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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
here's my response:



Hi ...

As per my prior email, I am not able to donate my time for the recording, for free, as I play sax professionally. So with that in mind, I do not suppose that you need me at that audition. I dont know if you want me to go or if you just had me on the group email list from before.

If you want to talk more about this, I would be happy to talk to you about this...
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
THis was the first email I got from the singer:


Hello and Happy New Year!

Wow, a lot has been happening since you inquired and my apologies for the late reply.
The tour of Asia has been put on hold due to unforeseen circumstances. Meantime, there is an immediate need for a recording project I am beginning to get underway. Those interested in participating in the recording project will have first look when touring begins in 2005. These recordings are a favor to a dear friend and I am donating my time, as would you, however, you will have recording credits, a copy of the recording, and special consideration for all booked gigs, since the recordings will be used for events, airplay, promotion, etc.

Criteria:
I know most of you are excellent, credited in the Jazz idiom, and proficient with improvisational melody. This project is straight ahead jazz standards, a bit on the bluesy side, with a lot of soul. If you can play like this, then the gig is yours. It is my intention to put together an ensemble of the best and brightest and thusly produce some brilliant new jazz and vocal sounds. We have amazing piano, bass, guitar, drums, and possibly flute & trombone players already in place. All that is needed is your exceptional melodic jazzy, bluesy, soulful self. There will be plenty of room to express your talent, after all, this is jazz.

Consider this a serious recording project seeking serious musicians. Full, professional, recording facilities, and state of the art equipment, is being made available over the next few weeks. Please reply and let me know that you are interested and what your schedule is like for ... One rehearsal will be included in the project and we will be tracking brass/wind in one day. Your talents shall only be needed 2 days and there is flexibility on day or evening sessions. You can see/hear more of what I do by clicking the photo/link below. ... Thank you very much for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best in 2005,

...
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
This was my response to the first email from the singer, above.



Thank you for your email. I play sax professionally. As such, I cannot perform for free on commercial recordings.

If you would like to use my services then we would have to negotiate compensation for my services.

If you cannot use me on this project please keep me in mind for other recording sessions and also for paid gigs.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
here is another wonderful opportunity i got recently:




Alright,

it took them a while to get back to me but i finally booked a studio. The rehearsal will take place from 7-9pm on ..... We will be meeting at ....Studios in .... Please bring all your horns if you play multiple horns; patch chords for bass, and drums are required to bring a snare and throne(or all of your set if you wish). I also recommend bringing stands, if you have some, since they will not have any available for us. I will cover the rehearsal studio, so don't think i'm going to charge you last minute or something. That one is on me. The rehearsal studio is:


...

.


I hope to see you all there. Thanks again.

Oh, and here is the original info the manager gave me on the venue:

...300-person capacity. It is a restaurant and
has a bar. ...Age: 21+
Food served till 10:00 PM. Prices are very reasonable.
...Restaurant is a rare space for this real estate: spacious, yet
cozy; divey, yet respectable; a good value, yet still quality. The walls are
covered with stills of movie stars, classic film posters, and photos from
Hollywood's golden age and with plenty of padded booths and tall bar stools, music, refreshments, and conversation are equally enjoyed. It's a rib joint between Tiffany's & Spago where the bar goes floor to ceiling and unshelled peanuts come in little metal buckets. Plus, there's a great bar special until 10pm - every 1$ spent on drinks is 1$ off the gourmet pizza - we recommend 3 "El-Syd"s and a large BBQ Chicken.


We schedule on the weekend nights 3 to 4 bands/artists per night, each
playing 45 minutes to a 1 hour set. Show starts 9:00 pm.

Our cover charge is $10 per person, with 50% going to the band for each
person they bring to their show after 8 first paid people (goes to pay the PA and the soundman) up to 50 people per band.

Above 50 people the band gets 50% of the door with no deduction of
first 8 people.
For your convenience here is a chart that showing how the deal works.

10 - 8 = 2 X $5.00 = $ 10.00
20 - 8 =12 X $5.00 = $ 60.00
30 - 8 =22 X $5.00 = $110.00
40 - 8 =32 X $5.00 = $160.00
50 - 8 =42 X $5.00 = $210.00
60 X $5.00 = $300.00
70 X $5.00 = $350.00
80 X $5.00 = $400.00
90 X $5.00 = $450.00
100 X $5.00 = $500.00


ok, see you wednesday night. email me for any questions, or contact me at my cell phone ...--and also, if you know any more trombonists, preferably bass bones, bring them too....
 

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Sounds like rookie/chump work. I'd put them on my junk mail list.

