Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I guess about 10 years ago I used to get constantly hounded by a bass player friend come sit in at his gigs. Soon that became a weekly affair and while it was good for my chops it wasn't so good on the wallet. Has anybody experienced this? All the band got paid but I never got any pay for playing with them
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,023 Posts
All the band got paid but I never got any pay for playing with them
Were you sitting in for 2 or 3 tunes or the whole gig? If the whole gig, then I would find that unacceptable, not getting paid along with everyone else. Maybe doing it once would be ok, but not on any kind of regular basis, let alone 'weekly' basis! It's easy enough to say: "No, not unless I get paid."

It might be an entirely different matter if the band were much better players than you and you were gaining a LOT of great experience by playing with them. In that case, it would be worth pursuing, at least for a time. Kind of like getting free lessons. But, I suspect that would be a rather unusual situation. Most bands don't want someone sitting in with them on a regular basis if they aren't ready for prime time (in which case they should pay you).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
All the band got paid but I never got any pay for playing with them
Were you sitting in for 2 or 3 tunes or the whole gig? If the whole gig, then I would find that unacceptable, not getting paid along with everyone else. Maybe doing it once would be ok, but not on any kind of regular basis, let alone 'weekly' basis! It's easy enough to say: "No, not unless I get paid."

It might be an entirely different matter if the band were much better players than you and you were gaining a LOT of great experience by playing with them. In that case, it would be worth pursuing, at least for a time. Kind of like getting free lessons. But, I suspect that would be a rather unusual situation. Most bands don't want someone sitting in with them on a regular basis if they aren't ready for prime time (in which case they should pay you).
I played the whole show with them not just a few tunes
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
I suppose your financial status with music has some bearing on it. If you are a full-time musical pro, then yes, payment would be appropriate. If you are like many of us - good amateurs who play for the pure enjoyment of it, then . . .

I've done many gigs without expecting or being offered money for it. I do it because I SO enjoy playing. And at the same time, it helps MY chops to keep active in the music. Plus, I don't want to cut into the payment for the regular band members who may be depending on the money - I don't need it. On the occasions I've been offered something for my efforts, I graciously accept it.

I fully realize there is an on-going argument about so-called "weekenders", hobbyists, etc. playing for little or no money and thus weakening the position of those who earn their living with music. I understand that position but it doesn't change the way I look at my own situation. And, so few are earning their money playing the kind of music I play, I don't feel guilty about playing on the cheap. DAVE
 

·
Forum Contributor 2013-2019
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
My bands will often invite someone to sit in. Generally they fall into three groups:
1) sit in for a couple of tunes - no pay
2) sit in for most or all of the gig - paid the same as the other band members
3) invited to sit in for a tune or two and won't get off the band stand - you own us. (Had one of these last week. An acquaintance who invited himself to sit in. Very loud trumpet. Long solos. At least he apologized the next day).

