SYNTH ZONE
Visit The Bar For Casual Discussion
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >
Topic Options
#159079 - 01/29/07 06:15 AM Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Gang-

This thread is certainly related to the other discussing "Playing arranger with other instrumentalists". I didn't want to hijack MarcK's thread so here's a slightly different twist on the same general issue.

I formed a quartet back in 1998 that has worked almost every weekend, sometimes more up until recent times. Its a good band, our crowds are large, we keep our dance floor filled and have had a lot of fun.

When I bought my first arranger (Tyros) in 2004, it quickly became apparent to me that I now had maximum control over my music. Not to suggest that it was out of control before this time, but in the context of now comparing my solo arranger gigs to the band gigs, the difference was obvious.

The guys in the band have always been cooperative, but we're not really friends. So, its been more of a casual business relationship. They have been loyal without question to me. Each brings certain plusses and minuses to the band, but at the end of the day, its worked out really well.

Several years ago, the State of Ohio changed how animal clubs can sell tickets and hold drawings. The State now takes a massive cut of these monies, which the clubs had often paid for entertainment with every week. Since thise change, the call for bands has declined dramatically. Clubs that used to have dances every FRI/SAT nights are now down to once a week, some are down to once every other week, a few are having monthly dances...Sadly, roughly a dozen clubs in the Dayton area have had to close due to the lack of sufficiant revenues.

Entertainment budgets are usually the first place to cut expenses. DJ' became more common very quickly around town and truth be told my solo business went through the roof. I easily increased my annual gigs by upwards of 18-22% or so.

So....the band is working less and less, while my schedule is filled. Because the band performs less often, when we do, there are more errors occuring. The other guys will not rehearse...and frankly, I'm not that interested in it either. I should say of the four of us, I am the only one who does this for my living.

I'm leaning heavily towards having this be the last formal year for the band. Area clubs, for the most part won't even discuss booking bands with you any more. They want to stay around $250-$300 a night max. Two of the guys seem to resent my solo work...they want things to be as they where before I began using an arranger and how things were before the State changed the rules...

Sometimes I can book duos, and I'll usually use my sax player on those, though recently I've begun to incorporate a really talented pedal steel player, which has worked out terrific.

Kind of sad...But part of a successful business is the ability to adapt to changing market conditions. Right now, the market has moved away from bands in general...and there's just not much I can do about that. I think a couple of the guys feel a bit betrayed, but again...I'm running a business to support my family and there's just no way I'll turn down solo work to sit home with the rest of the band.

Musically, while its nto the same dynamic of interacting with 3 other musicians on stage, I think in many ways, it IS better. Intonation isn't a problem, nobody's pouting because they had to drive 45 minutes to get to the gig, nobody has the wrong shirt on, no one is insensitive to anybody on stage, no one complains about the money, no body critisizes the song I call up, etc., etc., etc...

So, being an arranger player has definately had a huge impact on my band situation.

Anyone else have a similar experience juggling bands and arrangers?

Bill in Dayton

[This message has been edited by Bill in Dayton (edited 01-29-2007).]
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#159080 - 01/29/07 06:19 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
After 21 yrs we dissolved our 7pc band.... been SOLO the last 16 yrs never looked back......best move I ever made for SO many reasons!!!.....move on & enjoy!!
Mix it up as a OMB....Play live Arranger...go out and sing solo in the audience with a wireless mic, DJ a bit for big dance gigs,Play live & sing to SMF/Mp3 backing tracks....use all the tools available to always make you STILL sound like a Bigger band....that's the trick.....think BIG BAND but.....Play OMB
Good Luck



[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 01-29-2007).]

Top
#159081 - 01/29/07 06:25 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Your making the right move
You POCKET will thank you Big Time $$$$
Next, start booking & playing all the old band gigs & venues as a solo....


[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 01-29-2007).]

Top
#159082 - 01/29/07 06:25 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10606
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Like Donny, I made the changeover several years ago.

It has greatly simplified my musical(and personal) life, and I have never regretted making the move.

Ian

------------------
Remember to leave good news alone.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

Top
#159083 - 01/29/07 06:31 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Chris Valenti Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 123
Loc: Florida
Hi Bill,

I have played in bands in the past. I still do some band work now. However, I mainly work as a single or duo if the job calls for that. I sing as well so that helps alot. Don't care what others think about how you work. It's art and commerce. I haven't seen any cart and buggy's around latley.

Chris

Top
#159084 - 01/29/07 06:42 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
"Next, start booking & playing all the old band
gigs & venues as a solo..."

I've already been slowly transitioning most of the band accounts to OMB or sometimes duos.

Example: An Eagles an hour away from us used to have the band every month, for about six years steady. Crowds were HUGE here...upwards of 400+ people nightly. From this account, two other clubs saw us and booked the band there as well. Well, a year ago, the Eagles came to us and said they weren't making enough money. (Our crowds aren't big drinkers...) and asked us if we could drop our price by $100 if they knocked it down to a 3 instead of a 4 hour gig. I was ok with that...as was my sax guy. The bass guy and drummer said no...I cautioned them that once the other clients we had in this audience heard my duo, they might drop using the band at those higher paying gigs. They still said no.

Guess what? The two other clients couldn't believe how good the duo was, dropped the band right away and gave all the gigs to the duo. So, in about 90 days time, the band lost 24 annual bookings which became duos. (Which meant a hefty increase in pay for yours truly.)

So when these same two guys who walked away, now bitch about fewer and fewer gigs...I ask them what did they think was goin to happen? They looked at my OMB as a nice novelty act and didn't ever dream it could replace them.

Sometimes guys just aren't thinking...

Bill
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#159085 - 01/29/07 06:51 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15563
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
I believe this will be the trend in the very near future. In my case we had three guitar players (lead, bass and rythm), a drummer and a great fiddle player. I owned the PA and lights, did the setup and tear-down by myself, booked all the jobs, did most of the singing and took care of the business end of things.

The members of our group reluctantly came to rehersals, and one just never showed up for practice more than once or twice a year. Sometimes, he didn't show up for the job, and if he did he was always late.

Everyone got the same slice of the money pie, even the guitar player that came late. The big change came when I purchased that PSR-500 and did my first solo job. At that point I realized that I could make a living in the OMB entertainment biz as opposed to picking up pocket change as a member of a 5-piece country band.

