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  1. #1
    Dutchbopper Guest

    Paying for a gig ... a new trend?

    I only do a few gigs every year. The reason is simple. There are no paid gigs for the kind of stuff I play (mainstream and bebop). Nobody over here in the Netherlands can survive playing jazz, not even the name players. They all teach on the side. Amateur jazz combos mostly play for nothing, ruining the market further. I don't blame them. The alternative is NOT playing out ever. Sure there are a few corporate gig possibilities (wallpaper gigs I call them, I find them utterly boring) but even these do not amount to much money wise. A plumber will invariably make more in the same time.

    So money wise, jazz is not relevant. You'd be lucky to find a non paying gigging opportunity. Still, this week ago I was confronted with a trend that even lowers the bar further. I play in the combo of a jazz vocal group (8 singers, think New York Voices, Manhattan Transfer etc.). Some venues that we approach actually want us to PAY for a gig if the revenues are below the break even point (booze and bar personnel). To minimalise the risk of losing money they simply demand the band pay for any deficiency in revenues.

    Heck, that's new to me. I told the band leader not on my turf. The situation is bad enough as it is. I hate playing for free. But paying for as gig? Haha ... I'll stay home.

    Is this a new trend?

    DB

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  3. #2
    "Pay to play" has definitely been a thing on this side of the pond for quite a while. I think it's disgusting.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  4. #3
    Heck, we were doing "pay to play" back in the late 80's-early 90s. Then live music in general took a nosedive, alot of clubs even closed. I have no idea how it works these days, because I haven't played out in quite awhile, but I have a friend who opened for a national act, and he had to "sell x number of tickets"- meaning, if he didn't sell them, HE had to pay for them. That's pay-to-play. So I guess in at least some instances, it still happens.

  5. #4
    Pay to play gigs in Toronto have been common for a long while. Luckily, Toronto has a large corporate base which supplies musicians with many higher paying opportunities. There are also cocktail parties/weddings which provide higher paying opportunities. These are the type of gigs that many musicians find boring, however they do offer opportunities for you play and be paid. That being said, you still need to supplement your income with a day job. The average house in Toronto sells for about 1 million dollars (that's a lot of cocktail parties). I refuse to pay to play, and I also do a very limited number of commission gigs (that is where you get paid a percentage of the bars intake while you are performing). I play a couple of weekly gigs (paying) and focus my energies on weddings (I do about 50 a year) and corporate events ( I do about 35 a year). This does not equate to a salary that is sufficient enough to live in a million dollar house.


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  6. #5
    When we moved to New England in 1977 rock bands were paying to play in Boston.

    Danny W.

  7. #6
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    There are two clubs in Warsaw.
    If you want to play on jam session you have to pay about $3.
    but I never heared about paying for playing gig.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    There are two clubs in Warsaw.
    If you want to play on jam session you have to pay about $3.
    but I never heared about paying for playing gig.
    Wow... that's the opposite of the US. We have "open mic nights" that have no cover charge, you get up and play whatever you want. You don't pay, you don't get paid. It's free music (altho in some cases you couldn't use the adjective "good" LOL) for the club owner, he still sells drinks on an off night, and musicians who couldn't otherwise perform in public, get to.

  9. #8
    Yeah, the pay to play scheme I've seen here for at least 20 years (and I'm sure it's been around longer) is the "Get a book of tickets, sell 'em all, you keep a cut." But people rarely "sell 'em all."

    I've been in bands that did the DIY punk aesthetic thing...rent a VFW hall, sell your own tickets, take your own risk...we always made money, which we blew on beer. Man, I don't miss being in rock bands.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  10. #9
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    We have one very good paying regular gig, but most paying places want to pay a very low amount. We just skip those "opportunities". It's not worth it to me. The rest only hire a solo person doing a lot of Billy Joel type stuff or just have an open mic.

    We used to have a weekly commission based gig, taking a percentage of the nights total sales. Sometimes those nights would be a big windfall, but others they would be a wash, maybe making more in tips than in our cut from the club.

