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Things have loosened up significantly here. We went out to dinner last night and then to a place to watch a duo performing outdoors. Not a huge crowd but a reasonable turnout, we'll be back on the schedule to play there again soon. We're booked to play next weekend outdoors at a different place.

As protests, rioting and looting compete to take over the headlines, C19 will begin to slip from folks minds.

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1 hour ago, ggm1960 said:

Things have loosened up significantly here. We went out to dinner last night and then to a place to watch a duo performing outdoors. Not a huge crowd but a reasonable turnout, we'll be back on the schedule to play there again soon. We're booked to play next weekend outdoors at a different place.

As protests, rioting and looting compete to take over the headlines, C19 will begin to slip from folks minds.

yes... time will tell. thats the only certainty, currently...  

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Hi Bob,

glad you still here too. We all are tough, aren't we!!!!

 

Notes, your UK friend will probably do ok as a solo.

We've been pro 21 years and have seen budgets cut and cut and cut. We've changed our act to reflect the different market but find ourselves losing out because of budget.

My Duo partner and I are not sharing households, so the money doesn't go into one pot like it does for you two, therefore we still need to ask for a certain amount to make it worth our while.  A solo is always going to be able to lowball a Duo or band, so bookers can stretch to paying a solo when they can't stretch to a bit more.

Also, if the venue relies on customers sitting at tables to dine, the more tables they can get in, the more money they can make. A solo will take up less room.

We suffered there too. We took up too much room in comparison.

 

So, if your friend's tracks are good quality, he should still manage to make a living when this is all over.

 

You know, we had a nice little regular gig going at a restaurant where they couldn't afford much, but they booked us to play twice a month, paid cash and gave us a free pizza. We charged them a lot less than our regular fee.

Then they said they wanted music every week but wanted something different and asked if we knew anyone. We suggested a solo girl locally who had a lovely voice and played tracks on an ipad. The girl got us a booking at a place as a sort of 'return the favour.' Our regular place booked us twice a month and her twice a month.

We did the gig the girl fixed for us [last March] - still haven't been paid. The venue has closed down and the owner disappeared.

Suddenly, our regular restaurant had her there all the time and they stopped booking us.

Life's a bitch sometimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I fondly remember the days of being in a 7 piece band, when I had to carry to work was a tenor sax in one hand, an alto in the other and a flute tucked under my arm. Of course the B3 player would say, "You're set up, can you give me a hand lifting this?" 😁

Little by little the downsizing began, and it can't get much smaller now. But we also have new competition that we never had before, DJs, Giant TV Screens, Karaoke, and Open Mic Nights where the owner gets free entertainment and an audience to see their buddy perform.

Survival goes to the adaptable. Since it looks like it will be a long time before bands are back (they are still Banned here) and when they do, they won't be as healthy, we all need to figure out ways to adapt to the changes.

Leilani are working hard on our Band-in-a-Box aftermarket software, but it takes a loooooooooong time to come up with new products. Hopefully it will happen before our savings runs out.

We've also got on our proverbial thinking caps for new ways to make money with music -- or without.

There are a lot of scientists working on treatments, cures, and vaccines. Hopefully they will solve the riddle soon. In the meantime we need to be thinking of ways to adapt.

Good luck to all of us who depend on the arts to make a living.

Notes

 

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In all honesty I wish I could stay home more but now I'm being dragged back into a hyperactive family and social life I've often been less than overjoyed about. I'm actually a rather solitary person and enjoy my time at home or alone. That may seem like an odd thing to complain about but with having to go to work this whole time I often actually enjoyed it when I could just stay home because there was nothing happening and no where to go.

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I'm quite happy at home. I live on a half acre, on a dead end street, in a small cottage. I planted plenty of trees when I moved here and they now provide lots of shade. Plus Leilani, my wife is also my duo partner, best friend, lover, and the person that being with 24/7 isn't enough.

The windows are open, the birds are singing, an ocean breeze is drifting through the house and I'm doing fine here.

I have always lived beneath my means, I have zero debt, including the mortgage, some savings, the refrigerator is full, and I'm healthy. Live is good.

