• The journey from Playing for fun/practice to paid gig/exposer
  • Started by Travelling Souls
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Hi, i'm new here, so i'm just going to dive right in with what I am going through right now.
My album is due to be released this August, it includes 6 years of work, writing, practicing, recording endless demos, studying, going to open mics to "test" the songs live, choosing from over 100 songs the best ones, then investing in studio and physical production of the cd's. All this work and money invested, yet I still question myself when it comes to ask for money for my craft.   
Last night my band and I played a free gig in a London restaurant, the promoter didn't even advertise, no welcome at the door, inexperienced sound man. with travel and having to pay for our food (the drinks where free but i'm a professional and don't drink when I work) the time spent all this means I need to pay to play. The gig went well, it was fun and I tend to make the most out of any situation maybe a new fan or two, a live situation is good practice and it made me happy and confident. but mostly it made me think that I should get paid for my work.
The change is in my hands and in my mind. I need to make music a viable life choice to keep going. 
wish me luck.
would love to hear your thoughts on this matter, tips, advice, ect. 
www.travellingsouls.co.uk


  • LePlongeur
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Hi Tamar
Itís true, we need to change our heads. Our ideas about all this.
And I think we should take a 180 degrees turn in this.

My dentist and I get along fine. Het expects to get paid (by me) for all his know how.
When there is a special reason, I donít have to pay.
But the default is simple: the minute I open my mouth, I pay.

I hope I get this across the stage lighting, because the language gets in the way now and then.

The normal situation is that you get paid, unless a friend gets married.

So, although I canít help you in the practical sense, I can surely tell you that I think itís a brave and sensible thing to do. You wised up earlier than I did.

And next time the pub owner wants you to pay for free, please ask him about the baker. Because the baker, the neighborhood super, every one expects to be paid and I really canít see why you are going to have to be the one who doesnít get paid.

Cheers to you! Fair trade includes not only banana growers in Timbuktu, itís about musicians as well.
Kind regards, Gus


  • MrBouzouki
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A consensus I see regularly nowadays is that there is no money to be made in music because EVERYBODY wants it for free.
The pub or bar want it for free, promoters of festivals want it for free, or nearly free and the punters definitely want it for free.

I guess part of the problem today is that there is just so much music that can be consumed and in multiple ways compared to say 20-30 years ago.

In some ways it's a bit easier if you are doing music in a niche genre as the field you are part of is smaller. Having said that the crowds and potential listeners are too.

Nowadays, I think my musicians, songwriters etc. have a musically related 'second income stream' like teaching. a YouTube channel, lyric writing for other artists, product promotion etc.

It's a hard road and just like the past, it's often being in the 'right place at the right time', seeing an opportunity and taking a step into the unknown.

I was watching a video by a guy recently called Geoff Manchester who was talking about making Money out of Composing music but some of the his thoughts / advice/ ideas might be relevant to you.



Good Luck :-)
 
"Love and Life is all about connections"


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Hey Tamar......Music is a tough business. In order to make money at gigs you need to be bringing in paying customers to the establishment. If they are making more money due to your presence then they will feel good about paying you. That might mean working for very little for a while to build up a following. Even a few free gigs might be ok as you get yourselves known.

But I think that with music you must always be doing it for the enjoyment and satisfaction of the experience. It's going to be difficult to make a real living at this. I would never want my music to be a chore. I played out a lot in my younger years. We didn't get paid much but it was enough to just barely get by and I never found myself dreading the gigs.....it never felt like work.

As I got older my music remained a crucial part of my life. Even as I found other ways to make a living, I was always glad for those live music years. Throw yourself into this endeavor but be sure to remain true to your music.

 8)
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

Lenny's Tunes: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=540680

https://soundcloud.com/vincentgleason


Hello @Travelling Souls !  Tamar,
Welcome to the kitchen! Congratulations for taking that step in your music career and I wish you the best of luck.
This is a very deep topic for the "me" board and although I have many thoughts about this from many different angles .... at this point I'd rather simply welcome you to a most wonderful, magical and silly place on the internet where we have fun talking about music writing stuff! :)
@Dutchbeat , @Mar T. , @Mark Luto , @CrystalSuzy , @Zedd  and (of course you have met) @Leonard Scaper  - the kitchen staff - are great people!
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


Hi and welcome @Travelling Souls   I have to say I know nothing about making a living through music, but I had an accounting business until I retired and sold it, so I can safely say I know a little about business in general.

In America a person can get a tax id a business license keep good records and even if you have losses (most do the first few years) you can take the loss against other non biz income.

My brother in law played in a band many years (he's retired) and had a good side income. They refused to play bars because they were notoriously hard to get paid.

You might have already considered other revenue streams, such as setting up a table at your gigs for selling CDs, Tee Shirts etc. Price them correctly or you could sell yourself right into the poor house :) It's also a chance to schmooze with your fans - autograph your Cds' build an online following of loyal people.

Anyway just some thoughts. Some people would call selling Tee Shirts etc. selling out.

Best wishes,

Vince

   


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« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 22:06:53 by LePlongeur »
I wondered if I could add this in my earlier post, decided against it and deleted it.
Now I wonder if that was the correct decision.

Before 1967 in Amsterdam, the only places where you could gig where (social) community houses. Capacity 50, and if you brought in 80, you were immediately booked for the next month.

After the brewer was paid, the guy running the house etc., the money was vanished and the band left empty handed.