We had lots of fun over the years, but like Donny, once I switched to a solo entertainer I never looked back.

Good Luck Bill,

Gary

------------------
Travlin' Easy
_________________________
PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

K+E=W (Knowledge Plus Experience = Wisdom.)

Top
#159086 - 01/29/07 06:54 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
SemiLiveMusic Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 2204
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Interesting insight in your thread. Live bands are slowly dying. I find that quite sad. If I had a choice between watching a good live band versus a good OMB, it's band any day of the week, I don't care how good the OMB is. And hey, I play OMB, too! For bands, it will only get worse.

------------------
Bill
smallGig.com
:::
As a songwriter, I need feedback on songs posted! Thanks!
_________________________
~ ~ ~
Bill

Top
#159087 - 01/29/07 07:04 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7288
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
You're right...the busines has changed dramatically. For me, even though I use an arranager when necessary, it's still all about making music with other players. that interaction is irreplacable. I take less money to add a player or two.

Luckily, around here, horse farms and other places still have what I call "society" events, where bands are used and pay will.

Right now, I'm still going to play as many group jobs as possible, although, as we talked elsewhere, most are arranger, plus a sax/flute/percussionist and a guitar.

Believce it or not, but I'm starting some jobs with another keyboard player. We switch on real vibes...what a delight!


Russ

Top
#159088 - 01/29/07 07:09 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Bands still have their place in music its just that the venues are changing for them....Bigger clubs, concert & touring shows, big Tourist destinations, Cruise ships etc, etc, ......but for the every day bread basket venues work is dwindling down very fast, just look around you!....especially if you want to make a living FULL TIME at it VS being a weekend warrior..like any business for see the future and make changes accordingly no matter what the price as long as you maintain YOUR happiness....be lazy & your down for the count simple as that, but dont worry theres always a job waiting for you at McDonalds ...time & longevity will always prevail.....follow the lead of the successfull ones & give it your all & you 'll be ok !

I just want to add...that's when You come from years of "PLAYING IN A BAND STOCK" this is the secret that will make you a VERY successful Arranger player......because in reality you still have to create & most importantly THINK like a bigger band sound when you are playing as a OMB.



[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 01-29-2007).]

Top
#159089 - 01/29/07 11:17 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
renig Offline
Member

Registered: 02/20/00
Posts: 643
Loc: Canada
I think a large part of this is the desire and, moreso, the ability to change. It's about letting go of the past and, quite naturally, this comes more easily to some people than it does to others.

There's no doubt about it, the 'scene' (there's an old-school word) has changed dramatically. Many of the band venues in this neck of the woods think only in terms of Alternative, Modern Rock bands for a young crowd, so us more 'mature' folks don't really get a look-in as there's no market for our more traditional approach, i.e. 50's to 70's stuff - I'm pretty convinced most folks over 40 sit at home in front of their big screen TVs and are all in bed by 10 p.m. Sad, really.

I played in bands from 1958-1980, then left it alone altogether for 20 years and then bought my first arranger. Would I go back into a band? For the chemistry and camaraderie, yes. For a lot of the reasons already mentioned in this thread, no.

For sure, time and tide wait for no man, and like the old r'n'b classic says, You Better Move On. Enjoy the past, but embrace the future.

Top
#159090 - 01/29/07 12:32 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Quote:
Originally posted by renig:
- I'm pretty convinced most folks over 40 sit at home in front of their big screen TVs and are all in bed by 10 p.m. Sad, really.



Cant agree with ya there my friend....
"If You Play it they will Come"
Ask anyone who has seen me perform.......the 45-90 market is still very much there & hungry for REAL dance Music,,, find it & embrace it ..

Top
#159091 - 01/29/07 12:34 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 16735
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
I had close to 300 for a Mardi Gras dance Saturday night. Ages from 21 to 81 or so.
Gave free Moon Pies to the best dancers!
The youngsters didn't know what they were.
DonM
_________________________
DonM

Top
#159092 - 01/29/07 01:00 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
WTG Don.....great Idea ....
BTW I love moon pies

Keep em Dancin & the Music Alive Baby!
http://www.moonpie.com/

[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 01-29-2007).]

Top
#159093 - 01/29/07 02:01 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Uncle Dave Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 12800
Loc: Penn Yan, NY
yawn ........ it's 6:00 - almost bedtime.
_________________________
No longer monitoring this forum. Please visit www.daveboydmusic.com for contact info

Top
#159094 - 01/29/07 02:27 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
renig Offline
Member

Registered: 02/20/00
Posts: 643
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by Dnj:

Cant agree with ya there my friend....
"If You Play it they will Come"
Ask anyone who has seen me perform.......the 45-90 market is still very much there & hungry for REAL dance Music,,, find it & embrace it ..


Well, all I can say to that is that I've been playing "REAL dance music" for close on 50 years, and keeping it pretty current along the way, and they don't come like they used to. There must be something in the water down your way that's definitely missing up here. I tell ya, it's bloody frustrating.

Top
#159095 - 01/29/07 02:34 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Quote:
Originally posted by renig:
Well, all I can say to that is that I've been playing "REAL dance music" for close on 50 years, and keeping it pretty current along the way, and they don't come like they used to. There must be something in the water down your way that's definitely missing up here. I tell ya, it's bloody frustrating.


Ive been drinking the water down here for years oh yeah ! .....

Top
#159096 - 01/29/07 03:43 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14203
Loc: NW Florida
Be careful of asking questions in a forum dedicated to OMBs..... OF COURSE you will get a majority of answers saying 'sure, go ahead and fire everybody' because this is the place where most players hang out that have done that already.....

You have to ask YOURSELF how you feel about it. If there is nothing good about playing in a band, by all means, go ahead and go solo. Perhaps, though, after burning those bridges, you might find there's something about making music with other people you miss, and it's tough to get their trust back.

Issues within a band will never get resolved if you don't address them. If a player is always tardy for setup, well, if you have the power to fire him, you have the power to dock him for being late! A warning the first time might help, but if you are beginning to feel bitter about behavior, you only have yourself to blame if you don't address it.

