Just thought I'd post this in a thread in case anyone is interested in discussing. I've been gigging for about 30 years now.. about half the time as a full time player. I freelance, and now mostly do the high end corporate/wedding/private deal, and I slum a little bit in the clubs playing small group 'jazz/funk type' gigs for fun as many of us do. I started out playing professionally right at the final end of the big band era in the freelance/society circuit. Even in the late 70's, the very high paying society type gigs and corporate gigs were still filled by big bands (i.e., 18-21 piece bands with full horn sections, etc.). I had the pleasure of playing many of these gigs with the 'old timers' at the end of their careers. Around that time, the generations shifted, and the 5-8 piece 'pop' group took over most of these gigs (there was a very uncomfortable time that maybe some of you older players remember, when the big band leaders would hire 'small pop/rock break bands' to play 'contemporary music' during the breaks at these types of gigs). I remember the older guys being truly confused at why anyone would pay top dollar for a 5 piece band when they could have a glorious big band for about the same money. Of course, being one of the young guys at that time, I thought they were clueless and laughed at them. Well... I'm not laughing now. The 'generational shift' has happened again.. this time from 5-12 piece 'funk/rock' dance bands to high end DJ's. My wife and I just got an invitation/notice to attend what is probably the 'social event' of the season in Detroit... the celebration of the opening of the refurbished Detroit Institute of Arts. BIG time society party, and in the past, the top 'society band' in town would be playing the gig. This time, they are bringing in one of the top DJ's from New York. I found myself thinking, why would anyone pay a DJ the $10,000 or so that a gig like that would pay to get one guy with a record player . Ha! Who do I sound like!!!!!! ... I'm as clueless as the old trombone players in the 70's who couldn't figure out why all the gigs had dried up. The agency I work through has seen massive decline in bookings, and almost total elimination of the high paying corporate gigs that were the bread and butter gigs over the last 20 years. I'm talking about the agency going from 400-500 gigs a year to 200 or so gigs a year. Massive decline When you combine this with the club gig scene being reduced to 'kids playing on weekends' or 'part timers having fun' for $75 a man in most cities, it's pretty grim. I'm lucky enough to have a great day job, so it's more depressing to me than it is a significant issue. So my point... not quite sure. I guess the main point would be to STRONGLY urge young players considering a career in music to consider doing something else. I really feel sorry for the talented young players today. When I was 21, I was literally playing 340+ nights a year (I'm not kidding... 6 nights a week on a steady house gig, and then you'd pick up some Sundays!). Now, if someone plays 100 nights a year, they brag about it! I guess this only relates to the professional, full time players out there... but are most of you guys seeing the same thing. And, if you are and are playing full time... what's your plan?