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Prostituting myself out to bands

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Spikeh, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    I'm new to playing with other people, and I've REALLY got the bug for playing with others now.

    I'm starting my own band, and I'm jamming with some other people who advertised for a bassist. Now... I've been asked to jam with another few bands too... I'm not sure what the unwritten "rules" are about "whoring" yourself out to multiple bands?

    I don't know what kind of music I want to play yet, and I don't know what kind of people I wanna be involved with, so I'd have thought this is the best way to get my bearings in the local music scene? Noone's said anything to me yet... but it's in the back of my mind.

    What do you lot think about it? Has anyone done the same?
  2. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    play as much as you can, but try to do it with people that don't hold you back musically.
  3. Experienced musicians do that all the time, I sub out with a couple different people, and play with 2 bands. Us older guys are a little more mature about it. I fill in for a guy that plays in a lot of bands too, which is why he needs a sub. Its accepted, its a business, first come, first served, I'm assuming, but it could be that a higher paying gig comes up and he has to bail, opening the door for me since some of them come up at the last minute.

    Earlier in my career, however, people had a more monogamous idea of a "band". You have to be "committed", "its them or us", etc. I don't know if times have changed, or I'm just hanging with more mature people now that understand its a business, not a marriage.

    I say play with as many people as you can now while you can, expose yourself to whatever styles of music suit your fancy, and some that don't. Styles you find easy, and styles you find hard. If you're just starting out, gigs will be the least of your problems, not so easy finding work for new bands. By the time you end up with gigs, you'll have a better idea what you want to do and who you want to do it with.

    And practice stuff you find hard, play along with the radio, to practice learning songs on the fly by ear. People like to sound good, but if you practice what you already know, you don't improve. Practice stuff you CAN't play... not stuff you can.

    The other problem you may run into is some bands want to practice a million times a week. This is rare among working musicians. You should pass out cd's of songs to learn at one rehearsal, spend time on your own learning them, then running through them at the next practice. If you're learning tunes at practice its a huge waste of time. The only thing you should need to work on at practice is singing harmonies with the music, everyone should be familiar with their instrument parts already. One practice a week ought to be plenty for cover bands. Of course if you're doing original stuff, you need to spend way more time to figure out how the songs supposed to go, so that's a different animal. More days a week could be needed for original music.

  4. This weekend is the big harvest festival for our town of 1500. We have about 10,000 visitors from all over western Colorado. There is an outdoor music stage with bands and individuals coming from all over the country, Nashville, LA, SFO, Denver, Little Rock. On Saturday night the muscians get together at the local dance hall with the core local band of 4 and we have 7 to 10 people on stage at a time. I played the second set, another guy played the 1st and 3rd set and third guy played the final set. We had 3 people on keys (only 2 at any one time), 2 different drummers, 5 different guitarists and Kelly Kirby out of Texas playing his 1940s double neck Ric lap steel. The music is a combination of 50s through 80s rock and blues with a strong emphasis on "southern rock". It works great. There is a core group (or band) in various locations and we can add or subtract players as the opportunities come up. It works great and we look forward to playing with old friends that we haven't seen in months.

    The neat part is that we have a great local music store and the backline last night consisted of an AG500 into a GS410 & GS210 stack. The guitarists were playing through Fargen, new Gretsch, Dr. Z and Carr amps.
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Playing with different projects is a great idea. I think you should do that until you have a clear idea of what you want to do musically, then start a band.

    And no, it;s not whoring. It's being enterpreneurial.;)
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    If I could make one warning about what you're talking about - just make sure you're not overextending yourself. I completely burned myself out over the past few months. I was playing with several different groups, usually rehearsing or playing out every day of the week. I was having a good time, but this is while trying to balance two part time jobs, a social life, a girlfriend, and obligations to my family and friends who would like to see me once in a while.

