Fiscally, the jobbing scene is one of the most rewarding gigs out there. Musically, sometimes a lower ring of hell, especially when you're stuck playing with cats who are dark or just don't know the secret rules of this musical underbelly. Last night's gig reminded me of a crash course an old band leader gave me in the rules of this game years ago. It'll be fun to see what you cats have to add to this partial (and jaded) little list. Be ready to stop at any time for announcements. Tip well if there's an open bar. Be discrete if your ability to sip on the gig is suspect. If you can't survive Gloria Gaynor without a drink, bring a flask! Know the difference between a Rhumba and a ChaCha. Also be able to play a Tango, Merengue, Polka... this comes up all the time. Keep them on the dance floor, even if it means playing two ballads in a row... gotta be sensitive to what the crowd wants. After all, they payed a couple grand for you and your buddies to get drunk and do what you love at their daughter's wedding. If it's a "jazz" gig, don't be surprised if they ask for something they can dance to aka pop. Diversity is your friend here. The client often isn't. Keep some top 40 in your book just in case. When you lead this sort of gig, end on a high note and offer overtime. Usually the client is sauced and will bite eagerly. Carry a spare bow tie in your case. Some schmuck will show up without one. Probably the drummer. The A section of "At Last" ain't just I-vi-ii-V, but some bands will play it that way. Those bands are a bunch of clowns, complete with big shoes and foam noses. Same goes for bands that don't play the intro, which is the only cool thing about that wretched tune. On your Christmas gigs, pull out the Dradle song. Egalitarian song choices win you friends. Yes, the load in sucks. That's what wheels are for. Know the Sinatra arrangements, the first chord of "Unforgettable," Ipanema in all 12, Brickhouse, every corny disco song ever, those ACDC songs everyone plays, etc... Alot of leaders love to call these tunes without a rhythm chart, and won't ask if you know them before counting it off. Be happy to be working, and to be getting payed well for what we do. Yes, the gig is a little Mickey Mouse, but the bread balances out your next coffee house gig, and the worse the gig is, the more stories you have to tell the cats on your next hit.