The availability of gigs is another matter altogether, no blame there for having to accept financial reality, but my suggestion would be drop the rhythm section first (bass and drums)... they are the easiest to replace with your arranger. But if you can still get duo or trio gigs, no amount of arranger will compensate for a good guitarist or fiddle player. Not to mention the loss of singing voices - to be honest, that's what the club is REALLY paying for, you've got to have a dynamite guitarist before people will come out just to hear the guitarist (or the piano player!) play.

People want to hear SONGS, and dance. If you already sing the great majority of songs, you're in a good position to go solo (even though the girls love a guitarist!), but be realistic about what you will lose, musically, being by yourself.

I play a mixture of duo (with an acoustic guitarist) and four piece (two guitars drums and me on LH bass), and occasional full band or anything in between. While capable of going solo (I've done it on and off for 20 years or so), it never seems as enjoyable as a full band. It has it's own set of pleasures, for sure, but a musical partner to push you, and keep you fresh and interested is worth the division of funds, IMO.......

Music is a conversation, whereas arranger usage is the reproduction of a conversation. That guitar track or pedal steel track is never going to surprise you, it's never going to challenge you to try something different, it's going to pop up in the song the same way every time you play THAT chord at THAT time. That is going to get stale quickly.

Sidemen, musical partners, whatever you want to call them, they can make the difference between going out to play some music and getting payed, and clocking in at the gig to do the same thing over and over.....
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

Top
#159097 - 01/29/07 07:24 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 9673
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Over 40 year olds stay home..you must be kidding..Saturday night , we had a packed house[about 180 people] at the club in Wildwood NJ[BTW the water is terrible there]..
There was a group of girls[ about 20-25] in their 20's...We play Dance music from the 50's - 70's normally...I tried to play to the young ladies on break music[played current dance music] ...2 girls danced..after 10 minutes I cut it and played 60's dance music and they all danced..Go figure

Our age group[regulars ] are 40 and up..These are the folks that can afford the higher prices for drinks and top notch meals at our venues..Without this age group..you could not find decent paying and enjoyable work..

Gives us your address, and we will send you some NJ water..
_________________________
www.francarango.com



Top
#159098 - 01/29/07 07:26 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Fran-

I'll trade you some Ohio well water for a jug of your NJ stuff!!!



------------------
Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#159099 - 01/29/07 07:31 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 9673
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Bill this shore water is BAD...Is your well water contaminated? Then it would be a fair swap..Thankfully I head back home and drink Pennsy water..
_________________________
www.francarango.com



Top
#159100 - 01/29/07 07:37 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
No its not contaminated, lol...

But its STILL well water.

Even with the largest Culligan water filtration system they make AND a equally large water softener, its just "ok"...

Oh well, we love the house...(Just bought it two Falls ago...)

I too call Pennsylvania home. Born and raised in Pittsburgh...Lived there from 1960-93 or so...

If you're in NJ, you might know where a town called Ambler, PA is. When I was in my 20's, my band went out there and played at a club called the Ambler Cabaret, then a sister facility in Philly. I remember that trip becaue the band toured a big sub in the harbour and our road manager didn't duck enough going through a doorway and knocked himself out cold!

Ah, the memories!





------------------
Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#159101 - 01/29/07 07:40 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 9673
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
I live a half hour from Ambler..
_________________________
www.francarango.com



Top
#159102 - 01/30/07 02:13 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Another reason why you should go Solo......

http://tinyurl.com/p6zth


Top
#159103 - 01/30/07 03:11 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Don-

Thank you for ruining my first cup of coffee for the day. I will now endeavor to find an equally disturbing video to give you heartburn or something...





------------------
Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#159104 - 01/30/07 03:18 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Like I said ......move on Solo & dont look back

Top
#159105 - 01/30/07 07:04 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7288
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Again, Diki, you NAILED it!

Playing solo is BORING!


Russ

Top
#159106 - 01/30/07 07:13 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Quote:
Originally posted by captain Russ:
Again, Diki, you NAILED it!

Playing solo is BORING!Russ


Funny how we all think so different eh?

Top
#159107 - 01/30/07 07:59 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10606
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Certainly nothing boring about playing solo...I've never been busier, or more content.

As Donny said, "Funny how we all think so different eh?"

Ya gotta do what makes ya happy!

Ian



------------------
Remember to leave good news alone.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

Top
#159108 - 01/30/07 08:17 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Gang-

I guess some people are just more comfortable playing with themselves than others are...



------------------
Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#159109 - 01/30/07 08:22 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10606
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
When you play with yourself, you always know when to speed up.

Ian

------------------
Remember to leave good news alone.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

Top
#159110 - 01/30/07 08:46 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Too many fakers out there hiding behind their co-musicians also....another reason I hated band work...I had to continually call them out to solo their part to eventually find the culprit playing who knows what?

Top
#159111 - 01/30/07 10:14 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10606
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Seems a little strange...why spend good money on an arranger keyboard that does it all, and then hire other people?

Sorta defeats the purpose...

May as well buy a synthesizer or electronic piano...would be a lot cheaper.

Ahhh...the benefits of playing solo...too many to list, but never too many to enjoy.

Ian

------------------
Remember to leave good news alone.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

Top
#159112 - 01/30/07 11:23 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7288
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
It is my observation that most solo acts simply couldn't handle playing in a duo or group if there was a lot of extemperaneous playing "off of each other" going on.

Take a look at the post of the "4
Hammonds". You don't get that kind of interaction when playing a solo job on an arranger.

There's nothing like the unspoken communication between musicians of equal ability when they trade fours or interact in that fantastic "shoot from the hip", often unrehearsed way.

In those cases, there's nowhere to hide, and nobody is going to carry you. You produce or get the hell out of the way.

This is my opinion and I'm not going to change it....I wouldn't expect anyone believing the opposite to change their beliefs, either. It's kind of like the previous discussions about the difference between musicians and entertainers, and we've already been there.

Here's hoping we all enjoy success and a sense of accomplishment; however we define
it.


Russ

Top
#159113 - 01/30/07 11:50 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7288
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Ian, I still enjoy "playing" a solo, but, at my age, I don't "rush" nearly as often as I used to.


Russ

Top
#159114 - 01/30/07 12:03 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10606
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Russ,

I certainly wouldn't try to change your mind....you couldn't change mine either... but that's okay...we're old enough for it to be okay to be set in our opinions.