    Casual playing is fine, but making deep committments to three or more groups is something you definitely want to consider carefully. I didn't realize how deep I was in and how ragged I was running myself until I moved and had to cut several groups out of my playing schedule.
  7. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    Narrow it down to two bands. One that plays music that is marketable in your area (top 40, wedding crap...whatever). And a jam garage band sort of thing that plays music that you like to jam to. If you are lucky the two styles may be close together. Many garage blues based bands discovered that people wanted to hear them and they got out of the garage. Also, don't play with idiots - if you take them out of the picture you will be lucky to have two bands left. Good luck from Las Vegas. :bassist:
  9. metalguy2


    Dec 26, 2004
    I work with a many people as I possibly can. I am 3 bands right now... And I think that they are starting to realise right now that this is what I do. I play bass... Not just with them. Before that though they didn't like the fact that I was playing with more than just them.
  10. As long as you're not being literal here, free-lancing is fine. But if you find you have to resort to doing sexual favors for the band members to remain in the band, you should find another band. The worst you should do would be the guy that owns the PA system, they're usually the worst guy in the band... PA is their insurance policy... :D

  11. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I'm playing with a few different bands in an attempt to play every weekend, but I'm hoping to find one band that will want to stay booked 3 to 4 weekends per month.

    The downside I've found with playing in multiple bands is one of the bands will get a last minute gig, and I'll already be committed to another band, which leaves them hanging.

    Oh yes, I need to find just one band that stays constantly booked.
  12. just don't call it prostituting. Call yourself a musical mercinary, that way there isn't the implication you work for a pimp.
  13. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    Hehe... thanks guys :) I suppose you're all right... I need to get myself know, I need to "find myself" in music yet and this is the best way to really do it... play with musicians better than me to get better myself.

    I love it, regardless of what other people think. I'm not dedicated to any of them yet, I could stop playing with them in an instant - I'm not gigging yet... but that's close! I've not even written my own song / bass line yet.

    I think I'll go to this audition on Tuesday... I was keeping him hanging because I'm not sure I'd like the kind of music (emo / screamo apparently)... I'm into funk, jazz, rock and metal... but trying a different type of music will do me good! So long as my poor little fingers can keep up with them ;)
  14. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If you can do it without letting people down then it's great. By letting people down I mean either not spending enough time with people in your life who are outside your musical world and also bailing at short notice on one gig because a better one comes up.

    If you can avoid those problems, then the more playing experience, the better, although heed SuperDuck's warning about getting burnt out. If you're so busy that you're always running to catch up rather than enjoying the music, you're probably too busy!

  15. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Your choice of words in the thread title bothers me . . . "prostitute" or "session player" . . . the difference is in your attitude, how professional you are, your reliability, and how you treat the other musicians you interact with. Just my opinion. :)
  16. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Prostitute, mercinary??? Why all the words with negative connotation? Band politics is so much like relationship politics; Will you stay with me forever? Am I the only one? Are you committed? :D

    I say play with as many people as you can, burn out, rest up and do it all over again. Surround yourself with people that support what you're doing or trying to do.
  17. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Being an in-demand 'hired gun' is cool.
    Not being able to say "NO"(sometimes)...can sometimes lead to 'problems'.

    There's this drummer I know who plays in multiple projects...one of them is with me in a very, very part-time project that just happens to pay very, very well. Of course, there have been times when he couldn't do gigs or couldn't commit to gigs because the dates were too far in the future(because he has even more lucrative gigs in his back pocket).
    I guesstimate he has cost me $3500 over the past 2 years.
    ...whatever, I woulda just bought more gear or CDs.

    I like Mike Shevlin's idea of playing in a decent band that makes some money(while having fun)while also playing in a band that sates the 'creative' side.

    I like that idea 'cause that's what I'm doin'.
  18. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    Coming from a guy called "Randy" :D

    (sorry man..couldnt resist it...no offense... :)

    Seriously though I "dep" (as we call it here) with numerous bands and I've never rehersed with any of them...generally on the pro circuit (especially in Ireland which is a small country) the guys in pro bands all dep, whether its with other bands or on sessions/tv stuff..so we all more or less cover each other.

    Normally if I get a call I'll get a copy of the setlist and learn it myself ..in fairness I've done the covers thing for so long I already know 99% of the set anyway. So I wouldnt call it prostitution as such its just the way the biz works (here anyway), plus its great to play with different musicians all the time (always gives me a kick how every band can play the same tune and yet it sounds different with each band).
  19. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Wear a condom :D

    Seriously, you just need to be honest with everyone about your commitments and once you accept a gig that's it, no backing out if something better comes along. Keep a detailed calendar so you don't go double booking yourself.

    Don't buy into pressure from one band to quit another, make up your own mind about who you want to work with. If you start getting TOO busy, be ready to drop out of one or more of the bands to free up time for the others.

    Personally, money talks...steady, well paying gigs earn my loyalty.
  20. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I've heard this term before, is this short for "deputized" or what???

    Curious stupid American here :confused: