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  #41  
Old 10-03-2012, 12:53 PM
McNeil Pro Drumming McNeil Pro Drumming is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Good idea! Hope you get lot's of gigs.

Make sure you charge "per hour of your time" as opposed to per set. Those two 45 minute sets can easily be stretched over a 6 hour period when it comes to weddings and special events and the way they are scheduled :) Weddings often run late and even though there will probably be something of a schedule decided ahead of time, chances are you will simply end up playing at random intervals designated by the couple or wedding planner as the event goes on (always playing second fiddle to everything else that is going on, whether it is speeches, planned dances etc..). This is especially true if you are asked to provide background music. If you are being asked to provide a concert (which is not common for a wedding) or if you are being asked to play music at specific important moments during the reception/ceremony (which can happen occassionally even for jazz groups) then you can expect a bit more consistancy in terms of following the planned schedule. Regardless of the schedule, just be ready to play when they asked you to be ready, even if they are not ready and you end up waiting. You're being paid to be "ready" even if the couple are not. If you charge "per hour of your time" you can play the waiting game with a smile on your face!

For all the reasons I mentioned above it's probably best to charge "per hour of your time". If you are providing background music then it's probably best to just market your set times as "we can start and stop the music at any given point during the event" (and subtely make it clear that you do need a few short 10 to 15 minute breaks if the playing times become long). During the booking process, you don't want the couple to worry for even one second about "fitting" you into their event so the completely custumizable set schedule is a good way to approach it (you already hinted at this actually).

I guess you are dealing in British pounds so I have no idea what a going rate would be for a gig over there :) So, the rate you quoted could be very reasonable (I wouldn't know). But in general it is best to avoid undercutting your competition whatever you decide to charge. They've worked hard to raise the standard so you might as well take advantage of it :)

I would definitely use a contract. When I'm a side musician I don't always use a contract because if I don't get paid all I've lost is my time, some expenses and I didn't get paid $150 or something. That would be very annoying, however it's much worse if I am leading a gig and I book a bunch of musicians and I don't get paid. Those musicians are booking time out of their schedule and turning down other work and/or personal opportunities based on the assumption that they are getting paid. If I don't use a contract and the client doesn't pay, then I am on the hook for $500 or more. If I don't pay out of pocket to those musicians they are not going to want to work with me again. So, best to use a contract and include a cancellation clause as well (because again it's annoying when your gig falls through on a weeks notice when you've already turned down other work for that date). In general, the contract helps to filter out people that would try to mess with you. Most people that would cancel on you or try to back out on the pay wouldn't sign a contract. I know the AFM in North America will apparently handle legal issues for you if you use a union contract (as I do) and the client doesn't pay. Not sure how the musicians union in the United Kingdom works. Something to look into.

In general though it's a great idea to get into this. Go get those gigs!
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  #42  
Old 10-03-2012, 02:23 PM
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supermac supermac is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

1. Yes, get paid in advance - as somebody mentioned earlier.

We got stung a couple a weeks ago when the groom 'ran out of money.'

We got paid a week later, but certainly not an ideal situation

2. Get to the venue early.

Years ago when I as much younger, we got lost on the way there.

When we finally arrived, the guests were already eating and we had to carry in the gear (shoulder-high above their heads as there was no back entrance) and got set up just in time.

Again, one to be avoided!
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  #43  
Old 10-03-2012, 02:49 PM
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bigiainw bigiainw is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

I've played loads of weddings in my time. I've always found them to be a giggle. There are a few definitives that you need to get right;

Arrive on time to set up to start at the time requested (99 times out of 100, it won't happen as grandads speech will go on for 3 hours.

Always agree a finishing time- usually in the Uk it coincides with the end of the alcohol licence in the venue- 1am.

Be clean and tidy

Don't get drunk

Don't try to sleep with the bride's mother, even if she is a MILF...

Know your market- in Scotland for instance you will always be asked for the odd traditional Scottish tune- be prepared to play it (them) regardless of your preferences.

Keep your volume in check- turning up with the PA from Download will scare people before you play a note.

Speak to the couple before and if possible, learn the song they want as their first dance, or get a CD if they want something you can't pull off.

As others have said, don't worry if they don't react/dance- quite often people get overtaken by meeting people they haven't seen in years. It's not unusual for the dancing only to start in earnest in the last 2 numbers you play.

Look as if you're enjoying yourself!
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  #44  
Old 10-03-2012, 03:32 PM
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Swiss Matthias Swiss Matthias is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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Don't try to sleep with the bride's mother, even if she is a MILF...
What's MILF?




I second the contract thing.
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  #45  
Old 10-03-2012, 03:55 PM
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Florian Florian is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

MILF = mom I'd like to f*@k

F
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  #46  
Old 10-03-2012, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

All great advice! Contracts are a must!

The only thing i will add is (and i struggle with it) to keep the attitude at home. You will run into situations with these types of gigs where you are "the help" and will be told what you can and cannot do by over zealous planners, mother's of the bride etc...

