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  • Tips . . .

    Played my third solo piano art gallery sub gig yesterday. As usual, some folks act like you're not there, while others are very much focused on what you're doing. One guy comes up to the piano and puts a tip on the music desk . . . . $1. You know what happens next. Someone notices and approaches the piano and . . . sure enough . . . $1. So the obvious thing that comes to mind is that there's a good reason for a) bringing a tip jar, and b) seeding it with a five and/or a ten. In retrospect, I should have asked the owner or the guy I was subbing for about tip jars, this kind of venue being a first for me.

    Coincidentally, the owner added $5 to the check because he has asked me for any song from the 30s. . . .

    Every gig is a little different from the last one. . . .

  • #2
    seeding with a $10 bill is risky, you may scare off the lightweights. a fiver/sawbuck/fin is good, though. For that kind of gig, a large brandy snifter is de rigeur, btw...
    "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'

    "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

    Solipsism is the new empiricism. -Alan Burdick

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    • #3
      I have a large brandy snifter that stays home. I now use a large plastic jar for tips - no more broken glass
      BD

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      • daddymack
        daddymack commented
        Editing a comment
        as long as you are using it for brandy...
        But a brandy snifter on a piano says 'hey, at least I'm trying to look classy...'

    • #4
      I'm relieved. I have received a number of $1 US tips and, while any money is welcome, I wondered if it was a sort of passive/aggressive insult. I guess I've been spoilt.
      Last edited by pogo97; 07-08-2018, 07:49 AM.
      There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

      Comment


      • daddymack
        daddymack commented
        Editing a comment
        $1 US is like what, $7 CDN?

      • pogo97
        pogo97 commented
        Editing a comment
        $1 US is a hunk of green paper worth 1.31 of our happy shiny golden Loonie coins. This makes vacationing in Canada a wonderful bargain for poor sad weary Americans who miss the days of a civil society.
        Last edited by pogo97; 07-09-2018, 08:49 AM.

      • Notes_Norton
        Notes_Norton commented
        Editing a comment
        I've been to Canada many times, Yukon, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Labrador. I particularly love the maritimes.

        And yes, the society is civilized, polite, and extremely friendly. The Canadians are one of the main reasons why we return. I could move to Canada if it wasn't so cold in the winter.

        And we play in Florida at places where many Canadians winte. We try to show them the same hospitality and civility they show us. When playing for one particular group of French Canadians, we will often end the night with the O Canada. We have trouble conversing with our separate languages, but this tells them they are welcome friends.

        Two years ago when we went to Montreal we were stopped at the border. When the border guard asked us why we were visiting Canada, I explained that we were musicians who entertain Canadians all summer long, and we just wanted to bring some of your money back to Canada. We got a big warm smile and a welcome to Canada.

        We ended up in Montreal, Quebec City and Niagara Falls. Had a great time, heard some great music, ate some great French food, and met a lot of very friendly people.

    • #5
      I'm playing again next month, probably the last gig before the regular guy is ready to take it back. I'll bring this converted HD plastic spaghetti container with me. Seed it with a five and a ten and see what happens. At other venues, I've had people put a ten on the keyboard without a jar, but I recognize that folks resources in this area vary widely.

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      • #6
        Rather than label it 'TIPS", label it '401k'...
        "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

        Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'

        "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

        Solipsism is the new empiricism. -Alan Burdick

        Comment


        • #7
          I had one a couple years ago that included a photo of my one-year-old grandson labeled: "TIPS go to me . . . eventually."

          Comment


          • #8
            You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.Dale Carnegie How to win friends and influence people
            There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

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            • #9
              I use a cowboy hat which I seed with one five and two singles, which usually multiplies pretty well... A few weeks ago I found (amongst the usual hatful) one half of a carefully-ripped-in-half dollar bill. I thought maybe the other half would show up the following week, but no luck. I think I'll frame it and put it on the studio wall.

