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The point of a gig

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Lukc, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Lukc


    Nov 10, 2012
    I feel like now a days people are missing the most fun part of music: having fun. Gigs are extremely fun for me and I think they are for most people. My band is currently split into two factions. One that wants gigs quick and one that wants an album as quickly as possible. We are ready for both but my singer is like OHMERGOD I AM GOING TO BE SO FAMOUS MUSIC IS SERIOUS BUISNESS!!!

    Honnestly I would love to make a living from bass playing but only when it's fun. I don't see how releasing an album is benificial when no one knows you. And I don't see how it's fun. Keyword in this thread is fun.

    Honnestly I think the whole not wanting a gig thing is incompetence in the singer's side because she doesn't even memorize lyrics. Not even her own originals.

    Anyways, rant over. Why do you play gigs? Money? Fun? To save the world?
  2. Waspinators


    Jul 22, 2007
    South Florida
    Well, I'd say the basic point of a gig for an original band is to showcase your music to people unfamiliar with it and attempt to build a fanbase, through performance and networking. For a cover band, the basic point is to entertain the establishment's crowd and make money. Of course, if you're an established original band, the point is to play the music your fans are paying to hear and collect your check (best case scenario).

    Personally, I play original gigs to hone my craft and have a GD good time struttin' my stuff on stage. My band is planning to start playing cover gigs on the side to make some extra dough and have fun while doing it.

    If someone is playing original gigs with the sole purpose of becoming famous, and not even having fun doing so, either the band ain't gonna last too long or their tenure in it will be shortlived.
  3. coop


    Jun 22, 2002
    Reason I play gigs ? Now is different than it was 30 years ago. It's just what I do, I don't golf, hunt, fish, race cars, or any of a hundred other hobbies.

    I load my rig into a trailer and drive with 3 other guys to a smoky bar where I play music for a few or several dozen people that are trying to get lucky. It's my weekend thing, has been for a long time.
  4. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    I would definitely have some gigs under my belt before putting out an album. Gotta generate some interest in your band before anyone's going to care about your records.
    Also, your singer needs to buck up and memorize her lyrics. That's just lame. I had trouble memorizing lyrics for my original band in the beginning, but instead of complaining and refusing to play out, I studied my butt off and got it done.
  5. refbassist


    Mar 3, 2007
    I left a band before for the same exact reason , no gigs let's make an album,..bands/musicians evolve and improve on stage as well as getting noticed and developing a fan base so at least someone would bother listen to the music.rather invest your time and money to promote the band that would make sense.
  6. Playing music live should always be fun, or at least provide some kind of joy. Classical and jazz music can be a bit tricky to pin down in this regard, because it's notabout dancing around and having a laugh; rather, it's more of an "inner joy" that one experiences. But the main outcome is effectively the same: to garner emotional joy from the act of presenting music to an audience. It doesn't make you a narcissist, just someone who enjoys entertaining other people and making them happy.

    But for a covers band, there's definitely always a financial motivation because people generally play covers to earn their bread. Plenty of people who do it really get off on it, but money is definitely a factor. That said, it's an indirect result of making the crowd happy and giving them familiar music they can dance and sing to. After all, that's WHY you're getting paid in the first place.

    For originals bands, it depends on whether or not you're established. If you're not, you do gigs to showcase the capabilities of the band as a collective, and to showcase the material itself. Recordings are made for much the same purpose, but recorded music is just a different medium to live performance, and as such has different virtues that different people will appreciate. But I think that you need both so that both areas are covered. Plus, live performance is the medium in which you demonstrate that you can actually PLAY the music properly, because anyone can play a tune with 30 takes and studio trickery at their disposal.

    For established originals bands, it's more about presenting the music to people that know it, and want to hear/see it with the live energy of the actual progenitors of that music. Being in the same room as the people who created the music you love touches you in an emotional way that recordings just can't. Plus, if you're established, there's a good chance that you're doing it to earn some bread too, so that and the familiarity aspect are shared with cover gigs I guess. That said, the magic of seeing a truly great originals band playing THEIR music well, and with passion, is unbeatable. No covers band can touch that IMO, which is why I've never played in one.
  7. When I first got married 41 years ago my wife & I didn't make much money working, my gigging is what helped put food on the table. In those days our "weekend" band was a house band for a major catering company in Vancouver, had a booking agent for clubs and booked our own gigs separate from those. We generally played 4-5 one nighters a week and I made more money from that than I did working for a living. Those were the "I did it for the money days". As life progressed and we made better incomes and we moved to smaller cities raising our family it became and still is very much "I do it for fun" even if it's only 1-2 times per month.

    My current country, 60's rock band is playing out our last gigs this year.
    We have a decent following with some small dance groups part of it.
    These people dance and go all night long, line dances, some jigs, formal waltz's, Mister Bojangles is really something to see along with Jive & swing dancing like they did in the 50' & 60's. Dance floor is packed again all night long.

