Musicians Contact summer news & comments
http://www.MusiciansContact.com The Source For Jobs Since 1969 Sterling Howard, Founder/Owner news@MusiciansContact.com Musicians receiving this email: 38,778
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***************** Commentary from Sterling Howard: Covers Verses Originals
First, there have only been TWO kinds of music in the world since time began: copies and originals. When I sang in bands years ago, it seemed there was a much higher percentage of groups that played BOTH original material and covers. Nowadays, it seems most bands play all covers or all originals. For an original group, it is not a crime to play some covers. After all, every cover song ever written is someone elses' precious original, right? And for a cover act, if you don't try to sneak in a couple originals here and there, you miss the fun and pride of playing your own tunes. I realize you must cater to the crowd and to the person who hired you but I've also seen many exceptions to the rule where playing a combination works. And where it DIDN'T work in a few of my old bands, we could play an entire night in a top 40 club, and the next afternoon, play our originals at an outdoor concert. We were the same players with the same band name but were pulling off a "Jekyll & Hyde" and it worked. I don't see many bands doing this today. Most seem to be one or the other. Why?
This newsletter is primarily a place where we report what YOU think about musical topics, mostly about how to increase live music. We need your thoughts, solutions, and comments like the following from keyboardist Ben Hammer: If a DJ doesn't undercut you, another band or musician will. If you're going to demand "your due", be sure you're irreplaceable, and stick to your guns. If you cave in, you will NEVER get a raise afterwards. If you don't cave in, you may find that you were replaceable after all, so be prepared to move on. I am not saying you shouldn't fight for the pay you deserve, I'm saying that you have to be realistic. No one is going to increase your pay just because you've been playing for 30 years or you have "paid your dues".
Before anything else, decide what your market is going to be. If you're going after 20-somethings, realize that you're competing with a ton of fast-changing alternative types of entertainment. If you're going for the 50-somethings, realize that you're competing with the couch at home, an overplayed repertoire and a smaller, shrinking market. After you get your gig, the easiest way to lose it is to become static or complacent. If you bore the crowd or the owners, you will not stay long. Put in the work to keep your act fresh. Don't ever give the club owner a reason to replace you with a fresh or cheaper band.
Cooperation between bands is important. One important factor is what happens when you're NOT playing at a club. You should WANT more quality bands to be there. Good competition is good business. Keep a lookout for other bands doing a compatible style to yours who you feel are professional. Share information on pay rates, and they will do the same for you.
And vocalist Mark Curran said:
As long as there are more bands willing to work than there are places to work, the pay will never climb higher than the market demands.
I had to come up with ways to create my own gigs, invest money in my career, and work much harder and take bigger risks. As a result I make more money today than I made in the heyday of live music. The laws of supply and demand dictate any given marketplace, and the music business is no exception.
J.D. Perkins states:
I worked with bands who "stuck to their guns" and demanded a premium amount to perform. Some club owners paid the contracted amount, but vowed to never hire that band again after a disappointing night. This presents the band with two avenues of thought. Would you rather perform at a venue one night for a premium amount and never perform there again or play the venue for years amassing a larger audience each time, selling CDs and T-shirts, etc., contracting special events at the venue for larger amounts such as New Year's Eve, and eventually creating a larger payday on any given date. In the long run, the latter is more profitable, even though some performances might be contracted at a low mimium. It provides a steady stream of income while the band hones it's musical skills.
Barry McKinley said:
A lousy neighborhood dive featuring some lame "weekend warriors" might very well have the next supergroup. There is no middle class in the music business...there are artists going up and artists going down...no musician DESERVES to make a living playing music, it is an earned privilege born out of extreme dedication, long nights, stinking like cigarettes and booze, tough hard work, practice and more practice and then...the applause. Simplifying the struggle to the top only manages to lower the top.
Have something to say? Please, send your comments to: news@MusiciansContact.com
Ok, we've been printing the following humorous section for the last few years but lately you haven't sent us much! We're running out of stuff. C'mon, everyone has at least one good story or joke from the following list. PLEASE, shoot us an email on any of these topics so we can print it in the next newsletter for thousands to read.
1. Your Worst or Most Unusual Gig 2. Your Best Gig Ever 3. The Weirdest Audition 4. Your Closest Call To Fame 5. Bad/Best Musician Joke
Submit at: news@MusiciansContact.com
Until next time,
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