people ready to hand us extra money? Gimme a break, really.

    A beer pitcher from the bar does nicely.
  14. troy mcclure

    troy mcclure Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Central Florida
    I took an old acoustic guitar and cut the neck off, glued a business card holder to the front and put blinking lights inside. It worked but it was pita as I had to cut another hole in it to get out the cash. I put it on a basic guitar stand.
    I think an acrylic drum with light would be cool with blinking lights.
    1 of my old bands had a request book with slips and got a lot of tips like that but not $30k a year.
  15. FWIW: It's amazing how fast and much money a couple of hot chicks/w security working the crowd with tips jars can bring in - seriously.
  16. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    If you're a bassist playing covers, that right there is the best advice I have ever read on the internet.
  17. kellyrojo


    Feb 16, 2011
    South Carolina
    I play often at a hotel right on the beach. Its a solid gig thatays well with a view of the ocean. Sometimes we do a day set and there will be hot ladies in bikinis e erywhere. Hell yeah we have a tip jar out at that gig. When we don't we almost always get asked where it is. You guys with your high standards are ridiculous. "My music too good I don't want free money that's amateur" what ????

    I put a bike horn on our tip jar....its crazy but drunk idiots just wanna honk that thing so once one person honks it it starts rolling and next thing you know 50-100 in the jar. Not bad extra cash for 3 guys
  18. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    haha...great post....
  19. pipFunk


    Feb 1, 2005

    Hack! :D
  20. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Oh, you guys are full-time, that makes a LOT more sense as you'll have a lot more days to collect tips, plus you are probably pulling in $60,000ish regular pay (assuming $1,500 for a 5-day week). I have done the juke-box thing. Entire 3 hour nights doing 5 songs off the list all night, the thought to ask for tips while we did it just never crossed our mind. Not a bad idea because I have to think a LOT on those nights, nothing worse than playing a handful of songs you have never heard. Do you guys take the show on the road or just house-band work? If you take it on the road, has any bar management ever given you grief for the jar? The latter question applies to anybody using a tip jar.

    I am not really sure I get the point of this post. They do like live music here but no band is pulling in 30k locally, let alone 30k in tips. My metropolitan area is 300k-ish, hardly a city that never sleeps. I know that my band gets paid decently in the grand scheme of TB. The top paid bands locally are pulling $3k-ish a weekend, but due to the size of the city, you cannot do one of those gigs too often for fear of saturating the market. Most successful cover bands here are older people, so they have lives and usually day jobs, it is not like they want to do a grand tour for covers.

    I also like the mullet box, has it ever back-fired that some guy with a mullet got offended? haha.