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Thread: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

  1. #41
    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
    I also felt that Miles got the very best from Coltrane, though others may certainly disagree.
    I certainly do.

  2. #42
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Another example I can think of is Mike Oldfield on guitar. I really dig his style and some of his early works, but my favorite solo that I've ever heard him play was on a Pekka Pohjola album.

  3. #43

    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    It is how a musician earns life... we can't always pick the gigs we want with be musicians we like. That's nothing wrong with happened with you. (the ears part is the worse). By my experience is already good with "unprofessional" players shows up in time, because many of the pros don't.

    Anyway you were playing as side man so don't get that so personal xD
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  4. #44
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    why do I have to choose? its good work anyway you get it. B
    “We are what we repeatedly do.
    Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
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  5. #45
    Distinguished SOTW Member Fader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jicaino View Post
    Mmm... not sure about that. Nowadays I prefer anything but "original music".
    You're kidding right? It's all original at some point and good music is still being written. I like my cover band gigs, but I love my original music bands (I'm in two that actually get gigs). It may be that my main gig is composing - not sax playing, but when the two combine and I get to perform the material live - it's nirvana.

  6. #46
    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Quote Originally Posted by SaxTMan View Post
    many of the pros don't.
    Then they're not pros.

  7. #47
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Fader View Post
    You're kidding right? It's all original at some point and good music is still being written. I like my cover band gigs, but I love my original music bands (I'm in two that actually get gigs). It may be that my main gig is composing - not sax playing, but when the two combine and I get to perform the material live - it's nirvana.
    no I'm not kidding.

    Quote Originally Posted by magical pig View Post
    Then they're not pros.
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  8. #48
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    My day job limits me to being a hired gun. But I am in demand, mostly because when I commit I show early and ready to play, something that cannot always be said about many other "professionals." I played one gig with a local pro sax guy who showed late, was tired and played every third tune becuase he wasn't in the mood. At the end of the night he was first in line for a paycheck--what balls!!!

    Pick up bands have their moments. Sometimes you find yourself in the zone when you're playing with those that you rarely see. In my neighborhood, most of us jazz guys have played together in one combination or another, so we've already developed a sense of what we're thinking. We've also agreed upon the right hand signals to get the starts and finishes together. One bandleader has built real books for each player, complete with repeats and audibles. (No sense bringing 2000 pages in three real books if you're only going to play 30 tunes) When we get a gig the books are waiting for us, complete with a play list. That's a band leader!
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  9. #49

    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Quote Originally Posted by magical pig View Post
    Then they're not pros.
    tell that to them...
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    Distinguished SOTW Member Fader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by modman View Post
    why do I have to choose? its good work anyway you get it. B
    You don't. In fact, you almost have to do both and more to make a living unless you're very fortunate. I tend to take all the work I can get, but I love to play and don't seem to need much sleep.

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Quote Originally Posted by SaxTMan View Post
    tell that to them...
    They'll find out as the real pros keep getting the jobs they lose.

  12. #52

    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Quote Originally Posted by DanPerezSax View Post
    They'll find out as the real pros keep getting the jobs they lose.
    i hope so.. unfortunately that is not what happens when there few great players near by..
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  13. #53
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Fader View Post
    You don't. In fact, you almost have to do both and more to make a living unless you're very fortunate. I tend to take all the work I can get, but I love to play and don't seem to need much sleep.
    Fader you're preaching to the choir I totally agree.

    B
    “We are what we repeatedly do.
    Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
    ~Aristotle

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Quote Originally Posted by SaxTMan View Post
    Anyway you were playing as side man so don't get that so personal xD
    To whom are you speaking here? If you're answering my OP, I didn't take anything 'personal' out of the experience. Just made some observations, and I actually had a reasonably good time on the gig. No complaints really, just curious about other's experiences and preferences, which is why I started the thread.

    Likewise, in no way am I saying a choice has to be made. You could choose to do one or the other, or both. As a listener I almost always prefer a well-rehearsed band that is not full of subs. I know some really good players (usually guitarists or vocalists or both) who play with a band they throw together on every gig. As a result the end product doesn't usually sound very good, even if the leader is a good player. But that's not necessarily the same thing as using one sub in an established band. So lots of different factors are involved.