    I haven't heard of any pay to play around here.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
    Wow... that's the opposite of the US. We have "open mic nights" that have no cover charge, you get up and play whatever you want. You don't pay, you don't get paid. It's free music (altho in some cases you couldn't use the adjective "good" LOL) for the club owner, he still sells drinks on an off night, and musicians who couldn't otherwise perform in public, get to.
    That's true. At least we still have our open mics here in the US. The music that can pay the most is old school R&B but that's generally covered by corporate Top 40 bands doing private functions.

  12. #11
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    The bad economy and cities looking for every dollar they can isn't helping. Lots of small bars and restaurants that had live music on weekend had to stop because cities started making restaurants get cabaret license for clearing a couple tables and having a band. Then ASCAP and BMI going after anyone with a band or even playing a CD or radio to pay royalty flat fee, so not only live music is disappearing so is even playing recorded music in restaurants, clothing stores, all over. Music scene is turning into internet and big clubs.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    "Pay to play" has definitely been a thing on this side of the pond for quite a while. I think it's disgusting.
    Worse, it's degrading.

    There was a pub down south that put on acts every weekend, very well attended. The acts (I knew them) were paid but, at the end of the evening, the landlord produced a hat and asked everyone to stick in something for the band. It looked pretty brazen, and it was.

    Everyone I knew immediately thought 'Huh, you admit you're not paying them enough, then!'. The point was by that time they were a kind of captive audience, and a bit sloshed, and it played on their feelings not to look mean.

    I used to play there before they started all that but, if I had been, I'd have asked him not to do it.

  14. #13
    Sorry, that story hasn't got much to do with pay-to-play gigs. I don't know about things in the States but would they let you ask for contributions at the end?

    On the grounds you're all starving, naturally... make the proprietors look guilty :-)

  15. #14
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    Wow! What stories.

    If I have to pay to play a gig, then that would be very disconcerting. But if there is truly no audience for a type of music, as we know full well in certain areas this is the case, then the only other alternative is to rent a venue and put on a show yourself.

    This would be an even worse option, since now you have the expense of renting a venue and all of the other costs.

    I guess that if there is no demand for the music, then the only option is to rent a venue or partner with someone that owns a venue, assuming some of the expense and risk.

    "Times, they are a-changin'....," as Dylan pointed out...

  16. #15
    Are these still happening? Showcase gigs. Apparently so. I used to hear about them in the 80s and 90s.

    pay-to-play showcase | So You Wanna be a Rockstar?
    Last edited by mrcee; 06-09-2017 at 02:56 PM.

  17. #16
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    Paying for a gig ... a new trend?

    You have to see it from the venues side as well. These guys aren't raking it in. The showcase thing is a racket tho. I don't do those and neither do any jazz guys I know.

    Anyway I think the scene is a bit better in London. That's why everyone from Europe comes here I guess.

    I will take any gig that's offered to me that I think sounds interesting regardless of pay and so on, provided it wasn't on a fri sat or sun. I wouldn't pay to play.

    I have trouble asking any of my bands to work for free though.

    But yeah the money can be very poor. One possible solution for a band leader is to take the money from functions and sink it into a communal pot that subsidises the badly paid gigs.

    Finally jazz musicians do better than rock/pop etc bands playing originals where I am. Even signed bands. We get paid at all.
    Last edited by christianm77; 06-09-2017 at 04:11 PM.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Wow! What stories.

    If I have to pay to play a gig, then that would be very disconcerting. But if there is truly no audience for a type of music, as we know full well in certain areas this is the case, then the only other alternative is to rent a venue and put on a show yourself.

    This would be an even worse option, since now you have the expense of renting a venue and all of the other costs.

    I guess that if there is no demand for the music, then the only option is to rent a venue or partner with someone that owns a venue, assuming some of the expense and risk.

    "Times, they are a-changin'....," as Dylan pointed out...
    I rather go to a Home concert. Some people will get good local talent, occasional name artist and have a concert in their house, barn or ???. They just advertise locally a lot of word-of-mouth, so low cost to put on. Artist say the audiences are typically great because they are people really in to the music. Many artists don't charge much to do these because they fit them into off days on their schedule.