Insights and incites by Notes

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Posted (edited)

been asked by the 2 Elks clubs to come back at the end of the month, but they want me to take a cut in pay to help them out.....sorry ...i told them they would be lucky to get 30-40 people. the average age is 70 during the summer. the snowbirds are gone. all we have is the elderly neighborhood that comes in for 1 hour, then leave. i told then to get a DJ or Karaoke for $100. I wont play for it. told them if things improve by October, and they have some meds to battle getting severely sick by then, then the crowds will come back. Im watching the sporting events. when they allow crowds again, I'll start back up. in the meantime, i'm working on new songs and eating 100% at home. didnt know how much less i spend by not eating out everyday. lost 16 lb. eating healthier. not spending money on useless crap. go to the store every 10-12 days. i can see me doing this even after things get somewhat back to normal.

oh yeah....still fighting the unemployment DEO mess in florida. cant talk to a real person. they do not offer callbacks. they just hang up. there is no help online. my application has been ok'd, but they want more information. i'm suppose to read their mind to what they want me to upload to them. i've sent in last years tax form...all my 1099 forms...all my contracts that were cancelled...all my venues names and phone numbers...still they want more info....i've sent 4 emails to them saying i need help with the online app. still no response.....

i'll wait till its over and i can talk to a real person. the DEO website sucks.

Edited by leftyjay

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On 6/1/2020 at 5:07 AM, SusieP said:

You know, we had a nice little regular gig going at a restaurant where they couldn't afford much, but they booked us to play twice a month, paid cash and gave us a free pizza. We charged them a lot less than our regular fee.

Then they said they wanted music every week but wanted something different and asked if we knew anyone. We suggested a solo girl locally who had a lovely voice and played tracks on an ipad. The girl got us a booking at a place as a sort of 'return the favour.' Our regular place booked us twice a month and her twice a month.

We did the gig the girl fixed for us [last March] - still haven't been paid. The venue has closed down and the owner disappeared.

Suddenly, our regular restaurant had her there all the time and they stopped booking us.

Life's a bitch sometimes.

no good deed goes unpunished [variously attributed to Walter Winchell, John P. Grier, Oscar Wilde and Clare Boothe Luce]

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12 hours ago, leftyjay said:

been asked by the 2 Elks clubs to come back at the end of the month, but they want me to take a cut in pay to help them out.....sorry ...i told them they would be lucky to get 30-40 people. the average age is 70 during the summer. the snowbirds are gone. all we have is the elderly neighborhood that comes in for 1 hour, then leave. i told then to get a DJ or Karaoke for $100. I wont play for it. told them if things improve by October, and they have some meds to battle getting severely sick by then, then the crowds will come back. Im watching the sporting events. when they allow crowds again, I'll start back up. in the meantime, i'm working on new songs and eating 100% at home. didnt know how much less i spend by not eating out everyday. lost 16 lb. eating healthier. not spending money on useless crap. go to the store every 10-12 days. i can see me doing this even after things get somewhat back to normal.

oh yeah....still fighting the unemployment DEO mess in florida. cant talk to a real person. they do not offer callbacks. they just hang up. there is no help online. my application has been ok'd, but they want more information. i'm suppose to read their mind to what they want me to upload to them. i've sent in last years tax form...all my 1099 forms...all my contracts that were cancelled...all my venues names and phone numbers...still they want more info....i've sent 4 emails to them saying i need help with the online app. still no response.....

i'll wait till its over and i can talk to a real person. the DEO website sucks.

I give the 'animal clubs' a break all year, and will not go any lower than that. I give them a $100 discount over our regular price if they also hire us in the summer slow season. It's a give and take. Our local Elks is hiring el-cheapo DJs now for less than $100, the Moose is letting the members DJ for zero money. Things are tight.

Now for the restaurant I've been gigging at once a week for 12 years and two owners at our regular pay I'll treat differently. When they go back to entertainment, I'll definitely give them a break and even play the first couple of weeks for meals. They took care of me fore 12 years so I want to take care of them in return.

---------

Florida's unemployment problems are due to former Governor Rick Scott and his GOP partners in crime. They figured if people can't register for unemployment, they won't be counted as unemployed making the state's unemployment numbers look good and saving the state a lot of money. It was designed to fail. It was designed to crash. It was designed to take many hours, even many days to complete so the poorest workers who have to go to the library to use a computer would never-ever be able to sit there long enough to get benefits.

