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> How Much Have You Gigged?
What's your level of gigging experience?
Have you/Do you:
Never left your bedroom and played only to yourself [ 11 ] ** [23.40%]
Played to your Mom and kid Brother [ 4 ] ** [8.51%]
In a band, never gigged [ 11 ] ** [23.40%]
In a band, gigged for free a couple of times [ 11 ] ** [23.40%]
In a band, got paid for gigs a few times [ 3 ] ** [6.38%]
Paid Gig once a month [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Paid Gig once a week [ 1 ] ** [2.13%]
Make a steady 2nd Income [ 1 ] ** [2.13%]
Gig a lot but never get paid [ 3 ] ** [6.38%]
Am/have been Professional - make all my income from playing and related activities [ 2 ] ** [4.26%]
Run the premier guitar related website on the internet [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Total Votes: 47
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Tank
post Jun 3 2007, 12:57 PM
Post #21


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I played professionally for a few years, stopped in 2004 to spend more time with my family. Most years, from November all the way through to the middle of January, you'd have 2 days off, Christmas Day would be one of them. Apart from that you'd travel and gig 7 days a week, sometimes two gigs a day (depending on the venue). Summer, from May through to the end of August was not much different really.

The reality of it is that for 99% of all the gigging musicians out there, sometimes you get to play some really nice venues, sometimes you play some real toilets, most of the gigs are in between the two. It's just travel, gig, travel, gig, travel, gig....etc every day of every week. If you want to be a professional, you have to accept that this is your life, and even if you do it for 60 years, the likelihood is that you are still not going to be financially independent at the end of it all. Then again, you might get lucky and make it smile.gif

As a performer though, you'll improve leaps and bounds, but as a guitarist, you'll probably stagnate. Unless you've got enough funding for a tour management, you'll have little time for practicing while you travel.

I'd not go back to it, unless it was on my own terms. There are easier, and less stressful ways to make money in the music business smile.gif Having said that, if you do go down the route of gigging professionally, you'll learn an invaluable lesson in how hard you need to work, how the industry ticks. You'll have the opportunity to develop a professional attitude, and your skill as a stage performer will improve exponentially.

Of all the things that you'll develop, a professional attitude (turn up on time, work out issues fairly, don't act like a premadonna, play a good solid gig, don't get drunk or worse before a performance) will be the skill that ensures that you get enough work to make a living out of it. Audiences want to see good players, but venues want to hire professionals with a good attitude.

Anyway, that's my two pence worth!!
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 7 2007, 04:10 PM
Post #22


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Fascinating info Tank - looks like you're our only true professional smile.gif

Everyone else is biased towards bedroom/non-gigging bands. Wonder how this will look in a couple of years time?


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brandon
post Jun 7 2007, 05:51 PM
Post #23


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I used to be in a rock n roll band called Thunderlip. We toured, were signed to an indie label and made a music video. We got paid, but in that way that musicians get paid.....but in that way that unless you're a double platinum album selling band you get paid....so basically not very much. Enough to keep the band going and keep us on the road, but not enough to buy a house or some "bling" haha. The best part of it was getting travel so much, record an album and hang out professionally. They still play and tour and are doing a tour soon with Lucero that's sponsored by Levi's jeans and Fender guitars(I think). They also have a new album coming out in a few months that so far is sounding really good and is going to include a cover of Deep Purple's "Highway Star". You can check them out at : www.myspace.com/thunderlip , www.isound.com/thunderlip , www.thunderlip.net . You can also watch the video here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=mUL07dNE_4c I'm the guy with the helmet and the blue shirt. It is a real battelship by the way (the USS North Carolina) and the the war footage is from with the ship was still in use during WWII. I've been in few bands that have played a lot of live shows, but not the same level as this band and never signed to a label. I will say this though, and I know I've said this before, but even with all of that I still feel like I've learned more from this website in the last few months then I ever did playing in bands or from lessons. This website has definitely gotten me really excited about playing again and it's pushed me to practice more than I think I ever have before. So thank you Kris for the site and the great lessons, Andrew for all of the great theory lessons, Gabriel and Pavel for all of the great lessons(some of my favorite ones on the site) and everyone else who has contributed to this site.....I think I spend about 75% of my internet time looking through this webpage now and I still feel like I learn something new everyday.
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brandon
post Jun 7 2007, 06:11 PM
Post #24


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oh, and to comment on Tanks reply....all very very true. You can't expect to be a professional musican and actually make money...the two don't really go hand in hand. If anyone does decide to try and go for it you should definitely set a time limit to it and decide what things are most important to you (friends, family, band). I've watched people ruine relationships and marriages because they chose touring over their other halves. Basically you can't have a real relationship with someone if you're spending a minimum of 6 or 7 months on the road. To be honest, most of the musicians I know that are still trying to "make it" are in their late 20's and early 30's still broke and usually with some sort of drunk or alcohol problem....they're all kind of a little pathetic in a way. It's definitely a frightening future to look at.....but then on the other hand I have friends that are in bands that tour the world and make enough money to where they don't need a part time job when they get home. I think the best thing is to do it for fun until you feel like it's time you need to stop and if you're good enough hopefully you can get a job on the side as a studio musician. My friend's dad was a studio guitarist for Mr Big and Firehouse and he still gets royalty checks to this day. Oh, and if you ever get any kind of offer from a label make sure you have real entertainment lawyer look over the contract before you sign it....labels no matter how big or small love to screw bands...so you always want someone looking at it before you sign anything....and by anything I'm mean ANYTHING. Some labels like to have band sign small contracts before saying that you won't sign to another label and they'll write up another contract later on.....they'll all kinds of stuff verbally, but as soon as you get the contract none of that is written in.....and you're bound to sign to them and they can wait as long as they want, which leaves you with two choices, sign to them or break up and start a new band. So be careful, read as much as you can online about what labels do and try to get an entertainment lawyer and a good booking agent....not someone's uncle, but a real booking company. They'll make sure you get guarantees at the places you play and good shows with other good bands.
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