    Anther thing I used to see was musicians would play some cocktail Jazz for an Art Gallery opening in trade to use the Art Gallery one night for a small concert. A win-win for both especially since the art gallery crowd tend to be the types to throw parties and want some live music.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper View Post
    I only do a few gigs every year. The reason is simple. There are no paid gigs for the kind of stuff I play (mainstream and bebop). Nobody over here in the Netherlands can survive playing jazz, not even the name players. They all teach on the side. Amateur jazz combos mostly play for nothing, ruining the market further. I don't blame them. The alternative is NOT playing out ever. Sure there are a few corporate gig possibilities (wallpaper gigs I call them, I find them utterly boring) but even these do not amount to much money wise. A plumber will invariably make more in the same time.

    So money wise, jazz is not relevant. You'd be lucky to find a non paying gigging opportunity. Still, this week ago I was confronted with a trend that even lowers the bar further. I play in the combo of a jazz vocal group (8 singers, think New York Voices, Manhattan Transfer etc.). Some venues that we approach actually want us to PAY for a gig if the revenues are below the break even point (booze and bar personnel). To minimalise the risk of losing money they simply demand the band pay for any deficiency in revenues.

    Heck, that's new to me. I told the band leader not on my turf. The situation is bad enough as it is. I hate playing for free. But paying for as gig? Haha ... I'll stay home.

    Is this a new trend?

    DB
    You ALWAYS pay one way or another.

    Er, um, WAIT A MINUTE. I was thinking of WOMEN...

    Say hi to my Hague boys if you see 'em (Juraj, Vincent, Danny Nicholas, Peter Crazy Man Beets, and especially Anette Von Eichel. She lives in Cologne now but still gives classes at the Royal Conserv. Great lady).

    Good to hear from you, too, Dick. Keeps those videos comin'...

  20. #19
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    The audience for jazz is tiny. Local musicians around here make little or nothing on gigs, and at least one well-known local venue with frequent national acts pretty much expects the local musicians to spend what they get paid at the bar. If you don't, you don't get another gig there unless you drew really well.

    The national acts at that venue cost the customers $25-50 per set, occasinally more (Pat Metheny was about $100 a ticket a year or two go). Those national-class musicians that I have talked to seemed pretty satisfied with their cut there, and schedule it as a destination gig. So it's good they make some money at it.

    The funny thing is that the local jazz festival draws thousands of people each night for several evenings, but those folks never seem to come out to clubs to hear jazz. So it looks like there is a market for festival jazz but not for gigging jazz.

    My band is frankly not IMHO good enough to charge people to listen to us, although a couple of us would like to gig a lot. One of us (at 60) still has dreams of making it big in music and playing, as he puts it, bigger stages with bigger audiences. Good luck to him- he's talented and maybe can make that work. I'm not likely to progress much beyond the intermediate stage of development and would be fine never gigging at all, as I generally find the audience a hindrance to the experience of playing jazz; I much prefer rehearsals to gigs. Part of it is that most of the audience often can't hear- they applaud mediocre rote solos and don't repond to good, passionate and inventive solos. We have a standing coffee house gig once a month for tips, which is enough for me.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  21. #20

    It comes down to how much do you want to play what you want to play

    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    The audience for jazz is tiny. Local musicians around here make little or nothing on gigs, and at least one well-known local venue with frequent national acts pretty much expects the local musicians to spend what they get paid at the bar. If you don't, you don't get another gig there unless you drew really well.

    The national acts at that venue cost the customers $25-50 per set, occasinally more (Pat Metheny was about $100 a ticket a year or two go). Those national-class musicians that I have talked to seemed pretty satisfied with their cut there, and schedule it as a destination gig. So it's good they make some money at it.

    The funny thing is that the local jazz festival draws thousands of people each night for several evenings, but those folks never seem to come out to clubs to hear jazz. So it looks like there is a market for festival jazz but not for gigging jazz.