I do, however, disagree with your statement,"that most solo acts simply couldn't handle playing in a duo or group if there was a lot of extemporaneous playing "off of each other" going on.

Most solo players that I have met are, more often than not, extremely capable players...it would a more appropriate to say that they "wouldn't" play in a group, rather than "couldn't".

They usually go solo because they got fed up working with incompetent sidemen.

There's also no where to hide when you are playing solo either...you are either good enough to cut it, or you don't get asked back.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.

There's also a negative side.

All the best to you, my friend.

Ian




------------------
Remember to leave good news alone.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

Top
#159115 - 01/30/07 12:33 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7288
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Thanks, Ian...handled like a gentleman. And, after 50 years in this business, I've seen the "snakes" like you have. It can be rough out there.

It all comes down to where you come from and where you want to go. I've made my choices and paid the price, sometimes, for making them. I wouldn't have done it any other way. When you refuse to play Jimmy Buffet, George Jones, Johnnie Cash, etc. like I do, you pay the price.

When you try as hard as you can to always play jazz, you are limited by available venues, smaller audiences, etc. But, the upside is challenging music, a sense of accomplishment and the respect of other musicians, which, to me, is important.

For me, that's what it's all about. And that's what I'm going to continue to do as long as I can.

All the best,


Russ

Top
#159116 - 01/30/07 01:40 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Taike Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 2814
Loc: Xingyi, Guizhou (China)
I guess some people are just more comfortable playing with themselves than others are...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When you play with yourself, you always know when to speed up.
--------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------
You naughty boys!
_________________________
最猖獗的人权侵犯 者讨论其他国 家的人权局势而忽略本国严重的人权 问题是何等伪善。

Top
#159117 - 01/30/07 01:40 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 16735
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Russ, you're in a great position, because you don't need to make money playing music.
I love playing in bands with GOOD musicians, and have both worked and traded licks with a whole lot of great ones, including James Burton, Freddy Fender, Dean Mathis, Freddy Cannon and more.
Had a chance to play full time with both Freddy Fender and Freddy Cannon, but had to pass on both because they couldn't or wouldn't match what I was making as a single, plus I would have to travel most of the time.
You are in an enviable position; you can play what and when you wish!
Enjoy it and appreciate it!
DonM
_________________________
DonM

Top
#159118 - 01/30/07 02:12 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15563
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Russ,

I couldn't dissagree more about playing solo being boring. Every job is a challenge, and every audience is different, which is what presents the challenge.

When I performed in upscale Italian restaurants I was bored to tears. While the audiences changed regularly, the music didn't. That was boring as hell to me. One of the places I performed at in Baltimore's Little Italy wanted me to do a solo performance for them a couple nights a week. The restaurant was about as upscale as they get, no prices on the menue, and shots of imported cognac selling for up to $325 each--way out of my price range.

The first night I performed I did lots of italian songs during the four-hours I was there. I sang several songs in Italian, which made the owner happy. The 30 or so customers in the lounge sat there drinking their high-priced booze and I wasn't sure if they even noticed the music. The owner's wife loved my voice, and he booked me for the following Saturday.

The next job was a bit different. I had a dozen, young, airline stewardesses in the lounge, gals who requested some upbeat songs that you would likely never perform. They loved it, the tip jar was quickly filled to capacity, the lounge was packed beyond capacity, and there were folks dancing in the hall. The same was true the following Saturday night, with lots of complements about the music and individuals hoping I would become a permanent fixture. I played what the audiences wanted to hear--NOT just the songs I enjoyed performing.

The following week I was not booked, and when I asked the restaurant owner why not he replied "You do an incredible job, everyone loves your performances, but no one is in the restaurant and that's where I make my money--not in the lounge."

We parted company on good terms, and he has called a few times since then asking if I can do a private party for him. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts have prevented this, but sometime in the near future I suspect he'll be calling again.

I guess I'm fortunate. There has never been a time when performing music has been boring. And, while most of my audiences are folks older than 40 years of age, they tend to be the same individuals that spend the entire evening on the dancefloor and having a ball. It has been my experience that audiences under 40 years of age are the ones that spend most of their time sitting in front of a computer or TV screen, and they're the ones going to bed by 10 p.m.. They have to--they're in debt up to their eyebrows, work two jobs, and many are just one paycheck away from being homeless. The older folks have already been there, done that and learned from their experiences--now they just want to have fun and enjoy life.

We all have different preferences and experiences when it comes to music, and nothing is etched in stone.

Cheers,

Gary

------------------
Travlin' Easy
_________________________
PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

K+E=W (Knowledge Plus Experience = Wisdom.)

Top
#159119 - 01/30/07 03:03 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7288
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
I guess the difference, Gary, is what you enjoy...the entertaining of your audience, is what sometimes bores me to death. Depends on the audience. If the material isn't challenging...if the music doesn't stretch my abilities, I want no part of it. I'm aware that this "elitest" attitude
(in some minds) means that I always run the risk of playing myself out of a job. I just have to concentrate on different kinds of jobs. In large part, I play for "me", not "them". Luckily, around here, there are enough of "them" to keep me working as much as I want, with no marketing effort...ever.
In fact, the only time I followed up on a job lead in my life was recently, when I called the developer of a new club to see if I could add Dave Boyd to the bill if I opened his club during grand opening week.

There is no disagreement between you and me because we are looking for different things, and talking about different expectations and outcomes.

I have little interest in playing for a mass audience, which, to me, is the "lowest common denominator" kind of work. I'm not looking down my nose at the music or the people who play it or enjoy...it just isn't anything I'm interested in doing.

I play at the best Italian restaurant here in town....all jazz. I play for a lot of government offices, universities, etc....all
challenging music or I won't do it. And I work at least 4 nights a week in addition to my music score production. I turn down more jobs than I take.

That means that most of my music income comes from film scores and private corporate affairs....lots of horse farms, etc.

Different strokes. I'm not arguing that mine is the right way. It is, however, the way I work and enjoy my involvement in performing live music. I'm glad you enjoy what you do, and I'm sure you're very good at it.

All the best in the future..


