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The Weekend Warrior & The Part Time Job

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bluewine, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Purpose of the thread; an open discussion on the pros and cons of when music becomes a job.

    I have heard the comments;

    “When It Becomes A Job It’s Not Fun”
    “ When It becomes A Job, I’ll Quit”

    My question, is it a bad thing when playing bass in a Rock Band becomes a job?

    For me, when I went “Cover” last year and all of a sudden I found I had more extra cash in my wallet on a weekly basis than I had seen for a long time, it hit me. “ Joe hired me and I have a Job”

    Some of you guys know I’m older. While I love gigging, after you work all week and you’re looking at 2 sometimes 3 Four hour bar gigs over the weekend end it can be exhausting. I don’t get to down about it, because even though it’s a job it’s still the most fun job you could have. Anytime you’re lucky enough to play with other musicians and be creative, thank your lucky stars. I still consider myself an artist.

    My question, is it a bad thing when playing bass in a Rock Band becomes a job? If yes, why?

    By the way, be nice :)
  2. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    I don't know, but do it till the thrill is gone.
  3. This is a really tough one to answer because each person who is in this position does it for a different reason.

    I have a regular job. I manage a service and installation crew for a mid-sized oil and propane dealer. My typical week is about 50 hours but when we are busy I often will be found to work about 60 hours a week. It can be high stress at times. I also have two young children, a wonderful wife, and other interests beyond playing music.

    For me, music is somewhat of a reprieve from my regular job. Yes, I am the typical weekend warrior with mediocre skills playing in decent cover bands that play in halfway decent bars, benefits, and outdoor fairs. I don't have the time to dedicate more. Nor do I really want to.

    In my mind once you start getting paid to play it becomes a part time job. Once the cash changes hands now you have a responsibility beyond just having a good time; you are a paid performer. So the whole dynamic of your involvement in whatever band you are playing with may change. You now have a responsibility to the other members, the audience, and the people paying you. So it does indeed become a job. You can get fired if you don't do your part and there is an expectation placed on you, possibly beyond the expectation you put on yourself.

    Now don't get me wrong, it's a fun job, but it's still a job. Sometimes I sit back and think "Wow, they actually pay me to do this.....unbelievable....".

    As far as fun, well, fun is where you find it. For me the fun is in performing, meeting audience members, seeing people having a good time, being told we sound good and being asked when we are playing again, etc. Because our band constantly works to become more commercially viable (meaning playing music that will get us hired), there is little to no fun in the music itself, at least not for me. Practices are not fun at all. The hours spent learning cover songs is not fun for me. Actually, I despise probably half of the songs we do but people love them. Every time we open up with "Fast As You" I think to myself "This song sucks, I've played it a hundred times and it still sucks". But when a dozen ladies line up and start dancing to it, suddenly it doesn't seem so bad.

    It's not a bad thing when it becomes a job, at least I don't think so. But each person sees it differently. Some do it for the love of the music and really enjoy being creative, I tend to think they would be happier writing music and making recordings. Others, like me, get their thrill out of playing for an audience. If this is the case, you'd better plan on it becoming a "job" at some point, just figure out if there's something in there for you that keeps it enjoyable. If there's nothing about it that you find fun, and it's just a job and nothing more, then quit because it isn't worth the hassle, time, aggravation, or irritation when you are a weekend warrior.

    Like me.

    Just my .02
  4. the yeti

    the yeti

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    not for me, no. doesn't matter what kind of band it is, if it pays i'm happy to do it.
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    I don't mind the job part IF............there are greater rewards at the end AND.....I'm playing with good musicians who GET IT!

    Right now I'm in a rut. I consider myself a really good bass player but just cannot latch onto a good gig. The band I'm in now is led by a guy with ADHD and who just has no organizational skills. He keeps recycling the same old setlists with songs we've been playing for 2 years now. He can't even remember 50% of the songs while we're gigging and is the weakest link in the band. I got nothing else going on so I just funk out when I get the chance but honestly, it's embarrasing. Oh, and the gigs pay a tank of gas money level. One place pays us 10 days later. So, no, I'm not having any fun right now.
  6. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I agree, I feel pretty much the same way. However, it is different for me, no family, kids are grown, no girl friend and no other interests.

  7. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008

    I guess that happens to all of us at some time or another. Ending up in a rut.

    Well I hope something changes to bring the fun back to the funk.

    Paid 10 days later. Not for me. I like having that cash in my wallet by 2:00AM.

    We only deal with checks and delays for the contract work from the festivals and fairs during the summer.

  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I absolutely treat it as a job, if by that you mean conducting myself as professionally as possible regardless of my personal affinity for the band or venue of the night.

    My wife is essentially unemployable due to health issues and my day job is salaried (no extra pay for overtime). So every dollar I can bring in over and above my day job makes things a little less stressful on the budget.

    Most of my gigs are enjoyable...some not so much. But I'm not in a position to turn down $100-200 for a night of my time so if somebody is paying my price, I'm there whether the music is really my thing or not.

    In other words, I'm a whore. ;)
  9. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    I can tell right away when I see musicians on stage who are not having fun. I don't think most of the audience notices as long as they play their faves. I've seen countless whole cover bands that were technically good and great sound/mix but they just came off to me as lifeless and devoid af any soul.

    The other night the band that opened for us was a 5 piece blues band. The core of the band is three guys well over 60, the frontman/guitar player, bass player and harmonica player. They play old blues standards and have been playing in the local scene for decades. I saw pure joy in their eyes and genuine smiles nonstop during their set. You could just tell they were having a blast up there playing with their friends and for their friends in the audience. They kept the dancefloor moving and the old couples in the crowd were really kicking up their heels.

    The whole thing was actually very moving for me. I hope to still have the passion they do for the music and the people when I am their age.
  10. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Sometimes it feels like a job but it still beats a regular job. But making a living by
    being a local pub musician is a hard road to go down. I did that for a few years when I was younger
    and when it came to an end I didn't have much to show for the effort except good times had.

    Really, if someone was willing to pay me a good salary with benefits to play bass full time I'd jump on the opportunity. But right now working a job and playing on weekends is the best musical satisfaction I could ask for. And it brings in some extra $$
  11. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I'm having fun, however my challenge is to smile more and look like I'm having fun.

    It's a job, a fun job

  12. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    Maybe it's time you look in the mirror for a little self-intervention! :D

  13. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    It's not a big deal but to me but I never want music to feel like a job. I need music to get me and my mind away from my full time job and that is one main reason I do it.
    My originals band started becoming a job with recording,bookings and PR type work taking allot of my personal time away.
    The band memebers were not pulling their weight and said "you're good at it and we need you to do it" :rolleyes: The problem is it was a job and I burned out.

    I want to work when its work time and play when It's play time. To me music is my personal play time and I never want it to feel like a job. If it does ..I'm out.
  14. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Maybe .... it becomes a job for me when I have to kiss the BL's ass, deal with immature band members and their hissy-fits, play with guys who don't have the discipline to practice, tote gear 100 miles to play for peanuts ... I could go on. Fortunately it's simple to quit a job like that and find a new, better one ... :bassist:
  15. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    +1 Like any job you have to look at what effort you are putting out for the return (pay) If it's a cool band and cool members like my originals band then the work was worth it but the return was little. I had no problems since I like the band and its members that was until it became too much of a job.

    If we all were to put down our time, gas, equipment and any expenses for to say a 3 hour gig that pays $100...are we doing ok? Is there enough retun for the efforts and costs?

  16. Absolutely not, if you are like us and you typically play 2-4 shows a month.

    Let me do some quick math here;

    By my calculations I would have to work 36 gigs at what I get paid just to cover what I paid for my bass and "good" cab/head.

    So I certainly don't do it for the money. Granted, over time those things get paid for but when you are upgrading pedals, amps, mics, and other equipment, plus gas, vehicle wear and tear, yadda yadda yadda, sometimes it barely supports itself.
  17. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    On a good weekend if I clear $300.00, I don't have anywhere near that in expenses. Maybe 25 bucks in gas at the most.

    The fact that it's a job gives me some sense of accomplishment.

    I have to say more of a sense of accomplishment than I had when I was doing originals.

  18. That's pretty good!

    We typically get $400 to do a gig, but split 6 ways it's like $66 a piece. So in an average weekend I'm walking out with like $125.00. A lot of times I don't mind because where else will somebody put $125 in your hand to do something you like.

    Maybe I need a smaller band..... ha ha.
  19. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I'm going to straddle the fence here. I certainly have not made enough money gigging to offset what I've paid on gear. But it is nice to have the pay coming in to offset gear costs, and as I approach a "stable" rig setup I expect the pay-to-cost ratio to shift favorably.

    But for me, the thing about having a paid gig is that it's a litmus test against self-indulgence. I majored in theater back in school and one of the things I came to detest was the "artiste" mindset whose only point of reference is himself and doesn't care what an audience thinks. Theater "artistes" would put on all these avant-garde shows that were only attended by other theater people. To me, it's important that what I'm performing means something to somebody besides myself, so that I don't slip into self-indulgence.

    The paid gig is a kind of a "check" on that front. If I'm playing something that people are willing to pay me for, it's a hopeful sign that I'm making music that people actually want to hear. I don't expect it to seriously cover my bills, but the ability to get paying gigs (and get invited back...) is a sign that I'm doing something for somebody else and not just myself. In that sense, it's important to me to take my playing seriously as a kind of part-time "job."
  20. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I really like that, it's probably the most intelligent perspective I've seen on this topic in a long time.

    I never understood posts where guys would say things like;

    "I don't care if anyone shows up for our gigs or not"

    " I don't care what people think of my playing"

    " It's my art, my own self expression "


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