    My band is frankly not IMHO good enough to charge people to listen to us, although a couple of us would like to gig a lot. One of us (at 60) still has dreams of making it big in music and playing, as he puts it, bigger stages with bigger audiences. Good luck to him- he's talented and maybe can make that work. I'm not likely to progress much beyond the intermediate stage of development and would be fine never gigging at all, as I generally find the audience a hindrance to the experience of playing jazz; I much prefer rehearsals to gigs. Part of it is that most of the audience often can't hear- they applaud mediocre rote solos and don't repond to good, passionate and inventive solos. We have a standing coffee house gig once a month for tips, which is enough for me.
    It comes down to how much do you want to play what you want to play. As I stated earlier in this thread, I play a lot. About 4 or 5 a week. My work is primarily Corporate events and cocktail parties. I am not playing innovative stuff. Just standards. Nothing original. A lot of "Night and Day", "The Girl from Ipanema", "It's only a paper moon" type stuff. These gigs are unlike club dates. People hear you but they are not "listening". No one goes to a wedding to check out the band performing the cocktail hour. However the payout comes in the form of money and more gigs. These "suit and tie" gigs pay anywhere from $150 to $250 per player.

    It comes down to how much do you want to play what you want to play.

  22. #21
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    It can be similar in amateur dentistry, sometimes you have to offer free anesthesia and $10 a tooth just to get to try out your new drill or pliers.

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    It can be similar in amateur dentistry, sometimes you have to offer free anesthesia and $10 a tooth just to get to try out your new drill or pliers.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    But yeah the money can be very poor. One possible solution for a band leader is to take the money from functions and sink it into a communal pot that subsidises the badly paid gigs.
    one thing that surprised me reading Gary Burton's biography is when he tells Pat Metheny the equivalent of "duh, of course you're going to lose money your first few years as a bandleader. you have to pay everyone and you're not always gonna get paid well (or at all) for every gig".

    I was surprised that was the case even then, and even for people like Gary. From everything I've read about Pat's career, his band lived hand to mouth a long time before they made any money.

    for what it's worth, if I'm leading a gig, I pay people out of pocket if the gig doesn't pay and hire the best players. If I don't feel like doing this, I just don't take the gig.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald View Post
    one thing that surprised me reading Gary Burton's biography is when he tells Pat Metheny the equivalent of "duh, of course you're going to lose money your first few years as a bandleader. you have to pay everyone and you're not always gonna get paid well (or at all) for every gig".

    I was surprised that was the case even then, and even for people like Gary. From everything I've read about Pat's career, his band lived hand to mouth a long time before they made any money.

    for what it's worth, if I'm leading a gig, I pay people out of pocket if the gig doesn't pay and hire the best players. If I don't feel like doing this, I just don't take the gig.
    Well... That doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Good story. I'm doing quite well then haha... (Although making and releasing a record will more than eat any profits from my bands gigs.)

  26. #25
    I haven't heard of pay to play around here (sf bay area), but I have certainly heard of leaders taking risks and losing money. One friend who leads a quintet recently filled a local club and was happy to break even.

    a couple of years ago I heard of a trio with a recent grammy award still taking $100 gigs.

    I produced a benefit concert a couple of years ago where I had to guarantee the food service people a minimum sales figure, $300. Meaning, if they grossed $200, I had to pay $100. as it turned out, they were way over.

    I play twice a month with an octet at a large local restaurant for food and tips. no big deal for me, since I have a day gig, but there are some top (in our area) working pros in that band.

    another top local player put out a very well produced album ... I asked if it made any money. the response was bitter laughter.

  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper View Post
    I only do a few gigs every year. The reason is simple. There are no paid gigs for the kind of stuff I play (mainstream and bebop). Nobody over here in the Netherlands can survive playing jazz, not even the name players. They all teach on the side. Amateur jazz combos mostly play for nothing, ruining the market further. I don't blame them. The alternative is NOT playing out ever. Sure there are a few corporate gig possibilities (wallpaper gigs I call them, I find them utterly boring) but even these do not amount to much money wise. A plumber will invariably make more in the same time.

    So money wise, jazz is not relevant. You'd be lucky to find a non paying gigging opportunity. Still, this week ago I was confronted with a trend that even lowers the bar further. I play in the combo of a jazz vocal group (8 singers, think New York Voices, Manhattan Transfer etc.). Some venues that we approach actually want us to PAY for a gig if the revenues are below the break even point (booze and bar personnel). To minimalise the risk of losing money they simply demand the band pay for any deficiency in revenues.

