If I were the leader of the band...

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'd have paid rehearsals. 75 bucks a man. All the songs would be infectiously danceable tunes. There would be no showing off unless it was required to excite the crowd. Anybody who goes off in their own world, and not a part of the unit, would get a 3 strikes you're out ultimatum. Simple eye contact with the audience, the other bandmates, 95% of the time, bare minimum. Everybody would be required to go past the music and try to be at least a little entertaining, engaged in the audience. The goal would be to whip the dancers into a frenzy, every time, not just play good. The frontman would regularly pick someone in the crowd, a few times a night, and ask them where they're from, what they do, to break down any barriers and make them feel a part...The ladies would get special attention, because they deserve it for one, and why wouldn't you want them to feel like they are all that? They should be thanked repeatedly for being there and they should be told how sexy they all are.
It's all so simple to me, why do most musicians think "being cool" is enough? It isn't. Being fun is funner, and it automatically makes you cool. I don't understand what people's goals are.

I was at a gig over the weekend, we finally got dancers up, and they wanted more fast stuff because they were so in the mood to dance. So what does our main front man do? He picks Tin Pan Alley, a SRV s l o w number. I was thinking, WTF is your goal here? To with hold fun? I just don't get it. We are there for THEM, to entertain THEM, to get THEM dancing. It's like they're begging for it, and we say, no not right now...how unfulfiling.

If I was the boss, I would have laid it on them with all we had until they were exhausted, and needed to sit down and have a drink, then you pull out a slower one so they can have a drink or perhaps hold their honey close....
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
Where would the money for the paid rehearsals come from?

As far as talking to the crowd, if you are in a top dance band, you really shouldn't have the chance to ask them where they are from, etc. You shouldn't be stopping long enough to have them answer you.

The rest I agree with.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
I used to have an originals band many years ago, and went through musicians like butter. When I asked some pros how to hold on to good musicians, they said "pay 'em."

I auditioned for a band many years ago and the leader really wanted me. She was hot, and drove a Mercedes. She had produced an off Broadway show of here own. He was retired, and lived in an very expensive home, probably worth 2 million dollars, in a very expensive area. Neither one of them was any good. As a matter of fact, they sucked; but I could have helped them. She was hot. She really wanted me in the band, and had the bass player call me up and beg me to join. I said, "if you want me that bad, then pay me" and he hung up on me. The next band I was in I got paid fifty dollars a rehearsal.

If you are really interested in doing a professional project, you have to pay people. Where does the money comes from, I guess you have to have a good day job. But don't drive a Mercedes and then not pay your musicians to play.
 

groovemaster_flex

Silver Member
Agreed. Unless it's a collective group band (you have input into how the songs are played, etc) you should be paid.

Obvs there's a time and place for getting paid. If you're working for someone as a drummer (the woman calls you up and asks to drum for her, mandatory rehearsals) then you should be paid per show/rehearsal/recording.

If it's a bar band that you and a few other musicians started TOGETHER. You should not be paid to be at rehearsals. The money comes from the shows.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Yeah, I've always been part of collectives. Sydney is so short of live venues now that only established acts can expect better than $75 per person - and that's for a gig! The main music you hear in Sydney bars is this: http://www.shockwave-sound.com/sound-effects/slot%20machine%20sounds/cash_payout_with_arpeggio.wav. It's sad that we have become so soulless.

In my experience, musicians who don't engage with the audience do so out of shyness and desperation to get things right rather than to be cool. As a drummer, I'm glad I don't have much responsibility there, although people tell me I'm entertaining to watch.

I recently saw a vid of my old band playing a song at a local bar (for no pay, of course). I found out that I drum with my whole body tilted to the left! (at least at times). It looks bizarre enough to at least potentially prompt comments like, "Hey, look at that weird drummer with the jiggly boobs hahaha!" :)

However, our string players all looked as though they were playing chess standing up. Our singer is very audience-oriented but I can only imagine him playing up to the boys. If gay bars weren't all doof-doof, he'd kill it in those places lol

Great tale, Ken. Alas, the band obviously didn't realise that having a drummer/gigolo is not the same as owning a slave. It's mind-blowing. He hung up in your ear for having the temerity to seek paid work - not even an explanation. That speakes volumes about the guy's character (or lack).

Joking aside, I get your gist, Larry. You want all musicians to get out of themselves and look at the big picture and, if they do that, then they deserve to be treated right.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I was at a gig over the weekend, we finally got dancers up, and they wanted more fast stuff because they were so in the mood to dance. So what does our main front man do? He picks Tin Pan Alley, a SRV s l o w number. I was thinking, WTF is your goal here? To with hold fun? I just don't get it. We are there for THEM, to entertain THEM, to get THEM dancing. It's like they're begging for it, and we say, no not right now...how unfulfiling.
Yep, wish I had a dollar for every time the set list had to be adapted on the fly over the years because the crowd has taken us in a diff direction than our initial list intended. Luckily, I always worked with guys that we're willing to do whatever it took to keep the vibe flowing. Especially in my cover bands at any rate. We are indeed there to entertain!!

