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How often should a non-professional band gig? a.k.a. am I asking too much?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Nic., Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Nic.


    Aug 28, 2009
    How often should a non-professional band gig?

    My band primarily does rock covers and because of our schedules, we meet once a week to practice all sunday afternoon.

    I want to push for more gigs, but none of my members are willing. It's not that they're bad musicians, just that they don't want the stress.

    Personally, I think that a casual band can probably afford to play every other week at least, but with my guys it's at most once a month, and it's not even all night gigs, just a single set or so.

    Am I asking for too much? I'm sticking with this band either way, because I love playing with them and I'm also very happy that I managed to bring together this group of people. It's just that this is bothering me, because honestly I live to be on stage, and I want to push this band further if I can.

    Edit: Just to clarify, mostly we don't do paying gigs at events or bars etc.; we usually play unpaid gigs at concerts. I know this kinda sucks, but the scene here is pretty difficult for non-professionals.
  2. Marginal Tom

    Marginal Tom

    Apr 28, 2010
    O'Fallon, IL
    If they're all willing to play more often if you do the bookings, get out there and hustle up some. If they're not, look for another band that doesn't practice on Sunday afternoons. If you like the guys in your current band, there's no reason to leave them, and no reason for them to care if you're in another band too.
  3. Nic.


    Aug 28, 2009
    They're not very willing to play more often. If I push, they'll do it, but I don't really want to spoil this for everyone. My singer and guitarist both want a song to be "100%" before performing, which I also think is a good attitude; just that I feel that it's possible to push it to live gig standard in shorter time- like I said, they want to take things easy. I can understand them, guitar solos are not easy to learn and it's stressful to be in the spotlight and screw up, and as a frontman, the singer would also be under a lot of pressure. My guys are not the usual ego-singer and gui****, which is why I'm very happy with this band. As for my drummer, he's happy to do more gigs and my keyboardist is pretty casual. But it's me, the singer and the guitarist who're the core of the band (we went through a number of unsatisfactory keys and drums before this) and it's between the three of us that shapes most of what happens with the band, the other two just want to make music.

    Hmm I've another band in a sense; our drummer started up a side project recently with me, the keyboardist and the guitarist and two others from outside doing metal, and we're having back to back practice on sunday evening after my band practice in the afternoon, but I doubt this band will be significantly more active. We're aiming to start gigs in October or so, but I think it's probably also going to be on a frequency of once a month or so. Also, me, the drummer and our keyboardist just started doing some jazz trio thing recently before our main band rehearsal, I'm waiting to see how this works out but I don't think anything is going to happen for a long while. As you can see, it's mainly me, the drummer and the keyboardist willing to play more. I want to push the singer and guitarist more, though, because that's the one that I really care about (these two others are kinda my way of getting to play more) Between these three "bands", I don't really have the time to work things out with yet another band. They're fine with me having other bands, just that I really can't devote the time.

    Edit: I realize it doesn't really sound like a problem if I put it this way... I don't really know how to describe it, but it's an emotional thing I guess. Before this band I usually went from band to band filling up gaps wherever I'm needed, this is the only band that I've really stuck to long term rather than just for once-off sessions and stuff. So it feels important for me for this band to perform. I don't know if this makes sense... that's why I'm wondering if I'm asking too much when I want to push them more.
  4. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    If you're happy with the band, be patient. It's a really rare thing to find a great group.

    Make suggestions and if/when the band is ready, you will gig more.
  5. It's just a case of differing aspirations. Some guys find it really stressful/draining to be on stage and I guess it's a case of having to respect that.
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I don't know what things are like in Singapore, but here when guys are putting together an amateur band to play out they usually say they want 2-4 gigs per month -- every week to every other week.
  7. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Or they're a bunch of old guys who just want to get away from their wife and kids and down some beers :D

    Different strokes for different people, I guess...
  8. panama


    May 26, 2009
    Depends on the band. With my new project we're taking it slow and jamming/writing once a week and when we're ready to play out it'll probably be once/month. I don't have the time to be doing more than that and neither does our drummer.
  9. Nic.


    Aug 28, 2009
    hrodbert- Hahahaha that's why I'm concerned.

    Well anyway I guess it's all fine then. I just needed the reassurance, guess I can put this behind me now. Thanks! If my guys decide they can start gigging more I'll be happy but if they don't I'll just live with it.
  10. If you're a cover band, I'd say play out all you can. If you're an originals band, I'd say play out once a month give or take a week if you're in the same town. Otherwise every day or two if you're touring.
  11. troy mcclure

    troy mcclure Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Central Florida
    I personaly wouldn't stay in this band... a buddy of mine was in a band that played 2 gigs in 4 years..they needed to be perfect and they weren't. To some people the idea is to learn songs to others it is to play infront of people to to others it is to make money.
    I like playing in front of people and making money. I also don't mind playing in front of very few people as ong as I still get paid at the end of the night.
  12. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I like to play out as much as possible and it is always up to the band memebrs schedules and lives. We find 2x a month is best and add an extra show per month 3 or so times a year. We are an original band and gig more in the summer (warm ) months. If you are saying the only way to get your bandmates to gig more is to push them and you dont want to do this then you answered your own question.

    I say keep doing the one gig a month but do a full night 3 sets of music and be prepaired and give it your all. You will be satisfied doing so and look forwad to the big gig each month.
  13. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    Every other week sounds more than acceptable. With my current band, we gig as often as is booked. One guy books all the gigs and the rest of us turn up. But we have never been paid for a gig yet. So it takes money out of our own pockets to do things. Your band might not be comfortable losing money.
  14. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    find a second band. Or take the members that want to play out more and form a second one. My drummer and guitarist want to play out twice a month. The singer, me and other guitarist want to be out as much as possible. So the 3 of us formed as an acoustic band as well.
  15. Brubass


    Jul 17, 2009
    Ridgefield, CT
    Lousy answer, but it depends. I'm in a cover band with 4 other middle-aged men with more than full time jobs, famillies and plenty of interests/commitments outside the band. We've all agreed that more than 1 gig per month is just more than we can work into our schedules. We even get paid for about half our gigs, so it's not about the money. It just priorities.
  16. Sounds like you are asking too much of them.

    Perhaps find another band to fill the void?

    That's what I did (for different reasons).

    So I'm in two bands now, and probably play 2 gigs with "band #2" for every 1 gig I play with what was, my primary band, the band I helped to form.

    And you know what - I have more fun with "band #2":D
  17. ColdSteelRain


    Jul 27, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Just my opinion, but once a month for mostly unpaid gigs would be plenty for folks who aren't trying to make a living from playing.
  18. You could always substitute a gig for a practice. Tell them something like if they gig a certain weekend then they can have that Sunday to themselves since, in essence, a gig is a type of rehearsal.
  19. Lemoore-on


    May 11, 2008
    We are all profesionals in the aviation field and work 40+ hrs a week. We practice once a week and gig on average every other weekend sometimes more sometimes less.

    We do it for fun although we like getting paid (most of us use gig money for more/better gear) If it becomes too stressfull then it looses its fun factor. We all have familys and hobbies and plans ect. ect. ect. Sometimes life gets in the way of giging.

    We did find that the more we giged the less we needed to practice and that practice became our time to work on new songs.

    But bottem line, if they are not comfy giging more and you are, find another band or side project
  20. Nic.


    Aug 28, 2009
    Thanks so much for the feedback everyone! Shall let this simmer in my head for a while.
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