Being "subbed"

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Gasp100, May 21, 2019.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,059
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    North Myrtle Beach, SC
    Kind of a weird feeling... we are working a lot lately and we have proven ourselves around town so more gigs are surely to come. This is also an area (much different than where I was a bandleader) where pick up gigs happen A LOT. For example, we thought we had Memorial Day off and now I'm playing Friday and Monday, then heading to a business trip flying out early Tuesday morning.
    Amazingly I've been able to make every single show up to this point, but I am definitely going to miss 2 because of this damn trip to India (another thread LOL!).
    I absolutely do not fault the band leader for looking for a sub, in fact I encouraged it and I don't want to take money away from other band members of course.
    Ads have gone up and there is mention of fill-in with possibility of full time rhythm player.
    That is cool with me, we already changed the payment arrangements so my percentage will stay the same.
    Of course I want to try and make every gig, any and all the time and there will be at least some jealousy that I have to deal with, but I'm good with it now. I'm in kind of a weird situation where I can be available for early gigs, midweek gigs, etc. that a lot of people can't. The flip side is when I travel or have to work overnight.
    You know what they say, sometimes the most important ability is availability.

    How have you guys dealt with this type of stuff?
    Has it worked out OK?
    Good / Bad experiences?
     
    PLX likes this.
  2. RCM78

    RCM78 Member

    Messages:
    5,214
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Location:
    Jersey
    We try to use subs as little as possible. I needed one for a few gigs due to a medical issue and our bassist needs one periodically because he can’t manage his schedule.
    Otherwise I won’t book a gig unless all of us are available.
     
    Gasp100 likes this.
  3. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

    Messages:
    33,278
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio
    It's weird for me, too.

    I've had to use subs a few times a year recently, and there's an uneasy feeling every time. For one, the dynamic in my band is such that it's better for me if I don't have anything to do with hiring/picking/communicating with the sub. The band leader does all that. Any time I did it in the past, I opened myself up to be the guy that hired the bad sub. The guy they use is great, but basically the opposite of me in every way.

    Another thing... I got this gig while subbing for their guy. They offered it to me after the first of three nights. It was almost 2 years until I took the offer, but, it's always in the back of my mind.
    I came in to an environment that was unless you're dying, no nights off, no subs, ever. It's loosened up, but that mentality still creeps in, there are still guilt trips. I have a bit of an advantage, as I'm the only guitar player. They won't fire me quickly. But, we've been talking about adding a second guitar player(like we had years ago), which may be a good thing or a bad thing(for me).

    Adding to the weirdness, the regular gig of the guy that subs for me just hired me for a big out of town gig that my sub has done in the past. He'll need to sub for me while I do his gig.
     
    DrSax, C-4, TB72 and 2 others like this.
  4. Tidbit

    Tidbit Member

    Messages:
    731
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    I've had a lot of bad luck with subs. One gig we did with a sub drummer. He did "know" all of the songs but played everything at a breakneck tempo. Our 3 hour set was over after 2 hours.
     
    derekd, HoboMan, FFOGG and 1 other person like this.
  5. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,059
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    North Myrtle Beach, SC
    "Adding to the weirdness, the regular gig of the guy that subs for me just hired me for a big out of town gig that my sub has done in the past. He'll need to sub for me while I do his gig." Wow, that is a strange one!

    We have a shared calendar and I had one of the two dates blocked off (working overnight and the gig is a Wednesday for goodness sake) but the leader felt confident enough to take the gig knowing I could not make it AND finding an appropriate sub.
    The second date was booked (tail end of that same week) which I head off for a business trip (not by my own accord of course, it's my day job) so in both cases I don't feel bad at all and would not tolerate any guilt trip.

    I think the band leader had someone in mind to be his go-to sub and that guy flaked. So now there is a flurry of FB, craigslist, etc. activity to try and get someone for 5/29 to learn/know ~45 songs. And I know that is tough as hell, because that is almost exactly how I got the gig in the first place!!!

    I'm confident in my position / status in the group and at this point people in the scene are seeing me / know me in a positive way (based on direct feedback).
     
  6. aldridt11

    aldridt11 Member

    Messages:
    252
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    Its an opportunity for you to sound better by comparison. No offense to the other player.
     
  7. ahhlou

    ahhlou Member

    Messages:
    656
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Location:
    Moncton, New Brunswick
    Now that I don't play full time in (guitar based bands), I now get asked to sub once in a while. I don't mind, have some fun playing guitar or bass and move on to focusing on the sax. Just helping fellow musicians out in a jam.

    I have no desire or expectation to be a regular member of the bands. Works fine from both sides...
     
    derekd, jbviper4 and Thumpalumpacus like this.
  8. Jamie_Mitchell

    Jamie_Mitchell Member

    Messages:
    1,763
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    south of no north
    happens all the time, not weird at all.
    just try and recommend people who are gonna come in and crush it.

    i always like hearing someone better than me play the material i'm usually on. it's a learning experience.
     
  9. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

    Messages:
    7,896
    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    As I sub.... it's either got to be people I really want to play with or big $. There was a time I wish I had a ton of sub gigs.... now I don't really care to learn a bunch of songs I don't like...

