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Sep 13, 2021 - 2:18:48 PM
9409 posts since 3/19/2009

Most musicians seem to be able to relate to this.. A venue says they can pay little or Nothing but "Think of the Exposure that you'll get!!"
What are your experiences and thoughts..

Sep 13, 2021 - 2:41:44 PM
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9409 posts since 3/19/2009

The idea of playing for the Exposure reminds me of something my son said once. "If they say they'll pay you the Minimum wage, they are really saying, they'd pay you Less if the government would let them." Good point, Son.

Sep 13, 2021 - 3:40:33 PM
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1983 posts since 8/27/2008

I've had fun when I was working with better known names. Don't know if it helped my modest career or not. Promoters are always trying to get something for nothing so you have to balance your sense of fun and feeling like your part of a scene with your sense of being taken advantage of. No easy answer.

Sep 13, 2021 - 5:17:57 PM

2419 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Most musicians seem to be able to relate to this.. A venue says they can pay little or Nothing but "Think of the Exposure that you'll get!!"
What are your experiences and thoughts..


My answer is, people can die of exposure. 

On the other hand I understand the idea, and why someone would want to hire me or my band. One band, I just show up where they tell me.  If I'm setting up a gig, I want it to be a good fit. The venue's expectations, etc. I want them to make money, but also be happy with the results. Happy to have me/us back. If they're terribly unsure, I will even wait and settle on a price after the event.  Personally. I can sort of smell someone that is truthful, not greedy. Someone that appreciates what you're doing. But sadly, so many people in charge of fetching a band for an event, has no idea what a band or entertainment is worth. 

Brings me to another point. Playing for free. I do it a lot. I know some haters both ways. Before I agree to play gratis, I weigh the pros and cons.  My decision is my business. I could/should write a book. Don't say you can't pay the talent, then charge at the door or gate. Karma to say the least, will get you. 

Sep 13, 2021 - 6:22:15 PM

12377 posts since 9/23/2009

Yeah, so many times people have invited me to play for free...that's ok...I don't feel I deserve to be paid for it, I'm not money-oriented, and I love to play. But...well over the years and decades, yeah, it sorta comes with the idea that people will see you and actually wanna pay you...lol. That's a joke.

Kinda same with work...somehow I've always been that person on the bottom...like I said...I'm not money-oriented and won't grapple & grovel on coworkers backs, piled in the big heap of brown nosing, beseeching and scrounging humanity, trying to get a raise and move up in the work place...so...well without the assertive attitude, I guess I've heard so many times in that regard that you have to start at the bottom...yeah...for decades I just sorta settled in there at the bottom and stayed stuck in the bog...lol...oh well...I got lucky with my last job and got pretty decent retirement...it ain't much and there's never raises...but it's really about the same amount as when I worked there, because I worked rock bottom. Then I got lucky and got myself a presonus...it ain't like standing up on some stage where people wanna hear your music or would even pay you, to boot...but, well it's so much fun and there's youtube where the occasional curious person comes along and finds something you did and might even give you a "like"...so...lucky if things just work out one way or t'other. I'm happy things worked out like they did.

Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 09/13/2021 18:28:13

Sep 14, 2021 - 5:02:07 AM
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2384 posts since 10/1/2008

Well .... If all I have to do is just show up with an instrument and play I am usually willing to play for/ in a non paying situation. Although, if the venue is making money I think it is reasonable that they share some of that with me. If they want me to bring a PA and set it up and tear it down I am going to need to be paid. Period! Playing music is a joy, usually, messing with a PA is work.

Sep 14, 2021 - 5:32:06 AM
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9409 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by UsuallyPickin

Well .... If all I have to do is just show up with an instrument and play I am usually willing to play for/ in a non paying situation. Although, if the venue is making money I think it is reasonable that they share some of that with me. If they want me to bring a PA and set it up and tear it down I am going to need to be paid. Period! Playing music is a joy, usually, messing with a PA is work.


Then, there are the venues that want YOU to do the promotions and want YOU to guarantee  an audience.. Yikes...Sometimes it is better to just do a house concert!!! where people pitch in a few bucks.. You're likely to make more money!

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 09/14/2021 05:32:34

Sep 14, 2021 - 5:39:59 AM
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RobBob

USA

2741 posts since 6/26/2007

The only thing I've gotten from exposure is sunburn and frost bite. Go for it.

Sep 14, 2021 - 6:49:59 AM
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110 posts since 1/21/2017

quote:
Originally posted by UsuallyPickin
Playing music is a joy, usually, messing with a PA is work.

Amen brother. Funny thing is, I actually like messing with a PA, just not when I'm also the one playing music.

Sep 14, 2021 - 7:33:58 AM

gapbob

USA

776 posts since 4/20/2008

Who needs exposure? What you gonna get from it?

Sep 15, 2021 - 7:28:36 PM
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2419 posts since 10/22/2007

It's disappointing to think anybody would think of being modestly compensated as money grubbing. If there were less than a hundred of any given skill/talent in the entire state, I certainly hope those would be at least fairly compensated. There's nothing wrong or immoral in a fair trade.

If you find joy and or ease in sharpening pencils, it doesn't make the endeavor worth less. Especially to someone needing a sharp pencil.

Sep 15, 2021 - 7:48:41 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

814 posts since 6/22/2016

Reminds me of the story of the priest in Cape Breton who asked the fiddler what he'd charge to play for a dance; the fiddler said (we'll say) "twenty dollars", back when that was a significant sum of money. The priest said, "Twenty dollars! Why, I could hire two men to work a full day for twenty dollars!" And the fiddler replied, "Well, Father, you can hire those two men to play for your dance, then!"

Sep 15, 2021 - 8:48:48 PM
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DougD

USA

10290 posts since 12/2/2007

Yeah lets all get naked and play for the exposure!

