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Dillio
01-26-2009, 11:49 AM
Extending on the "Is a band a business" thread ...

This may be a touchy subject but I'd like to hear some opinions.

Over the course of the years playing in bands I was usually on the pay basis of "everyone gets an equal amount", but truthfully ... up until about 2-3 years ago I started seeing an alternative side to cash dispersment in a band that has started to have some appeal.

Do you agree with an even cash split between band members or do you feel that some members deserve to be paid more than others?

Generic Case: "Band A" has 4 members in the group: A lead singer/guitar player, guitar player & a bass player and drummer. Drummer or bass player don't sing, they just play their instruments ... the two guitar players sing but only one sings lead. Add to this the fact that the guitar player/singer has the sole PA and various pieces of equipment of said PA is used to play live. The guitar player is the one that does the gig hunting ... no gig is obtained unless he works to get it.

Do all these guys get the same amount of money or would you agree to a slight pay raise for the two guitar players? (30/30/20/20)

I personally, have been leaning towards a payment scaling routine. I'll pay you what you're worth. (just like in business)

Like when I was on the road with an Ozzy Tribute band, obviously Mike (The singer) got the most cash cuz he was the show ($150 USD per) ... he then paid me second most as I was taking on the "Zakk & Randy" portion of the gig ($100 USD), the bass player and drummer received $75 US per show. This was the only time I was in a payment situation like this.

It worked then with nobody complaining ... would you be a bit pissed off by payment scaling? Why would you be upset?

running_water
01-26-2009, 03:25 PM
bass players should be paid more than the others...

Black Dirt Road
01-26-2009, 03:31 PM
Well Im just a garage jammin kinda muscian lucky enough to be playing in a(what I like to think of anyway) pretty good bar band. If I was doing a business type of band thing, I guess it would depend on how much experience your bringing to the band, your part in it, how much you think your worth, how bad you wanna play and how big your ego is, LOL!! In the band Im in its an even spilt, the bass player owns the pa and does sound, I do the gig hunting. When my back was hurt and I couldnt lift anything heavy, the drummer and the bass player carried the load, I offered to give up some money but they would have no part,thats team work and it helps with band moral too!!! Were doing it for fun, as for professional well maybe that where an agent comes in???
Oh and the bass player in Thats Chester should play for free!!!!

acetourer19
01-26-2009, 04:07 PM
I take a slight leader fee only because I own the P.A. system,take the bookings,arrange the practices,do the lead singing as well as harmony, but If a band member doesn't play an instrument and only sings then a lower wage may be the way to go.If you want to have harmony in your band then everyone should be treated equal.

Dillio
01-26-2009, 05:00 PM
I take a slight leader fee only because I own the P.A. system,take the bookings,arrange the practices,do the lead singing as well as harmony, but If a band member doesn't play an instrument and only sings then a lower wage may be the way to go.If you want to have harmony in your band then everyone should be treated equal.

This is what I'm saying ... here it is you do pretty much everything else while the others show up and play. You'd definitely get a higher rate in my book and deserve a "leader fee". Owning the PA is a big thing. We all know what it would cost to rent stuff for the weekends.

X-Man
01-26-2009, 05:41 PM
I agree Ace. If you want to have harmony thats probably a good way to go. I dont mind throwing a couple extra bucks to the guy who owns the PA and extra gear mics etc. in saying that, thats in this city playing in a cover band. I dont view playing in a cover band a serious musical undertaking.

But in saying that if i was in a touring band like say, Helix ( i know the drummer) He gets payed less, as well as everyone else, because Brian Volmer (sp) is the main original attraction....i can understand that he (drummer) is a hired musician....i emphasize the word "Hired"

in that instance bizness is bizness...

but, in this city say a band makes $1000 for the weekend, and we were to go with the percentage pay scale. (I'm on the lower end of the pay scale)

Thats...

1. Lead guitar/ singer = $300
2. Guitar player/ band booker = $300
4. Bassist = $200
5. Drummer = $200

so...not bad pay for the bassist and drummer...average pay ( in this city for a cover band)....i'd be ok with that.....but, I'd have to go with me being the hired musician at this point, I wouldnt touch a speaker, cable, mic, and I'd expect that all the PA gear is to be loaded and unloaded, Transported there and back and set up by the people who are making the 30%.
I'd say to be fair that they have to burn the gas, responsible for PA maintenance, so why not give them 10% more, with more responsibility comes more money.

