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New band leader and I need help

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by woody357, Sep 12, 2017.


  1. woody357

    woody357

    Jun 17, 2005
    Hi I'm looking for a little advise on booking, b abuse I'm new to this. I have a band that is new in the town I am in. This is a very clickish place and I may be getting our first gig. I just received a email asking our price. This is the question. Should I just give them a asking price or give them the option to negotiate? I'd really like to hear what some of you that have this experience has to say. I'm not new to the music world but I am new to running a band. We have been rehearsing for a few months and I really need to get us a gig before I start to lose people. I just turned down four dates because they didn't like our singer and I felt she put in as much work as the rest of us so for me it was all or nothing. Any help would be great.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  2. Spectre1966

    Spectre1966 Striving For Mediocrity Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Wallingford, CT
    If it were me, Id quote the standard price we request for a gig. In our case, we leave a little wiggle room, but very little.
     
    punchdrunk and woody357 like this.
  3. sm49341

    sm49341

    May 12, 2013
    Michigan
    What type of event? Bar, wedding, private party, festival, fundraiser?
     
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  4. $100 a person
     
    pjbassist, design, FirewalZ and 5 others like this.
  5. woody357

    woody357

    Jun 17, 2005
    It's a club. We have not had our first gig yet. We are not new musicans the keys and I worked with a wedding band for six years, good money, I never made less than $200 a gig unless I was ask would I. the club scene is tight only a few places and unless you are a major player here you are lucky to get $350 for the band. Most places here want word of mouth , video or they have seen you. We don't have any of that ☹️ I need the clubs to boost us and hopefully get with a agency to do privet wedding and corporate shows. I see it as a paid dress rehearsal.
     
  6. woody357

    woody357

    Jun 17, 2005
    I wish, but not in these clubs I have five pieces group. I'm lucky if I can get us $70 per.
     
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  7. Bullitt5135

    Bullitt5135

    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    He who speaks first loses. I'd tell the venue that you are flexible to a degree, and ask if they have a standard range for their acts. I don't think it hurts to be honest and say you are new to the local scene, and that your expectation is to be in line with what similar acts charge. Negotiate from there.

    You can also try getting in contact with other acts that play there through Facebook, email, etc. -- and ask what they charge at that venue. Make it clear that you're not trying to undercut anybody by inadvertently low-balling.

    If you low-ball them upfront just to get your foot in the door, there's a good chance that's the MOST they'll ever pay you. I know from experience that it sucks royally to do a gig for $100 less than your standard fee, only to find out too late that every other band in town charges $300 MORE than your standard fee.
     
  8. woody357

    woody357

    Jun 17, 2005
    That's what I was thinking but asking others I can tell you this is a cut throats town it's not going to happen. I asked someone from another band about lighting in a club I got us booked before it got canned (no fault of ours) and didn't get a answer and I'm cool with them.
     
  9. sm49341

    sm49341

    May 12, 2013
    Michigan
    I agree with Bullit. I agree with mentioning you are a new act and that youre trying to get established. They are taking a risk, and if you prove to be likeable your price can always go up.
     
    jumbodbassman likes this.
  10. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    There is no reason to play verbal chicken over a bar gig. If you know what's normal in your area, add $50 to that and offer that number. It gives you negotiation room and makes the bar owner feel like he "won" if you come off your price
     
    Session1969, 40Hz, Plectrum72 and 4 others like this.
  11. Bullitt5135

    Bullitt5135

    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    Yeah, I think this is the right approach if you know already know what the venue's going rate is.

    As a basic negotiating tactic, I've found that letting the other guy offer you a number first can give you a little bit of an advantage. It can give you a BIG advantage if you normally charge $400 and they are willing to pay $750.
     
  12. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Trinity, FL
    one time only price for your first time appearing ... 1/2 your normal rate ...!!

    gotta get out there ... hopefully some vids will be taken . !!

    be very straight about ... " One time price " .. !!
     
    Joedog and stringthrough like this.
  13. woody357

    woody357

    Jun 17, 2005
    I did, I gave them a price, now I'm waiting to hear back from them. You are write I should have taken it $50 more than the normal and worked from there but I went with the norm.
     
    guy n. cognito likes this.
  14. Then there is your answer. Ask $350.00 and stick to your guns. If you're worth it, you'll get it.
     
    woody357 likes this.
  15. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    Letting the other guy throw out a number first is a great idea, but it doesn't always work, especially since you are an unknown quantity. The other guy may want to know how you value your own services, which is of course a large part of what constitutes 'market value', since that is what a what a willing buyer will pay and a willing seller will accept.
    You absolutely have to be prepared to quote him a price, and to either pull the trigger or walk away if he makes a counter. Don't quibble over a few dollars or he won't respect you.
    Also, bear in mind if there are any perquisites you can obtain for the band as an inducement to accept a counter to your demand, such as pre-show burgers, drinks during the set, etc.
     
  16. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    This, plus what I said.
     
  17. REV

    REV

    Jun 18, 2006
    I wouldn't be asking here, I'd be asking around town. I'd be asking what this particular place or other places in town usually pays. The venue doesn't care how many people are in your band. They care what the cash register totals out at the end of the night.
     
    40Hz and Bill Whitehurst like this.
  18. woody357

    woody357

    Jun 17, 2005
    This is us
     

    Attached Files:

  19. I have found that most bars have a one size fits all approach.
    Around here, that tends to be 300 bux.
    Whatever it is in your area, try not to ask less.
    That will just make them feel like you doubt your worth.
    Having a 5 piece band opens doors. musically, but will be a
    handicap where it comes to getting everyone paid appropritely.
    As stated above, they don't care how many you have,
    they care how much they make.
    If you can get someone to make a video of you at the first gig,
    that can be a tool for getting the next one.
     
    woody357 likes this.
  20. Have you check with the band members about this gig? Maybe they want to test the waters and get paid less the first time? Remember one thing: Same as when you are buying a car, your best negotiation tool is walking away from the deal. Try not to show how desperate you are when dealing with the other party, quote your price knowing that you may need to drop the price down -know your limit- and for a change ask "What is the best offer you can give me?"