Meanwhile the same GOP is giving huge tax breaks for businesses to locate in Florida. It's tax the poor and give it to the rich.

Think about that the next time you vote.

Sorry for being political, but it's definitely on-topic for this difficult time.

Notes

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Gov Ron Desantis says 97% has been paid. sorry to say, there are 100s of thousands that got incomplete payments. some just got a couple payments, now there is a hold on their payments. there are many that have received nothing, even though they've completed the paperwork. then there is a small few that got paid in total within 7 days of signing up, no rhyme or reason.

Also, Desantis claims the virus was not bad in Florida. He thought he should be praised for the job he did (kind of like you know who). Truth is, we're averaging 1600 new cases a day. Dont take long to accumulate 10,000-20,000 new cases. It's not going down. It's still raising. The thing is, the ones that got it now are the younger people that are not worried about getting it. Most people that are getting the virus are from friends they visit or are hanging out with. as for me, i'm in solitude. I dont see anybody. I talk to my family/friends on facetime or on facebook. thats it.

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Sup peeps. I’m a bit south of Notes these day’s in Jupiter FL. Had my last gig on March 15th and was locked out of work until I played on the 29th of May and again this past evening. I had 21-26 gigs a month booked and lost about $20K worth of work. My steady Weekend stuff may start back up after July 4th I’m told and my Wed thing starts back up on the 24th. 
 

I was having my best 2 Gigging years financially before the shutdown. In fact my family and I were getting ready to take off for 3 months RVin around the west then come back to FL, live in the RV, work the season and next May head out to Alaska for most of the rest of the year. The only reason I was able to survive is because we had moved to SFL closer to my gigs, got rid of house and were saving to become nomads for a couple years, and I was making great $$ all that time.  Things got messed up and plans changed a bit obviously.

I had signed a lease here since last summer till Mid July this year when we were to take off. I don’t want to be playing outside in the summer FL heat EVER again and face hurricane season etc. so we were very much looking forward to the next adventure. When everything shutdown we had to make some hard decisions and at the time, we felt we had no choice but to sign another expensive lease here until next May thinking we shouldn’t move into an RV in Hurricane season if we are stuck here...We held off buying it but already had the big Diesel PU to pull it. 
 

So through it all My wife who is a restaurant manager has been working so we were lucky to still have her income. I immediately signed up for unemployment when it became available and did finally start receiving it albeit in weird wonky chunks in early May. We received our Trump Bucks stimulus at the end of May.

Also we had been building a successful Tribute band that was taking off booking lots of $$ shows some regionally and nationally with national representation and those all cancelled. I did Book a smaller show north of me for August but we had $50k of shows cancel with that business and that was going to segue into my full time gig by the end of 2021. The plan was when that built up to replace my income from solo work we would have found a place we wanted to be out west in the mountains and chilled out there in the RV hiking, fishing, shooting motorcycle riding etc and I’d fly out for gigs. Winters we would probably still come to FL and I would do solo work in between tribute stuff. And in 5 years we would buy some land, build and off grid Cabin or buy a cabin on sone land in a mountain state and set us up for the future.

Now we are in a holding pattern at least until after the elections as I believe the crazy violence will ramp up at least till then and possibly after. We have been preparing for that as well. Anyway, I don’t see things getting back to “normal” possibly ever again. We’re definitely in new territory here. Stay safe everyone and God Bless.

 

Sean

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We had our last gig March 17. Everything until mid-October has been canceled. That's iffy depending on how the virus spreads and right now Trump's puppet DeSantis is IMHO opening the state up too quickly, asking too many people to die for the DOW.

The problem is compounded by the GOP rigging the elections. Trump and DeSantis both lost the popular vote, but extreme gerrymandering aided by voter suppression in Dem districts sealed our fate. So we all suffer for what the GOP minority asked for. And that is an unemployment system so bad it made news in England on both the BBC and Guardian as the worst in the USA.

If you voted GOP this is the unemployment system you asked for, if not, you suffer what the others asked for.

This from a +50 year registered independent, moderate, swing voter who is swinging to the D extreme until the GOP starts to represent me again.

Fortunately the mortgage is paid off and I'm not in any debt. I'll make it, although we lost the last two months of a very good season, we'll keep on keeping on.

