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Does your band use a "tip jar"?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by mimaz, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Always! Are you kidding, why wouldn't we?

  2. Use one whenever it's considered appropriate.

  3. Never! We don't use a tip jar.

  4. Huh? Never thought of it!

  5. We use a carrot jar.

  1. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    In another thread, someone mentioned that the "tip jar" was no longer producing the $$ as it had in the past.

    That got me thinking........I can't ever remember playing in a band that placed a tip jar out front. Yeah, I've received tips, and I've seen a few solo acts using the jar, but I've never been in a band that actively solicited the tips.

    What about you?
  2. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    We used a tip jar at one show, without yeilding much results. Our drummer once got a $10 tip after a drum solo.
  3. Ours is a Beer Fund jar, which is out anytime we play "at home" because there's always a keg on tap.
  4. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    lord, I have a story...

    I played with a band that was fronted by married couple - a singer and a sax layer. The sax player was a guy with a real chip on his shoulder, ie "why does the man keep me down!" - that sort of thing.

    Well, they had a little boy of about 5. Not long before I left the band, and this couple got tired of playing showcase gigs for little pay (as one does when pimping for CD sales and a record deal), they started having their little boy walk around with the tip jar, begging for money. I kid you not - sending your kid out into the audience to beg. I raised my objection about how... well, humiliating and wrong this is and was reminded that I was the bassist, not the band. I then refused to take money from this tip jar, instead making sure my "share" went to the kid himself...

    So sure, tip jars are okay - but lord, don't pimp your little kid to collect your funds, people!
  5. CerealKiller


    Jul 29, 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    I just want to know that the hell a "carrot jar" is?????

    I might have to get me one of those...;)
  6. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Thats a sad sight right there my man.
  7. wnelson


    Aug 15, 2007
    theres a couple of places around here that automatically have a jar on stage for you....other than that i never been in a band that used them...weve talked about it,but our paying gigs and merch sales do us enough justice..
    i think tip jars are more appropiate for cover bands...imo
  8. Seems pretty goofy to me. The audience payed the cover, if they want to throw some more money towards the band they can buy a t shirt or a record.

    Maybe if you are a cover band.
  9. I think it depends on the venue. I never see a problem with it if there is no cover charge.
    Even if there is a cover charge, we usually put it out. We just don't talk about it. If there is no cover, we'll mention it once a set.

    Here in Nashville, especially on Broadway, you live on tips. Some of the Honky Tonks give you $30-40 a man, but your main cheese is tips. The tourists love doing it is the thing. It depends where you are I guess.

    I saw a guy last week that said "$20 and we'll play your song, or $20 and we'll stop playing a song you don't like" ....Someone came up later and paid them $20 to stop playing a song. They stopped with a smile.

    One of my bands got paid $20 to stop playing Mustang Sally...which we were happy to do. The guy then gave us another $10 to play Ain't No Sunshine....which we were happier to do.

    My $0.02
  10. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have never used one, but two strange things have
    happened to me in the last few years. The first I quote from
    a Lobby thread from March 2006 'The Talkbass Panhandler'.
    No point to rewrite it, just searched it.

    Then, last Sunday I went to town, and took a few minutes
    to park my car, walk down to the water at dusk and restring
    my 'car guitar', the beater 6 string I bang around with.

    That took a half hour, then I walk back up the street to my
    car, playing the thing.

    A couple is walking by, coming the other way. After they pass,
    the woman calls to me, she has a fiver in her hand. I said,
    'Thanks, no. I was just tuning my guitar.' and I turned and kept walking.

    The town I live in is fairly affluent, and you don't see many
    homeless, or buskers or anything. I am not exactly dressed
    badly, I have on clean black jeans and a light blue dress shirt
    with a collar and some boat shoes.

    Why she decided I needed the cash, I'm not sure. :confused:

    I should have taken it for the Food Bank, but the karma wasn't
    right. I guess I was kind of insulted for a moment.

    Anyway, it was all kind of weird.
  11. I play in a duo with a pianist at a swanky club in the nice part of Denver, and we have the tip jar out all the time. We never say a word about it, but we WILL say "Thank you for your generosity, sir/ma'am!" into the mic when someone feeds the meter.