Russ

Top
#159120 - 01/30/07 03:09 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Russ I'd love to hear some of your jazz work if possible sometime....can you email me a few tunes?

Top
#159121 - 01/30/07 03:21 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
renig Offline
Member

Registered: 02/20/00
Posts: 643
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by travlin'easy:
And, while most of my audiences are folks older than 40 years of age, they tend to be the same individuals that spend the entire evening on the dancefloor and having a ball. It has been my experience that audiences under 40 years of age are the ones that spend most of their time sitting in front of a computer or TV screen, and they're the ones going to bed by 10 p.m.. They have to--they're in debt up to their eyebrows, work two jobs, and many are just one paycheck away from being homeless. The older folks have already been there, done that and learned from their experiences--now they just want to have fun and enjoy life.


Cheers,

Gary



I don't dispute a word you say there, Gary. It's totally logical, and similar circumstances have been my experience in other places I've lived and worked. I sure as heck would like to know what's going on up here in Deadmonton. Being able and willing to "give 'em what they want" and fill a dancefloor has never been a problem for me - except up here you just don't get enough bodies to do that. Thirty years ago I'd have just uprooted and gone somewhere else, but that's not really an option now. So the battle continues - keep on keepin' on, I guess.

Top
#159122 - 01/30/07 03:26 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7288
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Donny, my recording is all film score music...heavily influenced by jazz, but it is what it is....really not stand alone three minute tunes, but support for story lines and images. I don't have a demo CD (or even a bio or photo, for that matter). I have sent Tony, Nigel and a few others samples, but I have to be careful, because it is all copywritten and the client usually owns the copywrite. I'm working on a rough this week-end and will see if the client will let me let others listen.
Believe it or not, I generally send cassettes, so its not as easy to have a broadcast quality piece out there.I'd lose a client if that happened.

As the writer/producer of the films, the sum is greater than the parts. I would be bored stiff just doing scores, but managing the whole process is rewarding (think $1,000 a finished minute), even if it is done to sell cars, mining equipment, etc.

Really have no interest in recording for recording sake. Not interested in doing a "Russ" album at all. I'm as into film production as music, and this way I get to do both.

I deleted the file on the rough I sent Tony and Nigel...maby one of them can get what I sent them to you, if they kept it. The final product was significantly different (a real B, vibes, real guitar, drums, etc.)than the rough, but would give you a good idea of what "pays the bills" around here.


Russ



[This message has been edited by captain Russ (edited 01-30-2007).]

Top
#159123 - 01/30/07 03:34 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Thanx Russ.....if you do decide one of these days to record a few tunes send them over.

Top
#159124 - 01/30/07 03:52 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14203
Loc: NW Florida
It's funny, but most musicians in this thread, when they talk about working with other musicians, have very little good to say about them, sort of as if, of course, the keyboard player is the only competent musician in the band..... How sad!

Only Russ seems to want to talk about playing with musicians that might, gasp!, be even better than we are. THIS is what makes working with others attractive; the possibility of working with players who might, despite the blasphemy of it, be able to teach US a thing or two....

This points to one of two things - either most of the posters here have never had (or recognized it when it occurred) a player of that caliber, or are frightened by the loss of dominance by not being the alpha male of the pack.

Personally, I recommend it.... just as, when you were starting out you learned most of what you now know from playing with your betters, you will continue to learn and grow by seeking out those who are still a step ahead of you. You ARE willing to admit that such players exist, aren't you?

The truth, scary though it might be to admit, is that perhaps THEY are not interested in playing with YOU, and your pre-canned rhythms...... at least as much as you don't want to work with them!

Let's face it, most of us intelligent enough to figure out the complexities of operating a top-of-the-line arranger, book ourselves, stay focused and entertaining year after year and compete with other forms of entertainment could EASILY make at least as much money, and probably a lot more, in a different career. So, in truth, money isn't really the prime motivating reason for our doing what we do.

Playing MUSIC was what got us into the biz, and hopefully, still is. But the lure of solo pay scales can tempt us away from what made us get into this stupid career in the first place, and all I have to say is..... You don't HAVE to give up playing solo, but your soul will be recharged by involving yourself with musicians that still push and challenge you, and to try to do as much as you can with these caliber players.

If they will play with you.........
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

Top
#159125 - 01/30/07 04:38 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 14376
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
I have to chime in ... first of all, I enjoy playing solo because I am one of the nicest guys I know, and I LOVE being in my company ... BUT, I absolutely LOVED it when I was working with the band in NY ... we started out as 'strangers' who became the BEST of friends over 26 years years together ... talent wise, individually we were not the best, but as a unit we could 'move' and entertain a room with the best of them in the area at the time ... I REALLY miss playing with those guys ... BUT I am not sure we would still be working in today's environment...
Band work HAS changed a LOT over the years ... I think due to the DJ phenomena, today's bands HAVE to sound like the record ... That means you have to have the right mix of female and male voices to do a wide variety of tunes ... so now, especially in the tri-state NY area, the 'wedding' bands that are working are excellent musicians and singers, there are often 8 to 12 of them in a group, and they get BIG money ...
Here is a sample of a group that played for 2 of the weddings in our family during the past 4 years ...
http://www.trtouch.com/samples.php

Take the time to watch the video, especially the 2 female vocalists ...

t.
_________________________
t. cool

Top
#159126 - 01/30/07 05:12 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Diki-

I can only speak for myself, but I disagree with much of your last post.

When I formed my band, it was several years after I had been making my living working strictly as a solo performer. I did so eagerly, wanting to work with other musicians and entertain others as well. The guys I wound up with are all very solid players...for the 3-4 hours we're together a night, they do a great job. Everyone listens, reacts, and has the chops to keep things fresh and interesting.

There have been lots of good times, without question. However, I feed my family of five, cover a fairly large mortgage, college savings, etc...As much as this is about art, its also about business.

Fact of the matter is that while everybody likes playing in a band, the behind the scenes stuff, at least in my band, all rested on my shoulders. At times, I made decisions that I felt were in the best interest of the band for the long term. Sometimes the other band members didn't agree with me, which is fine. I've had musicans say "you can't make us a five piece-you can't cut my money" ("I'm not going to learn any new songs to sing, because I don't get paid enough", etc...)

I fired the guy that made those statements for basically just not being a very nice guy.

