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I'm new to all this
I have a gig a week away - last night the bass messages me, tells me he cant do the gig because he has just got a higher paid gig somewhere else. I'm gutted, and in a jam
If I was offered a gig and accepted that would be it I would have to turn up. Is this unusual - are many musicians that unprofessional?

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So I have 1 week to get a bass, and there aren't any around at short notice
Playing jazz stuff - me, keys and bass - do I
1. Carry on as a duo
2. I can get drums in - play with that lineup
 

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Welcome to the real world, sorry to hear of your plight. If you let folk on here know where your gig is and the date, maybe someone can put you in touch with a bass player. Heck, I’d do it for you but you could be in Alaska so my travel expenses might just wipe out your gig fee.

Anyway, sax, keys and drums should be a good fallback.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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Perhaps find a keyboard player who plays left hand bass?
 

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Perhaps find a keyboard player who plays left hand bass?

Your current keyboard player might be able to work up bass lines in a week.

Big drag tho, to have someone you rely upon let you down that way.

Does the pay specify a trio?
 

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Alto sax, Tenor sax, Clarinet
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For certain, I would make sure never to offer that bass player any more gigs!
 

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Usually it’s the same day!
 

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I'm new to all this
I have a gig a week away - last night the bass messages me, tells me he cant do the gig because he has just got a higher paid gig somewhere else. I'm gutted, and in a jam
If I was offered a gig and accepted that would be it I would have to turn up. Is this unusual - are many musicians that unprofessional?
<...>
If you confirm a gig, you play it -- no matter what. People have depended on you and as a pro, you cannot let them down.

I'd never use that bass player again, and caution others about using him.

Back in the 1980s we had a gig for a yacht club. One we worked at occasionally and the price for the duo was $400. An agent called us wanting to know if we would open up for The Beach Boys who were playing a private party for some ultra-rich people on Jupiter Island (that's Donald Trump and Celine Dion's neighborhood). The pay was $2,000. We turned the gig down because we were already committed.

When my father died, my mother checked our schedule before she chose the date of the funeral because she knew I would make the gig.

If you confirm a gig, you absolutely, positively MUST show up. I doesn't matter if you are sick, got a better paying job, your mom died, or whatever. The only excuse for not showing up is your own death, and please give at least 2 weeks notice before you go.

I've been playing pro since 1964 and have never missed a downbeat. I've played with a fever of 104, but the public never knew.

Insights and incites by Notes
 

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Basically if you book a gig with somebody you play it. I have cancelled on one gig but it was over a month away and it was a very 'nothing' gig to start with. If you gig around with various people sooner or later there will be a conflict. I put it to them this way - I have a 'steady' group that pays well, plays high-visibility gigs and is very much fun. That is my primary commitment - even if I book a gig with you and they later come up with one on that date, I'm going to play their date. Sorry, but that's how it is - but in actuality this is extremely rare. The money is not a factor - I don't 'auction' myself off. I simply honor my primary commitment because they get so much more work than any of the others.
Bailing out on a gig for more money is pretty low in my book.
 

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It could just be that the player pool in NYC is massive, but if the gig is just playing standards and not some rehearsed/arranged music, I don’t see a problem with subbing out the gig. Now, if you’re in a more rural area where musicians are at a premium, that’s a different story all together. I don’t agree with folks who say to never, EVER sub out of a gig. I’ve had to back out of a $75 gig to play a $600 one, and never regretted it. Really I think it comes down to a) How easy it is to find another musician to competently full your position and b) How open the band leader is to allowing subs. Ultimately, if you ever want to work with the band leader again, you have to get his/her approval. If you don’t care about working with them again, then burn that bridge to the water baby!


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Forum Contributor 2012, SOTW Saxophone Whisperer,
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Years ago, I watched a trombone player on a 3 week run of a show, tell the contractor (who was one of the reed players) that she wasn't going to make one of the dates that she previously agreed to.

When he asked why, she said "because I just got called for a higher paying gig". He he responded, "so what you are telling me is that, if I can find an another player who will work on a given night for less money, I can call you up and tell you to stay home"?

She finished the run and has never worked there since. As I was told years ago, always stick to your first commitment, no matter the pay.
 

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I have never turned down a gig I am committed for for a higher pay gig unless I talk to the bandleader and it is ok with him. If it is within a week of the gig I don't even consider it because I don't want to stress the leader out even if he could get someone else.
Agreed - doing that kind of stuff is a good way to get blacklisted. I know a few great players who nobody will hire because of this kind of stuff.
 

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It could just be that the player pool in NYC is massive, but if the gig is just playing standards and not some rehearsed/arranged music, I don’t see a problem with subbing out the gig. Now, if you’re in a more rural area where musicians are at a premium, that’s a different story all together. I don’t agree with folks who say to never, EVER sub out of a gig. I’ve had to back out of a $75 gig to play a $600 one, and never regretted it. Really I think it comes down to a) How easy it is to find another musician to competently full your position and b) How open the band leader is to allowing subs. Ultimately, if you ever want to work with the band leader again, you have to get his/her approval. If you don’t care about working with them again, then burn that bridge to the water baby!


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Subbing is different than bailing though. I sub gigs from time to time, but if it's due to my issues, I ask the leader if that's okay, and find the sub myself. I also consider myself responsible for the sub being high quality. But yeah, I agree that subbing is cool in the right circumstances.
 

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Never trust a bass player. ;) (I can say this, I think, 'cause I'm mostly a bass player.) :p
 

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Never trust a bass player. ;) (I can say this, I think, 'cause I'm mostly a bass player.) :p
Yep, in order of mistrust are harmonica players followed by bass, guitar and drums! Pretty much everyone but sax players!😎
 

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He could’ve at least tried to help you find someone.
I do the organ, drums, sax trio thing most of the time. No bass solos is nice for me and the audience.
 

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No bass solos is nice for me and the audience.
OMG, my wife has fallen asleep several times during bass solos and has refused to see live jazz ever since for that reason! Personally, if an upright bass player is truly great, I’m all in unless said solo exceeds a few minutes!
 

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OMG, my wife has fallen asleep several times during bass solos and has refused to see live jazz ever since for that reason! Personally, if an upright bass player is truly great, I’m all in unless said solo exceeds a few minutes!
2 choruses and then get the heck back to the head.
 
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