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Bluewine

How Bad Are We Hurting?

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I've used the time while I've not been able to rehearse and gig with my two current bands to go through my archive of recorded material to see if any of it is still worth releasing.

The upshot of this is that there will be a couple of new albums by previous bands coming out later this year, some new (remote collaboration) recordings from another old band as well as 3 new singles from Hurtsfall - which we recorded just before this all started.

On top of that there has been In Isolation's second album and two new videos.

Here in the UK performance royalties for songwriters still work out pretty well. I make a steady (if small) income from my various record and CD releases from the past 40 years, mostly from broadcast radio play.

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Yeah, I've had to take daytime work too @Bluewine. Unfortunately have developed a medical situation which makes late nights really difficult too. So on top of lockdown I have to contend with that.

A guitarist friend who is a full time musician has spent lockdown working at a Hermes depot to pay his rent. He absolutely hates it and now will never send an instrument via a courier ever again. 

He was told off on his first day for being too careful with the parcels! 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Baxlin said:

Forgive my cynicism, Dave, and I apologise if he’s squeaky clean, but you have to wonder how many students paid in cash......

The company he worked for originally was taking more than half the fees. The company he works for now is far better. As far as i know the lessons are paid by card when booked by phone or online booking. Don't think much cash changes hands these days but i'm not 100% sure.

Take your point and many companies might still be taking cash in hand.

Dave 

Edited by dmccombe7

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Our drummer is a pro musician and plays in two bands and teaches.  His gigging income has been reduced to zero but luckily with online lessons he's been able to retain a good element of his teaching work.  For the rest of us in one of the bands who play with him - we have what would be considered  'professional'  jobs and gigging is a fun outlet for us.

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1 hour ago, dudewheresmybass said:

I do. 

You're a full time pro by sounds of it and your taxes are keeping the rest of us going. :laugh1:

I'm retired on a good works pension after 40 yrs service so i'm doing ok thru this.

For me its sods law that the first band i've ever been in where all the members are top notch nice people and we all get along really well. We had put a lot of work into rehearsing the set list to a good level, did a few trial gigs with excellent feedback and this was going to be our first year of loading up the gigs which were coming in really well until Covid knocked it all for 6.

Its the fact that i was looking forward to a great year of gigs with a great wee band. Its more disappointing from that respect. Financially it didn't really matter to me but the income from the gigs was a nice bonus for a few hrs work.

Dave 

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My greater sympathies are with technical/venue staff who have been affected.

I have always thought that making any money from doing something that millions just do for relaxation/fun is a massive privilege. Whilst it is causing hardship, I would hope that if I were in that position I would have the good grace to realise that point.

Does anyone think that COVID will contribute towards putting an end to cash altogether? 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

This is an entirely different discussion, probably best tackled on a separate thread. I remember the Basschat Collective coming to the conclusion that, if you are a weekend warrior, you usually end up spending more than you earn, if you take into account buying equipment, maintenance, paying for travel etc. (which you have to do). So HMRC may allow you to self-assess your earnings and your expenses for a while, then it tells you you should consider your activity a hobby and stop wasting their time.

If you are a pro, that's a totally different matter.

Having been freelance all my life (not as a musician), I object to being thought as dishonest by default. Remember that the reason why we can detract all kinds of expenses from our income, so we end up paying less tax, is also to compensate for the lack of sick and holiday pay and lots of other benefits that employees have and we don't.

You’re a journalist too aren’t you? Everyone assumes it’s all boozy lunches and non-declared income. I make most of my money writing about dull software or gearboxes. 
 

HMRC allows you to self-declare expenses of up to £1000. 

Edited by Burns-bass
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8 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

This is an entirely different discussion, probably best tackled on a separate thread. I remember the Basschat Collective coming to the conclusion that, if you are a weekend warrior, you usually end up spending more than you earn, if you take into account buying equipment, maintenance, paying for travel etc. (which you have to do). So HMRC may allow you to self-assess your earnings and your expenses for a while, then it tells you you should consider your activity a hobby and stop wasting their time.

