Last Minute Gig Fees

Galadrm

Senior Member
If you are called upon by a cover band to learn their setlist for a gig within a week or less time, what do you charge them? Do you take the drummers usual cut? Or bargain with them for more because the effort you have to put in?

Interested because I have done this a couple of times, and have accepted taking the drummers cut which has always been 'band fee/number of members'
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Yep. Knowing/learning is simply the cost of doing business.

Bermuda
 

Jankowske

Senior Member
You could always think of it as getting "paid" more because of the learning experience of learning new songs. Everyone else in the band is doing regular old work, but you're getting a drum lesson from yourself and broadening your musical vocabulary.

Just trying to think positive.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
For me, it depends on who they are (are they friends?) and if I need the money.

If I'm already busy then I charge more.

If I have to travel a long distance then I charge more.

I'm considering on charging $ 20 / song for auditions. I'm pretty busy now, and I don't need some phony band dumping work on me and then not hiring me anyway,
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I look at it as doing the due diligence to earn the money in the first place. Most of the songs I learn will go into a book or playlist somewhere and be available to dust back off if I ever need to do the gig with that same act again.

Plus, it's often a fun challenge to learn a bunch of songs in a few days. I had a thread about that once: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117669
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Usually the thing just pays what it pays. But you also usually just walk in and play the thing whether you know the songs or not-- you don't put in a bunch of extra hours learning Sweet Caroline, or whatever, the way it is on the album, just for one gig.
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
I've never done it, but i have hired session guys. I offer a full cut for small gigs. We have some shows that pay thousands and for those we pay $400 for four sets. I've never had trouble filling those gigs.
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
I look at learning the set as my investment in getting called again for other deps with the same band. To me it's like turning up on time with working gear dressed appropriately for the gig. If they like you and if you play well, they more than likely will use you again. I wouldn't think of asking for extra, especially as if I didn't play well they might ask for it back! ;0)
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Pay will typically depend on what the band pays, rather than what the drummer attempts to charge. That results in the varying pay even for the same services, but that's a good thing, especially when it's a well-paying gig.

I think it's a good idea to have a minimum, although each gig is somewhat negotiable and should be accepted/declined on its merits, and not the occasional extra effort you need to make in order to work. That will include learning several new songs now and then, which adds to your vocabulary and makes you more of an asset when being called on a last-minute basis.

When you are older and have a longer history of songs under your belt, you will be even more valuable. I hear some 'older' musicians lament about how music "is a young man's game" but it's really not true. I find that the older players are more in-demand for gigs at most levels, simply because they're seasoned, with an extensive song and style vocabulary, and have usually shed the attitude that so many young upstarts so undeservingly possess (Mike Portnoy excepted.) The older I get, and the more I learn... the more I work, and the more I enjoy it.

Bermuda
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
If you do this sort of thing enough, then when more calls come, you won't have to do nearly as much learning. It's worst when you're just starting out. Save your charts!

The extra money isn't "there" anyway. The club or client won't pay the band more, just because there's a fill-in drummer. So, you'd be taking from the bandleader's pocket, or worse, from the other band members' pockets, which will not ingratiate you.
 

spleeeeen

Platinum Member
The extra money isn't "there" anyway. The club or client won't pay the band more, just because there's a fill-in drummer. So, you'd be taking from the bandleader's pocket, or worse, from the other band members' pockets, which will not ingratiate you.
Yep, one sure way to stop getting called is to develop a reputation as someone who demands more than the usual cut.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
Here's how it is- You get a call for the gig, there's a bunch of unfamiliar tunes and the gig pays $xxx.xx

Do you want the $xxx.xx? Then learn the music. If you don't learn the music and take the gig then you'll be hard pressed to get a call back for the next time the artist needs a drummer.

Where I live there's 50 cats (at least) vying for that same slice of pie.
 

Galadrm

Senior Member
Cool, thanks for the input everybody!

I think what most of you have said about learning the sets as an investment in your playing is spot on, and I admire the respect and understanding you have for your co-musicians that you have worked with.

I have not had much exposure to working with many musicians other than those in my band, and a few other little gigs every now and then, so I appreciate you guys that have worked extensively with other musicians for sharing your interactions and experiences.
 
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