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Mid-Covid Bookings


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So we got a gig coming up next week.  Bars around here are allowed to open to 75% capacity.

The bar has been harping on us almost daily about how many people we're going to bring 🙄 to the point that I'm no longer even looking forward to playing there.  Oh yea, and NO FREE BEER.

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They're probably lucky to be allowed to be open. But you just know if it's a small crowd it'll be your fault and if it's a large crowd it'll be because it's such a great bar. Best of luck with the gig. One nice thing about being in a worship band, nobody expects us to be the draw.

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Whelp, it turned out to be a huge turnout, I was surprised as anyone haha.

Something quite unique happened too.  We use a Mackie mixer, one of the models that has an iPad dock where the iPad controls everything.  Apparently our sound guy never thought to change the default password for the software, so imagine our surprise when our sound went goofy and one of our mic's started feeding back, our singer noticed a guy in the audience with an iPad.. called him out.  Apparently the guy hacked into our sound and thought he could do a better job and just took over using the default password to get into our settings.

It got tense when the singer berated and trashed the guy in front of the whole bar, but apparently this guy backed off and stopped.

Then this 'sound guy' had the audacity to post a response on our FB page - a "review" of our gig, where he said the band was really good, but that our sound needed work and then promoted his next gig as a sound guy in the review.  We debated showing up and confronting him, then decided it wasn't worth it, but of all the things in the world to go wrong at a gig, who ever expected this to happen?

Who brings an ipad to a bar with the hopes and intentions of taking over their sound control??  

Which concerns me greatly.. many guitar pedals are bluetooth now.. and many have no security whatsoever.. how can I stop people from showing up at a gig and hacking into my pedals?  What a crazy world we live in.

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On 4/26/2021 at 9:24 AM, Kramerguy said:

Which concerns me greatly.. many guitar pedals are bluetooth now.. and many have no security whatsoever.. how can I stop people from showing up at a gig and hacking into my pedals?  What a crazy world we live in.

little rectangular tinfoil hats?:idk:

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Wow.....hacking into a mixer......I guess if "stupid" can happen, someone will oblige.

What's next?  Someone hacking my sax reeds.....? (a lame attempt at humor).

 

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When I turned 40 I targeted the Senior Citizen population in South Florida and never looked back. Yacht clubs, country clubs, retirement developments and so on.

When I was younger, the old timers told me that once I got out of the bars and into the adult market, I'd wonder why I didn't do that sooner. They were right.

Pros:

  • The gigs are short, usually 3 hours.
  • They finish early, usually by 10 or 11PM.
  • There are no fights
  • There is no pressure to sell drinks.
  • There is always an audience (no Thursdays playing to the tables and chairs).
  • When you learn a song, unlike Top40, it's good for years because it's already an oldie.
  • You get to play a variety of music styles
  • Two gigs a week pays as much as 5 nights in a bar.
  • At the end of the night, they thank you for giving them a wonderful evening.

Cons:

  • It's mostly one-nighters, so you have to move gear every gig.
  • If you are single, there are no young babes to hit on, (but if you like them mature, you are in luck).

Fortunately I'm in a duo with my wife who is a great singer and plays both guitar and synth so the lack of young babes (above) is not a problem. I go home with the same beauty every night and wouldn't want it any other way.

In South Florida, it's Seasonal. From Halloween to Tax day. You work very hard in 6 months and make at least 3/4 of your yearly income then.

Insights and incites by Notes

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13 hours ago, Notes_Norton said:

When I turned 40 I targeted the Senior Citizen population in South Florida and never looked back. Yacht clubs, country clubs, retirement developments and so on.

When I was younger, the old timers told me that once I got out of the bars and into the adult market, I'd wonder why I didn't do that sooner. They were right.

Pros:

  • The gigs are short, usually 3 hours.
  • They finish early, usually by 10 or 11PM.
  • There are no fights
  • There is no pressure to sell drinks.
  • There is always an audience (no Thursdays playing to the tables and chairs).
  • When you learn a song, unlike Top40, it's good for years because it's already an oldie.
  • You get to play a variety of music styles
  • Two gigs a week pays as much as 5 nights in a bar.
  • At the end of the night, they thank you for giving them a wonderful evening.