Also, expect someone to ask if little Johnny can sit in with the band because "he's a drummer." This is where good diplomatic skills come in handy. Of course if the gig pays well or a little extra is offered, by all means let little Johnny sit in! LOL

A gig is a gig.
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  #47  
Old 10-04-2012, 06:10 AM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

To add to other peoples thoughts on times/playing times etc:

We work on a 5 hour booking (usually 7 - 12) for the reception. During that time we expect to provide 3 x 45 minute dance sets and one shorter (usually 30 - 40 minute) background jazz set.

Obviously with all the formalities on the night it usually ends up being a jazz set, 2 x 45 minute dance sets and then a couple tunes to end the night (on one occasion it ended up being a jazz set and one dance set, the bride decided she wanted the entire party to go out to the beach front to take photos, leaving us sitting inside to wait for our audience to return!)

Keep in mind that a 7 pm start time means you'll probably be required to arrive at 5 for set-up (especially if the ceremony is at the same venue as the reception, it's a no go to be playing a soundcheck whilst they're saying their vows!)

Not sure on the exchange rate but bands in Australia typically charge $350- 450 per member for the nights work.

It seems like your project is more of a jazz thing than a cover band so obviously this all changes a little, but these are just my experiences.

Weddings can be a lot of fun and really rewarding: you're getting paid well to play with a group of your mates. Make sure you take time prior to the event to sort out all the details and you'll have a good time.
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  #48  
Old 10-04-2012, 08:00 PM
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rogue_drummer rogue_drummer is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Also, expect someone to ask if little Johnny can sit in with the band because "he's a drummer." This is where good diplomatic skills come in handy.

ROFLMAO

This happens a lot! Little Johnny or Little Jane is a drummer and everyone will be so pleased if they can sit in and play. Grandparents drool over taking those kinds of pictures.

LOL Good one!
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  #49  
Old 02-07-2013, 06:11 AM
henspicy henspicy is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Many people want to celebrate their wedding occasion as a memorable thing in their life. I think band party is one of the best way to celebrate the wedding function and it gives more joy and energy to the guests and it entertain the people very well. In recent days, these kind of parties are famous and also most of the people choose these parties.
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  #50  
Old 02-11-2013, 07:47 AM
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Obzen Obzen is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

A really crappy covers band I was in once played a 21st birthday party for a girl (actually it was the only gig we did).

We did a few songs (pink floyd, led zep, green day), and took a break for speeches.

A few of her friends and family members gave some heart warming speeches.

Then when the speeches were over we came back in with one of the most depressing songs of all time... DISARM by Smashing Pumpkins. So wrong.

Don't do that.
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  #51  
Old 02-11-2013, 05:51 PM
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inneedofgrace inneedofgrace is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

I can't remember the last wedding reception I went to that actually had a band playing. DJs have taken over the market because the younger generation wants to hear their mindless dance tracks.
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  #52  
Old 02-12-2013, 11:39 AM
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richkenyon richkenyon is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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Originally Posted by inneedofgrace View Post
I can't remember the last wedding reception I went to that actually had a band playing. DJs have taken over the market because the younger generation wants to hear their mindless dance tracks.
The good news is we're finally turning the tables... Now bands are putting DJs out of work by taking a laptop and playing music between band sets. And you lose the obnoxious DJ personality that desperately wants to make themselves the center of attention.
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  #53  
Old 02-12-2013, 12:56 PM
john gerrard john gerrard is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Really great suggestions here. The only thing I might add. If you are the one who is doing the booking and getting paid in advance or whatever make sure you have cash on hand to pay the other musicians on the night of the job. John
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  #54  
Old 02-12-2013, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

While a appreciate all of the replies, I can't help wondering why this thread, started a few years ago, has resurfaced... The gig has long since been and gone, as have others. Hehe...
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  #55  
Old 02-12-2013, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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Originally Posted by Mighty_Joker View Post
While a appreciate all of the replies, I can't help wondering why this thread, started a few years ago, has resurfaced... The gig has long since been and gone, as have others. Hehe...
People are still getting married, presumably.
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  #56  
Old 02-12-2013, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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People are still getting married, presumably.
Yea, they'll never learn, lol.

Dennis
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  #57  
Old 02-13-2013, 05:07 AM
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inneedofgrace inneedofgrace is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

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People are still getting married, presumably.
probably some of the same people LOL
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  #58  
Old 09-23-2013, 06:52 AM
mattvol mattvol is offline
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Default Re: Wedding/Function Band Do's and Don't's

Yes itís true that there are many doís and donítís in wedding, Itís hard to become a successful wedding band and for that one must know how to maintain the level of entertainment in wedding, attain some wedding functions and learn from other bands how they handle these kind of situation, do some promotion of your band and give a free demo in wedding function.


Thextramile- wedding band Ireland

Last edited by mattvol; 10-08-2013 at 06:35 AM.
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