A club owner sat me down a few years ago. He explained he'd overheard 2 of my guys talking at the bar about how they were going to demand more money from me, because I worked so much and could afford it. He went on to say that if any of my side men didn't show up, well...people might care a little, but if I didn't show up, well, there wouldn't be a show...

In general, I guess I feel that the guys take what I do for granted. Week after week after week of refusing to rehearse (unless paid), apatheticness toward learning new songs, a lack of effort in helping break the PA down after a gig, etc...All that stuff adds up in frustrations. I make less money any time I work with the band compared to my solo/duo gigs. Combine all those frustrations along with the changing market conditions that I detailed in the original post for this thread, brings me to the place where I am today.

So, everyone goes into these things with the best intentions. But things happen, things change. There's been a LOT of good music, a LOT of very happy dancers and audiences. I appreciate very much the efforts the guys have made. However, at the end of the day, after I've tried to consider everything, its time to wrap it up after this year.

For me, its a 24/7 thing. To continue to be around guys who turn it on once or twice a week, who also often seem to forget who's driving the bus, well...like I said, its time to call it a day.

If they can find another leader who'll send them as much work as I have, then great...if not, well, that's ok, too, I guess...I know I'll be gigging more times in a week than they will in a month.

I'm not trying to make them sound like jerks, because they aren't, not at all. For me, I never feel like anyone's letting me down though when I'm playing solo...I want to learn new tunes, I want to stretch musically and try some things that might be out of my "safe zone", but the guys in the band won't put the work in to make that kind of stuff come together. Plus, with the market conditions, they aren't very motivated to put extra work in anyway. So, I'm all about creating high quality music...its just not like I'm too afraid I'm not good enough or whatever...

------------------
Bill in Dayton

[This message has been edited by Bill in Dayton (edited 01-30-2007).]

[This message has been edited by Bill in Dayton (edited 01-30-2007).]
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#159127 - 01/30/07 05:48 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10606
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Many creative people like to work alone.

Advice to the contrary is quite useless to people who have become comfortable, confident and secure enough with their abilities to play solo.

Obviously they prefer this method.

There are people who cannot grasp this concept....


Ian



------------------
Remember to leave good news alone.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

Top
#159128 - 01/30/07 06:22 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14203
Loc: NW Florida
Quote:
Originally posted by ianmcnll:
Many creative people like to work alone.

Advice to the contrary is quite useless to people who have become comfortable, confident and secure enough with their abilities to play solo.

Obviously they prefer this method.

There are people who cannot grasp this concept....



Let me ask you a question..... IF your bandmates (or partner) did an equal share of the work, IF they had the chops and talent to sing and play at least as well as you, IF they produced as many bookings as you do, IF they owned as much PA as you do, IF you made as much money (or at least close to) with them than without, would you still prefer to play alone?

If so, no problem..... enjoy what you prefer. But in some town there are a few full bands, and many duos, that are doing as many gigs a week as you are. It CAN be done. It IS being done.

So, although the soloists may have become comfortable, confident and secure enough with their abilities to play solo, it doesn't mean that group opportunities don't exist, and to take advantage of them FROM TIME TO TIME can help restore that sense of dialog that is true music-making.

Advice to the contrary of your opinion is only useless to people that refuse to consider alternatives....
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

Top
#159129 - 01/30/07 06:42 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Well Diki...

We can "if" ourselves to death. If everything you suggested was reality, I think I'd certainly be more interested in continuing with the band. But the facts clearly say that's just not the case, so, instead of having band gigs most weekends to look forward to, I'll do more solo or duos.

To suggested that a sense of dialog is needed to truly make music, is IMO, a poor definition of music. There are countless peices of great music that were created for only one player. Further, I'd maintain that quite often the total sound of what I'm putting out is superior to what the band did at times.

Just before Christmas, I asked a pedal steel player to do a duo with me. It was a dance at a VFW near Cincy. The guys in the band, who understand that this venue won't ever be more than a duo, thought I was crazy. An arranger and a pedal steel player?

I knew I was taking a chance, but I'd heard him play, and could tell he had great chops and that he listened to what was happening musically around him with other players. I figured it would work out ok...The guy has done tours with Jerry Lee Lewis, Marty Robbins and others. He's attained a higher professional level than I have, IMO.

It was remarkable...

We talked a bit about what I wanted and by the end of the first set, it sounded like we'd been in rehearsals for a month. The crowd was really complimentary about how the two of us sounded together. I asked him on the ride home if he felt a little odd playing with a arranger player. He said it was one of the most musical nights he'd been a part of in quite a while. It was a kick for me because of the intense listening/reacting that was occuring.

From time to time, when I can use Duos, it'll be fun to work in concert with another player...but make no mistake friend, there just as much music in my solo shows as there is in a Duo or band gig.



------------------
Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#159130 - 01/30/07 07:24 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14203
Loc: NW Florida
I rest my case......

I have never said you HAVE to have a partner to make good music, but a good one can turn a regular gig into something special!
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

Top
#159131 - 01/30/07 07:38 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10606
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Diki,

No matter what the conditions of a group setting, at this point in my life, I would still prefer solo.

I enjoy solitude...it helps me grow, it centers me.

It's no different than a being a painter, a song writer or a novelist.

Everyone has a creative process that works for them...I have found mine, and I am content with it.

It is good to see you so passionate and smart about your ideals, but remember, I am every bit as passionate and smart about mine...just more realistic perhaps, considering the state of the music business, at least in my area.

I always consider alternatives, going solo was the one I chose over the others.

All the best,

Ian


------------------
Remember to leave good news alone.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

Top
#159132 - 01/30/07 09:40 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Caragabal Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/04
Posts: 320
Loc: Hobart Tasmania Australia
Loved this thread although only an onlooker.
Could you tell this Ausie what animal clubs are.

Cousin Ken

Top
#159133 - 01/31/07 12:11 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Nigel Offline
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6483
Loc: Ventura CA USA
This issue is is very relative to the types of gigs and audiences you play to. I think OMB performers can replace bands in certain venues. At others I don't think they can.

I play with a classic rock band to audiences between 25-45. I just can't see a a OMB playing Van Halen, Led Zepplin or Red Hot Chilli Peppers anywhere close to a live rock band.

