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Who on here is make a living out of gigging


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  • BassAdder27 changed the title to Who on here is make a living out of gigging

Once upon a time gigging was my sole income. Thankfully that did not last too long as it barely put food on the table and paid the rent. If I had needed new strings it would have come from savings. The best you could say for it was I was saved from claiming the unemployment benefit.

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In moving to France, for some years my sole income was from playing drums, in a variety band, depping and functions. Then I married, bought a (ruined...) cottage and got a real job (technicien in a music shop...). I kept on with the gigs, but now had a salary as well. Happy daze. B|

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Posted (edited)

Not me. That said, we're all in our 50's and despite me and our drummer being retired were so busy were turn a helluva lot of gigs down due to availability (t we urned down two offers between 8 and 9pm last night alone). 

 

That being the case, I reckon I could earn a living at if availability weren't an issue. The demand if there. It wouldn't be the living i earned when I was working, but I reckon I could average North of the minimum wage for a notional 40 hour week.

 

Conversely, I wouldn't want to - it only takes a pandemic to kick you in the balls.

 

 

Edited by Bassfinger
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I’ve earned a living from being a gigging bass player for 30 years. Am now in my mid 60’s

and will continue for a while yet, assuming my health allows.

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In my 20s I was living in London on a graduate salary which just about covered the essentials and debt repayment I did quite a lot of depping and function band work which essentially paid for having my lifestyle. From my 30s i did less and less partly as I was then on a decent salary and partly because I became more picky about what gigs I did.

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Making a decent living must be pretty tough, but I have met a couple of people over the years who make it work. 
 

Finding decent paid gigs must be the big challenge unless you are part of a touring act. I used to pick up around £200-£300 for wedding gigs but I’d need to be doing at least 8 of those a month to come close.

 

My oldest friend has been full time for over ten years now and he makes a very good living from recording library music for tv/radio and doing scoring and sessions, so it is possible. He does absolutely no live stuff.

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I'm currently not gigging, but yes, certainly pre-covid I was earning a considerable percentage of my income from performing. Currently my focus is in teaching and producing video and written content freelance for two major bass mags. I'll be back on the gigging horse when I get a new band together.

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I used to, along with studio work. Sometimes it was a bit stressful if there were lean times, but I’d got into the habit of putting earnings away to tide myself over.

 

The pandemic saw off all my 2020 live work, then emigration and health issues seem to finished off my gigging for good. Never say never and all that, but I’d be surprised if I got back into it again now. But from 1984 till xmas 2019 wasn’t a bad run, and I reckon I was pretty lucky to have fluked it for as long as I did. 

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I've been in a band where the money we made from gigging, selling merch and performance royalties pretty much covered all the running costs of the band. That's the best I've been ablate do in 45+ years of playing in bands.

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I'd hate to turn gigging into a job, it would definitely suck the fun out of it for me.  The band I'm currently in is the the most active band I've been in for years; it manages to cover all my gigging expenses and GAS and that's good enough for me.

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17 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

I've been in a band where the money we made from gigging, selling merch and performance royalties pretty much covered all the running costs of the band. That's the best I've been ablate do in 45+ years of playing in bands.

Same here, everything went back into the band so we never made any money, but this way the band paid for all hotels/flights/ferries/recordings/new merch etc.

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I do enough gigs to make the 'hobby' pay for itself, and have decent gear and great memories as a result. I've always done band stuff in parallel with a full time job.

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16 hours ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I've never gigged with making a living out of it in mind, nor would I ever want to.

It's an enjoyable hobby which has the added bonus of generating some GAS funds.

This ☝🏻

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