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Freebie Cost Me a Paying Gig - Slightly Bummed

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by jaywa, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I play in a pretty busy covers/originals band and I also play on my church's worship team (unpaid volunteer).

    So a few weeks ago I committed to play at my church this upcoming Sunday, which means a practice the Thursday night before. Last weekend, loading out from the cover band gig and that BL says he has a gig for us... for Thursday. At first I thought the timing would work out for me to do both, but found out yesterday the gig and my church practice times overlap. So I had to bow out of the paying gig.

    I told the BL and he was OK with me missing the gig cause he gave us such short notice but it still kinda stinks cause it would have been an "acoustic" job (minimal setup) probably paying me $100-150 for 2 1/2 hours of easy work. Oh well, I would have felt a lot worse about leaving my worship leader SOL so my conscience is clear anyway. I guess I must not have needed the money that much.

    I'm sure this happens to people a lot but it's never really happened to me before and it's not a big deal but am feeling the need for a mini-vent, anyway. Thx for listening.
  2. Obligations are obligations. Paid or not. However if it really meant having food on the table, I would have apologized, explained, and tried to find a fill in.
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yeah... it's not like it's taking food off the table but the wife has been unemployed for awhile so every little bit helps. We're doing OK though.

    I kept thinking of the BL of a band I was previously in who told me about having a guitarist recently beg-off of a gig he had promised to play with them, only to find out that guitarist was gigging across town that same night with another band (for better pay). I never want to be that guy.
  4. ACalbass


    Dec 16, 2011
    You will find that situations like this will be handled different by different people.
    I mean,this thread could end right here,or could become a 10 page thread,with many people telling you that their priority is work before church,after all,didn't they pray for work every day? to just neglect it when it comes?
    You asked for it,right?

    I just want to say you and only you know your priorities,and you decide.
    Nothing wrong with that,but if you felt the need to start a thread about your decision,then there is something bothering you internally that is challenging the decision.
    That is what I see.

    My advice : have your priorities straight,make decisions accordingly,but never give a second thought,unless it was the wrong decision.(you know is bad because it gave you an undesired result).
    Feel secure enough about it that you do not need to vent it,looking for other's opinions.
  5. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    A question... is practice with the worship band on Thursday necessary?
    Could it have been scheduled another day (I realize thats not easy when dealing with multiple people)?

    If practice with the worship band was necessary than I think you did the right thing.
    When I played in multiple bands, my schedule was prioritized on a first come first serve basis, though since we didnt have set practice days, gigs took priority over rehearsals.
  6. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Did you consider doing the paying gig and donating the money to the church.

    I'm sure they wouldn't mind that.
  7. ACalbass


    Dec 16, 2011
    See what I mean?
    Is good to analyze how the mind of people works.

    Some Christians pray for work,then when it comes,they don't do it.
    Some think that because they are "OK" financially,they can just skip it "this time",then why keep asking for more work?
    Make it sound like hypocrisy.

    When you make a decision,you do not back down,unless is wrong,if you feel insecure about it,is because it wasn't the right decision in the first place.

    You will hear a lot of it,and probably won;t make you ease your pain.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    At my church, the Thursday rehearsal is required. "No practice no play" is the policy and in fact the Worship Leader expects that if we know we can't make the rehearsal, we won't commit for Sunday morning. There have been a couple times when he let me skip the Thursday practice and just show up Sunday but that was when he had no one else to do it and the options were me without the Thursday practice, or nobody. In those cases though he knew about my prior Thursday commitment well in advance whereas this current situation would have been different.

    On top of which, I'm the first call bass player for my church and my Worship Leader would have me playing there almost every Sunday if he could but my main (paying) band is so busy during the summer that I'm lucky if I can give him 1 Sunday a month from May-Sept. So this time of year I hate to bag on any of the Sundays I can help my church out cause they are so few.
  9. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    You're probably going to get lots of different opinions on this, so here's another to add to the pile. I'm MD at my church, serving under the worship pastor and responsible for the musical (as opposed to vocal) side of things. This includes helping to sort out the scheduling. So I'm approaching this more from the BL's perspective...

    We also try to follow a 'no rehearsal, no Sunday' approach but it's flexible - some people have the skills to slot in on Sunday, and we rehearse before the services anyway. If someone lets me know before I put the rota together that they're unavailable on a certain week, then they won't be put in the band for that week. If they let me know closer to the time, or during the week, I'll look to see if we have other options and if someone else can fill in. If they really can't make the rehearsal but will turn up fully prepared on Sunday, having practiced the setlist, I can live with that if I know they'll be able to do it.