On the other hand we play some gigs where we are followed by a DJ serving up hiphop to an audience 25 and under. Then we are really out of the picture. The hiphop DJ can pull in a bigger audience at those venues than we do. So it all depends on the type of audience you are playing to.

Top
#159134 - 01/31/07 12:13 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14203
Loc: NW Florida
Ian, I completely understand.....

What I worry about, though, is that there are many here at SZ that don't yet quite 'get' the advantages of playing and growing with other musicians. So many voices extolling the virtues of solo playing, I just feel a counter opinion needs to be offered before everybody fires all their coworkers and goes off to their solo gig!

You are perfectly right, SOME people are happier, and most comfortable on their own. But I wouldn't want to recommend it if alternatives haven't been tried, yet....
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

Top
#159135 - 01/31/07 12:38 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Nigel Offline
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6483
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Diki:
What I worry about, though, is that there are many here at SZ that don't yet quite 'get' the advantages of playing and growing with other musicians.


I understand exactly what you are saying Diki. I really do. I just love playing with other players and always will. I do get a buzz from playing off a band of live musicians. It really is always a blast. That will always be my choice.

But you must understand there are other factors that drive OMB setups. I just love playing with a live band but then I don't have to rely on it as my main source of income ( thank God !!!! ). For musicians who play gigs that are suited to OMB performances then the financial incentives are obvious.

There is a big difference between what you need to do versus what you'd choose to do.

Top
#159136 - 01/31/07 04:32 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
mikeathome1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1208
Loc: Syracuse NY
Quote:
the 'wedding' bands that are working are excellent musicians and singers, there are often 8 to 12 of them in a group, and they get BIG money ...
Here is a sample of a group that played for 2 of the weddings in our family during the past 4 years ...
http://www.trtouch.com/samples.php

Take the time to watch the video, especially the 2 female vocalists ...

t. [/B]


WOW great stuff, great video production, pro all the way. Can you imagine the production cost for this group...transportation, stage hands, set up, sound system, sound engineers.
Guess how much they have to charge just to get to the job, before they even pay a performer.
You won't find these guys at the local animal club.

Caragabal - elks club, moose club etc.
_________________________
qqqwq@hotmail.com

Top
#159137 - 01/31/07 05:16 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 14376
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Quote:
Originally posted by mikeathome1:
WOW great stuff, great video production, pro all the way. Can you imagine the production cost for this group...transportation, stage hands, set up, sound system, sound engineers.
Guess how much they have to charge just to get to the job, before they even pay a performer.
You won't find these guys at the local animal club.
Caragabal - elks club, moose club etc.


Mike ... you are right they are "PRO" all the way ...
they will perform anything from Benatar to Boccelli ... their version of "The Prayer" was outstanding ... The young lady with the straight dark hair has a really good voice and can 'sell' a song ... the first time I heard them they had a female drummer who played great and sang excellent harmony ... And while they don't usually play the 'animal clubs' they do weddings on a regular basis ... mostly 8 to 10 pieces ... and they rock the house from the minute you walk in to the minute you walk out ...
t.
_________________________
t. cool

Top
#159138 - 01/31/07 05:43 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
mikeathome1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1208
Loc: Syracuse NY
They must be expensive,even for a wedding they would certainly be out of my price range.
_________________________
qqqwq@hotmail.com

Top
#159139 - 01/31/07 05:48 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Quote:
Originally posted by mikeathome1:
They must be expensive,even for a wedding they would certainly be out of my price range.


Mike-

From the band's website:

From 6 pieces- 15 pieces. Prices ranging from $5,500 to $12,000, depending on time and day of year. All bookings come with our DJ and Lighting.



------------------
Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#159140 - 01/31/07 06:31 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15563
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Diki,

I believe if you polled the forum members who perform for a living you would find that the vast majority have worked with a large number of excellent musicians and performers. And, I'm equally confident that most thoroughly enjoyed performing with them over the years, especially when they performed with a group of responsible individuals. However, as stated earlier, the payscale has not increased appreciably over the past three decades, therefore in order to make a living in the entertainment biz, at least for most of us, solo is the only avenue of choice.

Cheers,

Gary

------------------
Travlin' Easy
_________________________
PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

K+E=W (Knowledge Plus Experience = Wisdom.)

Top
#159141 - 01/31/07 08:45 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
mikeathome1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1208
Loc: Syracuse NY
Thanks Bill, I didn't explore the website that much.
And ya know what they're probably worth every penny, but where I'm from, 5500 bucks is a down payment on a house.
I know people spend alot on weddings but I'm from a blue collar background, and if I'm gonna hand over that kind of money to one of my kids the least they can do is drive it for a couple of years.

[This message has been edited by mikeathome1 (edited 01-31-2007).]
_________________________
qqqwq@hotmail.com

Top
#159142 - 01/31/07 09:14 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 16735
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Another viewpoint: A lot of what the rich folks are willing to pay is perceived value--"if it costs a whole lot, it MUST be worth it. After all, our friends used this group, and we certainly have as much money as they do."
In reality, wedding receptions usually don't last that long--I know there are exceptions-- and they are more for the family members than for the bride and groom and their contemporaries.
In recent years, though, I have taken advantage of this mentality somewhat and raised my prices considerably. I'm certainly not working any LESS because of it!
I just remember something. About 10 years ago I was asked to go to Dallas and play for a huge wedding reception. The pay was $1000. plus expenses, including motel.
I arrived and there was a huge bandstand with a 12-piece band already set up. They had a smaller one for me. I found out they had hired me to play for an hour before the real" band" started, and then to play during their breaks.
Now the REST of the story. Maybe 80 percent of the audience was older people, 50's and up. The band they hired was wonderful, and played a large variety, very professional, BUT they didn't know anything country. Now, this is Dallas, Texas, friends. To a lot of folks there are the two basic kinds of music, Country, and Western. By the end of the evening, the "Band" was taking 30-minute breaks, and I was playing equal time. In addition to my promised pay, I got a $300. tip for all my "extra work". Still probably only a fraction of what they paid the band.
Just more of my rambling!
DonM
_________________________
DonM

Top
#159143 - 01/31/07 09:16 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 14376
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
I hear ya, Mike ... bands like TR Touch are just reaping some of the benefits of the over the top "excess is best" NY area mentality ...
t.
_________________________
t. cool

Top
#159144 - 01/31/07 09:48 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7288
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Diki, well articulated, again. Nigel, also good points. One thing I forgot is personal preferences. At my stage in life, I can pretty much do whatever I want, and, luckily, get paid for it. Couldn't do that years ago raising kids. The mix of playing what sells and what a person is comfortable with is pretty tricky, sometimes. When players of equal ability "click", it's a rare, wonderful
thing.