    Tips vary greatly from one night to the next; I've split as little as $3 and as much as $170 on a given night.
  12. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Some venues put out a tip jar. I never turn it down ;)

    We have also passed the hat at some gigs, and probably will again.

    And we are a cover band... so we don't have CDs to sell. However, we had some t-shirts done up and are going to try selling those.
  13. I've seen quite a few touring bands in the underground music scene put out a jar, or sometimes a crudely crafted box of some sort on their merch tables. Usually with a label on them saying "tips", "gas money" and even one that said something like "gas money or weed donations here". I'd expect no less from the loudest band I've ever seen, Torche. :smug:

    I think it's a great idea for touring bands, and especially for bigger shows/fests where the bands might get barely enough money to cover gas for the next drive on tour.
  14. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Heck Yeah we use a tip Jar when appropriate. Having a kid beg is probably lower than we would go, but we think nothing of asking an outgoing, attractive female audience member to bring the tip jar around. Tip Jars are usually appropriate in gigs without a cover, or gigs in dive'ish bars where there is a low cover, and we are playing multiple sets with no garantee.
  15. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    We put the jar there, but we don't mention it or pass it around. Maybe the poll should've split cover band versus original bands up :). We do say thank you when someone puts something in it though.... Had a bar patron take it and start passing it around, we didn't like that and had to go retrieve it.... hey if they wanna tip that's fine :). Come in handy when someone does a request and it happens to be one we know !
    Considering the pay hasn't changed in 20 years, I see no probs with tip jars and have put money into them myself. I do have a problem with the ones at stores.....errrrrr......isn't it your *job* to ring me up? !
  16. Tip jar payed us in a club one night when we ran over in playing time. Our pay would stop as we were to play till 1.30am and quit. We stayed an extra hour, till 2.30, because the club patrons "pony'ed up" and payed enough in the tip jar to keep the music coming. Someone on the dancefloor asked, how much for another hour? A band member said $100 bucks. People started pulling money out, 5vs 10s 20s, and all. Someone said we've have it and put in in the tip jar. All in all we got $175 for the last hour as they kept putting money in. So the tip jar was a tool to allow patrons to pay us direct, besides paying the door. The club workers were not happy because they stayed later that night.
  17. cabrego


    Jan 21, 2007
    The band I've been with for the past five years uses a tip jar. The singer kindly says,"Please don't forget to tip your bartenders and waitresses, and yes, we also accept tips" We have a nice pa, lights, and trailer that was all paid for with tips. It is not uncommon for a dude to tip us 20 bucks for his date's song. Drunk dudes seem to think this impresses the ladies. It is also not uncommon for several members of the crowd to get in to a bidding war for the last song of the night. Sounds ridiculous but there have actually been nights when we clear 200 bucks in tips at fancy clubs. It does help having about 275 songs on our list. Another good idea is to get a contract with set times when you play at a private party. The party usually doesn't get started till right before our scheduled finish time. If they want us to play longer they got to fork over the cash.
  18. My wife and I played at a church fall festival about 15 yrs ago and I still get a chuckle out of it. We were set up in the corner of the fellowship hall where they were having a come-and-go kind of chili dinner while the other activities were taking place outside. We had about 30-45 minutes of music prepared and planned to repeat it a time or two since the idea was that there would be steady turnover of people. Our neighbors went to this church so we didn't ask about $$ when they asked us to do it. We figured it would be like a lot of church gigs and we would get a little something, but we were fine if we didn't because it was local. Well right before we started someone brought up a coffee can with "Tips" written on it and placed it on the edge of the stage right in front of us! What a hoot! I honestly don't remember if that is the only time I've played with a tip jar but I KNOW it's the only time in nearly 30 yrs that I've had a tip jar at a church gig.
  19. WickedPissah


    Jan 22, 2008
    The one time i've played live, a buddy tossed a buck at me after the set. closest i've been to tip jar.
  20. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    You need a buddy with deeper pockets! :cool:

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