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Do you play live because it's a fun pastime, or because you want to make money?

dreamspace

Member
Messages
1,164
Obviously one can do both - have fun AND make money, but what's your main motivation?

In all the time I've tried finding a band, the musicians I've encountered can roughly be placed in two groups:

1) Musicians that want to play tunes with other, mostly for the sake of having a hobby. Playing concerts would be a bonus, and there's little to no pressure of making a lot money.

2) Musicians that want to make a living off their musical endeavors. Music is a business, which includes turning down concerts which don't pay enough.
 

Barquentine

Member
Messages
2,544
I've played for fun and made very little money. I've played for a lot less fun and a lot more money. The higher paid gig was at a time I really needed it when my family was young - I still enjoyed it but it wasn't the type of music I prefer. I'd rather play for more fun if I don't need the cash - who wouldn't? I still refuse to pay in bars for next to nothing because it's good 'exposure' or any of that crap.
 

PB+J

Member
Messages
1,742
Both. There was period where my wife was working half time and I was gigging a lot and the supplemental money was really important to the family budget. For one thing I could justify buying gear if it paid for itself, but gig money provided a lot of fun extras.

Playing full time for a living, unless you're very fortunate, seems like a very tough slog and like it would quickly suck the joy out of it. I've pretty uch retired from gigging--I'll take the occsional gig if it's convenient but I got tired of driving to the gig, loading in, parking, playing till late, loading out, driving home. For me the gigs that were the most fun were the ones where the line between the stage and the crowd kind of blurred and you were all having fun
 

jjaaam

Member
Messages
1,000
Never was in the position where I had to depend on gigging to make a living, thank God.

That being said, things for me today are the same as they were 30 years ago: practice for me is the same as the “deer hunting” or “playing softball” that other guys do to blow off steam from life in general.

Playing gigs is just something fun to do. I look at the ~$100 per gig I get as payment for hauling gear and setting it up - the gig itself is the easy part.
 

RCM78

Member
Messages
6,175
It’s definitely a labor of love. The money was getting pretty good until the pandemic hit. Just now getting back to where we were.
 

* velcro-fly *

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,808
Playing because I love doing it, would do it for free, but fortunately I'm in a regularly booked band making a few $$$ with drinks and food usually comped. Not paying any real bills but covering some fun gear costs, building a Mutt guitar yadda yadda yadda. After a few years of hitting head against the wall trying to get an originals project off the ground I got an offer to join an established classic / modern rock type cover band and went for it. Doing exactly what I wanted to do now and having a blast, no begging to get my band in a club to play.
 

shredtrash

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,094
Both. I have a lot of fun but it takes a certain amount of money for me to leave the house these days. As a solo performer, it's fairly easy to hit my target so that helps.
 

Mr.Fun

Member
Messages
93
Obviously one can do both - have fun AND make money, but what's your main motivation?

In all the time I've tried finding a band, the musicians I've encountered can roughly be placed in two groups:

1) Musicians that want to play tunes with other, mostly for the sake of having a hobby. Playing concerts would be a bonus, and there's little to no pressure of making a lot money.

2) Musicians that want to make a living off their musical endeavors. Music is a business, which includes turning down concerts which don't pay enough.
You guys are getting paid?!
 

Sundaze

Member
Messages
59
For me, when it’s not fun anymore, I don’t play. I play for fun. That’s why it’s called playing. ;)

Playing concerts makes me come alive.
The best high in the whole world is playing live In front of tons of people.
 

orourke

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,719
I think if it not so much as fun but glory.

I get together with my friends to jam and that’s fun but playing live and getting a crowed really into it is beyond fun. In fact if there no glory in it, I quit. I can’t bear doing mediocre gigs.
 

Wyatt Martin

Member
Messages
3,263
I play for fun and usually make enough to keep strings on my guitar and justify my trip but.... not enough to justify my time so therefore it has to be fun. If not its time to move along.

Like most everyone I'm pretty lopsided in what I have invested vs what I have in returns.
 




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