Why do you still play out in bars and clubs?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Rockerfeller, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    The recent post about how much bars pay cover bands was depressing. Did anyone else get pissed by it? It makes me wonder why we do it? It can't be for the money, right? Why do we put up with the low pay and bad hours to STILL play covers in a bar band?

    For me, I love the guys I play with. I love the magic that happens when were on stage. I enjoy entertaining people. I guess, at the end of the day, I love playing music WITH others in FRONT of others. It's kind of hard to step away from.

    But why do you do it?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  2. Fenderslinger

    Fenderslinger Tele-Meister

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    Cause I'm much better at it than golf. The (lack of) pay for me is the same for either. Also no one ever shows up to watch me tee off but I can usually gather a few folks for a show. :D
     
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  3. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    You play in bars as advertising, to hopefully drum up some more lucrative private and corporate gigs. That's where the money is for local bands.
     
  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    It seems over the last few years ( I think it comes with my own middle age, plus the real aging of the music I like to play)
    I have transitioned from playing late night bar gigs ( like when I was in blues bands in the '90's) to Winery and brew pub gigs - which are earlier hour, acoustic duo ( or quiet trio combo band) gigs and often, better $$.

    I do it as I love to play and sing, love and need ( it seems) an audience, AND it's my income! ( play music and drive Uber)

    * agree much better $$ with private or corporate gigs, or weddings- but really don't do too much of these
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  5. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    because my city is short on good DIY spaces right now.
     
  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's for the love of music. While I adhere to a minimum pay and wont play for free, If money is your concern, get a job at 7-11 you'll make more money.
     
  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I still love to play.
    52 years playing, 46 years gigging.
    I tell myself I’m at the top of my game.
    I may be right.
    I’m also completely dependent on it for income.
    I’m too old and beat up to do anything else.
    There ain’t no retirement plan for the likes of me.
    Luckily, the phone still rings with offers every day.
     
  8. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister

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    This. I play genres of music that don't normally fit the bar/club scene here, but its really the only game in town at the moment. That said too, playing in these types of bands has never paid, so its definitely more of a hobby I do for fun. I've considered a couple times trying to join a band that does the covers/bar circuit to both make a little side dough and also challenge myself as a guitar or bass player.
     
  9. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic

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    It's all about the music, my band-brothers and the many, many very close friends I've made over the 55+ years of playing live. It's in the blood, heart and soul.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  10. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    100%! I walked away from it for a year or so. I kept the band going, kept booking the band but hired a great guitar player to take my place. What I missed the most wasn't the money. It was the magic of making music with a bunch of guys I liked. I've been back for 7 years!
     
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  11. noname_dragon

    noname_dragon Tele-Meister

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    It keeps the chops up and is a reason to own all that cool gear, and I have fun with the guys. The extra cash is cool.
    Love playing out and most of the music!
    I'll admit that some of the standards that people love are somewhat tiresome to recreate for the 500th time, but that's show biz.
     
  12. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

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    You've considered it a couple times, but never have. What kept your from going that route?
     
  13. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    I feel like bar gigs is where live music is at its purest. Things are loose, people are drinking, expectations are not too high. Things can get very soulful. I can go for it completely, take some chances, get in the moment. When the chemistry is right, amazing things can spontaneously happen that would never happen on higher profile gigs where things are more buttoned down, controlled, and burdened by a higher need for perfection.

    I also love bar gigs for the joy and ambient glory of turning my tube amp to the brink, hearing the sounds bounce off the wall and fill the room naturally, without any sound reinforcement to water it down. That never happens in larger venues these days.

    Then there is the networking thing. All gigs are good for building relationships with other musicians and people in general which leads to more opportunities.

    At this point in my life, $100 bar band sideman pay doesn't hardly make a dent in the bills so it's a thing I do for musical satisfaction, mostly.
     
  14. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    For me ...It was never about the money ... It was always about the fun factor ... Sex, drugs and rock and roll ...
    .
     
  15. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

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    Been doing it since I was 17 -- that was 57 years ago.. What else would I do?
     
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  16. teleNtweed

    teleNtweed Tele-Holic

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    Because those 10 people love me!! LOL! (feels that way sometimes)

    Done with the 10-2 crap! (well one more in November :( ) I prefer places that have a menu, even a limited one. I tend to turn down strait "bar" gigs now.Until midnight I am having a blast! After midnight I feel like an employee.
     
  17. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Meister

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    Time. For me to do that another band I'm in would have to stop, and I'd have to put in a lot of time at home learning material which I don't have at the moment. When my schedule lightens a little I'll start going down to the open jam at the bar I used to book at and see what happens. In my area thats where that scene tends to congregate and form projects.
     
  18. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Why play bars? Where else am I gonna play? My basement?
     
  19. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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    The fun and the comraderie, for sure. That and the never ending quest for those transcendent moments, where it all just turns into a blissful communion of band and audience.
     
  20. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mostly because we can, I guess. It's the good feeling of being asked back over and over.
     
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