To Play or Not To Play (music)?

LA Music Academy’s “LAMA connect” — the school’s internal social network — has its own message board. It’s a great forum for the school’s musicians to talk with each other about the trials and successes of being a musician in today’s industry. Recently one alum posted a contemplative message about his experiences of late:

I am going through a period of reflection as of late in regards to music. I have had a somewhat bad experience recently where I put in a lot of time on a record, got paid very little, then the whole project got thrown out. This was more than just a hired sideman deal and I’m so very tired of working and not getting what I think I’m worth (within reason of course). So I guess what I want to know is how other people handle their situation when it comes to getting paid or doing it “for the love.” I’m struggling with the fear that if I only go for gigs that pay I won’t be playing very much; yet, at the same time I don’t want to continue to provide top notch drummin to people only to get screwed in the end.

So how do you approach your gigs? Do you stick to your session rate and make no compromises? Do you play for the love? With every business, it’s a learning experience. We encourage you to never give up and think the key here is finding the right balance and utilizing networking skills. Lay out the details for your gigs or recording sessions clearly — in the beginning — so everyone is on the same page. Don’t be shy about putting together music agreements. But most of all, don’t forget to have fun.

So what say you…to play or not to play?

-LAMA Staff

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One response to “To Play or Not To Play (music)?”

  1. Tom Hitt says :

    It’s a moving target. I think it’s difficult for gigging musicians to have a realistic handle on their own talent. Add to that the ever-looming gig where you’re hired, only to discover a mismatch in genre expectations. As I improve my own musical chops I choose my gigs more carefully than ever. I handle everything on my end professionally. If I don’t receive the same professionalism in kind when setting up the gig, I tend to pass on it. The aggravation and wasted time steals years off my ever-decreasing life expectancy.

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