Notes

 

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On 4/17/2020 at 5:25 PM, pinkfloydcramer61 said:

I went from $700- $800 a week playing background piano in restaurants, to nothing (like everyone else here). PO'd at myself for not having an "essential" vocation to fall back on. I'm using the downtime to nail down some long-worked on pieces, develop my harmonica skills, learn DAW recording, and reevaluate if my singing really does hopelessly suck. Got a crawfish boil band gig booked in April, so far it's still on.

I can identify with your comments about singing.  However, when it comes to making money playing music, doing vocals is a big part of connecting with the audience.  For those of us that are not naturally gifted singers,  I think it is important to work and find songs we can pull off.  The other thing is to include vocals in your practice. Having your voice in shape will boost your confidence.  Also, practice singing into a mic so you get used to it and use headphones as a monitor.  It is important to figure out how loud to sing for each song as well as how close to are to the mic.  
 

I will often see live performances where I feel like the vocalist is trying to be too versatile as opposed to sticking with what fits into their range.  
 

Some people might be good at singing Jethro Tull, Jim Morrison, or Billy Idol but terrible doing something by The Bee Gees or certain Beatles tunes.  

Another thing to consider is staying away from stuff by singers with exceptionally good voices. Nobody is ever going to come close to soundIng as good as Patsy Cline,  for example.  If you play piano, it might bd better to do a Billy Joel song as opposed to Elton John. 
 

One good way to find songs to try is simply singing along with a lot of different stuff on the radio or from the internet.  
 

Sorry for the rambling post. I have never been a “singer” but getting past not doing vocals was key in being able to to do solo gigs.  Generally, you will almost always make more money doIng solo performances since you don’t have to split up what the venue pays and also the tips.  

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Gomer says hey.

@OneManBlues, no doubt singing can make a huge difference, but in my case I don't think it keeps me from making money.  I've found enough of the kind of solo instrumental gigs where singing is not required or may even be ruled out. So I'm  no troubadour and my only relevance to this forum is when I join up with a singer to form a duo. It looks like that will be happening soon, with a WCS (White Chick Singer) I used to date.

My only experience with singing on solo gigs consists of one week's time at a restaurant some 15 years ago, and also for one gig to a mostly deserted venue a few years ago, just a token few songs so the manager could tell the owner that I did sing (I had found that for that particular day it was required). In the 1st instance, the owner was not impressed. His exact words were "Uh, Andy, you know you don't HAVE to sing if you don't really WANT to". Lol. So he could tell I wasn't into it. It didn't hurt my feelings much because I thought the singer who had been taking my gigs (because he did Elton and Billy songs) sucked. Both times were not without encouragement, however,  from some nice people who encouraged me to cover John Prine, Tom Waits,  artists not known for having good voices. 

Masks are required for all staff at a restaurant that reopened, where I am subbing on occasion. So that puts me on an equal footing with the singer/players there. Good luck singing through a mask, lol. Other things are coming open also, but I'm checking into a job delivering pharmaceuticals (my old line of day work), for something to do and to re-establish an income. The hours will allow me to still do whatever gigs come available. I'm more into music than ever, if not necessarily into gigs. But can't spend all day doing nothing but playing and practicing, I'm finding. 

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I play sax, flute, wind synth, bass, guitar, drums, keyboard synth and vocals.

Vocals was the most difficult instrument for me to learn. It took years to gain decent control. And a month off means two weeks of daily singing to get it back.

I am not a gifted vocalist, and I know my limits. I don't sing what I will sound bad at, and there is a lot of that. But there is more that I can do a decent job with.

I've made a living doing music and nothing but music for most of my life so-far. Audiences relate to vocals and in the early days, I was always at the mercy of a vocalist. Mostly it was trying to find a good one sometimes putting up with a diva/divo personality. So I decided to learn it myself.

I know if you want to make a living playing music, having vocals gives you a +90% better chance of landing a gig.

I had the advantage of knowing how to breathe properly using my diaphragm for breath support. I learned that in school for playing sax, it's the same for vocals. Then I took out a few books  (pre-Internet) and learned techniques. But learning and practice were two different things.

I started with easy songs, not much range, not many notes sustained for a long time. Years later I became a decent singer.

Sax/wind synthesizer is my first voice, but vocals have kept me employed (until Covid anyway).

Insights and incites by Notes

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