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  • Bandleader is going for the big push, but is he asking for too much?

    So I am playing in this band and we have 3 really big gigs coming up .. I am starting to have conflicts with the band leader because of the rehearsal requirements. We are already doing 4x3hr+1x4hr rehearsals for the two gigs that are coming up in the next 2 weeks, but on top of that we have a really big show on novemeber and the producer for that gig wants us to do 5 hr reheasals,2 times a week starting next week and 4 rehearsals in the 3rd and 4th week.

    I told the bandleader that it's way too much workload, epseically considering these gigs don't pay that well(it's equivalent of $200, $400 and $500). We are talking about 76hrs of rehearsal for $1100, If you add individual prep time, it's going to be well over 100 hrs of work in the next 4 weeks. The band leader explained that this is our big push for the big break, and I understand the importance of these gigs. We are collaborating with a really famous local artists, and the last gig we are playing is the one of the biggest venue in the city... I've already accepted that I am going to deal with pretty heavy load. I enjoy working with this band and I think everyone is cool with going the extra mile for the muisc.

    But I didn't expect it to be this unrelastic. Between other gigs I do for living, I am stacking 5-7 hr rehearsals/gigs almost everyday for the next month, mostly to meet these rehearsal requirements. I already told the band leader that's a receipte for injury(he knows that I've had tendonitis problem), both for myself and the horn section, but he is telling us the 5 hr rehearsal is not his idea and it's what the producer of these shows are asking us.

    If this was a band/gig I can live off and and cancel all my other gig and work commitments, it's one thing, but it's not.. I guess this is supposed to be the big push to get us to that level. But as for now, the last show we are doing is paying us way below the going rate for shows of this kind.

    If you were in my situation what will you do?

    EDIT:Cleaned up the post


  • #2

    Wow, that sounds wack. If it's not a full-time band paying a full time wage I'd say 3 rehearsals or gigs a week is as much as they should expect from you and that only in the two weeks leading up to a big show that you don't have down yet. How long is the actual show? 3 hour rehearsals with one longer (if needed) dress rehearsal should be plenty - and nothing the day before the actual show if possible.

    Comment


    • etcetra
      etcetra commented
      Editing a comment

      The problem is that we have 30 new songs for the last big show, and it's going to be 3 hours really tightly run show with lot's of cues and transitions that we need to get straight.  It would be one thing if we had an arranger and all the music is written down, so all you have to do is follow the music.  But right now as it stands, each individual members are responsible for lifting their own parts from the recording, with all the hits and breaks.  So basically we'll be deciding how to run the tunes during the rehearsal.

      Both me and the bandleader agree there is gross incompetence on the producer's part and he really doesn't know what kind of work it takes to make the kind of show he is asking for.  the bandleader is basically telling me to bear with me on this one and in the future we'll ask them to do thing more efficently..but if this is the kind of people I'm dealing with it's going to be really hard to continue working with them.  

       

      SLScot86, 

      I saw your post after I posted mine.  I agree, I have friends in the biz and I know that big breaks and making it really isn't all that cut out to be.  My friends are in a really hot band right now, but they are on the verge of breaking up because they are underpaid but the contract prevents them from doing gigs outside of that band.  Even among the ones who make it, only few of them make the big bucks.  I guess there is a growing tension in the band because some of the memebers(including the band leader) is a true believer, and they are willing to put all eggs in one basket.  I had a private talk with some of the member and I was surprised to hear just how much work he turned down to commit to this band.  I told them I personally can't do that and turn down work like they do.


  • #3
    How long have you guys been doing this? I ask because what people think are big breaks really aren't. We've played with Katatonia, Trapt, Pop Evil, Taproot, played in front of labels. And generally knocked those shows out of the park. But it still comes down to the grind of proving yourself to be a money-making commodity. Enjoy the big shows for what they are- cool opportunities to do things most people can only dream of- and appreciate that. But do not burn yourselves out in the hopes for a big break that almost certainly isn't there. Be well-rehearsed, do your best, then get back to work.
    Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

    http://www.silentlapse.com

    Comment


    • #4

      No offense, but if any band needs that much rehersal for those kinds of gigs, you need to find better musicians to play with. 