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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Tissimo View Post
    sounds like a gig I played at the Condor Club in Northbeach last year. A fight broke out in between two horn players during the set, and I got outta there quick.
    ahhhhhh the condor!
    the "world-renowned" strip club in SF
    now there's a place I almost got to play at this month.
    but, the BL cancelled. Oh well. i'm not sorry.
    i would have given anything to see that fight though.
    (where are the cell phone peepers when you need them)

    Somebody mentioned burlesque gigs in another topic.
    I hear about quite a lot of those in my town, from my horn friends.
    Wonder why I don't get calls for those.
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    I've done both simultaneously.

    Cons for playing an established band: When I was most active, I did the copy work for the horns, some arranging. There were many hours of transcribing horn charts and dealing with the rhythm section, teaching them the song. It was a lot of unpaid work.

    Pros for playing in an established band: If you're not doing the transcription and arranging, and somebody hands you a chart, that's great. Less work.

    Cons for freelance work: You may not find yourself playing with competent musicians. If you're a good, strong player, you may find yourself carrying the band. You may find yourself playing in scary bars. You may not get paid if you don't really know the musicians. Even if you get a gig in a good venue, you may still find yourself working on a Monday night with no audience. You may find yourself in a situation which is really out of your genre. (I was actually in a punk group called "Crib Death" back in the '70's. Then there was "Mars Gordon."

    Pros for freelance work: You may meet fabulous musicians from whom you can learn something. You may meet famous musicians. Somebody in the band may really like your playing and pass your name around to other good musicians. It's called networking. You may get some nice studio work.
    The absolute real reason I continue is the free shrimp at the cocktail hour. It's the little things.--- Rich Maraday

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Quote Originally Posted by martysax View Post
    Then the leader comes over and says that they can't always afford to pay for a six-piece, but someday...
    Yeah, that's a laugh.
    My wife, whose ears I trust, said that my sound is much fuller, richer, more powerful and resonant on this set up.
    ... but really folks... my wife said, " It sounds like a saxophone ".

  18. #58

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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Wow. I respect all you guys who have the time to make a living at it. I have a family and that's more than enough for me. I play in a "community" band and love it. Someone else hands out the music, I play it. Although now and then I'll take another gig if it fits into my schedule. Recently did a guest thing for a band. It went really well. Just all around fun. There was a tenor player there whose main was keys. We had alot of fun. I showed up one night to hear the leader of that band, who was playing with another sort of pick-up band. Apparently he noticed me because after they finished the song they were playing when I walked in, he calls out, over the mic, Hey, did you bring your sax??? Now I've got the entire audience turning to see who the guy is talking to and he points me out. Yikes.

    You guys who make the horn your full time work, wow. I did that for a while back in the late eighties and early nineties. Lots of travelling, lots of playing with people I'd never met before. The money was good but the life can be crazy busy and a very different kind of demanding.

    Yeah, and I also remember how annoying it was when I was there early and others were always late. Didn't matter who I was playing with, there always seemed to be somebody who was laaaaaaate. I thank all that is good for prepared managers.

    Nowadays I just play locally. I take things as they come and just enjoy the heck out of it.

    Harv

  19. #59

    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    I really only play in one "band", the rest of the time it's the 9 or 10 of us around here that actually know tunes and how to do "jazz" restaurant gigs.
    Any time playing with who ever is almost always fun for me, but there are one or two I just can't stomach and have turned down enough that they finally got the point.
    The real problem with free lancing is a lot of the time the lame players put more effort into landing gigs because nobody will hire them as sidemen.

  20. #60
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing in your own band vs being a 'hired gun.'

    Well, I've been acting as a hired gun now playing off nights now that I had to take a couple months off from my usual Saturday night gigs during my son's football season. It's great just having to show up with a sax and not worry about set lists, phone calls and club owners. Just be the man.

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