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Is the writing on the wall??


Yer Blues

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I agree.


However, I'm on the other side of that fence. I play with two bands, as well as a duo and a solo. I can't get anyone else to book in either band. Venues want 5 people to play for 300 dollars. A 4 hour gig is a 7 hour day for a one nighter. So my band mates get pissy because I book solo and duo gigs, and they aren't playing. Solo, I can earn 20-60 dollars an hour, and be set up in 10 minutes. Is it any wonder I'd rather do it?


I love my band mates, but I'll tell you this- if I were a bass player or drummer not getting many gigs, I'd be taking a highly active role in booking the band. for them to sit and cry about not having a gig because someone else isn't booking it for them is crap. Ultimately, we're all responsible for our own success and happiness.

 

 

 

I've never been in a band where everyone booked. I've also never been in a band that was a democracy in the least. I've either been a side man, or I have run my own band. When I run my own band, I book it based on my reputation, my contacts, my PA and my contracts. I pay my players a set amount and I call the tunes. However, I'm always open to songlist suggestions by bandmembers and always treat and pay my guys fairly. But I wouldn't trust my livelihood to someone else's booking skill. Call me paranoid but this is what my experience has taught me.

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So you're telling me the venues are dictating to you how many band members you can have to be able to play at their club???

 

 

I don't think they're literally saying that. I think what Pat means is that clubs won't pay any more for a 5 piece band (which is what Pat feels he needs to get his band sound across) than a solo or duo act.

 

But I've heard of venues who freak out if somebody shows up as a solo or duo when they were expecting a full band. Which is understandable except for the fact that they probably aren't paying enough to support a full band in the first place.

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I don't think they're literally saying that. I think what Pat means is that clubs won't pay any more for a 5 piece band (which is what Pat feels he needs to get his band sound across) than a solo or duo act.


But I've heard of venues who freak out if somebody shows up as a solo or duo when they were expecting a full band. Which is understandable except for the fact that they probably aren't paying enough to support a full band in the first place.

 

Oh, ok :) Yea, I can understand a club having a problem if you show up duo or solo when they were expecting a band.

 

When gig money was no longer stagnant and actually started to go down I dropped the band down to 3 piece so we could continue to work and get a decent wage. I simply just explained to the club owners the economics of it and it was fine. Boy, i'm glad i'm out of that scene now!!

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I could see it turning out badly though if I said something like "I'm not going to come during my free time when one of the main reasons these gigs are being played in the first place is because it's the only way Raymond can get his minimun fee. If they band has to turn down gigs because he won't take $25 less, I'm certainly not going to come out for free."


I don't see anything good coming from that.
:)

 

I do. These are the kinds of things that fester and ruin relationships if they aren't brought out in the open.

 

These guys may not even be aware of how you feel or of the fact that they're undermining what the band is doing - in which case, your letting them know might even result in them agreeing to book some more band gigs and take the $25 less.

 

But even if it doesn't have that ideal result, the good things that will come of it are: 1) you will have stood up for yourself and made them aware that this is having a negative impact on you, and 2) it will probably result in some closure of some sort. Namely, them admitting that they'd rather book duo gigs and it's time for you to find another band. I think it'd make everybody feel better all the way around to have this out on the table.

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Perhaps it's only semantics - however I draw a distinction between sitting in and subbing. To me - sitting in means playing a few tunes while subbing means playing the night. I can't tell from OP's description of the situation whether they've invited him to sit in or play as a sub without pay.

 

If I were in his shoes and were invited to sit in - I wouldn't have a problem playing a few for free. If they're really looking the OP to play for free as a sub - I'd tell 'em to pound sand.

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So you're telling me the venues are dictating to you how many band members you can have to be able to play at their club??? In all my years I thought I'd seen it all. I would literally hysterically crack up in someone's face if they told me that!! Then I would say, I'll play for free with my 4 piece and if it's not better then any of your 5 piece bands by consensus of everyone there, I'll pay YOU $500!! I have said many things like that in my day. Confidence is good if you can back it up! Of course, I probably wouldn't deal with a venue trying to tell me how many band members I must have in order to booked in their venue!! That's just Hilarious!!! LOLOL :poke:

 

 

 

No, I worded it poorly. I mean I have a 5 piece band and they only want to pay 300 dollars, no matter how many players you have or how good you are.

 

I've never been in a band where everyone booked.

Me neither, but I've been in plenty of bands where everyone in the band went out and made contacts, dropped off promo, found out who the club booker was and got their number/time they can be reached, and then had one guy in the band do the actual negotiating. Since everyone in my band but me lives in Spokane and that's where the gigs are, I don't think that's asking too much.

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Me neither, but I've been in plenty of bands where everyone in the band went out and made contacts, dropped off promo, found out who the club booker was and got their number/time they can be reached, and then had one guy in the band do the actual negotiating. Since everyone in my band but me lives in Spokane and that's where the gigs are, I don't think that's asking too much.

