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Playing out for money

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by alembic76407, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. alembic76407


    Apr 29, 2004
    Let's break this down,you show up at 6:00 PM to load up the equipment, then drive to the club and setup, and at 9:00 o'clock you start playing and play till 1:30 AM,then you tear down and load up all the equipment and drive home and unload, now it 3:00 am. You have just made $60 each for what? you have taken about $30,000 worth of equipment to play a gig for $300. Back to the $60 a man, now you take the 9 hours you have invested and divide the $60 you made and it come's out to $6.66 an hour. we all play for the love of the music not the money!!!!!! :meh:
    David T :rolleyes:
  2. Mel Monihan

    Mel Monihan

    Mar 30, 2004
    Don't forget the gas and depreciation on the car,and then if you have a drink...you really better love it!
  3. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Yep, them's the breaks.

    That's why sideman work is fun - you don't have to haul any gear except your own, you go to a few rehearsals, and you can tell them what you want to be paid.
  4. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    that's right.
  5. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Man you ain't kidding. Hernea, hecklers, cramped car rides, late night long sets at dives sometimes, and for what. A few hun. You have to love performing to do that brother! Although, the occasional girly at the gig eased that pain a bit!
  6. I make enough playing out to make my house payment. :cool:
  7. vbass


    May 7, 2004
    Bay Area, CA
    You son of a b..... :D
  8. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois

    I'm happy for you. I remember back in the day playing for freakin' beer!
  9. I've played places where I was glad to get out alive, Let alone get payed. :help:
  10. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    i'm playing for freakin beers right now and it's fine by me. i just like having fun and play music that i love. maybe playing for some money to pay the rehearsal room every month would be better.

    'til last year i didn't play for a couple o years because of study and work. and man! i forgot how much fun it is!
    just being on a stage and goof around with your friends is the best thing to do without having to take off your clothes. :D
  11. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I think of gig pay as "found" money. I like to play, I don't have to do it for a living. Any equipment I have I bought because I wanted it (I could survive without it,) and don't factor that in. Last night I played 3 hours, made a hundred bucks and drank free. For me, that is heaven.
  12. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    It's actually a lot less an hour if you figure in all the time spent learning the instrument, practicing, and all those rehearsals! Oh, and don't forget all the time spent here on TB! :D
  13. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    In my last band I averaged about $180 for two hours of playing.
  14. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Two hours of playing, but how many more of rehearsals, band meetings, travel, set-up and tear-down?
  15. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    Exactly, my wife and I have this argument all the time. She's like "how is this work? You guys go on stage and drink and have fun." I told her we get paid for the shows, but the real work is behind the scenes.
  16. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    One two hour rehearsal a week. One band meeting per 3 months, (usually potluck, watched movies, fun night). Gig was usually within the city. My set-up, (bass and PA), was about 20 minutes. Tear down about 30.

    One two hour gig, was usually 4 hours total, getting there, setting up, playing, tearing down. I don't mess around. So, yeah, averaging $180 for that ain't bad. You can add in rehearsal if you want I guess.

    I'm just big on efficiency, hard work, discipline, and playing good gigs. Screw the bars. Corporate gigs and weddings are more fun for me. I did the bars, getting home at 3am, if you're lucky, and not making much money, if any at all. Sure, it sucks. But, musicians don't realize, and are often too lazy to go through with it, that music is a business, and you can make some very good money playing good shows.

    So, yeah, it wasn't truly $180 for just two hours, but .... I did a lot of sub gigs, where there was no rehearsal, no meeting. I came in, set up my rig, (seriously, 10 minutes and I'm ready to play, and that's including bringing the amp and bass in), played two or three sets, and tore down. All for around $150-$200. So, for every example of all the travel and such, I also have an example of a great sub gig.
  17. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL

    I think about it like that sometimes too! It's not about the money. I'd get a part-time job if I wanted money. I haven't started any real gigging yet. When I do, I'm basically looking at the pay as gas money and change for new strings. That's all it amounts to, especially when you consider all the money tied up in gear. It's about the rush from performing!!!!
  18. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Some shows are essentially charity...I still do some for fun that pay less than $50 a man. $100+ a man jobs do pay off (and many are still fun).

    I haven't played a gig in years that required more than 30 minutes to setup or tear down; when I don't have to deal with the PA the setup and tear down are 5 minutes each. Many of my gigs require NO rehearsal, NO band meetings, etc. The ones that pay the most actually have the least time overhead, go figure.
  19. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Sure Smash, all that you say is true, but every job comes with that price. It's about where you are now. For my job as a Senior Training Specialist at a bank, what about my college education and degree? How much money was spent there. I traveled to that job too. My current job as a server, I travel there. I have to learn wine and food, buy the proper clothes, supplies, etc.

    Here's the thing, people get hired on at jobs and they look around at opportunities. Oh, I might want to do this, I might want to do that. Sometimes they get smart and make friends, network, increase their job skills. With that doors open, opportunities arise. Why can't we look at music the same way? It seems that 99% of musicians think it's either rock star or bar whore. It's not. There are a million and one opportunities in the middle, but I never see people go after that. Musicians don't do the work, get smart and make friends, network, increase their job skills. They don't do those things.

    Do them.
  20. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    You're so right. I picked up a summer sub gig with a casual jazz band, expecting nothing but a chance to work on my reading a little, and work up some chops on my EUB. But in actuality, it's opened up a bunch of gigs at weddings, festivals, art museums, and other great networking places. I can hardly wait until I get a few sub calls from the local A Team jazz guys. They're watching, and have already told me it's just a matter of time. Now, there's incentive for some woodshedding.

    One of the best things about this is that I have no PA responsibilities, and get a guaranteed amount per gig, which is often higher than an equal band share. I used to shy away from subbing offers, and maybe I just got lucky this time, but I'm running with this as far as it'll take me.