When I sit in I generally expect the same treatment as in groups 1 and 2 (but also often do it for free just to play with folks I like), and hope I never fall into group 3.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,386 Posts
b
My bands will often invite someone to sit in. Generally they fall into three groups:
1) sit in for a couple of tunes - no pay
2) sit in for most or all of the gig - paid the same as the other band members
3) invited to sit in for a tune or two and won't get off the band stand - you own us. (Had one of these last week. An acquaintance who invited himself to sit in. Very loud trumpet. Long solos. At least he apologized the next day).
I rarely sit in for a couple of reasons. 1. Most musicians aren't getting alot of money to begin with so I don't like to cut their pay. 2. i am trying to move from the side man to the band leader so I guess sit-in gets me notices but I have no desire to play with most bands in my area. 3. If the band is good it has pre designed arrangements of the song that I won't have a clue about . If its a "jam" band I want no part of it. 4. Most band s have a 'sound" or feel to the overall mix and I for better or worse would change that. All this being said. If I sat in for more than a set I'd expect to get some of the tips, not the overall band pay. If I play the entire gig, yes pay me what others are getting. Its had strange dynamic. Sometimes the person sitting takes the band to a new level., sometimes its a train wreck. K
When I sit in I generally expect the same treatment as in groups 1 and 2 (but also often do it for free just to play with folks I like), and hope I never fall into group 3.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
7,133 Posts
The term “sitting in“ usually means that you will not be getting paid.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,950 Posts
The term “sitting in“ usually means that you will not be getting paid.
It would be nice someday if someone could build a glossary of all the trade terms and a page with the terms and anatomy of a saxophone. Yes I do believe “sitting in” is considered a non-paying guest appearance. That’s unless arrangements were made prior to the gig.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The term “sitting in“ usually means that you will not be getting paid.
It would be nice someday if someone could build a glossary of all the trade terms and a page with the terms and anatomy of a saxophone. Yes I do believe “sitting in” is considered a non-paying guest appearance. That’s unless arrangements were made prior to the gig.
I agree a book is needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
The term “sitting in“ usually means that you will not be getting paid.
^ THIS!!

In my world there is etiquette around this. If you are asked to sit in (it should never be an expectation) then you are being asked to join the group for maybe 2 or 3 tunes as a guest artist, often as a professional courtesy. To over stay would be like someone asking you to visit for the weekend and you stay all week. Not cool! There would never be an expectation to be paid.

If your being asked to sit in and it is somehow implied that it's for the whole gig, then "sitting in" is incorrect terminology, in my opinion. It should be "Will you come down and play all night with us for free?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Now that you've played a few full shows with them for free you certainly could ask them if they would like you to join their band as a paid member. That will hopefully prompt them to let you know if they do or don't want to pay another full time player, and you can make a decision as to whether you want to continue doing them a favor. I just got off the phone with a bass player friend who invited me to sit in with his band (just a few songs), as I shot video for them (as a favor to my friend). Personally, had I wanted to be paid I would have brought that up prior to going. Along with his drummer my bassist friend is getting involved in a second project and apparently they suggested their friend the sax player. I hope your bassist friend (and/or bandmates) appreciate what you've given them and try to give back as these guys clearly did.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
6,086 Posts
When I was hungry, I used to call bands and offer to sit in for free for the first set - with the understanding that I was hoping to play the whole night for an equal cut....
- if they liked me...

You know that ish actually worked!
 

·
Just a guy who plays saxophone.
Joined
·
3,589 Posts
If I’m out and have a horn with me and I’m invited up with some friends or I ask to sit in with a group, I expect nothing. If I’m asked to know tunes or show up at a certain time with gear, it’s a gig and I get paid unless I offer to do it free whether I play one tune, a set, or all day. Turns some people off, but yo, it’s work and I have to eat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Jammin for fun is ok. BUT..... My nasty guitar guy/band leader x-father in law asked me to learn 16 new songs in one week. We agreed that I would receive payment, but we didn't set a price. At the end of the job, he gave me $50 dollars for a 4 hour gig. That was a hard lesson and I have never made that mistake again... I teach people how to treat me.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,638 Posts
I'll play for free:

1) At a jam session to support a friend who is getting paid - but only occasionally - if I'm there every week, I want to be on the paycheck.

2) At a charity that I support but only if everyone else is volunteering their time

3) Every couple of years at the nursing home / wheelchair division of the VA Hospital. It just seems like the right thing to do.

4) Jamming with friends at a non-profit place, like someone's living room.

Other than that, this is how I make my living, and I don't expect free groceries from the market, free strings from the music store, free dinners at a restaurant, free drinks at a bar, free healthcare from a doctor, free teeth cleaning from a dentist, so don't expect me to give you my services for free.

If the management is getting paid, if the wait staff is getting paid, if the bartender is getting paid, if the janitor is getting paid, then I deserve to get paid, as my services are equally as important.

Insights and incites by Notes
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top