 

That makes a ton of sense.

 

I've done and continue to do just this in my current band, though not as much as I could.....then again, it's not been needed.

 

The 2 best venues we play in right now came from me; I did the legwork to find out what bands played there and so on. Mostly from looking at band calendars.

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but do you think I am being over-sensitive in regards to them getting their minimal pay vs. me sitting in for free?

Ignore my earlier question. You've just answered it. You have no respect for yourself. If you don't respect yourself, you can not fault others for not respecting you. You've already taught them that you are not worthy of respect.

 

Fix that problem before you make any other decisions. If you don't, this kind of thing will follow you to every situation you are involved in.

 

 

Good luck,

SYK

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Ignore my earlier question. You've just answered it. You have no respect for yourself. If you don't respect yourself, you can not fault others for not respecting you. You've already taught them that you are not worthy of respect.


Fix that problem before you make any other decisions. If you don't, this kind of thing will follow you to every situation you are involved in.

 

This can happen if the guy is not on the same level musically as the others, or lacks confidence which makes him think he's not on the same level musically as the others.

 

I've seen that situation a time or three.

 

I don't want or need to be THAT guy: my advice is simple. Hit the woodshed, and come out of there pissed off and ready to kick some ass.

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This can happen if the guy is not on the same level musically as the others, or lacks confidence which makes him think he's not on the same level musically as the others.

Sure. I've played with guys who were WAY above me when it comes to skill. But I never disrespected myself. I won't work for free while others are being paid. Just not gonna happen.

 

I should add, sitting in for one or two songs is not "work". It's a social thing. You have the pleasure of being a guest without any real demands or expectations for a very short time. People buy you a drink or two as a gratuity. You mingle with their crowd afterward until the next set break. Chat it up a bit, maybe make a new acquaintance or two. At the break, a pleasant goodbye with the guys you played with, then you're on your way for the rest of the evening.

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Sure. I've played with guys who were WAY above me when it comes to skill. But I never disrespected myself. I won't work for free while others are being paid. Just not gonna happen.


I should add, sitting in for one or two songs is not "work". It's a social thing. You have the pleasure of being a guest without any real demands or expectations for a very short time. People buy you a drink or two as a gratuity. You mingle with their crowd afterward until the next set break. Chat it up a bit, maybe make a new acquaintance or two. At the break, a pleasant goodbye with the guys you played with, then you're on your way for the rest of the evening.

 

I'm all about the sit-ins. We've had a sit-in on every instrument except keys at this point, and they've all gone over well.

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I'm all about the sit-ins. We've had a sit-in on every instrument except keys at this point, and they've all gone over well.

More often than not, you'll meet another musician in the crowd. Exchange cards, maybe keep in touch on schedules and they'll sit in sometime with your band or vice-versa. It's like little mini-auditions. Basically you're looking for chemistry. If you click with certain people, you stay in touch. If a sub is needed or a spot opens up in a band, sometimes good things can happen from a little networking like that.

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Me neither, but I've been in plenty of bands where everyone in the band went out and made contacts, dropped off promo, found out who the club booker was and got their number/time they can be reached, and then had one guy in the band do the actual negotiating. Since everyone in my band but me lives in Spokane and that's where the gigs are, I don't think that's asking too much.

 

 

That's what I suggested, but no one wants to even put one gigs pay towards any of this stuff.... I'm certainly not going to front it all when I am the most recent member and have the least pull when it comes to band decisions. I've suggested getting a banner, website, promo package, demo, and it falls flat. You add that to the fact certain members want X amount of pay, which we'll never get because you don't have a reputation or a "professional sales pitch". As a result, the duo gets booked more because bar/restaurant owners are willing to throw out a smaller amount of money for two guys.

 

The sitting issue is different, but IMO it's a result of the above. They would probably let me sit in as long as I wanted, but there's no way I would do it the entire night. Maybe a set now and then... but definitely not every gig. I just feel like I am being a little bit petty because the fact is if they took like $25 less each the entire band could be playing A LOT more.

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This can happen if the guy is not on the same level musically as the others, or lacks confidence which makes him think he's not on the same level musically as the others.


I've seen that situation a time or three.


I don't want or need to be THAT guy: my advice is simple. Hit the woodshed, and come out of there pissed off and ready to kick some ass.

 

 

It's more that I am apathetic to leave my house to play and hear the same songs the band has been playing for the 8th months I've been a part of it. It's just boring.

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At the start of this year I joined a band that was playing 4-5 gigs per month. However, these gigs started to dry up as a combination of (1) band members requiring a certain amount of pay and (2) lack of effort by all involved (no practices, no promo pack, no demo, etc). I suspect this band would have no trouble getting corner bar gigs, but they're not going to pay what they want.