    Heck, that's new to me. I told the band leader not on my turf. The situation is bad enough as it is. I hate playing for free. But paying for as gig? Haha ... I'll stay home.

    Is this a new trend?

    DB
    As someone who gigged in SoCal in the 80s, Pay-to-play is a particular bugbear of mine. As of 2011 it still had club-owners thinking it could work -- I've walked miles stapling leaflets to telephone poles trying to get attendance to cover those fees ...

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Sorry, that story hasn't got much to do with pay-to-play gigs. I don't know about things in the States but would they let you ask for contributions at the end?

    On the grounds you're all starving, naturally... make the proprietors look guilty :-)
    We always stuck a tip-jar out in front of the stage, ptp or no. "Gravy", we called it. Bastard club-owners couldn't account for it against our take.

  29. #28
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    That's where I draw the line. I'm only now just starting to introduce standards into my repertoire, so I can't comment much on the jazz side. I can say it's much harder to get the exact same dollars today than it was 20 years ago when I wasn't as good of a performer. I have one venue where I do a solo show and do it for dinner and drinks, because I like the owner and the place isn't big enough for her to get enough people in to recoup what I would normally get. Since I want to gig for the rest of my life, I can envison playing for only dinner and drinks in the future, but I won't pay. I'd rather be a busker.

  30. #29
    It continues to amaze me that some top players in my area, in between the name-gigs, will play for dinner and a pittance in tips. And, lots of great players play weekly rehearsal bands.

  31. #30
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    I haven't heard of outright pay-to-play in my area, but there's the "exposure" justification for NO pay. It's common among visual artists around here, too- worse, actually, artists often have to pay to be entered in shows, gallery sit, and of course, provide wine & cheese for openings.
    There's a lot of open mics and First Friday-type events where local amateurs play for free.
    Among my friends who do paying gigs, I hear stories of last minute cancellations or being stiffed because of a small crowd. Solo acts seem to get more work.

    It seems like the only people making much money performing are doing "society" gigs, or "name" acts at places with a cover or selling tickets.

  32. #31
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    Change photographer to musician

    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  33. #32
    Pay-to-play started in rock music. The first I heard of it was the 80's but I guess it goes back to the 70's.

  34. #33
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    I was a photographer when the medium went from film and chemistry to digital and computers....and internet...the same thing that killed music as a career also killed photography.

  35. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    I was a photographer when the medium went from film and chemistry to digital and computers....and internet...the same thing that killed music as a career also killed photography.
    The digital world brought some great things, but it also has a horrible effect on people too. People who would never steal as much as a pencil have no qualms stealing music, movies, books, software, if it's digital they will steal it. Then the telephone started the world of the 800 pound gorilla internet has wimps everywhere trolling for attention.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  36. #35

    Player Desperation

    The city I now live in has a "band(it) director" that runs 3 or 4 18 piece big bands around the area. To play in any of them, you have to pay a $30 "initiation" fee, then pony up $25 a month to him to stay in. You then work all gigs for free and he pockets any proceeds. Pathetic, IMO.
    "Jus' press." - Raymond Kane

  37. #36
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    And people are paying him? That's up to $1800/month just from the dues. Not a princely living, but not bad as a sideline. Hard to say what he makes off the gigs, but it might add up to a princely living, dunno. I'd pass.

  38. #37
    For the most part it's a millennial world as far as entertainment. A lot of them think music should be free. Nothing us old farts can do about it.
    I'm not paying to play. No way.

  39. #38
    Lot of this is driven by real estate prices and fees.

    I use to play at a suburban weekly chess club which met in the upstairs/back of a church. We were well-behaved and the pastor let us teach kids chess at his weekly summer camp sessions. Chess club probably got the better of the deal. (Back in the 70's, the NYC chess venues were frequently over an inexpensive restaurant, in walk-up spaces....now these no longer exist.)

    In NYC suburbs, people in big houses might have spaces for jam sessions, if spouses, kids, etc. will put up with it. Apt. dwellers---not so easily arranged.

