Question for those of you who gig regularly

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by jrjones, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. jrjones

    jrjones Member

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    I'm considering starting gigging as supplemental income. If you're in a gigging situation where you are paid - what is more lucrative: being a regular member in a band or being a sideman for different bands? Obviously the latter of the two is going to require remembering many more songs, but I could do it for a better paycheck. I don't mind doing covers or originals, and I will play almost anything for a paycheck, just trying to find some direction.
     
  2. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Member

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    If you're looking at supplemental income, I think covers are your best bet.

    Do you sing? The less people in the band, the more money you will make. Acoustic solo, duo, trio? If not, I think a regular gigging band has more potential to play out regularly and acquire weekly or monthly gigs.

    Original music, which I play exclusively, takes a lot of dedication and less money up front for a bigger potential payoff later, both financially and monetarily.

    Covers, in my opinion, offer easier and quicker money up front with a cap on what you'll make, long term.
     
  3. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    Most lucrative? Playing bass or drums and being reliable.
     
  4. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    The primary band I'm in plays about 80% originals. Our covers aren't the usual classic rock stuff. We cover Steely Dan, Wilco, Sting and a few others. We get some good gigs, and are looking forward to an especially busy festival season this year. The money is all over the place.

    But we also do a Janis Joplin tribute show. The music isn't my favorite to play, but the pay is as much as 4 to 5 times as good.

    I also do some sideman work and again the pay is all over the place. It all combines to make it worthwhile, but I do both.
     
  5. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Acoustic duo (unless you can perform solo) and full band on weekends (and duo to fill empty dates). If I had free reign to gig I could easily book 4 nights a week with this config making $100-300 per gig. If you are more serious I'd put together or join an established agency backed band and possibly do the wedding / corporate thing.
    Hustle.
     
  6. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    All of the options is the most sensible. Cultivate contacts. Fill your calendar. Be available.
     
  7. russintexas

    russintexas Member

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  8. UncleLarry

    UncleLarry Member

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    Yep. And at the top of the list, always be reliable and professional. Show up a bit early to rehearsals and gigs and know your material.

    Nobody wants to hire a flakey musician. :aok
     
  9. jrjones

    jrjones Member

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    I have no delusions of going and becoming a national act writing my own material. I have no qualms with playing all covers. I have considered trying to do a wedding/corporate band, but I'm not certain there's much of a market right now. I can do the IEMs with click tracks and other tracks and such, so that's a non-issue and can sing as well. I Have no intentions of paying the bills with this, just supplementing my income with decent pay.
     
  10. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    That's what I do. Pretty lucrative.
     
  11. Belmont

    Belmont Member

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    you mean if you can't, teach. :hide2
     
  12. DGTCrazy

    DGTCrazy Moderator de Emporio Staff Member

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    I think ever situation is different......and our situation may be unique in that regard......but once we "professionalized" ourselves, (A Cover Band), the work came streaming in. By Professionalize, I mean we created a credible Website, Facebook Page, Social Media presence, (Twitter/Instagram). And....we enhanced the content drastically, offering Streaming Media and Songs.

    Now when I joined the band, they were a run of the mil cover band, playing mostly Fleetwood Mac Cover songs at some pretty cheap/trashy clubs, (They were called "Rumors"). I was just looking to play occasionally.....but soon it became clear that some of them really wanted to advance.

    So...I convinced the core group to make some changes; 1) New Keyboard player, (old one brought his wife who sat on stage with him when he played).2) We let go of the Rhythm Guitar player, as we were playing the same parts, save for my solo's, and he had to be shown everything, and need "cheat sheets" for every song.

    We added a Horn Section, (Sax & Trumpet), so we could cover Motown, Soul, Funk and other appropriate genres to expand our library. This is where we got VERY lucky, as they were Touring Pro's that had just moved up to the Bay Area to teach and take over being the Director of a Music School, but they still wanted to play in a band together.

    We replaced the Lead Vocalist. She was, in a word, Dynamite. BUT.....she was flaky, (late to every practice and gig)......and she had a lot of baggage. She was a super sweet person, and a great mom to an Autistic child, but she had no real music acumen, no formal training, and that made it hard to explain things to her for a Music POV.

    Although she made it quite a ways into a Nationally Televised Vocal Competition, (placed 4th),...and thought she would start a music career, her gigs with a new promoter's band competed with ours....so we replaced her. 1 Year later, she's got no band, no contract, and is back to doing Karaoke.

    Lastly....finding a GREAT drummer helped solve a big part of the puzzle. The pedigree of this guy is top notch. Unfortunately, we found him after our current drummer started suffering from a major disease.

    Put it all together......and with a little luck, and a lot of hard work beating down doors, passing out business cards, and having friends that like us enough to recommend us for a party/event/festival........we are there.
     
  13. Carmour

    Carmour Member

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    I think playing in a number of bands allows most people to earn more. This differs generally if you are able to have your own thing with a good draw, in which case you can do far better by focusing on one or two things
     
  14. HurricaneJesus

    HurricaneJesus Member

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    The most lucrative music in my area is the corporate/resort/wedding circuit. Good pay and usually a meal thrown in.
    The sideman/fill-in thing is nice because it's someone else's baby ie: you just show up, play, get cash, and leave. For me, though, there wasn't as much money in it but then again I wasn't exactly working for Sting or anything.
    Either way, show up early, play well, behave, and be gracious. That's made me a few bucks.
     
  15. Bieling3

    Bieling3 Member

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    And if you can't teach, then teach Gym.
     
  16. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    None of it pays like the day gig, but that's not what I do it for.

    S.
    j
     
  17. Tahitijack

    Tahitijack Member

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    Your market will tell you what pays best. Big difference between West Memphis, Little Rock and Fayetteville or Eureka Springs. Solo acoustic probably offers the best earning potential since you have the freedom to book any gig you want and don't split the pay with others. Original and cover bands tend to play Friday and Saturday and the occasional street fair daytime gig spring to fall. Might be better pay per gig but limited number of gigs compared to solo acoustic 3 to 4 times a week year round. Good luck!
     
  18. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Being a member of a function band - most money for the least amount of work.

    Learn the list, show up on time, get money, go home.

    No messing with the PA, trying to book gigs, promote shows, deal with flaky musicians, etc.
     
  19. brianr0131

    brianr0131 Member

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    Acoustic Duo with your own PA
     
  20. jeffmatz

    jeffmatz Member

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    This really.

    I make my best scratch backing up a few solo artists who tour and essentially hire a band in whatever town they're in.

    But guitar players are a dime a dozen...I keep these gigs by being reliable, knowing my parts at the first (and usually only) rehearsal, showing up on time, and not getting sauced on the job. Man, it's amazing how hard that last one is for a lot of people.
     

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