              Comment


              • #10
                Decades ago when playing regular clubs, we used to say, "If you have a request, put it on the back of a winning lottery ticket."

                For those unfamiliar, the State of Florida like many other US States has a voluntary tax called The Lottery. It's like the illegal mob-run "numbers racket" of years gone by, except it's run by the government. Those who are bad at math buy tickets and if your numbers match the weekly drawing, you win millions of dollars and the State makes twice as much.

                Well one night, a guy brought up a request on the back of a lottery ticket. We played his song (we would have played it anyway, he was a regular customer and was just playing along with our running gag).

                At the end of the night, he showed me his ticket with identical numbers.

                He said if we win, he would have felt bad giving away the winning ticket, but if we had identical numbers, we would both split the prize --- good thinking if you ask me.

                Alas, we didn't win.

                But it was fun.

                Notes
                Bob "Notes" Norton
                Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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                • #11
                  I play this one lounge where the management blows hot and cold on tip jars. They have a three foot high, plexi-glass pedestal for small mixing boards, that many guys put their tip jars on (usually a brandy snifter). Lately, I've been omitting the tip jar but putting the pedestal out anyway. Last night folks left a CDN ten, five and a Jackson. I forgot to put it out the first set so one fellow rolled up a ten and wedged it in the strings of my headstock - while I was playing. He also hid a five in the planter near me.


                  anyway, people seem to get the idea of the pedestal, and I don't have management complaining about a tip jar. I wonder if something obvious but less "forward" might work better at an art gallery gig. Unobtrusive pottery dish perhaps.

                  BTW senorblues, glad the gig's going well. Hope you get to sub more.

                  Comment


                  • senorblues
                    senorblues commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Good point about not using the same thing for every type of gig. The tall container is attached to my mic stand, so that's out, but . . . well, I haven't had one for the first three gigs, so I need to get their attention. . . . and it's probably my last date, so get what you can, I say! ;-)

                  • daddymack
                    daddymack commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Shaster...get a copy of La Pieta...they can put the money on Jesus' belly...very classy....

                • #12
                  Most of what we do are yacht clubs, country clubs, and private parties. Places that are inappropriate to put out a tip jar. But we are making what we think is a semi-fair wage (a little more than our competition) so we're good with no jar.

                  When I go to see other groups in lounges, and see big signs with TIPS and an arrow, that turns me off, it seems to be more begging or even demanding. Worse case, many years ago a local band had a full-sized plastic replica of a toilet and on the seat lid was scrawled Tips. I know it was an attempt at humor, but I'm wondering if there would be people in the audience offended by it.

                  A brandy snifter with a fin in it seems appropriate to me.

                  Notes
                  Bob "Notes" Norton
                  Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                  Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                  The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    The clients at the restaurant that started my solo career put a ten on the keyboard at the end of the night more often than a five.

                    I played with a singer once who went into a long song and dance about why you should tip. I've seen groups that played a "tip song" I guess you gotta know your rooms . . .

                    I'm playing a duo gig with a drummer this Saturday that doesn't pay that well, so I'm going to display the "spaghetti" tip jar where everyone can see it and leave it at that. No begging . . .

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                    • #14
                      I was in Nashville earlier in the year and halfway through the set, the singer in a small bar band gave a frankly embarrassing speech about how it was the customers responsibility to give tips to the band, seriously this went on for quite a few minutes and the guy was fairly aggressive in manner I had only ever heard once before at a "duelling piano bar" in Las Vegas where the two performers actually refused to play until the received at least a twenty.
                      I am all for a tip jar but these guys were plain awful.
                      Last edited by steve mac; 07-12-2018, 10:38 AM.
                      Cheers Steve

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                      • #15
                        Never been in a band that used a tip jar. I think it is tacky. Every now and then someone will give us a tip. We are playing a customer appreciation party this Saturday for a repeat client. One year at the end of the gig he went around and gave each person in the band a $100.00 bill as a tip another year it was a $50.00.

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