Advice for First Paying Gig?

Superficially yes i agree, but think a little deeper…
foolmon is doing nothing wrong at all… it covers both parties’ interests… i think he just might have dodged a bullet.

There are certain, subtle things i do now when dealing with this type of situation to see how people react, it can give one a lot of insight into people’s attitudes and motives.

I don’t charge a penny for what i do here, i do it for fun and i seriously enjoy the challenge of pushing myself in ways i still can because of health problems so it’s a case of i can get a lot of pleasure purely from working on a project and i’m happy with that.

I get quite a lot of requests from people i know and via people i know. Many of the projects have involved some seriously good people and it’s been a hugely rewarding journey in those respects.
The relevant part of this is that i also get requests from people that essentially involve myself having to take a hurriedly ‘written song’ of theirs (usually done on their own cubase seteup that hey love showing people but don’t actually know how to use themselves), record their nasty, cheap and badly performed guitar and tuneless vocals and miraculously turn it into something vaguely resembling music… this happens on an all too frequent basis unfortunately which is why i filter people out by making things conditional… hence your contract. If someone complains that they don’t want to develop their idea a little further or practice a part until they can perform it regularly without making mistakes then i walk away.

you’ve spent A LOT of time, effort and money on your setup and getting to grips with it, someone who isn’t willing to sign an agreement to something ANY even half decent/mindful musician would have no issue with as most of what’s expected of them would occur by default… i.e. not wrecking equipment, being on time etc is likely to be a pain in the arse so i’ve learned from personal experience… they’re just not worth the hassle!

If someone has an issue with that, essentially behaving like a decent person, then walk away mate… if they get back to you with a signed contract meanwhile then nice one! … just get back on the bike and keep peddling mate :wink:

Good post, majtones.

The one thing I neglected to mention was that one of the trio lives in Florida (while I live in NJ essentially 10 minutes from another member of the trio). So this could be legitimate save for the fact that they were all ready to record in January in spite of the geographical differences. Maybe they simply want to make sure they are fully prepared…? I don’t know.

No worries, yw!

Personally i would just forget about it and see if they get back to you… if it’s just a coincidence them i’m sure they’ll contact you again, if they don’t then you’ve dodged that bullet… them’s yer possibles mate :wink: i wouldn’t spend too much time thinking about it, the ball is in their court… i’ts annoying - yes, a little rude - yes, a bit ignorant - yes, possible indicator of the types you’re dealing with?

Hopefully they will get back to you and everything will go as planned…

Meanwhile… keep doing what you’re doing and you’re going to get better at it for the next serious person/s who come along… you develop a kind of ‘knobhead radar’ after a while and learn to spot them from a distance thankfully.

I wouldn’t worry about it. I had this guy come in late last year wanting to record here. He recorded here before then he moved on to another Studio that charged peanuts. Long story short, the Studio owner he was dealing with flew the coop and with that taking the studio files. The guy who wanted to record here never paid him for anything. He came to me wanting to record the album over. I gave him a price and told him my terms of payment and he kept trying to negotiate with me. I told him I never work in the negative and you always pay partially ahead. He hemmed and hawed yet his bandmate totally understood. He said he didn’t have all the money so I told him to save it up and then come see me. He never came to see me! :laughing: :laughing:

Yeah, I’m not. Either they sign the contract or they don’t. It’s not like this is paying my bills.

Good thread, some excellent posts.

I’ll stick to basics.

Establish a day rate for yourself and work out how many days the project will take. Remember the idea of the eight hour shift and then it’s overtime per per day after eight, or after 10 hours of work. Even if you end up agreeing to a set fee for the project, at least use this to figure out how good or bad the deal is. Overtime is billed at time and half the hour pro rated and you can add other items – taxes, p&w, ssi, etc. depending in where you are.


  • Engineer(s)
    Equipment Rental
    Talent, Musicians, Singers – Fees and Contracts
    Studio Rental
    Equipment Rental
    Food and Lodging

Day Rate =

This is a good mini-budget for just you and the band.

People, time and money…

Good luck. I’ll be back to read the other good posts in this thread later.