Two of the guys have formed a duo and from the sounds of it have regularly bookings. The band only has two gigs booked the rest of the year. From talking to them it sounds like the duo has steady bookings. With the duo it is easier to get their minimal pay. I have no problem with that -- it is his band and he handls the bookings. But, almost every one of those gigs they invite me out to sit in for the night. I did it during one of their first gigs because at the time the duo was advertised as a secondary thing. The band was playing 4 times a month. Now, I sort of feel slighted when one of the reasons the band is not playing more is because they will not take less pay, but they expect me to come out and play for free?


I think the writing is on the wall for the full band, but do you think I am being over-sensitive in regards to them getting their minimal pay vs. me sitting in for free? Perhaps I am just redirecting the anger/upset over the band not working out when the only thing really stopping the band was the band itself.
:idea:

 

Time to sit down and discuss things w/ the duo...if they expect you to play all night, you need some of that $$$.

 

Otherwise, spend your time hustling up another gig.

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I've never been in a band where everyone booked. I've also never been in a band that was a democracy in the least. I've either been a side man, or I have run my own band. When I run my own band, I book it based on my reputation, my contacts, my PA and my contracts. I pay my players a set amount and I call the tunes. However, I'm always open to songlist suggestions by bandmembers and always treat and pay my guys fairly. But I wouldn't trust my livelihood to someone else's booking skill. Call me paranoid but this is what my experience has taught me.

 

 

Exactly the way I roll...I figure that if I do it, I'll know it was done to my satisfaction.

 

And when I do the "hired gun" thing, I do as I'm told for a specified amount of cash.

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I just feel like I am being a little bit petty because the fact is if they took like $25 less each the entire band could be playing A LOT more.

 

 

You're way too willing to blame yourself. If that is the case they are the ones who are being petty. Basically, they want to deprive your band of bookings AND they want you to play with them for free so that they can have an extra $25. That's ridiculous.

 

Again, I would simply spell that out to them. Tell them you would like for the band to get more bookings and that it could if they were willing to take $25 less. If they don't go along with that, time to find another band. End of story.

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I'm playing a city gig tonight with a four piece that is getting $200 for the evening. Duos are all that ever take that gig but it's the middle of the week and we had nothing going on. We have some club owners coming to the show so it's a showcase night as far as I'm concerned. There are several places that are only paying duo money now and I've discussed it with my guitarist to see if he wants to give it a try. We both sing enough to make it happen.

 

My day job is way off and the money isn't what it was. Band loyalty is great but if I could get a solo or a duo going it would pay some necessary bills. I wouldn't dare ask someone to sit in for free.

 

Hey Terry A. H., I should have taken your advice a few years back and gone solo.

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My day job is way off and the money isn't what it was. Band loyalty is great but if I could get a solo or a duo going it would pay some necessary bills. I wouldn't dare ask someone to sit in for free.

 

 

Yeah, that's exactly it. If you really feel you have to pare down to a duo or solo act out of economic necessity, so be it. But be up front with everybody about it and fercryinoutloud, don't ask a bandmate to "sit in" for free.

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I talked to the band leader during lunch today. He called to let me know he picked up a band gig for this weekend. He brought that he would like to do more full band gigs, but the going rate is less than the minimum two of the guys are willing to take. Right now he is booking what he can get as "the extra money does not hurt" and neither does his body after a duo gig.

 

He said I could come out to any of the duo gigs anytime I wanted to which I replied I'd rather be playing with a full band, which we could be doing if those guys brought down their minimum. He agreed, but seemed to think they would not bend on their price because they've been doing it so long and would just rather stay at home.

 

I guess we could start getting into breaking up pay in certain percentages, but it just doesn't seem worth it with this particular project. I think I am better off looking for something else, focusing on recording, and just playing the gigs with this group as the pop up every month or two. We just show up and play, so it's really not a hassle and the gigs are always fun.

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He said I could come out to any of the duo gigs anytime I wanted

 

For which you would not be paid, right?

 

to which I replied I'd rather be playing with a full band, which we could be doing if those guys brought down their minimum. He agreed, but seemed to think they would not bend on their price because they've been doing it so long and would just rather stay at home.

 

Y'know, this is how musicians get a reputation for being flaky and passive-aggressive. :lol:

 

NOTHING in this scenario involves anybody being up front. Neither you nor your band leader is willing to simply tell those two guys the reality of the situation and ask them if they will agree to take more gigs. And you are not dealing with the situation of being asked to "just show up" at the duo gigs and not get paid, while these other guys are (apparently, we don't even actually know because no one has point blank asked them) holding up the band from being able to take more gigs, all because of $25. :facepalm:

 

This whole thing is just way too drawn out because nobody will actually talk to anybody. If it were me I'd have talked to those two guys a long time ago and told them that their minimum was holding up the band from getting more bookings, and asked them if they really weren't willing to give up the $25. And if they really do say they aren't willing, the next call is to the band leader: "If I join you at your duo gigs, does that mean I get paid?" And if the answer is no: "Well I'm going to look for some other paying gigs then... I might sit in with you guys on a song or two sometimes if I have nothing else going on, but I'd like to be booked more regularly. I can certainly understand that you're finding it a hassle to book full band gigs because of those guys holding out for their minimum and hauling all the extra gear... so no problem."

