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Date Published:

02/07/2015

Subject:

Musicians should be happy to play for free


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"Musicians should be happy to play for free because they love their job." Excuse me? I've heard members of the general public utter similar statements over the years. Well, I know a car mechanic who loves fixing cars, a guy who happily refinishes antique furniture full time, a math teacher who actually likes to teach, and a woman who loves her gig as a psychiatrist. Does this mean all these people work for free? Sorry, I don't think so, so why are some non-musical people surprised to hear that a musician should demand being paid a fair amount just like everyone else?

A musician may love playing his instrument, but that doesn't mean he is always satisfied with everything else surrounding his situation. Maybe no one in the venue is paying attention, maybe he doesn't get along with the band leader, or he doesn't care for the song selections, etc. So even though he enjoys playing, the job becomes a grind. Obviously most musicians consider this a necessary step to get higher up the ladder - playing a larger venue in front of more people, earning more money, and eventually performing all original material.

So think about this scenario: A guy plays tons of gigs for 20 years, some good and some bad, and finally elevates himself to a big sellout concert where he's now the star. Fans are reaching for him and everyone is singing along to his songs they now know by heart. Who wouldn't love to be in this position? But remember all the years of struggling to merely get the CHANCE to play to these adoring fans. At this rare point, I believe most musicians would then be "happy to play for free". So does this mean that the non-musical general public making this statement are correct after all? Or is it based on the particular gig in question? Give me your thoughts!

Sterling Howard, owner/founder 818-888-7879 (go ahead, call, a real person will answer) http://www.MusiciansContact.com

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