       

      The problem is that we have 30 new songs for the last big show, and it's going to be 3 hours really tightly run show with lot's of cues and transitions that we need to get straight. 

       

      That would be a problem. 30 new songs a for a 3 hour show all worked out is beyond ambituious. It's insane. The only guys who do stuff like that are readers with charts. And a 3 hour show is way too much, in my opinion. Most audiences  are good for 90 minutes tops. unless you're Bruce Springsteen or String Cheese Incident.   

      http://www.patcoast.com"The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio."-Christhee68" the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep."- FitchFY

      Comment


      • etcetra
        etcetra commented
        Editing a comment

        Bluestrat

         

        I don't think the problem is the band itself, but with the production.    On our regular shows we can learn a new song every 30min and we usually learn 10-12 new song every show.

        The problem is that  the producer hired bunch of horn players and thought they can just magically come up tight arrangements on the spot.  I agree with any big shows like this, most artists have dedicated arrangers and all the musicians who are hired are there to play the parts.   I've never heard of any big gigs where every individual player has to learn their own parts from the recording.  So Basically we'll probably have to figure out how to play the tune and how we do the cues&transition&arrangement during the rehearsal which is really ineffficent.

        As far my self, I have a piano/vocal feature, and based on what I heard from the recording, it's a heavily arranged part and not some thing you can just make a chord chart and play over(think of early-advanced Chopin Nocturne or something.. not insanely difficult but it's going to be very time consuming if I have to figure out a lot of parts note by note from recording).  I've already asked the producer to ask the composer to send me the music, but still no response after 2 weeks.  At this rate, i wouldn't be surprised if he says he can't get the music and ask me to learn it off the recording. 

         

         


      • TIMKEYS
        TIMKEYS commented
        Editing a comment

        BlueStrat wrote:

        No offense, but if any band needs that much rehersal for those kinds of gigs, you need to find better musicians to play with. 

         

        The problem is that we have 30 new songs for the last big show, and it's going to be 3 hours really tightly run show with lot's of cues and transitions that we need to get straight. 

         

        That would be a problem. 30 new songs a for a 3 hour show all worked out is beyond ambituious. It's insane. The only guys who do stuff like that are readers with charts. And a 3 hour show is way too much, in my opinion. Most audiences  are good for 90 minutes tops. unless you're Bruce Springsteen or String Cheese Incident.   



         


    • #5
      That is indeed a different animal than what our "big shows" would be. It's still ultimately about making them money, and proving that over a consistent grind. So the schedule has to be sustainable. I guess bottom line is that I would use great caution against factoring in the "big break" in general.
      Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

      http://www.silentlapse.com

      Comment


      • etcetra
        etcetra commented
        Editing a comment

        I agree.  The gig should be financially/musically worthwhile in itself both for musicians and people involved with it. Right now, everything we are doing is an "investment" for what we might be doing 2-3 years down the road, when we make it big time.

        Of course it would be nice if this leads to big shows with big money, but if it doesn't I am going to walk away feeling like I've spent way too much time on a gig that paid way too little. As of now I can make just as much doing other gigs without having to do that much rehearsals(but those gigs doesn't really have the potential to get bigger either).

        I am also noticing tension between the true believers in the band and those who aren't.  I brought the issue up with the rehearsal time and another member defended me, but if I didn't bring it up, the other memebers probably would have went along wit it.