However it happens, let's all "keep on keepin' on"!

Regards,


Russ

[This message has been edited by captain Russ (edited 01-31-2007).]

Top
#159145 - 01/31/07 09:55 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
mikeathome1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1208
Loc: Syracuse NY
And now with divorce rates over 50% sometimes the longest part of the marriage is the payments for the wedding.
_________________________
qqqwq@hotmail.com

Top
#159146 - 01/31/07 10:03 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 16735
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
I have a son getting married in July. It is REALLY going to be difficult for me to pay somebody else to play at the reception!!!
DonM
_________________________
DonM

Top
#159147 - 01/31/07 10:12 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Tom Cavanaugh Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/06/99
Posts: 2133
Loc: Muskegon, MI
I still enjoy both band and solo work. A few members here have the big band cd our band made. We have some excellent players in our band. It is fun to be playing with other good musicians when you have a groove going. It is also fun to play as a solo. I don't view being a musician as an either or proposition.

Tom
_________________________
Thanks,

Tom

Top
#159148 - 01/31/07 10:51 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 14376
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Quote:
Originally posted by DonM:
I have a son getting married in July. It is REALLY going to be difficult for me to pay somebody else to play at the reception!!!
DonM


Don ... As father of the groom all you have to do is smile and make sure everyone has a drink ... You'll have PLENTY of time to play ...
When our son got married they had a band similar to the one I posted the link to, but not as expensive ...
When our daughter got married, I couldn't talk them out of a DJ, but fortunately the band I played with in NY were all guests, and once my 'father of the bride' duties were over, we rocked the joint for a while ...
t.
_________________________
t. cool

Top
#159149 - 01/31/07 11:41 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7288
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Good point, Tom. To be well rounded and to work more, it's good to be able to do both.

I have a little week-end job at an "Asian Grease-pit", as Dave called it, which I do as a single. I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the staff and customers (except for the recent interruption of the "Philly Flash"). After that, I go to what I call a "snoot" club...full of people who think they're richer, prettier and smarter than they really are. Because of the atmosphere, these dummies are intimidated into acting like they understand and appreciate jazz...NOT!

Oh well, the check still clears on Monday!


Russ

Top
#159150 - 01/31/07 11:48 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7288
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
"Ain't this GREAT"? Almost 70 posts and radically different beliefs on the subject, without rudeness..."I'm right...you're wrong", etc.

Every post was done in the spirit of sharing experience and beliefs...a valuable exchange which speaks well for this group.

I appreciate it, everyone!

Russ

Top
#159151 - 01/31/07 11:52 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Probably the most fruitful thread I've ever started, lol...

------------------
Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#159152 - 01/31/07 11:57 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 14376
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Quote:
Originally posted by captain Russ:
After that, I go to what I call a "snoot" club...full of people who think they're richer, prettier and smarter than they really are. Because of the atmosphere, these dummies are intimidated into acting like they understand and appreciate jazz...NOT!
Oh well, the check still clears on Monday!
Russ


.... careful, Russ ... this is a PUBLIC forum !!! ...

t.
_________________________
t. cool

Top
#159153 - 01/31/07 11:59 AM Re: Moving away from band work...
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 14376
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Quote:
Originally posted by captain Russ:
"Ain't this GREAT"? Almost 70 posts and radically different beliefs on the subject, without rudeness..."I'm right...you're wrong", etc.
Every post was done in the spirit of sharing experience and beliefs...a valuable exchange which speaks well for this group.
I appreciate it, everyone!
Russ


..... yes, I would say it was appreciated by all ...
t.
_________________________
t. cool

Top
#159154 - 01/31/07 02:12 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14203
Loc: NW Florida
There are musicians from ALL musical and professional walks of life here at SZ, it is fairly unique amongst music forums that tend to dismiss beginners and amateurs.

I think it is important to have ALL viewpoints represented, and advice, when offered, to be qualified with knowledge that what works for one, may not be for all.....

Our membership here runs from writers of film scores, that rarely gig live, to weekenders that just play retirement communities, to full-time pros that perform almost every night (or day!), to people that have just bought an arranger as their first instrument ever.

Skill levels vary from guys that have performed and recorded with major artists (although almost definitely NOT on an arranger!) to beginners that still haven't quite got the I IV V thing down....

As such, all should be careful reading and taking advice from ANYONE here (myself especially!) until they are sure their experience level and goals are similar to the offerer of that advice!

Perhaps, as pianists initially, many of us are used to playing by ourselves, it's the way we were taught. Drummers, bassists, horn players, all these other instruments tend to be taught in an ensemble, and solo work seems unnatural to them. Only us and guitarists find it easy to go it alone.

But it is all too easy to take someone's advice and stick to going solo, and thus miss out on the advantages that learning and growing musically with the help of others can bring.

Sure, after you have played the first few years of your professional life in bands, you probably have sufficient chops and skill and knowledge to be able to perform with an arranger with no further input from others, but if you never go through this process (as it is possible to believe, from some posters here), there are a lot of skills you will miss out on.

I just believe that at least a certain amount of group playing is the finishing school of a musician's education, and would discourage anyone who has not at least tried live playing for a while from going solo immediately.

[This message has been edited by Diki (edited 01-31-2007).]
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

Top
#159155 - 01/31/07 03:15 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10606
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by Diki:
I just believe that at least a certain amount of group playing is the finishing school of a musician's education, and would discourage anyone who has not at least tried live playing for a while from going solo immediately.

[This message has been edited by Diki (edited 01-31-2007).]


Good point, Diki...I agree wholeheartedly.

Ian



------------------
Remember to leave good news alone.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

Top
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >

Moderator:  Admin, Diki, Kerry 



Help keep Synth Zone Online