 

See? No hard feelings, you're not being a dick, just telling it like it is and getting firm commitments from the others on what they intend to do. Why is this so difficult? Your band leader is obviously setting the gold standard for avoidance, but that doesn't mean you have to join in.

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For which you would not be paid, right?




Y'know, this is how musicians get a reputation for being flaky and passive-aggressive.
:lol:

NOTHING in this scenario involves anybody being up front. Neither you nor your band leader is willing to simply tell those two guys the reality of the situation and
ask
them if they will agree to take more gigs. And you are not dealing with the situation of being asked to "just show up" at the duo gigs and not get paid, while these other guys are (apparently, we don't even actually know because no one has point blank asked them) holding up the band from being able to take more gigs, all because of $25.
:facepalm:

This whole thing is just
way
too drawn out because nobody will actually talk to anybody. If it were me I'd have talked to those two guys a long time ago and told them that their minimum was holding up the band from getting more bookings, and asked them if they really weren't willing to give up the $25. And if they really do say they aren't willing, the next call is to the band leader: "If I join you at your duo gigs, does that mean I get paid?" And if the answer is no: "Well I'm going to look for some other paying gigs then... I might sit in with you guys on a song or two sometimes if I have nothing else going on, but I'd like to be booked more regularly. I can certainly understand that you're finding it a hassle to book full band gigs because of those guys holding out for their minimum and hauling all the extra gear... so no problem."


See? No hard feelings, you're not being a dick, just telling it like it is and getting firm commitments from the others on what
they
intend to do. Why is this so difficult? Your band leader is obviously setting the gold standard for avoidance, but that doesn't mean you have to join in.

 

How are we not being upfront? I am paraphrasing the conversations we have had as I don't remember them word for word. He told me he is booking what he gets, which happens to be duo bookings at this time. I guess I haven't told him I'm not interested in playing an entire night for free, but I would think that would be obvious as I have not shown up a single time. If I joined the duo it would turn into a trio and they'd be making even less money. Obviously they're not looking to pay me.

 

 

We've discussed it in the past and the guys are pretty firm on what they want in regards to pay. We know what certain venues have offered to pay and they have refused. One guy even said, "I'm about the money... I've played enough."

 

 

If I started playing with another group obviously I'd let him know. Are you saying before I start looking I should lay it out... "either book more gigs or I am going to look for someone else to play with"?

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If I started playing with another group obviously I'd let him know.
Are you saying before I start looking I should lay it out...
"either book more gigs or I am going to look for someone else to play with"?

I don't know what he was saying, but my take on the matter is like this:

 

 

There are other member in the band that are booking gigs for themselves. They haven't asked your permission. They haven't made ultimatums. They just do what serves THEM best, whether that's booking their duo or playing with the whole band.

 

What is acceptable has already been set by precedent. Feel free to do likewise. Look for other opportunities to play with other people. You don't need permission. You don't need to create drama by saying "If you don't do (this), I'll do (that)." Just do it.

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Pretty much what wades said, but I'll add a few comments.

 

I guess I haven't told him I'm not interested in playing an entire night for free, but I would think that would be obvious as I have not shown up a single time. If I joined the duo it would turn into a trio and they'd be making even less money. Obviously they're not looking to pay me.

 

This is all inference. Why not just ask them if they are interested in making it a trio, instead of assuming all these things?

 

We've discussed it in the past and the guys are pretty firm on what they want in regards to pay. We know what certain venues have offered to pay and they have refused. One guy even said, "I'm about the money... I've played enough."

 

Well, I'd have one more conversation with them - you personally. And say "Look, I'd really like to play some more gigs. Are you that sure you aren't willing to take $25 less to play a few more gigs?" They may not realize that it's affecting you and it may not seem like a big deal when you put it like that. But if they do still refuse, then you know.

 

If I started playing with another group obviously I'd let him know. Are you saying before I start looking I should lay it out... "either book more gigs or I am going to look for someone else to play with"?

 

It doesn't need to be an "ultimatum" like that, no. Like SomeoneYouKnew said, you don't need to ask permission or give ultimatums. Just ask your band leader what his intentions are. "So you're not going to book any more band gigs than the occasional ones we're getting? Would you like me to join your duo and become a trio?" If the answers are no and no, then look for something else. :idk:

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