    I even get called to sub on a regular basis playing at a seniors center dance club playing old time European waltz, polkas, Latin etc. I have a good time playing for those folk (and my little bit of money) as the floor is packed with incredible dancers doing all these different styles real well all night long, a great time.

    I'm also playing covers in a Zepp,Doors, Judas Priest, Stone Temple, Alice in Chain etc. This band I play with a bunch of 40 year old that are amazed a guy my age (62) knows how to rock it out. We get good review and are developing a following so it's looking positive for this one.

    All of these are strictly fun for me and I make a little money doing them but it strictly the joy I get out of being on stage seeing them having a good time.
    I get out of the house a couple of nights a week, make my music, have a lot of fun and come home with more than I went out with. I defy you to show me a hobby that lets you do that

    When it stops being fun and head butting starts, I'm out of there.
  8. IncX


    Jul 23, 2007
    i play gigs because:

    1.) i love dancing around with a bass strapped on, i really cannot do that anywhere else.
    2.) socialize with other bands
    3.) build our fanbase
    4.) network, and talk about music and opportunities
    5.) watch my bandmates in "gig mode" ... because they do not do crazy stuff during rehearsals, it only happens when other people are watching.
    6.) earn money to record and promote our originals (we get cover and acoustic gigs for this)

    that's about all i could think of. you can summarize it with: cause its fun

    i know someone who hates gigging but loves recording though. he is in an original death metal band (they are pretty good)... and his reason for that is because, he likes listening to the songs in its finest, recorded form.

    he hates gigging cause of all the hassles involved: dealing with promoters, moving gear, rehearsing with tardy bandmates, etc.
  9. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    So, reading between the lines, the problem seems to be that you’re not gigging and you want to but the singer doesn’t.

    If that’s the case and the rest of the band thinks like you and there is no hope of a resolution, fire her and get a singer that does want to play in front of an audience.

    Is there any middle ground? Is your band any good? If it is, why not record it? Then you will have something extra to sell when you gig.

    Is she any good? Does she write good songs? If the answer is yes to both, ignore my previous reply. Stick with her (just in case) and join a gigging band as well. Make the record, then you’ll have something good to listen to when you’re old.

    With singers “getting famous” usually won’t include the band, so step back and work out the scenarios.

    Me? I don't gig for fun. I play 120 + paid gigs a year. All I need out of those is a sense of satisfaction that I did the best job I could and so did the band. This isn't a hobby, but I usually enjoy what I do.
  10. Respect chrisB. Excellent reading between the lines.

    I gig for the satisfaction of entertaining people while having fun and getting paid. If I'm not being paid I'm having a helluva good time or I'm learning a lot.
  11. Depends on the gig. To me, all gigs are different!
  12. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    For me it's the love of live music, plus gratitude and respect for the audience and the venues that put up with us.
  13. karl_em_all


    Jul 11, 2013
    Dimension X
  14. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Gigs are the BEST practice.

    Gigs help build a fan base. A bigger fan base translates to bigger audiences which yields more money and bigger shows, which builds a bigger fan base, etc..

    Gigs bring in money (usually) to fund (or repay) studio time and better equipment.

    Having an album done is beneficial for several reasons:

    - You play a gig to people who don't know you. They like you. If you have an album, some of them will buy it. That makes some money for the band and it helps that fan remember you better, longer.

    - Having an album is the best demo CD you can give to a promoter or venue where you'd like to play. It makes you look way more legit than the "we're working on a demo" bands that you are competing with.
  15. Polfuste


    Sep 10, 2010
    South France
    i play gig for the fun. And also to save the world: these jazz standards are so old and played by too much bands and worldclass artists, as they are dead for a long time now.. The world was waiting for us to bring them to life ! :D
    hem..... ok, just for fun. not to many hot chicks in jazz gig nowadays. :(
  16. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    At the level of most players I know its for the fun since after all the efforts to get out and play the money really does not justify the means.
  17. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I think it would be just fine to record an album. It's very expensive to do in a studio and do it right. But when you were done, you'd have something great that you can't get from gigging. Then you have a demo for the club owners PLUS something to sell at each show when you get them. In my band we all gig for some extra $$ and for fun too. Playing music is the most fun you can have with your clothes on IMO.
  18. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    The point of playing a gig for me is to stroke my ego. I always act like I'm embarrassed when fans fawn over me, but secretly, deep down inside, I dig it.

    And the money doesn't hurt either........
  19. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    This is 2013. If you want to be successful, you have to build a following, and the only way to do that is playing shows. Recording an album rarely results in much of anything, without paying your dues first. An album recorded by a band with no time playing live together sounds like an album recorded by a band with no time playing live together. The songs haven't had a chance to grow yet, and unless you're the most amazing musicians ever born, there's little chance of that being a good thing.
  20. Lukc


    Nov 10, 2012
    Well when it comes to studio costs thats not a problem. The guitarist and I are sound engineering students and can use the schools studios and equipment for whatever we want. We abuse this by practicing in the studio whenever we can. And even after we graduate the school still loans ex students equipment and space so that's all covered.

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