I'd be more than ok for showing up with my gear and setting up (my gear only).
Who likes lifting PA systems anyways? :)

If it was a bar with in house PA?...i'd expect equal paying to all members.


In the case of bringing your own PA?, i'd be fine throwing a few bucks (reasonable amount that everyone is happy with to the PA owners/ gig bookers) and helping load gear and helping out with everything that needs to be done so that the band works as a team, and works as friends to have a few laughs, beers and a good time. Thats the way i roll.

at the end of the night if i didn't drink my pay away, its a bonus to have a couple bucks left over in my pocket so i can grab a pita on the way home and to have had a fun time playing. Its more of a night out for me and to have fun than anything else but, it has to be worth my while in terms of getting paid as well. $100 bucks to show up with my gear and play?....hey i'm in. :)

thats my 2 cents

fenderbass
01-26-2009, 06:32 PM
bass players should be paid more than the others...


I agree 100%..we take all the abuse!!

fenderbass
01-26-2009, 06:37 PM
Well Im just a garage jammin kinda muscian lucky enough to be playing in a(what I like to think of anyway) pretty good bar band. If I was doing a business type of band thing, I guess it would depend on how much experience your bringing to the band, your part in it, how much you think your worth, how bad you wanna play and how big your ego is, LOL!! In the band Im in its an even spilt, the bass player owns the pa and does sound, I do the gig hunting. When my back was hurt and I couldnt lift anything heavy, the drummer and the bass player carried the load, I offered to give up some money but they would have no part,thats team work and it helps with band moral too!!! Were doing it for fun, as for professional well maybe that where an agent comes in???
Oh and the bass player in Thats Chester should play for free!!!!


Don't turn this into a bassplayer bash fest...Plus I think that Aub pays the band to let him play...Sorry buddy!

NewCasa
01-26-2009, 07:11 PM
bass players should be paid more than the others...

Only if they are really playing and not 'synching'. And then only because their guitars weigh the most.

OU812
01-27-2009, 07:54 AM
i would think that capital outlay would be a better dictater of pay scale. the only time i've experienced a pay difference is when one member was bank rolling the p.a. you have a point about the playing part usually weighed heavier on one or two members. there's always going to be that kick-ass lead player or amazing front man (woman) that stands out but the sum of all parts makes that band. i wouldn't take a pay cut because i'm a bass player. i would take a pay increase because i'm supplying thousands worth of p.a. gear. my experience has been that even extra pay doesn't come close to covering maintaining the p.a. much less purchasing it. but then , it's always been about the love of the sport.

Dillio
01-27-2009, 10:06 AM
Ya, I agree OU812 ... if all are playing their instruments (and voices IF they sing) then equal pay across the board. If a guy is supplying the PA then I'm all for him getting more cash. In fact, after I thought about it last night I remembered this was the deal when you (OU812) and I played together. No qualms from us while you were supplying the PA and got a little more cash ...

Rightfullly so ... it saved us in the long run. I've been the owner of the PA the last few years and you realize how much you're saving everyone on some weekend gigs ... it's not out of the question to expect a little more than the others in my opinion, as you said ... we're the ones that dropped a few grand on the PA. Although, in the end I actually had a member use my PA gear to get himself more money by threatening to not play if he didn't get the pay he wanted. (he was playing free that night to pay off other members and wanted a little extra to make it worth his time) - needless to say we don't play together anymore.

I would never look at it like, "I'm paying you less because you just play rhythm guitar"

I would look at it at it like "Hey, you're doing more than your intended share ... you deserve a little extra."

Barry Morris
01-27-2009, 10:21 AM
Just wondering. It may be easier to agree that a certain amount comes off the top for the extra work outside of playing to the guy who is doing the work, like contacts and contracts, or the PA owner, then the balance is equally divided.
Done that way, extra costs ALWAYS come off the top, and division is easy.

Dillio
01-27-2009, 10:32 AM
Just wondering. It may be easier to agree that a certain amount comes off the top for the extra work outside of playing to the guy who is doing the work, like contacts and contracts, or the PA owner, then the balance is equally divided.
Done that way, extra costs ALWAYS come off the top, and division is easy.

Pretty much ... but you're still skimming off the top from the original amount the band is getting paid so the band members have to agree on those expenses, which in turn lead us to what we're discussing.

Once they all agree to it then that is usually what happens .. a flat rate off the top and then equal split for the remaining money. The band still has to decide if said member gets more money for supplying the PA, doing the leg work etc.