    • #6
      In the most frank terms, I don't think this is the project for OP. If everyone else is super duper committed and you aren't, you're going to be " holding them back" while they keep "asking too much." Which is just a symptom of not being on the same page. Probably best to just make room for someone who wants to commit full go.
      Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

      http://www.silentlapse.com

      Comment


      • #7
        No, I think they are being outrageous. 30 songs to appease a client is just... Outrageous. And you may have made ins with that producer, but to what ends, you know? When do you go back to playing what you want to play? Do you?

        And I realize that the forum answer is often "quit the band" or "kick him out" like it's just that simple. It's so easy for an outsider to say. But if there's success in the cards, you have to be sure it's the success you want.
        Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

        http://www.silentlapse.com

        Comment


        • #8

          etcetra wrote:

          So I am playing in this band and we have 3 really big gigs coming up .. I am starting to have conflicts with the band leader because of the rehearsal requirements. We are already doing 4x3hr+1x4hr rehearsals for the two gigs that are coming up in the next 2 weeks, but on top of that we have a really big show on novemeber and the producer for that gig wants us to do 5 hr reheasals,2 times a week starting next week and 4 rehearsals in the 3rd and 4th week.

          I told the bandleader that it's way too much workload, epseically considering these gigs don't pay that well(it's equivalent of $200, $400 and $500). We are talking about 76hrs of rehearsal for $1100, If you add individual prep time, it's going to be well over 100 hrs of work in the next 4 weeks. The band leader explained that this is our big push for the big break, and I understand the importance of these gigs. We are collaborating with a really famous local artists, and the last gig we are playing is the one of the biggest venue in the city... I've already accepted that I am going to deal with pretty heavy load. I enjoy working with this band and I think everyone is cool with going the extra mile for the muisc.

          But I didn't expect it to be this unrelastic. Between other gigs I do for living, I am stacking 5-7 hr rehearsals/gigs almost everyday for the next month, mostly to meet these rehearsal requirements. I already told the band leader that's a receipte for injury(he knows that I've had tendonitis problem), both for myself and the horn section, but he is telling us the 5 hr rehearsal is not his idea and it's what the producer of these shows are asking us.

          If this was a band/gig I can live off and and cancel all my other gig and work commitments, it's one thing, but it's not.. I guess this is supposed to be the big push to get us to that level. But as for now, the last show we are doing is paying us way below the going rate for shows of this kind.

          If you were in my situation what will you do?

          EDIT:Cleaned up the post


          I would be worried about repetitive motion issues.  Thats like 28    3 hour shows in a row  without a day off plus your practice time.   You are gonna hit the wall.   Dont screw up your hands over this band.  

          "you mess with him and you mess with the whole trailer park"

          Comment


          • etcetra
            etcetra commented
            Editing a comment

            First of all, I want to thank you all for all the feedback I am getting.. It's definitely helped me make sense out of this sitation.

            The bottom line is, I don't need to be doing this gig for the money.  I am already getting paid just as much(if not more) doing other gigs that requires fraction of rehearsal time.  I am doing it out of love of playing this kind of music with these guys.  It's the band I enjoy playing the most.

            But I am starting to realize that may not be enough and I can't help but to think the bandleader/producer will keep on raising bar with ridiculous commitments...what's next, a 2 week tour with 100 hr rehearsal commitment that pays $1000 total?  Sooner or late it's going to conflict with my other gigs which is playing me well now.  It took me couple of years to build that network and I am not going to drop them for a vague promise for the future.  The reason I've able to go this far is people have been considerate about this up to this point, but as this big push continues, I am sure I'll be asked to choose this band over my other gigs, even the money isn't there yet to justify that.

            I think the reason some of the members are so into it is because they get to experince  being "rock star". It's definitely an exhilrarating experince, but for I've met enough people who's been there and I don't really fancy it because I see past it.  Like others have said, at the end it's about  making a living doing music as a career, and in that respect I am not sure if this project in the long run is helping me.

