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Formerly 1958SelmerMarkVI
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know the obvious answer, which is to not let it happen in the first place, but sometimes it does, so how do you go about deciding which gig to do? To take it a step further, what do you do if you took one gig, but a much better one comes along that conflicts with it?

No right or wrong answer here, just wondering if other people have a hard line policy of 'I always go with what booked first', or if it's just a matter of 'depends on the situation...'.
 

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10MFAN MOUTHPIECES--- "Innovation over imitation"
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I have always tried to stay with the commitment of the initial gig that I committed to.
However, if something very special came up and there was enough time for me to find a replacement, I would take the new gig but only if I found a great replacement for the initial gig I committed to, and if that was OK with the guy who booked me.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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Its been many years since I did that but I made a mistake and committed myself to two gigs. What I did was to take partial pay for both gigs and luckily they were close enough where I could do one for 2 hours and then run to the other one and catch the last 2 hours. Nobody was happy but the main thing is that both band leaders had contracts that stated how big the band was so I covered their commitments by being there. Subbing has always been an issue for me, I always play parts to compliment the guitarist and nobody could pull that together quickly . Besides why would i ever give the band an alternative to me? K
 

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I have always tried to stay with the commitment of the initial gig that I committed to.
However, if something very special came up and there was enough time for me to find a replacement, I would take the new gig but only if I found a great replacement for the initial gig I committed to, and if that was OK with the guy who booked me.
^^^THIS^^^
I'll add one other simple tidbit: Do the right thing. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and act accordingly.
 

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I've never done this accidentally, but it happens that a great gig has come up when I was already booked, like a tour or high-paying gig. I got a great sub lined up and then ASKED the bandleader if they would be ok with it, letting them know I had a great sub lined up, making sure I was clear that if they weren't cool with it, I would of course stick with the original committment. It's never been a problem. Musicians want the people they hire to be successful. I've always been cool with people subbing out of my stuff too, but it's a drag if they don't find a good sub.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010 & Distinguished SOTW Member
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^^^THIS^^^
I'll add one other simple tidbit: Do the right thing. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and act accordingly.
Yeah. Do the right thing.
Seems simple, right? And yet, musicians of all stripes get caught up in themselves, politics, delusions of grandeur and the transactional nature of the gig hiring culture. Just be decent, that's all.
 

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Formerly 1958SelmerMarkVI
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone...the answers are about what I expected. Was just kinda wondering if people had a 'policy', so to speak.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010 & Distinguished SOTW Member
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Thanks everyone...the answers are about what I expected. Was just kinda wondering if people had a 'policy', so to speak.
My policy is to honor my commitments.

Sorry if that sounds snarky. If I were to accidentally double book myself, I would do everything in my power to find a replacement for one of the commitments who was at least as musical and professional as I am.
 

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Formerly 1958SelmerMarkVI
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My policy is to honor my commitments.

Sorry if that sounds snarky. If I were to accidentally double book myself, I would do everything in my power to find a replacement for one of the commitments who was at least as musical and professional as I am.
Not snarky at all. I asked for opinions. :)
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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My policy is, I have a main group of which I am a 'member'. I also play with two other groups that are secondary to me - I don't really gig around and when the phone rings, almost every time its one of the three. I tell each of the secondary groups the same thing - I'll take the date but if my main thing books the same date I'm going to play with them. The one time there actually was a conflict was the result of a mistake by the leader of the main group - I clearly told him I was booked when he asked about a date but he booked it anyway. The other band had a big job that they were proud of so I went ahead and played it, although very few people came and I felt like I should have gone with the better show - lesson learned. Conflicts are rare because I keep all parties up to date on my book, but like I said, my policy now after the previous debacle is I will go with my favorite group in the case of a conflict even if its the day before the gig when I notify them. Sorry, can't be everywhere and there are places I'd rather be - moneywise as well as prestige and satisfaction.
However, I won't stiff a date solely for money or anything else. IOW, I know bands A and B are off and I have a gig with band C. Band X contacts me with a gig that probably would be interesting - I don't take it.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
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I try not to do it, but I have a sub on call. He teaches, so he’s available nights and loves the opportunity. I’m with two bands so it happens sometimes. The band that works the most is not my main band. Everyone involved understands, appreciates that I have a solution, and has never complained. I think my sub is probably as good as I am.....Thankfully he’s not as animated. (Or motivated)
There is also a third option. Plenty of good players around here.
 

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I’ve learned to just have one cover/wedding/bar type band I commit too and then book most of the rest myself.
Since they’re basically a Saturday and occasion Friday band it’s not hard to know the schedule. I’ll only bail on them when I get a call for a much better paying gig and have my usual sub in place.
 

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First come, first served. In the event of a brain fade on my part the second gig STILL gets jettisoned....it's the only fair way to handle it, IMO....
 

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First come, first served. In the event of a brain fade on my part the second gig STILL gets jettisoned....it's the only fair way to handle it, IMO....
+1
I'm in one band that has arrangements for all the songs and I play Keys/flute/sax and percussion, no subs possible there.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Super Action 80 Tenor, Yamaha Vito YAS-21 prototype, Kessler Soprano, Superba II Bari, Fender J-Bass
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I shadowed a great player for several years. When the situation came up where a double booking occurred, he started calling me to be a sub. A few years later, I had my own shadow. When I double book, I call him, and a short list of other capable players who can cover me. If I can't make the situation right, I'll honor the commitment. Ideally, I prefer doing that. In the reality of being a working sax pro, sometimes unanticipated situations pop up. I'm not saying it's wise to always dump working bands to play a gig that's paying you a little more, in fact I'll say that's dumb. However, when you get those extremely good opportunity gigs, you'd be foolish not to jump on them. When they pop up, and when you're double booked, it pays to have sax playing friends who can fill in for you. Some of my more lucrative gigs have popped up from me becoming a go to sub. There's a lot of work out there, and there are a lot of us. Know who you can trust, and share the gigs. You'll get the same treatment in kind.

... But once again, don't screw over your bands.
 
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