Should harmony vocalist get equal pay?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Bassman8416, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Bassman8416

    Bassman8416 Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Long Island,New York
    I am part of a 6-piece band.

    back up vocalist that sings harmony on 75% of the tunes lead on 1 or 2 tunes tops on any given gig.

    She is adequate for what she does and also provides a positive vibe and is attractive(not knock out, but cute).
    She is always given a little less than the rest of us, who own and maintain expensive gear, not to mention set up and break-down. She just brings a microphone. I have been with the band a year and it was explained to me the pay arrangement, except it turns out she was not aware and now believes she should get equal pay.
    Wondering what others feel about this? An example of pay split will be the 5 musicians with gear get $120 and she will get $100. Seems fair to me, being we have thousands of dollars of gear invested in this band, we own the PA or pay a guy for bigger gigs(for PA and soundman).
  2. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    i have never paid different scale to members of a band. seems like a problem waiting to happen
  3. wonderjosh


    Nov 19, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    If she's on stage with you guys at every gig, and is at every rehearsal... I think she probably deserves an equal cut.

    Should have sorted this out when she joined.
  4. jmattbassplaya


    Jan 13, 2008
    I'm leaning towards this, but I can also see it depending on the situation. I'd probably ask her to help with PA setup and tear down if she wants an equal cut - otherwise, she's making close to a full cut and should be happy she doesn't have to schlep gear like everyone else.
  5. I'm for an equal cut as long as she does equal work. When you set up PA, is she there to help run cables, set up mic stands, etc? If so, she gets a full cut, if not, PA gets an equal cut divided equally amongst those who load in/load out. Done.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Equal cut. You're quibbling over a few bucks. OTOH you could ask her to step up to the plate and handle lead vocals on a larger fraction of the tunes.

    I've never expected to get paid for the gear that I own. It's my job to manage my gear investments so that I don't lose my shirt.
  7. markob


    Mar 2, 2010
    North Cali
    The paying audience is more than likely watching/listening to her more than your bass line.
  8. tdub0199


    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Equal Work = Equal Pay.... If she isn't helping with load in/out & setup/breakdown, then she doesn't deserve equal pay...... Band = Team Work.....
  9. DiabolicLow B

    DiabolicLow B Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Equal pay or not is not really the issue here, all this should have been openly explained to her from the beginning and then there would be no question.
  10. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    So if your rhythm guitarist has a mexican strat and a peavy amp and doesn't play on every song should he get less too?

    The worst part is that no one told her. That is totally unfair. It would cost you each about three dollars in order for you all to be paid the same. I guess you'd rather take home an extra three dollars than make her feel like she's really part of the band.

    Oops, I just read the part about her not helping with the PA. I guess since she wasn't told she was making less, she wasn't given the option to get a full share if she helps. Hell, I'll give up $20 a night if I don't have to screw with the PA! Still unfair if it's not her choice.
  11. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
  12. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    If you're a member of my band you get an equal cut. I had a guitar player that had issues with giving our sound guy an even share. He thought the job was worth twenty bucks and a drink a set.

    That's just wrong thinking to my mind. I have no idea how to make the band sound good, much-less play bass and do it.

    If the vocalist is worth having, she's worth paying. If she isn't worth it, cut her loose and sing your own damn backups.

    IMO IME etc....
  13. Band meeting time. Perhaps right in the middle of a load-out, while BV is takin' it easy watching the rest of their 'team' busily schlepping the gear ;)
  14. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    The fact that she wasn't explained this at the start is not cool.

    If that arrangement was made, and she agreed to it at the beginning, no big deal. If everyone agrees, the band has the right to split the take however they wish.

    Was she ever given the opportunity to help out? Maybe she'd like to help set-up/strike the stage? Maybe she can't life the big stuff (maybe she can), but having another hand to gather cables, stands, etc. is always a good thing.
  15. Bassman8416

    Bassman8416 Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Long Island,New York
    Yeah I am seeing all the points. To be clear I am the newest member of the band, I have been in for a year. And I asked about the pay and they told me that she didn't know and I said its wrong and that it will cause trouble and here we are in the 11th hour and it has caused trouble. We should just split it equally. Too much quibbling aye? Not worth it.
  16. if less pay id make sure if i were her NEVER to help carry or load or setup anything ever again.
  17. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal

    And this:

    Its not too much to ask that she assist in setting up the PA when you guys need to bring it.
  18. Bassman8416

    Bassman8416 Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Long Island,New York
    She never has or even offered....but thats cool, it is heavy. It is the band's lack of communication that caused this. It is band meeting time. From what I was told, she started sitting in on and off and then more on and they started paying her....the more she sang, the more she was paid. Also, we usually we do have a sound guy that does most of the set up and break-down, thats when there is no in house sound. I figured maybe she could get involved in more of the management stuff, being the club owners dig her anyway.
  19. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    If she doesn't deserve equal pay, then she doesn't deserve to be part of the band.

  20. Bassman8416

    Bassman8416 Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Long Island,New York
    Good point.....I thank you all for helping me see things in a new light.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 18, 2021

Share This Page