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Gigging is a job!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Axtman, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    A few musicians really don't understand this concept. If you get paid for playing then you are at a job. Here is what you should do.

    1. Show up early.
    2. Have all your equipment ready to go and instruments tuned up long before sound check.
    3. Have your music in order and set list taped to some inconspicuous spot.
    4. Have practiced your music and if you don't use music have the songs memorized.
    5. Be respectful of the owner, sound person, band leader and other bandmates.
    6. Help your bandmates out in moving gear, etc.
    7. Be sober.
    8. Wear appropriate clothes for the venue.
    9. If appropriate, mingle with audience during breaks and afterwards.
    10. Thank and be courteous to the audience, owner, sound person, etc.

    What am I missing?

    The reason for this post is that I am in a band where a fellow bandmate is a brilliant musician but just not a team player. The band leader has given him talks on several occasions and is tired of babysitting him. We have a gig coming up but after that he will be let go.
  2. Even some old pros have a problem with this.
    Last night I went to see my former guitar instructor perform at a gig.

    He barely got set up in time & was generally not very nice to the people who came there in support.
    I for one will never got out of my way again, even if the venue was only 3 miles from home.
  3. Many folks just won't get this.

    The band that I just quit after many years had one member who routinely didn't believe these rules applied to him. Be sober and help, even if only those two rules could have been followed it would have made a difference.
  4. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    Preaching to the choir, man. :) I've been lucky in that bands I've been in, even ones with not much talent, most of the members were conscientious and had a pro attitude. Having a foot in the classical music world helped in that slackers just don't last long there. These days I apply Adam Neely's criteria for taking a gig:

    1. Does it pay?
    2. Can you stand the people you are playing with?
    3. Is it musically rewarding?

    If you can answer yes to two of those questions, take the gig. People with pro attitudes fall under question 2 obviously. :)
    THUNDERGODX likes this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    competence on any job/gig starts with the ability to understand "what are we doing (goals) here?" the simplest form of failure happens when one team member asks "what am i doing here?"

    sounds like your "brilliant musician" bandmate would have difficulty with either/both questions. too bad, but good luck getting cats who can work together --- on/off the same page! :thumbsup:
    Leo Smith likes this.
  6. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    Years ago I read a list similiar to the one I posted about how to get hired for gigs. The author started out by saying that you don't have to be the best bass player but if you follow these simple rules that you will be most likely hired by bands, fill-in gigs or recording work. The author then said the best part is that these items require not talent. (Of course you have to be good enough to play the music.)

    On the flip side there is another musician in the band (besides me) that goes above and beyond. He always shows up early (last Saturday he was 1-1/2 hours early) he is helpful and a nice guy. Plus he practices the music all the time and has been know to call the band leader with questions about what the band leader wants played at some of the songs. AND he will ask me if he is too loud!
  7. Yeah, that’s a pretty good list.

    I’ve known many good players who were bad employees. Somehow, still working.
    I’ve known many bad players who were good employees. Obviously, still working.
    I’ve known a few bad players who were bad employees. Not working.
    I’ve known not nearly enough good players who were good employees. Working in someone else’s band.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    11. Remember you are performing for an audience. You are there to entertain them, not yourself. Play what THEY want to hear, act like you are on stage in a performance.
    Axtman and WI Short Scaler like this.
  9. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    I am me
    How does this one fit in?

    12) Sell drinks.

    Most club owners think you are there to do just that
    Kitsapbass likes this.
  10. You are...
  11. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    I recall playing in a biker bar and between songs on a lark I started and led a chugging contest with the crowd. Who knew I was instinctively doing my job? :)
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  12. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    If I'm there to be a pitch man for alcohol consumption than I'm going to want a piece of that profit as well. :thumbsup:
  13. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    Yep. Make sure you have the drink policy nailed down explicitly so you don't run into the Blues Brothers dilemma:

    "Bob, about our money for tonight."

    "That's right. Two hundred dollars...
    ...and you boys drank $300 worth of beer."
    Anachronism likes this.
  14. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    I whole hardheartedly agree! Too many musicians view playing music for their own self pleasure.
  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Your job is to increase the owner's net profits (after he pays for you, and loses the floor space for tables in some place). If you don't do that, you aren't going to be hired. Nice try, though.

    And there is nothing wrong with playing solely for you own enjoyment. But if you want to be paid to do it and play in front of others, it's a different thing.
    12BitSlab and richntiff like this.
  16. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Nice list, and items 2-8 plus 10 are spot on, as that's called being professionally courteous. However, items 2 and 9 can be problematic. Particularly #2 which depends on whether the musician is being paid, either accounting for those hours directly, or the compensation for the work performed is adjusted for showing up earlier than the requested time.

    Mingling is good business, even as a sub on 1099. But selling merchandise, one should be a shareholder or partner in the band, or if a 1099 sub then either get a cut or get paid something.

    And finally, you forgot rule #0:

    0- Make sure your compensation matches the talent you put into the gig, and worth your time.
  17. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    In my band, we've always followed what we call, "The big three A's of gigging". In order of priority:

    1.) You will honor the terms of the gig agreement to the best of your ability. (Agreement)

    2.) You will do your best to entertain the audience that you were hired to play for. (Audience)

    3.) You will socialize and have a positive demeanor towards all staff and guests before, during, and after the gig. (Attitude)
    If any of the big three are at risk before, during, or after a gig, then we work quickly and efficiently to correct it.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
    Alik and 12BitSlab like this.
  18. I like that list. Our 3 pc is very good at that already without it even being discussed, but a refresher is never a bad thing.
  19. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    My band leader is great about mingling with the audience during breaks. Sometimes she will even give them a shout out before a song. "This next song is dedicated to Bob and Judy who are celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary. Let's give it up for Bob and Judy!" (People are a little embarrassed but really love the special attention.)
    WI Short Scaler likes this.
  20. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018

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