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Could I quit my day job?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by pontz, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    So I recently auditioned to play bass for a local, 20 something singer songwriter. I think I'll get the spot, but we'll see. The music isn't difficult, the challenge is going to be writing simple, tasty lines.

    Anyway, I think she has a lot of potential: she's an excellent vocalist, her lyrics are well-crafted and catchy and she's good looking. So it got me thinking. If I'm her bassist and she writes a few hit songs, maybe a Grammy winner or two, would I make enough $ to quit my day job?


    Dare to dream... of playing bass all day.
  2. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Well, I think you'd have to as you'd be busy touring the planet.
  3. As long as you plan everything properly... you'd have to get really famous to support your own family and have a nice house and car and such if you want to be a musician. That is, if you wish to concentrate wholly on your music, like me (rare these days), you can live on a music career without becoming super-uber Beatles type famous.

    Good luck with your musical career! =D
  4. Wrong thread. ;\ Sorry ... error on my part here.
  5. Oops..

    EDIT: o_O
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Nope. Concentrate on being a good musician and learning as much as possible about both the art and business, and you might be able to make a passable living gigging and teaching.

    Hanging your hat on one hook isn't a strategy for long term success.
  7. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments

    Hanging your hat on one hook isn't a strategy for long term success.[/QUOTE]
    +1 depending on working with one artist is not IMO a good idea.If your goal is to have a career in music,being multi-faceted and having multible opportunities by working with as many people as possible.also remember that the people playing with a artist before they get signed are not always the people playing with them after they get signed.that's something that might not be under their control,management and lable people can have a huge affect on that.I have gotten many road gig's based on my relationship's with artist's managment.
  8. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    Thanks for the advice guys, but I was kinda just having fun (dreaming at work) when I started this thread.

    Music is my hobby, though I make some money gigging now and then, playing in cover bands ain't gonna make you the next Maroon 5. So when I auditioned to play with an original songwriter I felt like, wow, this could actually go somewhere besides the local bars. But I already have a family, house, career, etc. So for me, it would have to be a lucky break, beacuse I don't have time to teach lessons or play with lots of bands (this'll be 2, and thats already 2 much).

  9. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Of course the hard-ass question here is... if she can advance her career by hiring a different bassist, why should she stick with you?

    James Taylor dumped Lee Sklar when he couldn't make one tour.
  10. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    Yeah BassChuck, that thought crossed my mind too. If she starts making it, well, there are a lot of better bass players than me (pretty much every bass player is better than me).

    That's alright, at least I'll be able to tell my grandchildren about how I was almost her basist.

    Hey can someone answer my orinal question, for fun. If she did make it big (like Norah Jones big) and I remained her bassist, would I be able to play bass all day an not worry about money?
  11. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    No. Likely, if she made it big, her record company would can you and bring in some super-talented, pretty-boy hired gun (not to say that you aren't pretty or talented.) ;)
  12. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    Geez, you guys are killing me. I need my dreams, they help me get through work.



    Just say yes, make a brother's day.

  13. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Yes, you could pay your electric bill ........ :)
    the first month ....... :bag:
  14. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Well, you'd be touring w/ her, that would make you some money I guess, you'd also have some album sales income, and when you got home you'd be the hot name of the neighborhood so it should be easy to get some students. So yes.
  15. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    Thanks guys, cause I don't have an acoustic bass.

    Now I can get back to pushing pencils and dreaming of sold out arena gigs.

  16. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Unless you had the mother of all sideman contracts, or had songwriting credit on one of those Grammy winners, then I doubt you could float on just that one gig. It would have to be something akin to being the indispensible sideman for a big name act selling out large venues.
  17. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    It would all depend on what kind of deal you strike with her.

    If you want to make a living in the music biz.......

    1. Learn how the business works.

    There's a lot to learn, but I'll tell you one basic thing to know.......songwriters make all the money, get all the royalties, etc. Everybody else in the band makes whatever deal they have with the songwriter; could be good (even split among all band members), could be a lot less good.

    Typically, if a band is splitting all royalties evenly, they'll credit all songwriting to the band, i.e. "all songs written by The Pinwheels", instead of "songs 1-11 written by Jane Doe, song 12 written by Bob Smith".

    So basically, just because she has a hit record does not mean that you are riding the gravy train.

    Your best bet would be to have songwriting ability yourself, so that you might either co-write some songs, or get a few of your own songs on the album. Royalties from record sales are divided proportionally; you wrote one song out of 12, you get 1/12 of the royalties. Residuals from airplay are payed to the songwriter of the song that gets airplay.
  18. Don Bennett has been with Marcia Ball for over 20 years. But he often isn't on her records, instead it's people like Roscoe Beck. He makes a good living, but he is on the road much of the time. So yeah, you could make a good living even if she were moderately successful.