Side man gig: Have I got this right?

Messages
896
Hey all,

So I've just recently got a side man gig playing 'lead' and backing voc's for a local singer songwriter (Kostas has written one track on the album think he might be familiar to you americans). It's kind of country blues pop stuff, he's calling it Americana I don't know if thats a genre any of you are aware of. He's a good singer and so far seems a nice guy. I get a very decent amount of freedom really, plenty of solo's and as long as I don't get in the way I can do just about whatever I want within reason.
So that's all fine and dandy but here's where the problem lies...
and it's mainly a financial issues I guess!
So far we've done the album launch and about 8 rehearsals within one month. Spent considerable time learning all the part by ear and learning harmonies. And the only financial compensation I've received so far is £30 and I've had to give the drummer £10 for petrol for the lifts he's given me because I'm temporarily without transport. And from the start of next month I'll be travelling up to 45 minutes to get to rehearsals unless the rest of the band comes to rehearse at my house. And with the price of diesel in the UK at the moment £20 probably wouldn't cover the journey!
Now I understand the difficulties in making original music pay but I'm essentially a hired gun so should I expect for more for my time and effort? Or am I being unreasonable...?

What say thee?
 

2HBStrat

Member
Messages
41,272
I would say that as a hired gun you should probably be compensated for rehearsals, depending I suppose on have many rehearsals there are, as well as gigs.
 

CowTipton

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,111
I think the only remedy is to approach him and relay your concerns, diplomatically of course.

And next time make sure you take care of these details beforehand. ;)
 

harry65

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,284
"And next time make sure you take care of these details beforehand"

THAT'S A BINGO.............
 

DGTCrazy

Mod Squad
Staff member
Messages
16,021
You really should have hashed that out prior to the agreement..............now ...you'll just look bitter....or opportunistic. Giving $$$ to the Drummer is just being decent.

My "Side Man" gig contract is easy. $33 hr, 3 hr. minimum & mileage. I'm sure pro's are much, much more.

A contract (written or oral) is your best friend................
 
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896
Yeah I wish I had but I wanted the gig as it was something I haven't really done before. And was hoping it would be more fun that the wedding band I'm currently running which could get to a point where it's a bit of a drag in the future! So I didn't want to lose the gig by talking about finance stuff straight away.
There was never a point from the first audition/rehearsal where he said I was in the band apart from 'I\ll see you at the next rehearsal'.

I wasn't that bothered about until the point during the album launch where he didn't introduce the band at all... said thanks to the support act's but not us in the band. So it immediately made me think 'Well if he doesn't value me enough to introduce us at a gig then he can't really care that much about us as the band' especially without being paid! It's not like he isn't a seasoned performer and was flustered and forgot either...
 
Messages
896
You really should have hashed that out prior to the agreement..............now ...you'll just look bitter....or opportunistic. Giving $$$ to the Drummer is just being decent.

My "Side Man" gig contract is easy. $33 hr, 3 hr. minimum & mileage. I'm sure pro's are much, much more.

A contract (written or oral) is your best friend................
Yeah I know the costs of owning a car so it's no problem but it shouldn't be me paying the drummer's mileage in whole.

I don't think he could even come close to affording that amount of money for me. I don't want to lose a pretty fun gig and learning experience (might be some small UK tours happening) or ruin any reputation I might have as a good player in the local scene by saying I want this much money or I'm gone.

I guess I have to decide what the gigs worth it to me?
 

harry65

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,284
Yeah I wish I had but I wanted the gig as it was something I haven't really done before. And was hoping it would be more fun that the wedding band I'm currently running which could get to a point where it's a bit of a drag in the future! So I didn't want to lose the gig by talking about finance stuff straight away.
There was never a point from the first audition/rehearsal where he said I was in the band apart from 'I\ll see you at the next rehearsal'.

I wasn't that bothered about until the point during the album launch where he didn't introduce the band at all... said thanks to the support act's but not us in the band. So it immediately made me think 'Well if he doesn't value me enough to introduce us at a gig then he can't really care that much about us as the band' especially without being paid! It's not like he isn't a seasoned performer and was flustered and forgot either...


hmmm , shoulda introduced you guys , did he say "I" wanna thank the back up bands or "WE" wanna thank the back up bands , just left a gig i did for three years with a singer like that , biggest ego ever , was all about him all the time , so much happier now.............;)
 
Messages
896
Yeah my dad was at the gig and came straight up and said how it wasn't ok he didn't thank us at all. He thought it was an ego thing, but he doesn't seem like that to me so I'm not so sure what happened.
However, if I'm not getting paid I definitely want to be introduced so at least people know who I am if they ever want to use me!
 