Dillio
01-27-2009, 11:21 AM
There are other scenarios that come into play ... not just "owning the PA"

Scenario Two: Local musician is a singer/guitar player who writes his own music and does a CD from time to time with various musicians across Ontario. He currently lives in SSM and has a full-time career but likes to play some weekends to promote his music.

He has about 8 musicians he chooses from when a gig arises (these 8 appear in various songs on his CD's) and pays them all a flat rate of $65 CAD per show if they play and this has carried on for over 5 years. He usually plays with the same 4 but has a spare of each on hand. He in turn takes $125+ for most performances and also takes anything from the merchandise that is sold. This is not split with any other member.

Fair or unfair? He's not a big star but it is his music and all 8 musicians to choose from are technically "for hire" even though they've been with him for over 5 years.

ByrdDawg
01-27-2009, 11:46 AM
I think that the musicians who performed with him on the CD should receive some small percentage of those sales.

OU812
01-27-2009, 02:53 PM
i have to agree with ollie. his songs , his merchandizing. set a price and then just like x man put it , you are a hired gun. set a price up front , explain the scale and go from there. the only time i've seen things go ugly is when the price becomes obscure and no one knows what the total amount is or why. all sorts of scenarios unfold after that. if the higher pay guy is telling everyone how much and why...there can't be an issue.
i've lived by the "tell it like it is" modo my whole life and i sure do sleep good at night.

Hey Mr DJ
01-29-2009, 02:17 PM
All this talk about money and who gets paid what and who owns what takes the fun out of being a band. It all comes down to greed. If somebody offers the use of their equipment or jam space than that's what it should be, an offer. We all have to offer / sacrifice to make something good work out. If you are not willing to put in that extra little something towards what you really want, the universe isn't gonna make it happen for you. You get what you put out, it's all about being positive and feeling good about what you are doing.
Lastly, if a band is worried about money than they aren't really having fun, which flushes the "We play because we like to have fun" mentality down the toilet.

Dillio
01-29-2009, 03:22 PM
All this talk about money and who gets paid what and who owns what takes the fun out of being a band. It all comes down to greed. If somebody offers the use of their equipment or jam space than that's what it should be, an offer. We all have to offer / sacrifice to make something good work out. If you are not willing to put in that extra little something towards what you really want, the universe isn't gonna make it happen for you. You get what you put out, it's all about being positive and feeling good about what you are doing.
Lastly, if a band is worried about money than they aren't really having fun, which flushes the "We play because we like to have fun" mentality down the toilet.

Great attitude ... however quite condescending, what was that term that Homer Simpson said ... oh yeah,

"On Gumdrop Avenue near Lollipop lane."

Are you in this situation on a regular basis?

Reality soon sets in ...

Let me guess, you're under 21 ... probably never in a band and maybe play an outside part in bands somehow and you believe you're in the know? (IE: Club DJ)

Either that or you don't own the gear.

Bands talk about money sometimes ... get over it. Just because you hand the band their pay for the weekend does not mean you're qualified. It only shows your naivitivity ... go through the years of being in a band, go through all the "situations" and then you might have an idea.

When $3000 of someone's PA gear puts 25$ extra in your pocket for the night you're going to bust the owner of the PA's balls for the extra $125 he took? He just made you an extra $25 because the bar owner didn't have to shell out for a PA, it went straight to the band.

As for the second scenario ... see a later post.

But please, continue passing judgment on the "greedy". ;)

Dillio
01-29-2009, 03:32 PM
I think that the musicians who performed with him on the CD should receive some small percentage of those sales.

Sounds reasonable ...

For me it boils down to this:

Who paid for the Production and Mastering of the CD? If the guitar player/singer did then the other musicians get squat AFAIC. The player sessions would have to have been volunteer or paid for as well though.

Ask Mr DJ man though, he'll probably tell you that all these guys should just get along and share the profits no matter who paid for the CD ... if the guitar player/singer offered to pay for the CD then he should very well still share the profits ... isn't that how it works Mr DJ man? ;)

If all pitched in for the CD then it's a no brainer ... all should get a cut, including any outside supporters.

Hey Mr DJ
01-29-2009, 06:31 PM
Sorry man I wasn't trying to label you specifically as a greedy person. I am in a band, this one is not my first, and I am not as young you think I am. I use my own gear, so does everyone else in my band. The main PA system is owned by one member, and we all get equal pay. It's what we have agreed, right from the start. I'm not saying it's wrong to ask for more money, you have every right to, I totally understand what you are saying.