As for being paid for rehearsals.....oh, the luxury!! I like the idea, but alas it's never happened to me. I've done plenty of 'fill in' jobs and have always been paid for performances. I insisted on payment for gigs (except in the early days, especially when playing originals), but never once been paid for a rehearsal session. They've always been a vehicle to get my stuff sorted in order to ensure payment at gigs.
 

SOGdrummer

Senior Member
If I were leader of the band;

1. Everyone would be on time for rehearsal...noone showing up late, looking for charts, fixing their equipment, wasting everyone elses time.
2. The bass player would play the songs the way we practiced them, over and over...and not assume that the rest of the band could read his mind...
3. EVERYONE would help carry in the equipment, set up AND help break down and carry the PA and the like back to the van. No "rockstars" off chatting while we are packing up.
4. My drums would miraculously fold down into a package the size of a flute case...
5. The monitor mix would always be right...OR the venue that insists on using their sound system would actually have a sound system, including monitors. AND the sound engineer would value the drummer's monitor needs!
6. There would always be a good crowd!

Hey, I can dream can't I?
 

dkerwood

Silver Member
I've been paid for individual rehearsals when I've worked for professional theater groups, but never for anything else. More often is a flat rate for everything- rehearsals and performances.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
If I were leader of the band;

1. Everyone would be on time for rehearsal...noone showing up late, looking for charts, fixing their equipment, wasting everyone elses time.
2. The bass player would play the songs the way we practiced them, over and over...and not assume that the rest of the band could read his mind...
3. EVERYONE would help carry in the equipment, set up AND help break down and carry the PA and the like back to the van. No "rockstars" off chatting while we are packing up.
4. My drums would miraculously fold down into a package the size of a flute case...
5. The monitor mix would always be right...OR the venue that insists on using their sound system would actually have a sound system, including monitors. AND the sound engineer would value the drummer's monitor needs!
6. There would always be a good crowd!

Hey, I can dream can't I?
Very nice SOG....alas, a 'dream' is as far as it goes I'm guessing, especially with respect to getting a lead singer to help carry the PA or anything for that matter!!

PS. I want specs on the 'flute case' technology when it becomes available please!!
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
I've been paid for individual rehearsals when I've worked for professional theater groups, but never for anything else. More often is a flat rate for everything- rehearsals and performances.
Yeah, I get always get paid for rehearsals when I do theatre work, and if I do fill-in work, I generally request payment for the rehearsal time...but as a full member of a band, it's pretty crazy to expect to get paid to rehearse.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Yeah, I get always get paid for rehearsals when I do theatre work, and if I do fill-in work, I generally request payment for the rehearsal time...but as a full member of a band, it's pretty crazy to expect to get paid to rehearse.
Again, it matters what you are doing. If you are doing someone's original music, you should get paid for rehearsals or if you have someone doing your original music, you should pay them for rehearsals. Unless the musicians are so interested musically in the project, they will do it for free. Paying musicians is worth it if they bring something to the table creatively, the saying goes, once you leave mommy and daddy's house, professional musicians get paid.

In my case, the guy drove a Jaguar. I took one look at that car and asked to be paid. It's not crazy, it is what a professional musician expects. With the guy that hung up on me, the songs were no where near ready for performance as they had been part of some sort of a half-fast musical. I don't think the woman even knew what ABA form was. I told him that they would need to pay someone to arrange the music, and I could do that. Or they could get someone else and call me when the band is settled but I would need to be paid. He said I was crazy and I answered how can I take you guys seriously if you are not even serious enough to pay a music director to arrange the songs and he hung up on me. Also at the time, I worked at a music store and could get any gear we needed at cost. man, taht was worth it to him right there, and then some.

Also. there are people who have money and will fund original music projects, if you can find them. You my have to put out. :)

If you are doing original music, it would be great to have three or four people in the band, all of whom have a stake because they are interested in doing their own original music, all of whom are on the same page musically, and all of whom have the same objective: world tour, occasional weekend gig, only festivals and charity events, record and distribute cd's of the songs. But that rarely happens. People who write music tend to be all about their own songs anyway. When people were doing my original music, I would pay for the rehearsal time. But then you have some guys not show up or call and you're stuck with a $80.00 bill. If I had the rehearsal space, I would have gladly paid a pro the 80 bucks to show up.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
Again, it matters what you are doing. If you are doing someone's original music, you should get paid for rehearsals or if you have someone doing your original music, you should pay them for rehearsals. Unless the musicians are so interested musically in the project, they will do it for free. Paying musicians is worth it if they bring something to the table creatively, the saying goes, once you leave mommy and daddy's house, professional musicians get paid.