As a weekend warrior, I have never declared my gigging income as being in a band definitely costs me more than I have earned through gigging (none of the bands I've been in gigged more than around 10 times a year).  I've lost out on three gigs through lockdown so around £180 but saved around 10 practice sessions at £10 a go, plus a tank of fuel.  I'm fairly convinced the band won't ever get back together and I'm not sure whether I'm sad or relieved.

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2 minutes ago, Nicko said:

As a weekend warrior, I have never declared my gigging income as being in a band definitely costs me more than I have earned through gigging (none of the bands I've been in gigged more than around 10 times a year).  I've lost out on three gigs through lockdown so around £180 but saved around 10 practice sessions at £10 a go, plus a tank of fuel.  I'm fairly convinced the band won't ever get back together and I'm not sure whether I'm sad or relieved.

Probably relieved at first but hopefully sadness as time goes by that things didn't develop the way you hoped. That's my usual response to bands that i leave.

Hope you do get back into a decent gigging band again. 

This is the first band i've been in where money we make for each gig covers far more than my expenses but we haven't gigged a lot because of lockdown. We were just starting to get the gigs coming in thru word of mouth mostly. Various clubs and band venues had been in touch with us. Ah well back to square one again

Dave

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, dmccombe7 said:

Hope you do get back into a decent gigging band again. 

That's the thing - I might have lost my appetite for it.   That's what the current situation has cost me.

Edited by Nicko
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13 hours ago, Silvia Bluejay said:

This is an entirely different discussion, probably best tackled on a separate thread. I remember the Basschat Collective coming to the conclusion that, if you are a weekend warrior, you usually end up spending more than you earn, if you take into account buying equipment, maintenance, paying for travel etc. (which you have to do). So HMRC may allow you to self-assess your earnings and your expenses for a while, then it tells you you should consider your activity a hobby and stop wasting their time.

If you are a pro, that's a totally different matter.

Having been freelance all my life (not as a musician), I object to being thought as dishonest by default. Remember that the reason why we can detract all kinds of expenses from our income, so we end up paying less tax, is also to compensate for the lack of sick and holiday pay and lots of other benefits that employees have and we don't.

I'm lucky.

I would say for retired guys like me with a pension, I don't spend more than I earn.I never travel more than 30 minutes to a gig and my gear has been paid for, for years. My gig earnings go straight into a savings account.

Blue

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12 hours ago, Nicko said:

That's the thing - I might have lost my appetite for it.   That's what the current situation has cost me.

Once things get back to near normal the passion will come back. Once a bassist, always a bassist.........at heart anyway.

Dave

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On 21/07/2020 at 08:26, danpb said:

Music for me is a hobby which sometimes covers it's costs, sometimes gives me a little spending money.
Fortunately my main full time job has not being affected by COVID so at least it hasn't been a financial burden with live music effectively being cancelled lately.

For me, meeting with my band, playing shows and sometimes seeing our music being appreciated by others willing to part with money to watch us play, buy our music, buy our merch was still valuable as an emotional release and an escape from the daily grind at work and struggles with mental illness. Thats the part I miss the most right now, it's all just reality, my childhood rock star fantasy is on hold.

Anyone who also relies on their music as a main source of income has my sincere sympathy, I can only imagine how it would be if i'd been relying on it financially too.

Ditto.

On the upside we are back rehearsing now.

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I try not to dwell on missing gigs. Instead I have been using the extra time to learn keyboards and work on my guitar and bass playing. I've also built a pedal and an amp, and have started to re-work an earlier amp build.

My day job pays for all the boring stuff, gig money buys musical toys. Without the gig income, I have had to be a bit stricter with myself i.e. one-in-on-out - it's probably not a bad thing!

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4 hours ago, dmccombe7 said:

Once things get back to near normal the passion will come back. Once a bassist, always a bassist.........at heart anyway.

Dave

Well, actually I'm an accidental bassist, don't tell anyone here but my real love is guitar. The only reason I play bass is because it's difficult to find a band that wants a rhythm guitarist playing the kind of music I like and lack the chops to play lead in a covers band. I have rediscovered home recording and that's probably going to be my outlet from now on.  

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20 minutes ago, Nicko said:

Well, actually I'm an accidental bassist, don't tell anyone here but my real love is guitar. The only reason I play bass is because it's difficult to find a band that wants a rhythm guitarist playing the kind of music I like and lack the chops to play lead in a covers band. I have rediscovered home recording and that's probably going to be my outlet from now on.  

