1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Great cities to make money for playing bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JeffVanter, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. JeffVanter


    Sep 23, 2012
    I'm looking to relocate. I currently live in a small dinky town that has a love for music that only goes as far as what they can download and play in their cars. Thats a majority, but a few folk around here really want to go see some live shows.

    Anyways, I'm looking to relocate to a city that has a great scene for music. I'm a bassist, very dedicated and that is of course not all of what it takes to make money. I just want to be able to make roughly 400 - 600$ a month doing this. If not, it's for the love of it all.

    Does anyone have any kind cities in mind that has a great music scene possibly looking for bassists?
  2. My experience from playing in both is that there is more opportunity and much better pay in medium-sized towns than in the city.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Fantasy Island.

    You might try NYC, LA, or Nashville, but you'd just be the latest one in a long, long queue for any jobs.
  4. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    All the cities mentioned above...

    ...in 1980.
  5. iabssplyr


    Aug 5, 2009
    Clinton, IA
    I'd say anywhere that's either established, like Austin, TX, or an area that's sprawling and building entertainment venues. No matter which, you'll find plenty of competition with other musicians so get your chops up. Good luck!
  6. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Or maybe 1960. :meh:

    Definitely don't come to Omaha. We have a beautiful, clean city with super awesomely cheap cost-of-living but, on the flip side, super-not-so-awesomely-low-paying everything, and that includes music and non-music jobs alike.
  7. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Durham, NC.
  8. I live in Nashville. Tons of opportunities + tons of bassists = saturated market. I had more luck when I lived in Knoxville! Towns with universities are good too. I hear Austin, TX is nice. I used to live in Dallas and there was a pretty good music scene there, nice city too.
  9. Problem with the larger cities is that the market is saturated with musicians looking for the same gig you are! As others have suggested a smaller city may be the place to go. Less competition and lower cost of living. Depending on what kind of music you play you might check out Branson, MO. It's known as the Las Vegas of the Midwest. Many live musical acts perform there year round, mostly country and bluegrass. Branson is not a big city but it's about 45 minutes from Springfield, which is a nice small city with a decent music scene too.
  10. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    But if you like a fast pace of life, you will NOT find it in Branson—something to consider when you are assessing various local music scenes.

    The only time I was in Branson—it was for about a week—I had to hunt for a bar to drink in. :rollno:
  11. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I've been in Branson for a while. The big boom here was the early '90s. It's been in a slow decline since, IME. With Andy Williams passing, we lost the last of the "name" acts here. Since the 2008 crash, shows are paying less and doing fewer dates. Most guys are having to do more and more road dates to make ends meet. You're welcome to join us here, but I wouldn't expect to land a decent show gig. You might have more success in Springfield (about 35 miles away). More of a college town and more bar gigs. Probably not a lot of money, but would probably also be more fun as long as you are not depending on it to survive.
  12. That's a bummer! I have been to Branson several times and it always seems busy there. I guess tourists are doing other things besides going to shows.
  13. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Springfield is a happening little town. Particularly for original bands. The market for cover bands is WAY better in STL.

    It would help if we knew where the OP was located and what type of gig he was looking for.
  14. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    It's picked up the last couple years, but it has not resulted in shows increasing their schedule or paying more. I'm currently working 3 shows now and it's still less work and money than when I was with Andy. :meh:
  15. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    St. Louis might work for you.
  16. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Daytona beach, Fl
    ^ this is the answer ^
  17. SkaKing27


    Sep 1, 2002
    St.Louis MO
    Cover bands are doing well in the St. Louis area. I live and mainly play in Illinois. Original local bands pretty much don't make money in STL.
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Very true.

    I could be in 10 bands right now if I wanted to. Bass players are still a hot commodity around here. The problem is that most cover bands ( everywhere, not just here) suck. This is why I started my own band and hand picked my band mates.
  19. JSpradBass


    Mar 3, 2013
    Columbus, OH
    The job market wasn't very good, but I used to live in Kenosha,WI and there were a lot of musical opportunities between Chicago & Milwaukee.
  20. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Wealthy suburbs = lots of action for cover bands

    Urban arts districts = high interest in original music