In my case, the guy drove a Jaguar. I took one look at that car and asked to be paid. It's not crazy, it is what a professional musician expects. With the guy that hung up on me, the songs were no where near ready for performance as they had been part of some sort of a half-fast musical. I don't think the woman even knew what ABA form was. I told him that they would need to pay someone to arrange the music, and I could do that. Or they could get someone else and call me when the band is settled but I would need to be paid. He said I was crazy and I answered how can I take you guys seriously if you are not even serious enough to pay a music director to arrange the songs and he hung up on me. Also at the time, I worked at a music store and could get any gear we needed at cost. man, taht was worth it to him right there, and then some.

Also. there are people who have money and will fund original music projects, if you can find them. You my have to put out. :)

If you are doing original music, it would be great to have three or four people in the band, all of whom have a stake because they are interested in doing their own original music, all of whom are on the same page musically, and all of whom have the same objective: world tour, occasional weekend gig, only festivals and charity events, record and distribute cd's of the songs. But that rarely happens. People who write music tend to be all about their own songs anyway. When people were doing my original music, I would pay for the rehearsal time. But then you have some guys not show up or call and you're stuck with a $80.00 bill. If I had the rehearsal space, I would have gladly paid a pro the 80 bucks to show up.
Dude, I am a professional drummer who makes a living doing this. I have worked with well over 100 original artists, and network constantly with other musicians who do the same. When you join an original band (again, different than sitting in, filling in, etc), you do not get paid to rehearse. None of us do, none of them do, it just doesn't happen, no matter what the artist drives. Think about it. $80 x 52 rehearsals (most original bands rehearse once a week, at least, though most that make it put in double or triple that time) = $4160.00 per person to rehearse for the year. Assume the minimum of three additional musicians, and you are looking at paying over $12,000 a year just to rehearse with your band. If, like most bands, you have more than the bare bones three members, you are looking at over $16,000 a year, just to rehearse the band. If you pay them to play out when doing free shows, etc, which most original bands do, you are now looking at well over $20 grand a year, just to have an original band. A person who has disposable income above and beyond the point where they can shell out over $20 grand a year to be in an original band most likely has a job that doesn't allow them the freedom to spend the time necessary to make it. There are always the rare, rare, rare exceptions, but they are just that...rare.

Really?
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
It costs a lot of money to do music. That is why most musicians don't make any money. If you are in a situation where there is no financial backing, you will never go any where except in a very rare situation. The band that I am in now spends $6,000 a year just to rehearse. People dish out $35,000 a year to go to Berkelee. When bands go on major tours the record company lays out tens of thousands of dollars just to pay for the band to perform. There is a tremendous amount of money needed for investment in this business. $20,000 is a mere bag of shells.

If you are playing with people who are equal to you musically, that is one thing. But as a professional, if you are playing with people who are utilizing your skills because they lack them you should get paid. If you are cutting a recording you pay the musicians to play your music. It's that simple. If you don't have 30 or 40 thousand dollars, you are not going to end up with much of a cd.

I know a guy who is an awful singer, can barely play the guitar, and is a CEO of a major company. He has one of the best bands. He pays them all for rehearsals and performances. I think he even pays to perform. He has the money.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
It costs a lot of money to do music. That is why most musicians don't make any money. If you are in a situation where there is no financial backing, you will never go any where except in a very rare situation. The band that I am in now spends $6,000 a year just to rehearse. People dish out $35,000 a year to go to Berkelee. When bands go on major tours the record company lays out tens of thousands of dollars just to pay for the band to perform. There is a tremendous amount of money needed for investment in this business. $20,000 is a mere bag of shells.

If you are playing with people who are equal to you musically, that is one thing. But as a professional, if you are playing with people who are utilizing your skills because they lack them you should get paid. If you are cutting a recording you pay the musicians to play your music. It's that simple. If you don't have 30 or 40 thousand dollars, you are not going to end up with much of a cd.

I know a guy who is an awful singer, can barely play the guitar, and is a CEO of a major company. He has one of the best bands. He pays them all for rehearsals and performances. I think he even pays to perform. He has the money.
Sorry, everyone, but unless you're a CEO, you'll never make it in original music! I feel so bad for everyone who isn't one. Oh well. Dream over, y'all.