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:25:36 AM
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Mobob

USA

172 posts since 10/1/2009

At my age, best I didn't.

Sep 16, 2021 - 2:01:47 PM
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1613 posts since 4/6/2014

The "Venue" could give an open house & Free Beer......Just think of the Exposure they would get.

Sep 16, 2021 - 2:11:22 PM
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DougD

USA

10290 posts since 12/2/2007

I'm just quoting some of the aphorisms of my old band:
"Free music for free money."

Sep 16, 2021 - 3:19:43 PM
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1613 posts since 4/6/2014

To be fair, i have done one gig where the Guinness was free all night.... And we got payed ! There was one lonely guy at the bar who was paying for Lager. But the Guinness was free all night, and brought out on trays by beautiful lasses. But i don't think the venue got the exposure it deserved.

Sep 16, 2021 - 3:23:36 PM
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9409 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by pete_fiddle

To be fair, i have done one gig where the Guinness was free all night.... And we got payed ! There was one lonely guy at the bar who was paying for Lager. But the Guinness was free all night, and brought out on trays by beautiful lasses. But i don't think the venue got the exposure it deserved.


OK,, why wasn't I invited to that event?  MY lovely wife's grandfather was a head brewer at Guinness..!!! and she is in the Jamison family.. I should have been invited..  just sayin'.!!!

Sep 16, 2021 - 3:39:14 PM
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2419 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by pete_fiddle

To be fair, i have done one gig where the Guinness was free all night.... And we got payed ! There was one lonely guy at the bar who was paying for Lager. But the Guinness was free all night, and brought out on trays by beautiful lasses. But i don't think the venue got the exposure it deserved.


Ditto!

I was home all night!

Did my phone ring? smiley

Sep 16, 2021 - 3:40:19 PM
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9409 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
quote:
Originally posted by pete_fiddle

To be fair, i have done one gig where the Guinness was free all night.... And we got payed ! There was one lonely guy at the bar who was paying for Lager. But the Guinness was free all night, and brought out on trays by beautiful lasses. But i don't think the venue got the exposure it deserved.


Ditto!

I was home all night!

Did my phone ring? smiley


EXACTLY!!!

Sep 16, 2021 - 8:45:25 PM
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530 posts since 3/1/2020

Oddly enough, I haven’t had to deal with this issue when I’ve played professionally, but I know musicians deal with it a lot.

One thought I had about it was that many of the venues that ask players to play just for exposure tend to look at hiring musicians from a very non-musical perspective. Some people think of musicians as hobbyists and don’t consider playing to be work, even if the player makes a living that way.

I’ve gone places just to hear a musician, and I’m sure many others have as well, but some of the venues seem not to realize this happens and feel that they’re the draw, not the musician. Perhaps that’s the case sometimes, but not nearly as often.

I have a good friend who plays gigs all over the area. He has wanted to play in a certain pub for years. The pub is popular because of its bar, but the food is awful and they always have really bad canned music playing. Over a period of months, my friend asked many times if he could play there, even offering to play for free. Just recently someone finally agreed to let him host a jam once a month to see if there would be interest and if it would bring customers in. I found this interesting in light of the current thread because in this case the musician offered to play for free and was hoping to increase the venue’s exposure.

Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 09/16/2021 20:46:27

Sep 16, 2021 - 11:53:10 PM
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1873 posts since 12/11/2008

Whenever I was offered a free beer at whatever venue we were playing at, I would gladly take it. Every once in a blue moon, the pizza parlor where me and my fellow jammers played every week would give us a pizza or two. They'd also give us dirty looks if there was an important sports event on the TV and they wanted us to stop making noise. Putting it another way, I never tried to make a living out of whatever musical situation I was involved with -- as a folkie, a punk rocker or an old time fiddler.

Sep 17, 2021 - 6:55:12 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

814 posts since 6/22/2016

I thought there was ALWAYS an important sports event on the TV .......?

Sep 17, 2021 - 10:30:29 AM
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1613 posts since 4/6/2014

The best "Venues" are usually a bit secretive, and usually have a surly landlord, or a feisty landlady in my experience. Exposure is the last thing they want. And the clientele are mostly "Characters" also....I miss em all...

Sep 18, 2021 - 11:44:01 PM
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2769 posts since 9/13/2009

I've had numerous experiences or venues, or events saying they can pay little or nothing.

As business aspect, and it involves making a commitment, and providing a service; understanding what the value of your service brings to venue/event. I think of it as part of negotiation discussion, making  fair agreement of exchange for both parties benefit. Compensation doesn't have to be $$$, there are various legitimate reasons that might apply for individuals and circumstances. Including making a donation. But I think it good to clarify a value your music brings. (Should point out it's not just the venue/event that sometimes undervalues; but the musicians themselves).

"Think of the Exposure that you'll get!!"

Certainly lots times that is some naive notion, when it's just about being cheap and/or not valuing. To which lot's of stories, and heard lots of great comebacks over the years.

That said, there is something to exposure; might be legitimate consideration for some, in some contexts... certainly can work toward goal; like any other promo/marketing. But one should think it through, weigh the reality of the actual gig, if/how it fts in with plan and goals.

There are venues, events that even if don't pay well offer actual great exposure, and/or carry a bit status, might look good on resume.

One other example/consideration, there is a bit of psychology involved... for good paying gigs, the people hiring and paying are not necessarily basing it entirely on quality; and influenced or swayed by name familiarity/recognition; along the lines of, "they must be good, because I've seen their name, playing a lot of places" (esp as above, high status); vs someone they have barely heard of. On the other hand, playing too much cheap/freebie gigs can give poor reputation, assumption not worth much. So choose wisely.

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