I fell for something similar to that one time. A well-known singer wanted me to do a solo over all his layers of stuff, no pay, just for the honor of recording with "him." So I consented. [I was young, adventuresome, naive, didn't know what to expect.] Anyhow, we had to go out of town and I rode with them. They started recording around 10 AM. I sat around, bored out of my skull, and, at 10 PM they were ready for me. I was so peeved off and frustrated (mostly at myself for being a chump)from hanging out all day that I refused to do it. :twisted:

In retrospect, because I broke my word, I was lucky to get a ride home. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Sitting around for 12 hours watching a well known singer and his musicains record in a studio could be very educational and lots of contacts to be made there.

But why woudl a well known singer not be willing to pay a session sax player? that is not nice. But maybe he felt he was doing you a favor inviting you to participate and you werent in the budget.

Sometimes people try to do favors for you and you may not realize it at the time.

Also leaving the guy stranded at the last minute with no sax player when you promised to do it isnt so good.
 

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garyinla said:
Sitting around for 12 hours watching a well known singer and his musicians record in a studio could be very educational and lots of contacts to be made there.

But why woudl a well known singer not be willing to pay a session sax player? that is not nice. But maybe he felt he was doing you a favor inviting you to participate and you werent in the budget.

Sometimes people try to do favors for you and you may not realize it at the time.

Also leaving the guy stranded at the last minute with no sax player when you promised to do it isnt so good.
True, but unless I wanted to be a sound engineer working in the booth, I learned most all that I needed to know in the first half hour or so. There was much overdubbing, retakes, tweaking, etc. A totally electronic setup.
This was back in the 70s.

To save money; it'd been a while since his last recording. And, I was young and inexperienced, even though I could do the job. If my head had been screwed on right I probably could have gotten something out of this situation.

I feel bad because I was sorta biting the hand that feeds me. But, it was a guitar band, they wanted one sax thing overriding all their layers, on one tune; which I didn't know going into it; again, my fault for not researching.
I was po'd because I thought it such a waste of time for so little (on my part). So I decided to cut off my nose to spite my face, so to speak.

As I say: I was lucky to get a ride home. Fortunately, I was gigging and friends with the guitar player, and he covered my butt for me.

I was frustrated on two points: Not being professional and being philosophically opposed to this particular commercial scene.
 

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I have experienced similar situations in my area. But I have a solution for you. Go out to a blues bar and offer to host the blues jam on Wednesday nights. Hopefully you can make about 75 or more. Next invite all the guys that didn’t pay you to the jam. Now you have an instant gathering jam and are getting paid!
 

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I'm kind of in a similar situation - I have a day job, but also end up doing paid gigs. Some well paid, some...not so much.

The advantage of not relying on music as your primary income is that you can be as choosy, or non choosy about gigs as you like. If it's unpaid/low paid but sounds fun or interesting, I'll probably do it. If it's something standard like doing the same old tunes at a wedding gig, I'll want pro money - if I get it, fine, if they say no, i don't really care because I've done loads of wedding gigs before and don't feel like I'm missing out. I'll enjoy my free time instead.

Regularly being the only unpaid guy in a band is not on though. I wouldn't accept that. That's just taking advantage of you. You could try it once if it sounds good and gets you some contacts, but if they offer you the same deal again, I'd call their bluff and say sorry, you're getting a lot of pro gigs now and you can't take on anymore unpaid work.
 

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Seeing how this thread has 15 years since it was last commented on by the Original Poster, I'm curious what happened to him.
 

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Enjoyed reading this thread, which I missed when it was originally posted. I had exactly the same experiences as garyinla with the whole sitting in/jam session scene when I was trying to come up as a full-time musician in the 70s in the Boston area. With tons of sax players trying to do the jazz/blues thing, the only steady paid work I could get was with a show band backing a disco singer. Jazz/blues paid nothing much. I could not do that for very long (really hated wearing those sequined jump suits), and ended up getting out of the music business for a "real" job and stopped playing entirely for 35 years. My financial goals were to become wealthy enough to 1) take philanthropy seriously and 2) work as a full-time musician. And I finally got there (well, the musician part anyway). For the past 10 years I've been gigging for $25-50/night a few nights per month with an R&B band and a jam band, and usually (but not always) playing for free or for tips with a couple of jazz bands. And enjoying every minute. I do know a lot of full-time professional musicians here, and I gig or sit in with some of them occasionally, and all of them have some other music-related gig going on in addition to performing full-time (teaching, recording studio, instrument tech, etc.).

It was a tough business 50 years ago and I guess not much has changed.
 
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