Honestly, this is one of the dumbest things I've ever read. If people needed that kind of money to hire musicians to start a music career, there would be no original artists. Sure, you are right, some rich idiots with no talent can afford to live their dream like you said. But that's the exception, and if every professional musician out there waited for something like this, we'd be out of work. Most of the examples you gave were for things like Berklee, where you get student loans 'cause it's a school, or major touring artists...who started out broke, and only got there because they worked with people who were willing to rehearse for free.

Read any biography of any famous singer-songwriter. They didn't pay musicians early on (for rehearsals). It's actually a well-known phenomenon that people who help out artist that make it get taken along for the ride, so to speak. Look at Toca Rivera and Ian Sheridan, the hand drummer for Jason Mraz. They not only didn't get paid for rehearsals, they actually spent two years mainly playing open mics together, not even getting paid for that. They now tour the world with him. It's how the industry works. Again, there are rare exceptions like your CEO friend, but the truth is that making young musicians think they should expect to be paid for rehearsals will only lead to them turning down great opportunities for themselves...and to imply that no pros join bands without getting paid to rehearse is a flat out lie.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Sorry, everyone, but unless you're a CEO, you'll never make it in original music! I feel so bad for everyone who isn't one. Oh well. Dream over, y'all.

Honestly, this is one of the dumbest things I've ever read. If people needed that kind of money to hire musicians to start a music career, there would be no original artists. Sure, you are right, some rich idiots with no talent can afford to live their dream like you said. But that's the exception, and if every professional musician out there waited for something like this, we'd be out of work. Most of the examples you gave were for things like Berklee, where you get student loans 'cause it's a school, or major touring artists...who started out broke, and only got there because they worked with people who were willing to rehearse for free.

Read any biography of any famous singer-songwriter. They didn't pay musicians early on (for rehearsals). It's actually a well-known phenomenon that people who help out artist that make it get taken along for the ride, so to speak. Look at Toca Rivera and Ian Sheridan, the hand drummer for Jason Mraz. They not only didn't get paid for rehearsals, they actually spent two years mainly playing open mics together, not even getting paid for that. They now tour the world with him. It's how the industry works. Again, there are rare exceptions like your CEO friend, but the truth is that making young musicians think they should expect to be paid for rehearsals will only lead to them turning down great opportunities for themselves...and to imply that no pros join bands without getting paid to rehearse is a flat out lie.

It's not the dumbest thing you've ever read. You just don't understand what I am saying.

It is very rare that a singer-songwriter is going to make it big in the business. If you enjoy working with someone, by all means do it. If you hear that they have talent and want to stick it out because you think that you could become wealthy good for you. But the chances of that are very slim.

I've played with a lot of songwriters in my life, and come across a lot of people and none of them went anywhere. It is very rare that someone has the whole package. So I am not sitting here saying, I wish I would have stuck it out with Jason Mraz, or I wish I had joined Winger when I had the chance.

There comes a point where you grow-up and realize that you're not going to be taken for the ride, so you stop being taken for a ride.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
It's not the dumbest thing you've ever read. You just don't understand what I am saying.

It is very rare that a singer-songwriter is going to make it big in the business. If you enjoy working with someone, by all means do it. If you hear that they have talent and want to stick it out because you think that you could become wealthy good for you. But the chances of that are very slim.

I've played with a lot of songwriters in my life, and come across a lot of people and none of them went anywhere. It is very rare that someone has the whole package. So I am not sitting here saying, I wish I would have stuck it out with Jason Mraz, or I wish I had joined Winger when I had the chance.

There comes a point where you grow-up and realize that you're not going to be taken for the ride, so you stop being taken for a ride.
Funny, I wouldn't have a pro career if I "grew up" like that.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Well, like the saying goes.

What are you gong to do when you grow up?

I am going to be a musician.

Sorry, you can't do both.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
So...they're no pro musicians who've "grown up" ?

I'm wondering what the couple do who live down the street from me who are principals in a symphony orchestra and teach on the side. She's the principal floutist, and he's retired but was the principal clarinet in the same orchestra for years. He's played with Benny Goodman.... I'm wondering what they do in "real life"? Both of their kids graduated from college. They have a nice house, drive nice cars, look fit. I guess they're not "grown up"? Maybe their not real musicians? Geez, can this discussion get any lamer?
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
It gets lame when some one deconstructs a silly joke.

I think people understand what I am saying about the music business, and I will leave it at that.

This is an old figure say ten years old, the conservatories and music schools of the USA turned out about 500 classical musicians yearly for which there would be 2 job openings. I have a degree in music history. It is second from the bottom of employable positions in the USA. I went to see my friends trio the other day, he is on the front page of DW. There were three people in the audience. Last year, I had three concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center and it cost me $105. This year one ticket is $87. I should add this. Classical Music used to have 5% of the market share. Now it has less that 2% that it shares with jazz.
 
Top