    I've played in student groups when I worked in NYC...I found I could play OK in real time live sessions, and the value of the sessions depended on how well people "dug into" tunes, and learned them. Am I going to pay $50/week to play with a bunch of people whose ability and commitment, is maybe questionable....probably not.


    The golf course I play at has live music 3 or 4 nights/weeks with open mike sessions, one night/week. I keep saying I'm going to hook up with a girl from HS who studied voice at Manhattan School of Music, but so far inertia and travel hassle, hasn't allowed that to happen...It's a fringe suburban location, she lives in Manhattan which is $30 travel and 1.5 hrs. time to get to my place, then a 30-minute drive to get out to the golf course, and then the same thing reversed at the end of the night. A lot of aggravation to be able to play 3-4 songs at a time.

  40. #39
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    We used to pay to play, in a sense, back in the '60s. We would rent the American Legion, VFW, or whatever was available, charge at the door, and hope to make money. We mostly made a little. That's not what is being discussed above, though. We were just our own promoters.

  41. #40
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    Paying for a gig ... a new trend?

    To Stevebol, In regard to his post that now have vanished, ...
    I don't think your video was slow. I do think pro film format is 35mm though, today practice is to shoot at 35mm, transfer to digital for post FX than back to tape ... . Once I saw some early Scorcese's effort at 16mm, in theater. It came out at 1/4 of screen area and the sound was really bad experience ... Regarding birds making music, here are some MIDI birds


    On topic ...
    Pay to play? No, do not do that.

    Rent the place to organize own gig? Yes, by all means.


    Sent from VladanMovies @ YouTube
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  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    To Stevebol, In regard to his post that now have vanished, ...
    I don't think your video was slow. I do think pro film format is 35mm though, today practice is to shoot at 35mm, transfer to digital for post FX than back to tape ... . Once I saw some early Scorcese's effort at 16mm, in theater. It came out at 1/4 of screen area and the sound was really bad experience ... Regarding birds making music, here are some MIDI birds


    On topic ...
    Pay to play? No, do not do that.

    Rent the place to organize own gig? Yes, by all means.


    Sent from VladanMovies @ YouTube
    The Walking Dead translates well from 16mm to the big screen TV's. I haven't seen 8mm that looked good on movie screens. It has to be perfect to translate to even big screen TV's. The 'art' is in what can be done with small formats. I saw the movie 'The Wrestler' with Mickey Rourke in a theater. It was 16mm and it looked great.
    It's that little bit of grit that makes the Walking Dead look so good on TV.
    Digital has come a long way. I think you have to have excellent colorists. Analog technology is a portal to the past.
    I wonder if the ability to edit endlessly in the digital realm has impacted performing. Young musicians can play. They're just sorry ass performers.
    Quentin Tarantino still uses 35mm. Not a huge fan but he's definitely interesting. Eastwood does.

    I agree. Don't pay for a gig. Rockers could be incredibly stupid.
    Midi birds. Lol.

  43. #42
    I just came back from NYC, where I heard a sextet consisting of 4 well known guitarists, bass and drums. The music was great. I knew three of the names, living in California.

    The club was small. Admission was $20. Drinks were reasonably priced. Two sets.

    I don't know how the revenue is divided, but the math indicates that the musicians weren't getting anywhere near rich.

    Those guys have nationally recognizable names. If this group can be heard for $20 admission in an intimate club, what is the average guy worth?

    I assume this is a labor of love for these players -- not their bread and butter. But, it still says something about the economy for jazz guitar.

  44. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Hungary
    Posts
    549
    Quote Originally Posted by ah.clem View Post
    The city I now live in has a "band(it) director" that runs 3 or 4 18 piece big bands around the area. To play in any of them, you have to pay a $30 "initiation" fee, then pony up $25 a month to him to stay in. You then work all gigs for free and he pockets any proceeds. Pathetic, IMO.
    I neither get any money from playing in big band (we are all volunteers in there for a case to get jazz live in our hometown), but if the band leader would say "pay to me 25 usd a months if You want to saty in" then I would raise my hat and say hello...

  45. #44
    what is the purpose of "pay to play"? i've never heard of this! i get some $ for playing at the wineries in my area. let's drop this thread and never mention it again! i don't want to give these people any ideas!!

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