Around that time there were two houses/stages founded in Amsterdam.
One, stemming from the squatters, which eventually became Paradiso.
Capacity 1.000 people, in the beginning only open on saturdays.
And one, stemming from social community houses, called Fantasio.
Capacity 400 people.
I had something to do with the founding of the two.

A lot is published lately, since it is exactly 50 years ago that that started.
The journalists who are badly informed got paid for their ill informed pieces. I didnít.
I donít mind, because I donít need it.

So, my advice would be to tap into the somewhat larger podia and get billed there. The financial structure is a whole lot more solid than it is in a pub. There theyíll expect you to shut up for fear of not being hired again.

Itís no rocket science that all the contacts I had then, seem to have disappeared. So in that aspect youíre on your own.

I wonít tell you I wish you and yours the best of...., because you already know.
Keep the faith (and the patience) seems key here.
Kind regards, Gus


Thanks Gus, Bill ,MrBouzouky And Vince, have spent the day researching my options will let you know about my progress.

 


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A consensus I see regularly nowadays is that there is no money to be made in music because EVERYBODY wants it for free.


Well @MrBouzouki , I agree with you, in respect of all of us at the bottom of the food-chain - and those too some degrees above. But Adele still made £42 million from her tour last year. Even Rita Ora has cleared £16 million in career earnings. Little Mix, who I narrowly missed joining, are worth £10 mill each.  ;) So keep writing those killer compositions mate and the Freedom of Sheffield will one day be yours!  ;D  ;D  ;D
If you like novels with a musical theme, why not try 'Sixth Beatle - When Music Changed The World', easily found on Amazon and Google. It is amazing, although as the author I may be biased!


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Ha @MichaelA - what I actually would like is not money, fame or power, just for people to listen and think "I quite like that bit of music - it means something to me"  ;D ;D ;D


Fame and power is not at all what i'm talking about, I love music and its all I eat drink and sleep (too much really) we need good music!! I am very lucky to have the support I have from my family and friends. I left my "safe job" to follow my heart, not everyone was happy about this choice, but I already received so much from my dream hunting experience and dream to inspire others to do so too. Now I have a band with me,  spending time and money to take part in my madness I feel I have a responsibility to take it to the next level or at least keep it in mind and take action. I got a call form a promoter today fingers crossed for Travelling Souls first paid gig. cheers to all the great responses you guys are great.. ::e-guitar3::  xxx


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Hey @Travelling Souls - I'm sure everybody who is a member here, from newbie to experienced, know what you are on about.

We all follow the 'same piper' and music means more for us than many other people in the world. The act of creating is a powerful aphrodisiac for an artist.

Keep us informed how you get on with your dream. It takes guts to step out of the normal into a different world. I wonder if you would always have regretted it if you hadn't made that step ?

 ::OSMAN:: ::OSMAN:: ::OSMAN::


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A quote from @MrBouzouki
A consensus I see regularly nowadays is that there is no money to be made in music because EVERYBODY wants it for free.
The pub or bar want it for free, promoters of festivals want it for free, or nearly free and the punters definitely want it for free. End of quote. Thank you MrB.

I too stupid to bend the zeros and ones to my will. But this is what it amounts up to.

I was a dead head for a very short period. Hence my interest in the Grateful Dead and their activities (and technology) in that period.
Being fucked over for so many times by bona fide organizers, like Woodstock, like Holland Pop Festival, more and more bands started giving free concerts. Knowing that they wouldnít be paid anyway. So why bother. Letís get our funding from elsewhere.

Listen what Pete Townsend (The Who) has to say about this. He is practically foaming at the mouth when he starts on this topic. There is footage regarding the Grateful Dead, where the major of some town or other demands that the dead are going to play for free. He doesnít negotiate, her doesnít ask or anything, he demands. While he was paid his normal salary demanding others/the Dead donít bill.

I feel that there is a sort of history repeating. There are so many bands doing YouTube flics, depending on income from advertisements, while at the same time almost shouting that itís free, that more and more people are beginning to believe that free is the case.

Being creative sometimes is the enemy of integrity.
And @Travelling Souls , Tamar I donít know you well enough to make a good distinction where one ends and the other begins for you.

Weíll be in touch after you did your Ďthingí with the release of your album. Donít let yourself be distracted from all the happy and fulfilling vibes that go with living up to that moment or period.
You are (hopefully) going to let me know (are going to let me no, say the Apple mafia) when this storm quiets down a bit, weíll talk further. And you get room in your head for these practical things.

The kick from
A period you imagined and invested in for years is (if it were up to me) not to be sacrificed for musings over funding etc. I know you gotta eat, but....
You know when we leave for a relatively short period this time, so you know when weíll be back.

Letís be creative. My promise to you.
But first! Letís celebrate the release of your album!!!
All Kitcheners are invited to order a copy.
Or two.
Or three.
Or.....
Not bad for dyscalculie (one who cannot count), thatís me.
Kind regards, Gus


Re: The journey from Playing for fun/practice to paid gig/exposer
Reply #13 on: September 04, 2018, 23:12:09
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 23:15:19 by realkevm »
Hi Travelling Souls, welcome to the forum.
Congratulations on finishing your album and good luck with it.
Until you guys get a reputation and or following I imagine what you experienced will be the case.  I do solo spots and been paid once (£5!) but i'm not expecting payment as I think of these as opportunities to be heard and to practice my craft. In my area there are people with a following and they do paid gigs. A lot of advertising unfortunately falls on the artists, I plug the shit out of my shows on social media. How is your guys social media, are you's active and engaging? You've got a great website, very fun and eye catching design. I would suggest having your music on the home page though, maybe embed a soundcloud track or a youtube video?



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