As long as all band members have an agreement then there are no problems, it's when the agreement changes that the problems arise and the greed might manifest. All band members have to be willing to change or sacrifice if they want to be a successfull team.

fenderbass
01-29-2009, 07:09 PM
There are other scenarios that come into play ... not just "owning the PA"

Scenario Two: Local musician is a singer/guitar player who writes his own music and does a CD from time to time with various musicians across Ontario. He currently lives in SSM and has a full-time career but likes to play some weekends to promote his music.

He has about 8 musicians he chooses from when a gig arises (these 8 appear in various songs on his CD's) and pays them all a flat rate of $65 CAD per show if they play and this has carried on for over 5 years. He usually plays with the same 4 but has a spare of each on hand. He in turn takes $125+ for most performances and also takes anything from the merchandise that is sold. This is not split with any other member.

Fair or unfair? He's not a big star but it is his music and all 8 musicians to choose from are technically "for hire" even though they've been with him for over 5 years.



I agree if you are a hired musician and not really a full time member of the band then you get payed what the guy that hired you to fill the spot deems fair. $65 seems the normal rate these days. If he sells CD's or other merchandise that you don't have any part of, then you don't make any money from those sales. Its a not a hard concept to grasp..
I've filled in many times and just take what is offered. And I don't expect anymore. Unless I set the price ahead of time..Then I expect my pay.

OU812
01-30-2009, 08:01 AM
main thing is to do this up front and above board. no one likes to find out a year later that they've been playing for less than other members all along and with no explanation or reason . happened to me in 1990 . lined up a gig with a wedding type band i had joined a year prior. did the gig, knew what we were getting paid and received a fraction of what i had calculated. i was then informed ( as was the rest of the band) that the one guy had been taking a substantial leaders fee all along without telling anyone. i quit on the spot and the rest of the band folded soon after. still see those guys today and we all still have the same opinion of the guy that screwed us. 19 years is a long time to have a label like that.
the moral of the story from someone that's played in a band for 32+ years is keep it above board and don't make the money splitting call without explaining yourself. communication is key to any relationship and a band is definatly a relationship.

fenderbass
01-30-2009, 10:17 AM
Communication is key in a band..And if its not there then its time to move on.

Saultman
01-30-2009, 08:59 PM
Bar band doing covers - For sure the guy who supplies the PA should get more pay. The whole band is run through it and it only enhances your gig. Some guys would argue 'I have over $3000 worth of gear hear in my rig' however if its not heard well with the rest of the band, its worthless. If the guys have a problem with it........rent one! Then see how they like it 5 minutes before the gig and the PA they rented for dirt cheap has bad cables or a blown speaker. If one of the members owns the PA, his cut is usually not the fair market value of a PA rental, and chances are he is gonna maintain it. This means more money for everyone and less headaches. If there is a house PA, equal pay! As for more pay for booking a bar band.......well what cost do you have. You are probably playing local so all you really have to do is talk to the owner and book a gig. Some places will even book a years worth of gigs on the spot if your are good. However, you are taking up some of your time outside of bands jams and your own practice time, so if the rest of the band is cool with it, take a cut for doing the leg work. The main thing with bar band is to be open and honest about pay right from the getgo. I just makes things better in the long run. No hard feelings 19 years later.

(Don`t all chip in on a PA, it never works out! Who the hell can afford to pay out a guy when he quits of gets the boot. Then the new guy gets payed less cause he doesn't have a share in it. Too complicated. Get the guy with all the cash to buy the PA!)

Dude with his own material - The musicians on the album were hired guns to begin with and should remain hired guns for gigs. Only if the gig is strictly pertaining to the material that this guy is promoting. If the guy is throwing together a cover band and doing some of his originals then equal pay for equal play. He obviously gets all of the profits from the merch. The guy doing all his own material (with maybe some covers reworked to reflect his style) should not have to discuss what he is making per gig with the hired guns, just let them know in advance what they can expect to be payed for the gig(s).

As far as a guitar player who sings getting payed more then say a drummer and bass player who don't sing, not really an issue in a cover band. Equal pay across the board. We are all sharing our talent. However, on a union gig or TV union gig, the more instruments (vocals being an instrument) you play the more pay you get.

I think for a guy or gal that has been around the block a few times this stuff is all a given and there should be no problems. Its the greener guys that may not have quite grasped these concepts yet, but with more experience they will see how things are done.

Ollie, you are experienced bud! Keep on rockin` and blessing us with your talents.