CRBMoA

Member
Messages
3,742
hmmm , shoulda introduced you guys , did he say "I" wanna thank the back up bands or "WE" wanna thank the back up bands , just left a gig i did for three years with a singer like that , biggest ego ever , was all about him all the time , so much happier now.............;)
Had a gig like that, on and off for years. I liked the guy, but.................

I got my cut when we got paid, but no pay for rehearsals, etc.......

We got into it once, and he was trying to tell me how he wanted a particular bass line to go. I told him, "You are not paying me for this rehearsal, so I get to pick the notes. As soon as you start paying me, YOU can start picking the notes!".

Nobody will respect you if you don't respect yourself. Now I am not saying be a tool. But I am saying to negotiate $$ up front, because nothing good ever happens down the road.................
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,754
If the singer contacted you, you should be setting the price.

If you contacted the singer, he's probably going to setting the price.
 
Messages
896
Well I got the gig through the drummer. Was sent songs to learn and turned up at rehearsal... no talking about money at any point but when the next set of rehearsals comes up I'll make sure I sort it out. Otherwise it's not going to work out.
 

Peteyvee

Premium Platinum Member
Messages
56,049
Had a gig like that, on and off for years. I liked the guy, but.................

I got my cut when we got paid, but no pay for rehearsals, etc.......

We got into it once, and he was trying to tell me how he wanted a particular bass line to go. I told him, "You are not paying me for this rehearsal, so I get to pick the notes. As soon as you start paying me, YOU can start picking the notes!".

Nobody will respect you if you don't respect yourself. Now I am not saying be a tool. But I am saying to negotiate $$ up front, because nothing good ever happens down the road.................
I said the same thing to a bandleader once and then I quit after the next gig. Like you said, NEGOTIATE $$ UP FRONT. Otherwise, you're going to get screwed and not in the good way. I never did get paid for that last gig either. I chalked it up to experience.
 
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1,387
For the people saying talk money upfront, I certainly understand that but I cannot do it. I think it's just not in some people (me included) for whatever reason. I feel it looks bad. Of course, ignoring it will more often than not put one in the situation the OP is in now, so that's pretty bad as well. Wouldn't it be nice if the main guy just openly discusses these issues in the initial meeting and remove all awkwardness? Alas...
 

pcovers

Member
Messages
1,227
If you are willing to work for free, then that is your decision to make for the personal reason you make it. If you don't want to work for free, you need to consider walking away. You can only do what you have control of. What he "should" do seems a moot point. If you don't walk away after not being paid and not being credited, you have decided, for one reason or another, that doing it for little or nothing is better than not doing it.

As others suggested, a lesson learned for next time.
 
Messages
896
I'd probably continue to do it if my mileage was covered for any travelling. I definitely still want to be introduced regardless, I just find that rude. If he does it again at the next gig without saying a word about us then I'll say something but I hope it was a one off!

The guy has promise and the others are nice guys so we get on well. So I think a talk about expenses is in order and see what we can come up with. If they can rehearse at mine in the future then all I'll need is money for getting to gigs really!

Cheers for all the advice guys. Most helpful!
 

gixxerrock

Member
Messages
3,887
I have dealt with a bunch of lead singer/songwriters like this. They call it their band, run it like a dictator and expect all the musicians to work for free for an extended period of time. In return you get to be around their greatness because they are "super talented and are going to be huge rock star." It probably hasn't even occurred to the singer that you are not happy as a clam with the current arrangement.

Musically, it can be a lot of fun, and if good gigs start happening, consider the rehearsal an investment. Only you can decide if it is worth it and at what point it stops being worth it.
 

SyKrash

Member
Messages
877
I feel you on this but like many have said before it's best to really hash these things out beforehand.

I work as a sideman out here in LA and the musical climate is no different. (most) People will want you to work for free unless you get it in writing. Therefore I ALWAYS send and email in addition to any oral or verbal agreements and make sure that the MD, artist or whoever is cutting the check confirms all the details before I even spend a minute in rehearsal on stage or in the studio.

If they bellyache about it, then 9/10 it's a gig you wouldn't want in the first place. Most people ive worked with are happy to oblige and have it in writing in case any disputes ever come up. It keeps them honest and keeps the band honest as well.

At this point, the best thing to do is go in, hat in hand and say "hey I like what we're doing but is there any way we can improve the pay?" Explain the reasons, don't make threats and just try to bs diplomatic. Always be a team player no matter what.
 




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