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Tip jar - ummmmm....

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  • Tip jar - ummmmm....

    Man, I have ALWAYS thought they were tacky. But damn... they can really pay off. We played a pool party for an apartment complex community on Sunday. We were paid our usual four-hour rate for to play three hours, got fed, and *they* put out a tip jar for us (we didn't know they were going to do that). We ended up going home with an extra 50% above what we originally charged. And a couple weeks ago, we made an extra 10% in tips. No jar - just people coming up to the stage and giving us money. 

    Now that I've been dazzled by dollar signs, I'm wondering what we'd get if we actually had a tip jar. Would it be considered unprofessional to put one out at a bar gig if we're already getting paid? What's the protocol for tip jars? 

     

     

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  • #2

     They are argueing about this over at talkbass today http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f67/tip-jar-private-party-1002968/ Personally I think it is tacky for a band.

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    • #3

      I'm with Modulusman on this one. I think a tip jar is "de rigueur" for accoustic / "unplugged" singles and duos - but a little on the tacky side for a full band.   I can't recall having seen a tip jar on/near the stage of any "full band" in my area.  However, I do suspect it's a regional thing ... so if bands are using them in your neck of the woods - no sense leaving money on the table!

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      • Potts
        Potts commented
        Editing a comment

        I find them a bit tacky even for what I do (solo) but there's a couple of places that I always put them out because I make so much.  In both those places it's normally around an extra $100. I can't give that up.

        My idea is once my CD is finished I can put a jar out all the time because I'll sell the discs on the honor system- they can just grab one and toss the money in there. It may not look that bad if it's surrounded by discs, business cards and stuff.

        As far as bands go I don't think I've ever seen one at a full band gig. 


    • #4
      We don't. We won't turn down a tip, but we aren't actively fishing for them. We only play private parties, so we are being paid well.
      NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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      • #5

        We use one when we remember to put it out - at bar shows ONLY. When we forget to put it out, people always ask where it is and usually a small pile of money forms on our subwoofer or on the floor in front of the bass drum. Private parties we never put one out...people still tip us, though, sometimes (see aforementioned "small pile of money").

        Brian V.

        "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell

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        • guido61
          guido61 commented
          Editing a comment

          You really almost have to take it on a venue-by-venue gig-by-gig basis.   Obviously for well-paid private events they are at the very least tacky if not downright insulting to the clients and the guests.

          As far a bar gigs go, we used to have some venues where it was outright prohibitted.  Others where it was encouraged because the barowner knew he wasn't paying very well.  

          Most of the other ones we'd just put the jar out but not really mention it.  If people want to make a request they are often going to tip you anyway---jar or no jar.  

          But yes...for some reason they seem to be much more acceptible for solo acts than for full bands.  Even though the solo act is probably making more per man.   I guess it's probably due to the "busking" thing that we so often associate with solo performers.  The jar just seems like part of the rig.


      • #6

        I don't like tip jars.  I prefer they stick it right into my g string.

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        • RoadRanger
          RoadRanger commented
          Editing a comment

          Just for completeness, when we are playing a fundraiser we'll put out a "donations" jar instead if the "host" hasn't already.


      • #7

        I've never used them, but sometimes people will toss money to the band anyway. I always take it as a compliment, especially since they don't aim for my head when they throw the paper bills! " id="smiley" src="https://guitarcenter.i.lithium.com/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-.png" alt=":smiley:" title="Smiley Very Happy" />

        (This is my Non-Signature.)

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        • #8
          I've seen plenty of gas money jars at originals gigs, too, usually at the merch table.
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          • #9

            I played a gig in Winnipeg many years ago (almost 20, now that I think about it, damn!) with a friend of mine. Actually, it wasn't much of a gig. We were up late and hanging out at a cafe that had an acoustic group. No drums, just percussion and some acoustic guitars. After they finished, they asked if anyone in the place wanted to play a few songs. My friend and I volunteered to go up onstage. We played some slightly obscure Replacements songs and originals we both wrote.

            After we finished, they passed around a huge top hat and asked people to donate (it looked cartoonish, like it was made of plastic). It was like the servers at church passing the plate, lol! Anyway, we made about $34 Canadian (which, back then, was probably about $50 US). I think there were only about 10 people in the place at the time. That was a nice surprise.

            (This is my Non-Signature.)

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            • #10

              We played a private party last night, and, without us knowing, the host went around with a coffee can collecting tips for the band.  We would up with almost $200 beyond our contracted amount--another $50 in my pocket at the end of the night.  Not bad!

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              • toober
                toober commented
                Editing a comment

                Chicken Monkey wrote:

                We played a private party last night, and, without us knowing, the host went around with a coffee can collecting tips for the band.  We would up with almost $200 beyond our contracted amount--another $50 in my pocket at the end of the night.  Not bad!


                That's worth paying someone $20 to do that for you each time.


            • #11

              Tacky? It's a friggin Cover band man! It's business for me and I've always used one for either people who appreciate me or requests. I made thousands extra a year with tip jar and it seems obvious that you should use it.

               

              Tacky..That's in your own head man! I've seen LOTS of tacky in cover musicians that had NOTHING to do with having a tip jar out and yet the crowd doesn't care!!

              Comment


              • toober
                toober commented
                Editing a comment

                sventvkg wrote:

                Tacky? It's a friggin Cover band man! It's business for me and I've always used one for either people who appreciate me or requests. I made thousands extra a year with tip jar and it seems obvious that you should use it.

                 

                Tacky..That's in your own head man! I've seen LOTS of tacky in cover musicians that had NOTHING to do with having a tip jar out and yet the crowd doesn't care!!


                Thinking along these lines to make a tip jar less tacky....what if your tip jar....was a top hat upside down?


            • #12
              Spares a ********************?

              lol
              NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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