    In all that, I haven't questioned why. If someone's regularly pulling out at short notice with no explanation then we'd be having a conversation. If a pro (okay, we only have one in our team) says, "Sorry, this gig's come up at short notice" then I wouldn't have a problem with it. We're all volunteers and giving our time for free. I'm not going to expect someone to give up their paid work as well, unless it's a clear and conscious choice on their part.
  10. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Given that this is the case, I'd have simply told the church bandleader, "Sorry, a money opportunity came up and we can use the cash. I'm still okay for Sunday if you want me."
  11. throughthefire


    Oct 1, 2010

    Especially if you're the only one in the family bringing in cash. Or take the gig money out of your tithe this month!

    Whatever you decide to do, it will be noticed and appreciated by the right people.
  12. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    You did the right thing - keeping your commitment.
    I have a similar situation at my church. I was formerly the primary bassist, but I've backed off from that role because a)some Saturdays I'm playing late, and I'd have to be at the church by 7 to play in all 3 services, meaning I'd have to wake up at 6; I'm no longer willing to play services on 4-5 hours sleep b)practice on Wednesday is basically "required," although the music is not complicated; c)an occasional Wednesday gig pops up. Consequently, I sign up for only about 1 Sunday a month. If a Wednesday gig popped up after I had already agreed to play that Sunday, I would most likely turn down the gig. If it was a really special gig, or a really high paying gig, then I might see if I could work it out to either skip the practice or have someone else play that Sunday.

    (I should add that music is not my full-time job; if it were, I might think differently about this)
  13. YuppyPunk


    Oct 21, 2011
    I would have talked to worship BL and find out if you could leave early and still play on Sunday. In this economy, and with your wife out of work I would hope that he would understand that a paying gig is important. Of course, that assumes that you are comfortable with the material for Sunday.
  14. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    The scheduling wasn't gonna work out no matter what. At first my BL thought the paying gig would be 5 to 7, and worship team practice starts at 7 and I'd need about 20 minutes of transit time between the gigs. So I was gonna leave the paying gig a couple songs early and tell the WL I'd be to practice 15 mins late and it would all be good.

    Well turns out the paying gig is 5:30 to 8. So I told my BL I'd play the gig for half pay if I could leave halfway through, or I'd just pass on the whole thing. He thought it would be tacky for me to leave halfway through the gig (and I do too), so we mutually agreed I'd just pass on it.

    I told my wife about my decision and she was good with it. Like I said, it's not like we're on the verge of losing our house or anything. Up till last Saturday I didn't even know this Thursday night gig was in the works so it's not like me and my wife had plans for that money. If it turns out we really need it down the line I'm sure it will come from somewhere else.
  15. There's a queue of guys lined up for your Sunday session but you bailed on the paying gig? Nuts if you ask me.
  16. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    Was your covers/original band still able to play the Thursday gig with a sub or without bass? That would be a key question for me. Because it sounded like in one of your posts there were other basists avialble for the church gig (you said you were "first call" but could only do one Sunday a month). If your main playing mates lost out on gig cash because you didn't want to bail on a church gig that you might easily have found a sub for, then I would feel bad. But I guess this wasn't the case?
  17. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    The paying gig was gonna be "acoustic" more or less anyway cause our drummer couldn't make it in any event (day job conflict). So yeah, the paying gig went on as scheduled and in fact, the three remaining guys who were able to do it came out ahead cause they each got a bigger cut.

    And no there weren't guys lined up behind me to play the Sunday gig. Especially during the summer my WL has a hard time putting a full band on the stage some Sundays so that's why I felt it was important for me to stick with my commitment there.
  18. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    Yep, then you did the right thing. Your regular mates got paid, the WL and congregation gets a good player, and you lose a bit on the cash but as you have said it will come back to you somewhere, someway.
  19. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yeah I'm feeling better about it now. Had a good practice at church last night and I haven't heard how the band's gig went but it was an outdoor job and the weather was picture perfect so I'm gonna assume it went well for them too.
  20. denhou1974


    Mar 6, 2008
    Gig > Rehearsal

    Sorry, I would've told them that I picked up a gig and couldn't make it.

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