            Tommy Tedesco quote is spot on. The fun factor is what kept me going all this time, but now that one of the bandleader is leaving, eve the "fun" part going to be affected too.  Like I said, we are getting a replacement in a pinch, and frankly he is not very good.  Even the bandleader expressed his dissatisfation, after using the other guy as sub once.  Either way, it's going to affect the sound and chemistry, which was really hard to find in the first place.

            At this point, I am committed to these sets of gig, if I walk out, it's going to hurt the band big time.  But if I am doing another gig of like this in the future, I'll ask that we get compensated for rehearsals.  I am also making a point to let them know that some things need to be changed, and I won't work with them like this again.  But whether I continue or not will largely depend on where we'll end up after these sets of gigs.  If I am committing this much time on this, something needs to come out of it.  

             

            TIMKEYS

            ya as it stands it's looking like at least 3hr rehearsals every day for the next month, but with other gig/rehearsal commitments I will have 5-7hrs rehersal/gig days at least 2-3 times a week.

             


        • #9
          $200, $300 & $500 divided by how many people? That's an insane amount of practice and not enough pay to be someone's backing band.
          PA Unity15's over LS800p's. YX15's, YX12's IPR power, RM32AI

          LightsMartin Minimac Profiles, Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duos, Blizzard 3NX, Fab5, Hotbox

          Comment


          • #10
            Thats per person npt the entire band..
            Stil way too little for the work load.

            Comment


            • BlueStrat
              BlueStrat commented
              Editing a comment

              etcetra wrote:
              Thats per person npt the entire band..
              Stil way too little for the work load.

              Well, again, drawing on my personal experience with "high paying gigs" and promises of 200-400 dollars a guy per gig, I'd want to see the signed contracts. I've had enough smoke blown up my hindquarters to last a lifetime. I'm just leery of guys who promnise big dollars in this economy with an unproven band. Too cynical, I guess. 


          • #11
            Well, it's $10 an hour... there are certainly worse jobs for that money. But yeah, the sustainability factor is worth taking into account.
            Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

            http://www.silentlapse.com

            Comment


            • #12
              Before anyone jumps on me... I know that isn't great.

              Still, that bar is paying a lot of money if there's a band with a horn section getting $500 apiece. I can see why the band leader would feel so compelled to bend over backwards for them. Putting the shoe in the other foot, that's a pretty big gamble on their part. When I book and the night is lighter than anticipated, I'm constantly doing math in my head trying to figure out if the bar is making or losing money on the show. If you get the same gig again, without having to learn thirty songs at a time, then I'm not sure how much bigger a break you really need. IF, again, you can stay happy playing the music.
              Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

              http://www.silentlapse.com

              Comment


              • etcetra
                etcetra commented
                Editing a comment

                I definitely agree that it's a big gamble on their part.   There are about 15-20 musicians involved plus it cose $1000 just to rent the venue out.  Still, the guy in charge is definitely way in over his head.  I didn't mention it to him  but I have some serious problem with the selection he hired. Some of them are frankly grossly incompetent and unprofessional, but i guess the producer doesn't any better.

                IMO the show way bigger than it should have been.  We didn't need 8-10 piece horn, and having them  learn 30 songs without chart is a recipe for disaster.  It would have made more sense to reduce the horn section, reduce the show to 2hrs/20 songs, and make it so that good portion material are stuff we've already done before with the guests.  

                As it stands there is way too much problem that i can even to begin how we'd get through this.  The first rehearsal for the big show(the last one) is next week and the producer hasn't given us the mp3's because he hasn't finalized the set list yet.  On top of that, our first rehearsal for the first show is this weekend and I was told they need to change the song from final set list, because the artist is not ready to perfom the piece(they do this often, mostly because they don't even bother to practice/check if they can do the songs they asked us to do.. and they tell us way after they submitted the final set list.)

                I guess the problem is that if we do another show like this, then the producer will probably ask to do 30 new songs..so that's definitely something I'd need to disccus with the bandleader and the producer.


            • #13

              double post

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