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Recording for a friend/duo partner

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by twinjet, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. twinjet

    twinjet GE90-equipped Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Hey gang,

    I play in a duo. My friend wants to record an album in the next year or so. The music is all original, but I don't take any writing cred. With or without me, the song is unaffected.

    That being said, my musical partner wants me to play on the album. While we've performed as a duo for years, I don't know if I should be asking a commission. This album would not be my project, I would simply be a guest on a few, if not most of the songs. I think it's safe to say the album would be released and sold on the local market.

    Things to consider:
    1) Not my project
    2) Not my music
    3) Not my finances
    4) Regular performing partner for 3+ years.

    We don't perform together all the time. We do market ourselves as a duo, though it isn't uncommon for my partner to take solo gigs, as there isn't a single song that cannot be done this way given my absence. Just about every gig I'm offered is when the venue wants more than a soloist. We come, we play, we conquer. That's how it goes.

    Now, I market myself as a sub on the local market, but this partnership is as close to a band as I've got. So how do I proceed if I'm more of a guest in this instance than a contributing artist?

    Thanks for your time.
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  2. You are entitled to pay as a session musician.
    You are not entitled to royalties, commissions, points, or any other percentage of ongoing sales.
    mrcbass likes this.
  3. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    In this situation I think I'd be happy to play for free...once costs (pizza, gas, coffee or whatever:)) during recording are covered.

    There's no reason anyone else has to know you're not getting paid if that's your worry...that others are gonna assume you'll always work for nothing.
    Sure you may be entitled to pay and I assume your partner would have no problem agreeing with that and would pay if asked,, but I get the impression you are happy to go without.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
  4. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    Sure, why not. Then use it as a demo of YOUR playing. It could end up making you some money in the long run with other recordings and/or gigs. As long as I didn't have to put up any of the money for the recording, or do the actual recording, and there wasn't a huge time commitment, I'd probably just do it for the hang and the music. Two out of three anyways...
    T_Bone_TL, twinjet and Oddly like this.
  5. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    I'd go with credit for playing on what you play on, and a single physical copy, (might as well get it signed, you never know...) given the relationship you have described, without any actual monetary expectations unless your friend _wants_ to offer those. I have a friend I'll do pretty much the same for - I don't need money, friend does, it probably wouldn't amount to much anyway, I enjoy playing with, and if lightning strikes said friend is unlikely to be a jerk, but lightning hardly ever strikes, as we know, so unlikely to ever investigate that realm.
    mikewalker and Oddly like this.
  6. twinjet

    twinjet GE90-equipped Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    This is honestly what I'm leaning towards at this point. I've met a lot of good people, played fun gigs and made cool music (and good money) playing in this arrangement.

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