How much do you charge for sub gigs?

maxwhineberg

Junior Member
For an original band that contacts you to fill-in for their show, 1 set.

How much would you charge?

I've always struggled with this. Because there are sometimes
rehearsals involved, you want to possibly work with them again,
the venue might be far so, there's gas money involved.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
FWIW, people in my area rarely work for less than 100. I do a few times a year. I'm subbing on an original gig next month where there is 150 for the whole band for 1 hour. I was offered 75, and I like subbing so I took it. It's a business decision that will probably lead to more work in the future. Plus I like knowing the other bands songs and arrangements so I can be a first call replacement drummer. And I like being able to pull off a gig that's out of my comfort zone.

But usually 100 is minimum. It would help you to know what to charge if you knew how much money is being paid to the band.

Unfortunately, very few players in my area usually makes more than 100. One room I work at pays more, but it's a 2 hour drive to the shore. Cool gig too.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I agree with the $100 assessment. And it's not about playing "one set" or more. It's the fact that you are basically cancelling your plans to spend an evening with these people and save their show. If you broke it down by the hour, playing one set will probably take at least four hours of your time (not to mention a rehearsal if necessary), so figure you're worth at least $25 an hour. Any less and you could be a barista at Starbucks and make more money ;)
 

maxwhineberg

Junior Member
I agree with the $100 assessment. And it's not about playing "one set" or more. It's the fact that you are basically cancelling your plans to spend an evening with these people and save their show. If you broke it down by the hour, playing one set will probably take at least four hours of your time (not to mention a rehearsal if necessary), so figure you're worth at least $25 an hour. Any less and you could be a barista at Starbucks and make more money ;)
TRUTH.

I know, I think about that all the time. Time is money. Driving to the venue,
driving back, a rehearsal, that's all 'time on the job'.

Makes sense.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
TRUTH.

I know, I think about that all the time. Time is money. Driving to the venue,
driving back, a rehearsal, that's all 'time on the job'.

Makes sense.
And I totally understand people who are faced with the fact that "I have to get out there and play before anyone knows who I am", but people looking for players have to be sensitive to the fact that you shouldn't just be strung around, either. After all, they wouldn't like that. So I think it's a mutual respect that must happen - and all people have to do is realize what would happen if the shoe was on the other foot.

But I urge younger players to not be too eager to get out and play without some kind of agreement, it's just better for both parties.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I met a musician a couple of years ago who happened to be the approved technician for TASCAM when I was having issues with one of their digital desks. His callout fee was £250. Worth it, considering the desk was about 10x that. $100 for a gig strikes me as entirely reasonable.
 

lsits

Gold Member
I've only been a sub for a few times, but I usually get a bandmember's share. Anywhere between $20 and $100. Most times it's just helping a friend out.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I don't usually want an un-fair cut of the night's take, but I would ask for some rehearsal money if it's a direct sub gig. Something like 50 for rehearsal and a fair cut of the show money, which means I might not take the gig if they're getting 100 bucks for the whole band.

If it's friends or something cool I'll just do it on my own time for free.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I've subbed a few times and get the band member share as well. Seems fair. Overcharging might mean you never get invited back.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Different places in the world, different standards.

If it's my own band we'll take what we can get and split it. $300 minimum.

If I'm hired for a one off it's standard union recommended fee. Last gig like that was about $600.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
All depends on the type of gig and travelling etc.

For a function it's the standard split of how ever many is in the band. We usually end up trousering £200 each. Obviously if I'm a way from home it's a bit more.

If I'm on my doorstep and it's something fun like rock covers, again equal cut which is maybe £40-£50
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
For an original band that contacts you to fill-in for their show, 1 set.

How much would you charge?

I've always struggled with this. Because there are sometimes
rehearsals involved, you want to possibly work with them again,
the venue might be far so, there's gas money involved.


Really, 'charge' them? If you're in a small/tight local scene (what scene isn't really?) unless you're a top level pro I wouldn't approach it with a 'what am I going to charge em' attitude', I would hit them with "What are you offering?"


If you're looking for call backs not a good idea to go for the most you can on the first gig, you can try, but IMO its strike one against your character on the sensitive side. They might act like they respect you, but underneath most prob they're thinking 'Man, who's this guy think he is, Dave Weckel?'

They need you, are calling you, you want to make an impression after the gig (if) where they're going to want to tell other bands "Yeah, he/she's cool, really easy to work with." Money is usually a touchy subject.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Usually they tell you up front how much it pays. If they're asking what you need to get paid, I would prob ask $60-80 for no rehearsal, $80-120 with one rehearsal. Kind of paltry bread, but that's where we are. That's for an average club date that will be reasonably fun and not a lot of work. If the thing's going to be a pain to do, I pass. They're not going to be able to pay you enough to be worth it.
 
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Morrisman

Platinum Member
I've got a guy subbing for me tomorrow night. 4 sets, the band is getting $180 each, so is he. I've sent him a setlist with cues and notes. No rehearsal, but there's a sound heck several hours before the gig where he can try a few songs.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
I've got a guy subbing for me tomorrow night. 4 sets, the band is getting $180 each, so is he. I've sent him a setlist with cues and notes. No rehearsal, but there's a sound heck several hours before the gig where he can try a few songs.


So, what if dude said he'd do it for (charge) $200, also what if he said he'd do it for $150? This of course before you told him $180 ea
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I charge the same as I would as if it was my gig and I wasn't just a sub.

I think a lot of factors go into what you should and shouldn't charge:

1. Who's the group, and what level of success are they at?
2. Who are you, and what level are you at in your career?
3. Where is the gig? As in geographic location. Guys who live in Nashville, LA, NYC can charge more than guys in Bowling Green, OH.
4. Where's the gig in relation to you? How long will you have to travel 1 hour, 2 hours, more? And are you going to be responsible for your own travel?
5. How much time will you have to spend learning the material and/or rehearsing with the band before the gig?

These are all things I factor in when I determined my price tag.

I have done work for less, and for much more, but all of those things come into consideration.
 
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