    Finding a sub for me..... not really my call, so I don't sweat it. Finding a sub for someone else.... depends on who the sub is subbing for. If it's a singer with completely different songs then I don't think it's worth it to learn a bunch of songs for one gig. One band I play with uses subs and one band would prefer to reschedule the gig in advance. The band that uses subs uses the same 2-3 subs so it has worked out well.

    Speaking of subs... I'm getting tired of hauling them to every gig. What's the rate for a decent sound company (with subs) these days anyways?
     
  10. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

    Messages:
    7,413
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Yea, when you are playing pro level, you play unless you are dead, lol. And if you are dead, they will poke you with a stick, just to check.

    Though one time our steel player had to get a sub (it was a legit issue), we were playing the Coupland Dance Hall. He got Steve Palousek to cover for him, so that was ok. :)
     
    Jerry, JosephZdyrski and 27sauce like this.
  11. RhytmEarl

    RhytmEarl Member

    Messages:
    11,470
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002
    Location:
    True North Strong and Free
    You're overthinking this. It's just a band.
     
    derekd likes this.
  12. AlanH

    AlanH Member

    Messages:
    1,203
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Just buy smaller sandwiches in future.
     
  13. Laurence

    Laurence Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,057
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    OK in the CA
    I don't mind it in my current situation. I'm not the front person, more of a back bone player (keeping it together) and a stunt guitarist. We sub horn players and keyboard players a lot with good success. Give 'em a chart, keep an eye on 'em and you're good to go. We subbed one of our Sax players into bass because he knew the show and is a decent bass player. It was a nice sub fit.

    However, when I was co-fronting my bands and I couldn't make it the guys would get a sub for me, but we always lost the future gig at that venue every time. We had a sweet yearly gig at a wine festival where we made $1,500 as a 4 peice, and easily sold in excess of $500 merch. Nice payday.

    One year it fell on my son's wedding day. A highly touted player with vocal ability was subbed in. It didn't go well and we lost the future gigs. One of the very best players I've ever known subbed for me and we lost the gig at that venue as well.

    Unless a person is a stone cold band player that can walk into almost any situaiton and feel like a member of the band, you're at risk with a sub in an important position.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
    apalazzolo, Jon C, C-4 and 1 other person like this.
  14. Doctor of Rock and Roll

    Doctor of Rock and Roll Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2019
    No matter how good the sub is and how standard the material is..there is always idiosyncrasies that are uniquely the band's -count offs, added instrumental sections segues / medleys, keys changing etc.. If at all possible it is good to at least have 1 jam so you can go over stuff that might train wreck during the gig.

    We got an unexpected gig last Saturday, drummer wasn't available got a sub but no chance to practice with him..we did okay but there was some 'Sports Bar Jazz' at certain points..oh well
     
  15. stratocat63

    stratocat63 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,272
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Location:
    Murrell's Inlet, SC
    My philosophy is always send the best sub you can even if it is a better player. May not be the best feeling for an insecure person but get over it, you owe it to the rest of the band to make it easy on them.
     
    Thumpalumpacus likes this.
  16. Exiled_On_Main_St

    Exiled_On_Main_St Member

    Messages:
    4,504
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Not if it’s your livelihood it’s not.
     
    DrSax, derekd and 27sauce like this.
  17. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

    Messages:
    33,278
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio
    For real. The sub possibilities around here are pretty impressive, as you can imagine.

    Our steel player’s wife scheduled her C-section around our gigs!
     
    Laurence and ripgtr like this.
  18. AlanH

    AlanH Member

    Messages:
    1,203
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    This is interesting. What would you class as an important position where a sub is more of a risk?
     
    Laurence likes this.
  19. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,552
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    I had to quit a band I help start due to work issues, but after a few years I am subbing with them as for some reason they can't find a full time lead guitarist that doesn't require a sub some of the time. Some of y'all need to move out here apparently.

    Anyway, I'm good friends with some of the folks in the band, and since I can't join full time and only play a gig here and there, I do hear about the other lead guitar subs they use. It doesn't seem to go very well most of the time. Subs sometimes do not want to put in the work to learn the songs and transitions, and this band (mostly weddings and corporate events) have a very difficult set list with medleys with 10 or more songs in them. Most think they are ready, but aren't, and face some degree of humiliation on the first gig. But they are then ready if there is a second chance.

    I'm fortunate in that I was a founding member and played with them for 8 years, so I've played the majority of the songs with the band for hundreds of gigs.
     
    Laurence likes this.
  20. Laurence

    Laurence Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,057
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    OK in the CA
    If the sub puts additional pressure on the other 'fronts' to perform harder or beyond their natural ability, and the sub is a prominent solo instrument itself, there could be trouble. If the sub causes the band to play material they are not comfortable with, that's an issue (everyone wants to fill up time; if I'm not there to do my numbers the sub may be asked "what do you want to do?" not good.)

    Again, if the sub coming in is a stone cold band player, has groove, knows how to work a band, the dangers taper off a quite a bit.
     
    Jon C and AlanH like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice