How would you handle these gear purchases (band fund vs individual members purchasing)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by pudgychef, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    Long post...sorry....

    Have a band here that started as a staff band and moved on to gigging out and about in the city last year.

    Most places we have played have backline/PA.

    I have an amp, mic and stand as well as cords etc...and often end up providing the power supplies, cords etc for the rest of the band...i don't sweat these small things...but in situations without backline, we ended up borrowing PA, guitar amp, keyboard + amp, drums, other mics and stands from the school.....which I loathe.

    So I am pushing us to have what we need to play shows....we have lots of other opportunities to play....but we need our own gear. Everyone agrees....

    In early discussions, the idea floated was that we would use any band pay towards gear we need. I am 100% with that...but I am only ok as this pertains to buying a PA. I don't think the band fund should be used to purchase a keyboard and amp for the keys player/singer...I also think everyone should have their own mic and stand.

    The one I am torn on is the drums...we would likely buy a v-drum kit as they are easier to deal with in the limited space/size of cars here (Southwest China). Our drummer was a guitar player who took up drums to join the band...almost willing to say we just buy it as a band...but then it stays with the band when I or other members move on...

    I don't want to be a jerk...but have no where near the rig I wish I had....and feel like if we are buying the guitarist and keyboardist amps...then I want a better amp too! The keyboard is a non starter for me...

    At the risk of posing a 'if you have to ask, you know the answer' am I being a jerk?

    Intl/ex-pat life is different....more transient/less stuff to allow mobility...back home I would not even consider it..
    DirtDog likes this.
  2. Band funded PA is only ok when the band has a corporate identity and pays the band members. Everyone who does it the other way around gets burned in the end, except for the guy who inherits the gear.

    Hire PA or someone in the band own a PA and hire it to you.

    Everyone plays their own instruments.

    Have fun.
  3. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    No group gear. It always leads to trouble when someone quits, gets kicked out, band breaks up, etc.
  4. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    all 'musician' should own their own gear. PA and mixer should be provided by the house, in case there is not such a equipment, you rent it.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
    Oddly, james condino, zon6c-f and 4 others like this.
  5. getrhythm


    Nov 2, 2015
    New Jersey
    Thankfully, I have never had to deal with group funded equipment purchases. I think each musician should be responsible for purchasing and maintaining their own gear. If a PA must be funded by the band members, there should be in writing an agreement on how and when each individual band member will be reimbursed for their financial contributions if and when they leave the band or the group disbands. Just my 2 cents.
    jchrisk1 and zon6c-f like this.
  6. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Agree with no group gear. Each member responsible for supplying their own instruments/amps/mics in working and presentable manner appropriate for the band. If I was stuck playing the one instrument the band bought for me, I'd be bored rather quickly. If someone can't/won't acquire their own instruments/amps, they have no business being in a band.

    And equality in what each member has spent on gear is not a factor - it's my choice if I play a range of custom shop basses while the frontman plays a plain jane acoustic. As long as there's a minimum standard met, there is no ceiling.

    Band PA is always a sticky grey area, but in my experience a one-owner system is the way to go. If you're looking for some kind of compensation (rental/usage fee), for the band using the PA, get it in writing!
  7. Yep. No band funded gear.
    ^ everything these chaps said.
    Stumbo, basted and zon6c-f like this.
  8. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    No combined band gear. It never ends well. If the band needs a PA, then have different people buy pieces that they keep if they leave, or one person buys the PA and the other band members pay them a reasonable rental fee for using it.
    shodan, ficelles and zon6c-f like this.
  9. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    How can buying amps for the guitarist, keyboards and drums even be considered? These people are playing in a paid gigging band and they don't have instruments? They can use their share of gig money to buy what they need. Period.

    PA is something that always causes issues. Let one person buy it and own it, or let everyone buy a piece and they own their piece.

    My band is looking to buy a gear trailer ($2,000 max) and have agreed to put gig money into it. There's no way for everyone to own a piece of it like you can with a PA so we have agreed to a buyout if anyone leaves the band. These are reliable mature guys with jobs and assets, so no one is going to get screwed over. YMMV.
  10. J.D. Detroit

    J.D. Detroit

    Nov 12, 2015
    Only time things were hassle free has been when one member has the ability and want to fund band equipment.
    Members should be responsible for their respective instruments/gear period.

    What ifs -
    -If a member or two split, are they reimbursed for the amount put in when orig purchased, or based on used resale value?
    -If several people split, will the PA stay with the remaining band/members?
    -What if members leave and want to buy out the PA shares and take with?
    -If a member doesn't want a cash -out but rather the mixer, etc? "" -
    -If equipment fails and needs repair/ replacement - how is that cost handled?

    Few of the things I've dealt with and then some... I'm sure countless others here as well.

    If your all dead set on group buy for a PA, written contract/agreement as these folks mentioned,
    followed by a band field trip to a local Notary and make it official. :thumbsup:
    Stumbo and zon6c-f like this.
  11. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    This is a good point. I did something similar while deployed to Afghanistan. I was in a revolving door band based out of the Embassy. Band leader had a super cheap bass and 20W Gorilla amp to gig with. I ended up buying my own gear (Squier bass/Acoustic combo bass amp) to supplement the gear owned by the BL (USAID engineer on a multi-year posting). I sold my amp to him when I redeployed home and sold the bass to the next bass player he had lined up after I left. Now that he's posted to Africa, I'm not sure what happened to the gear. It's either still in Kabul or it's in Africa!

    My philosophy was that if I had to bug out at a moment's notice or it got blown up, I would not miss the gear.

    Your plan kinda makes sense for the expat scene where it's way more transient.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
    mikewalker likes this.
  12. sean_on_bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I don't like band funds and band owned gear. Your musicians need to provide their own personal gear for their role, in no way would i agree to have the band fund that.

    For the PA, i recommend each member buys a piece and owns it, rather than a group owned PA. A couple members buy power speakers, another buys mixer, etc. When the band folds you walk away with the piece you bought. Or one person can buy the whole thing and rent it to the band. Or nobody buys and you rent from someone else.
  13. Do NOT do a band fund for the gear. Even if you pool money split up the ownership now. As has been mentioned above there are just too many ways for group gear situations to end poorly.
    Tony B. Filthy and zon6c-f like this.
  14. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    A long time ago, I was in one band with a group PA. A month after the purchase, they kicked me out of the band because they wanted their buddy in my place (not the reason they gave, but it was the reason). They refused to give me back my share. In my unruly, undisciplined youth, I told them I wanted my share in cash, or I would bring a bat and take out that sum in "band" equipment (stupid I know, but I was young, brash and stupid).

    I left that night with cash.

    Never again.
  15. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    everyone should buy their own personal gear .. ! it is their choice what they play , as is the gear they play . ! i play keys , bass , gtr , sing ... so i have quite a bit a $$$$$ invested for my stuff ...

    PA ... that's kinda a tough one ... but i'd still say that everyone should buy a part of said PA ... as equally divided up dollar wise as possible .. !? then the problem is when someone leaves .. ? either their piece goes with them , or someone / band buys them out ..

    I 100% agree everyone should have all of their own accessories also ... mic , stands , monitor , cables , tuners , spare parts , backups , etc , etc ...

    i ran sound ' on stage ' quite often ... it is fairly easy to get a decent mix ... same with some basic lighting ..

    for me , the biggest problem was ' how to move bigger gear ' . ?! larger PA/lights ... a lot of fore thought needs to happen so everyone can do their fair share of the work .

    Drums ... find a used kit ... need better drum sounds = midi them to a keyboard . ! there are other drum modules besides the V-drums ... Alelsis , Ddrums , etc ... or just various pads midi'd to a decent drum machine to use it's sounds ... i also agree that it is easy to setup and control the volume with electronic kits ... no mics , compressors/gates for mics , cables , snakes , etc ... electronics are pretty much plug/play ... but most drummers still prefer real hi-hats/cymbals = which i understand ...
  16. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    Read Downunder's post.
    zon6c-f likes this.
  17. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Another vote for no band funded gear. Have you read all the posts on the topic here in TB? Always ends in major drama and often loss of friendships.
  18. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    Single owner is definitely the best way to go but buying things like a PA as a band isn't always bad. If the folks you play with are people that you'd happily lend a few hundred bucks to - and you've agreed to a buy-out arrangement - you should be fine.

    Just remember that money can, and has, torn apart many a relationship... Think hard, have open and honest conversations, and take it slow.
  19. Steadfast


    Sep 28, 2015
    Search Me
  20. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Since most places you play have a P.A. It's not likely economical to invest in one. Just rent one the odd time you need it and factor that price into the price you charge.

    If you are borrowing instruments and gear you are all assuming some joint liability for replacement. Since you own your own gear you shouldn't have to. Raising this issue to "the school" could get you cut off from borrowing it. Best if everybody gets their own gear. Doesn't have to cost a lot.
    superheavyfunk and Rabidhamster like this.