Cons:

  • It's mostly one-nighters, so you have to move gear every gig.
  • If you are single, there are no young babes to hit on, (but if you like them mature, you are in luck).

Fortunately I'm in a duo with my wife who is a great singer and plays both guitar and synth so the lack of young babes (above) is not a problem. I go home with the same beauty every night and wouldn't want it any other way.

In South Florida, it's Seasonal. From Halloween to Tax day. You work very hard in 6 months and make at least 3/4 of your yearly income then.

Insights and incites by Notes

A similar path for me........

When I turned 35 (leading my own GB band) I saw the writing-on-the-wall that I was aging-out of what I did (sax player in a wedding/club band, occasional pro-shows).

[What 25y/o bride wants a grey-haired sax player in her wedding band?  Ans: none of them do....]

  At that point I went back to my classical roots (classical muso in college), started a trio ensemble, auditioned successfully for a local orchestra (which 10 years ago went AFM), and have since concentrated my playing on the ceremony/'tails circuit around Newport, RI. 

At 60+ it seems that getting older is good for booking my ensemble as the young brides think that they are talking to Mozart or something - lol.

My ensemble gigs are usually two hours; a usual 4-6: (4-4:30 prelude, 4:30-5 ceremony, 15 minute break, 5:15-6 'tails, 6:10 driving home....).  Nobody busts our chops with requests, we just play our baroque, look (and sound) polished, rinse/repeat.  Creativity-wise it's rather sterile but the $ is great - although I miss my sax at times.....  Every once in a while I'll go to a jam and make some noise just to stay in the game...

 

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Good move for you MikeM

Weddings also pay well, but I abandoned them a long time ago. Bridezilla trying to micromanage her wedding took a lot of the joy out of the gig for me.

Until COVID I was never out of work. I actually had to block out a few weeks for a vacation because if I didn't, I'd take bookings and wouldn't get a vacation. That actually happened one year.

COVID happened, and my client base went into hibernation. They are emerging now, and the phone is ringing, but being Summer in Florida, it's mostly for next season, as the snowbirds are going back "up north".

Notes

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Notes:

Part of the scene is dealing with Bridezillas ('had more than my share of 'em) but even worse is the "Mom-zilla" (mother of the bride) who essentially takes-over the daughter's wedding since she (Momzilla) is paying the bills.

This happen alot with Newport weddings...... 

The brides are essentially told to "show up" ........ 

Besides the $ the only thing that makes these gigs somewhat enjoyable is that the others in my ensemble are excellent musicians and nice people.....

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I know a lot of other people know how to deal with Bridzilla (and Mom-zilla) but I guess I'm just too independent to enjoy being micro-managed and don't know how to side-step that.

Don't get me wrong, I've played some fantastic weddings in my day, but more and more the wedding industry is telling the bride that this is going to be the best day of their entire life, unless their friend's wedding is even a little bit better, and if that happens the bride will be a pariah. That kind of pressure is not good for what is supposed to be a celebration.

I was never in a 'wedding band' per se, but took wedding jobs. I started out doing high school dances, then nightclubs/singles bars, then show clubs, then opening concerts for major stars, then better nightclubs, then cruise ships, and then after a few personnel problems that left me unemployed for month-long stretches, I downsized to a duo with Mrs.Notes, made my own backing tracks, and targeted the yacht club, country club, retirement development, and private party market.

Each part of the biz that I worked has its pros and cons. IMO all of it is better than working a day job as a wage slave for some faceless, soulless corporation -- even Bridezilla.

Playing singles bars on the road after the Summer Of Love and before AIDs came along was a blast for a young guy with raging hormones. Warming up for major stars in concert and being treated as an equal by people whose records we copied in our cover band was nice. Cruise ships were great, no lugging and toting gear, a different audience every week so the same jokes worked, and star status was fun. Being independent with Mrs. Notes in downsized venues playing 3 hours for decent money and having a local following is right presently perfect.

Right now it looks like next winter's 'season' is going to come back fine and be normal again.

Insights and incites by Notes

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