How much did you get paid for your first paid performance/studio/etc?


Gold Member
I am going to play for a friend for a church (I am not a member at) service and I will get paid by the church a whole $30!


Senior Member
I guess it depends on the length of the service, and wealth of the church. I would definitely prefer a bit more than 30, but if you are doing it for a mate, then I guess it can change the conditions a bit. If the church is small, you can expect to get paid less, and larger churches I guess would have more resources and be able to pay a bit more.

Just my opinion


my first paid gig was actually paid to my whole band and it was.......... $100.00

wooooohoooo it just about covered the gas and food bill for the night.


Senior Member
My first paid gig was with my parents' country music band. I was just a young scamp. The whole band got like $150, so I got thirty bucks. Since I was a kid, I was able to blow the money on kid stuff; I think I bought a pizza, a CD, and small stuff like that.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I did my first session in 1970, with Wrecking Crew guitarist Al Casey, and sax overdubs by (the late) Steve Douglas, also a Wrecking Crew guy. Just a demo, and really kind of a favor to me... Casey could certainly have played the simple snare/hat part himself. But my brother was also on the session, and I just tagged along, so they threw me a bone. And $25.

As it happens, we cut to a click, which was kinda rare at the time unless you were doing jingles. I'm sure that was there for my benefit, and I followed it well enough... a real precursor of things to come, and just as well that my first taste of recording was with a click. I do have a copy of the track, and by virtue of the other pros, it still sounds great. I would play the same parts today, but with more confidence. :)


Anthony Amodeo

cool thread

in about 1988 there was a NY hardcore band called Ludichrist who used to play all the time with a band I was in at the time called Devil Fish

the guitar player Glen Cummings and I became friends.......I was probably 15 at the time ......he told me he was disbanding Ludichrist and starting a new band and needed a drummer for some demos to present to Relativity Records

he liked the way I played and asked me to track .....I agreed
we tracked 6 songs in NYC and they payed me $20 per song
I felt like I was rich :)

they also asked me to join the band
they were much older than me and had tour dates booked and my parents were not to big on the idea naturally I did not join the band

the band was called Scatterbrain and went on to have a couple minor hits .....I am still glad I did not take the gig ....just wasn't my thing

anyway that was my first paying gig


Platinum Member
$80 for a 2 hour gig. I wasn't in it for the money, but it was a nice bonus. It was an eye opener because I was green and never knew bands dealt with management only in cash, and I liked that.


It's really too many years ago to remember, but in the mid sixties it was probably about $20 or $25 USD. Nothing that you could get rich from overnight.


Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I played at a bar in a small town in the mountains. At the end of the night there was $16 in the kitty jar and the guyys in the band gave it all to me. It was my bosses band. I actually got an audition from that gig for another band and I failed to get the spot. I was just filling in at the bar gig.


Platinum Member
As it happened, my first-band's first paid performance was at a bar that really supports local artists. The house band was pretty good, and played before us. They did lots of standard covers and the crowd was in a good mood. In between the sets, as we were setting up, I remember this great vibe in the room, like everyone was having a really good time and it was in the air. There was some kind of test tube of pink booze shots going around for 50 cents, and two dollar 24's of PBR... Folks were uh, loose.

Anyhoo, we somehow managed to kick some major ass. It was really great. We did something, and the crowd responded exactly as intended. This was the first validation that all our hard work getting the dynamics and feels right was worth it. The stage was near the street, and we were told later that more than a few people came in and paid the cover specifically noting that they came in to listen to us.

So anyway, like I said, this place wants to support artists, and due to the mid-set draw we created, they actually paid us a higher than standard percent of the door, and a small slice of the drinks as well. My cut was I believe $147, and that was after we put a cut of the total back in to the strings, heads and sticks fund.

Good times. Till that point, we had always played because that's what we wanted to do more than anything else. Having a wad of cash handed to us for having that much fun seemed very surreal.


Platinum Member
Bar gig when I was young enough and dumb enough to believe that a "door deal was in my best interests as it was a great opportunity for exposure,"
Funny, I notice that nonsense is still being peddled and sadly, still being lapped up by young enoughs and dumb enoughs.

No idea of the exact figure, but it would have been bugger all. Clearly it wasn't worth remembering.


Platinum Member
My first paid performances were the typical "cut of the door" and "drink ticket" bar gigs. I wasn't doing it for the money, so those don't count. The first gig I did FOR money was playing glockenspiel for a church service, for $50. Low, I know, but I was told to take ALL gigs, especially at first, because making connections leads to future work. I was referred, from that gig, to do a gig at another church, playing tambourine and triangle for $300...


Platinum Member
Interesting, I would have thought some of the church gigs noted above would all be pro other words like the 'charity' of your time and effort. I know nothing obviously about how church bands operate.


Staff member
I think I was paid in beer, but as I was the nominated van driver for the night, that wasn't a great deal for me :(

My first "proper" paid "gig" was to fill in at rehearsals with a recently signed band who's drummer was in rehab from powder abuse. if I remember rightly, I was paid quite handsomely for that.


Silver Member
When I was in high school my cover band [the only cover band I was ever in] won the school talent show when we were Juniors, and again our Senior year. That year the school needed a band for the Graduation party, and enough people on the committee liked us to offer us the gig.
We didn't know how much we were worth, and neither did they, so they gave us what they had budgeted for the band that night: $600. It was an extraordinary payout [$125 per head], and none of us expected it. We bought a small practice P.A. with the money.