Security breach on level 5.

Guitarist detected on Basschat.

Release the hounds!

🤣

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1 minute ago, gjones said:

Security breach on level 5.

Guitarist detected on Basschat.

Release the hounds!

🤣

I told him not to say anything 😞

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I have been retired for a year and a half now and have combination of pensions(private and government) and savings that allow me to live a comfortable but careful life without any debts. I am 74 and have been gigging since I was 16 and am currently in two bands and have played 15 to 30 gigs a year so it is not a big source of money. Like others on here, it costs me money to play in bands due to distance to gigs and weekly rehearsals but I love it.

Right now I am not missing the money but the good times and social interaction with band members and audiences. I am filling the Covid time practicing almost every day and doing a bit of recording just for fun. Since I play DB, guitar, EB and EUB I can vary what I do each day but it is getting very frustrating with gigs being cancelled and no rehearsals although my playing skills are improving. 

It may be a long time before we get anywhere back to normal and at my age, even though I am in reasonable health, I know the clock is ticking.

In many ways I am quite lucky and feel sorry for the full time musicians who are really struggling and are wondering just what will happen in the music world and how long it will be before things get back to anything near "normal". It will be quite a while I'm afraid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Staggering on said:

I have been retired for a year and a half now and have combination of pensions(private and government) and savings that allow me to live a comfortable but careful life without any debts. I am 74 and have been gigging since I was 16 and am currently in two bands and have played 15 to 30 gigs a year so it is not a big source of money. Like others on here, it costs me money to play in bands due to distance to gigs and weekly rehearsals but I love it.

Right now I am not missing the money but the good times and social interaction with band members and audiences. I am filling the Covid time practicing almost every day and doing a bit of recording just for fun. Since I play DB, guitar, EB and EUB I can vary what I do each day but it is getting very frustrating with gigs being cancelled and no rehearsals although my playing skills are improving. 

It may be a long time before we get anywhere back to normal and at my age, even though I am in reasonable health, I know the clock is ticking.

In many ways I am quite lucky and feel sorry for the full time musicians who are really struggling and are wondering just what will happen in the music world and how long it will be before things get back to anything near "normal". It will be quite a while I'm afraid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope I'm writing the same story when I'm 74. That will be 8 years .

Blue

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11 hours ago, Nicko said:

Well, actually I'm a dedicated  bassist, don't tell anyone here but my real loathing is for guitar. The reason I play bass is because it's fantastic

There you go, fixed and shorter

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11 hours ago, gjones said:

Security breach on level 5.

Guitarist detected on Basschat.

Release the hounds!

🤣

🤮

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21 hours ago, Nicko said:

Well, actually I'm an accidental bassist, don't tell anyone here but my real love is guitar. The only reason I play bass is because it's difficult to find a band that wants a rhythm guitarist playing the kind of music I like and lack the chops to play lead in a covers band. I have rediscovered home recording and that's probably going to be my outlet from now on.  

I'll keep it between us as I have to confess bass is not my main instrument either. Drums and percussion are and then fingerstyle acoustic guitar and 5-string banjo. Mind you, bass comes ahead of electric guitar so there might be some salvation here. BC is a far better forum than those I've found covering drums or guitar 😀. There's some ace creeping if ever there was.

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I'm a guitarist too (and a keyboard player).

What you gonna do about it?

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I guess everybody has been impacted by this, even the amateurs and semi-pros who's livelihood can also be at risk. I went out for a meal on Saturday and we were the only ones in the restaurant. I think a lot of venues are going to go under, from pubs to clubs. Personally I hadn't taken any holiday since last September (for a UK tour) and was gearing up for a European tour in April and a UK tour later in the month. I felt pretty burnt out from my main job and of course both tours were pulled. I am a key worker so have worked throughout and currently haven't had a break for 10 months now. My outlet (i.e. music) has taken a beating and I don't see the end in sight. I have a UK tour booked for October that I can't see happening and my only gig is a socially distanced private event in a farmer's field next month. I far cry from jetting around Norway, Sweeden, Italy, Spain etc. I worry that as things resume, venues won't be able to pay acts and then the ones that do will be duos or solo singers.

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