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The "I'm only in it for the money" club

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by nortonrider, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    No - not really!
    With the amount of post/threads concerning playing and compensation, it got me wondering.........

    How many guys here judge their musicianship by the amount of "gigs' they do or the amount of money that they make?
    (like a competition or gauging themselves against players that don't play out often.)

    Does being up on a stage somehow "validate" your decision to make music?

    How many play an instrument for the sole reason of performing in front of others?

    How many do it because making music is what moves them?

    How many think that it's fun / a hobby?

    Really....... why such as strong focus on money?
  2. After years of toiling for little to no money, sometimes the only validation of continuing to play (particularly with spouses and other family members) is the ability to make it pay.
  3. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Money helps justify new equipment, regardless of what the actual ledger says.
  4. ... Or as it says on my FB Profile, "I'm not a musician- I'm a greedy egomaniac who owns bass guitars."

    Not kidding, either... sorry if anybody is offended.
  5. Age has a lot to do with it, too. There has not been a band over the age of 30 to make it big, in a long time. Such is the nature of the pop music machine.
  6. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    I appreciate the honesty!
    I be there are a whole lot more that share the same attitude towards making their music.
  7. Playing outside of my house is what keeps me playing. I rarely have time to sit at home and practice unless it is FOR something, whether it be for church or a gig. Honestly, I don't play much unless it's practicing for one of those. Having kids makes it hard too, because they get interested in my guitar or bass and I don't actually get to play or they complain that it's too loud... Maybe someday, when I finish my garage out to be a home practice/recording studio and the kids are a little older I'll be able to play at home more. Until then playing live is what keeps me going, and I am willing to do it for cheap because of that. I get such a rush at shows, and I enjoy being a part of leading others in musical worship at church.
  8. chiron_griffin


    Apr 19, 2012
    I picked it up as a fun hobby. I jam with some guys here and there, and have been offered slots in bands that play genres I don't like (but could handle at my skill level). I just always wanted to play an instrument and at 25 somehow got it in my head that bass was for me. I'd like to get good enough to see through some song ideas I have and possibly play on stage, but that's not why I picked a bass up.
  9. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    Different people play for different reasons. For me, it's all about the creativity. My guitarist and drummer both use music as part of their income. The guitarist owns a recording studio and does live sound, but also makes money doing covers and such. The drummer is a general contractor who supplements his income playing covers. I'm fortunate that they both believe in my low-money originals band enough to play with me. But they have to make it about money in most situations in order to pay the bills.

    To a certain extent it does. Like I said, for me it's about the creativity. But having written the songs, and put the band together, it seems that I have to put it on a stage to justify it. I guess I just want to share it.
  10. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    For me, it's all of the above; you can roll all of your questions/points in to my pursuit of being a bass player.

    I don't gauge my musicianship on the amount of gigs, but my satisfaction with making music is definitely dependent on this, as making music with others for the purpose of entertaining people is my main reason for playing.

    Being up on a stage definitely validates my reason for playing, as it is required for the goal to be achieved.

    I don't play for the sole reason of entertaining others... I enjoy playing alone, and playing with others in rehearsal, but it's all in preparation for the real reason of gigging with others, for others.

    Making music moves me? As in, playing alone?? Eh, somewhat, but playing with others for others is what really moves me. Does anyone derive their main motivation from playing alone??

    Yes, it's fun and a hobby. A fun hobby, but not my source of sustenance.

    So no, I'm not only in it for the money.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Anyone in it for the money today has a tough road to travel.

    Most of us have a day job and playing is a hobby that turns in a few bucks. It's certainly not a way to make a living for 99% of musicians.

    I play because I enjoy it, and I enjoy the guys I play with. If I didn't like the company, I'd get out and form another band. When a gig opportunity comes up, that's great - I don't need to be paid, and no one in the band depends on any income from it. If a few bucks drop our way, that's even cooler, but it's not a deciding factor.
  12. Sure, I'm in it for the joy of playing and entertaining, but there must also be a reasonable degree of ROI, for me.
  13. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    I think there should be compensation for busting our asses with the load-in/ load-out, fuel for vehicle(s), insurance on vehicle(s) used to get to gig, etc..

    The actual playing is fun, but theres many expenses just to get to the point of the downbeat of the first song.. imo.

    The band im in is either a 4-piece or sometimes a 5-piece, depending on the venue. All members agreed to a $100/man minimum compensation. If we cant get at least that, we'll pass on the gig.

    But I dont gauge my musicianship on the amount of gigs we get or how much is made on the gigs.
  14. gene beauchamp

    gene beauchamp Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2012
    Thats my thought.
  15. I get paid to haul gear and miss fun events (birthdays etc)

    I started playing to be in the music biz--- not as an artistic endevour

    Gear, maintenance, consumables etc aren't free

    Looking back at last year.... The worst managed and attended gigs were the freebies
  16. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    Bingo. Money is validation. I still meet people who, when I identify myself as a musician, ask whether I'm any good. To whom I can say "It doesn't matter whether I'm any good. I get paid to do this."
  17. Jamming is fun. Assuming, of course, that you can find other musicians/players with the same interests in music as you do. I enjoy doing that, and compared with other hobbies, costs (can be) minimal. Or not...depending on how much you crave the toys that go with the hobby.

    OTOH, if I'm going to drive 20, 50, or more miles, schlep my gear, put what talent I have, out there for people to watch and critique, then I expect to get paid. If I'm going to play for nothing, or some smoke-and-mirrors scam somebody cooked up, I'd just as soon stay within the friendly confines of the practice space and do what I want to do, and not have to listen to some drunk dude yelling "FREEBIRD"!!!
  18. Music is what moves me. Being moved is what keeps me playing, but if I were going to go back out and play away from home, then it also needs to be for money, at this point in my life.

    So, am I only in it for the money? No, never could be, but I do have to give money consideration and say it is the main reason I would go out and spend the time away from my family, gigging regularly and putting up with all that that entails. To bring home money. Otherwise, I'm just as happy playing at home.
  19. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Piermont, New York
    I was only in it for the money but it got so frustrating that I went back to college and got a degree in English lit.
  20. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    This sounds like you are wanting to be paid for the "hassle" of playing a gig.
    It doesn't sound like you derive much enjoyment out of it.
    am I wrong?