Topic: charity gigs, do they help  (Read 2869 times)

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nullify_drummer

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charity gigs, do they help
« on: June 26, 2002, 09:12 PM »
hey does doin charity gigs help with gettin your name out? cause my band has a charity gig comin up, and i was wonderin if it would give us good street credit?

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re:charity gigs, do they help
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2002, 10:20 PM »
I can't really say that doing charity gigs are any different than any other gig ... as far as getting "good street credit". In fact, the times that I've done this type of thing (for free), people start expecting it all the time. You might get real popular, but if you are trying to make a living in music ... you can forget it.

Overall I believe that ALL gigs have the potential of giving you an edge. You get more exposure, never knowing just who will be in the audience. It's about being at the right place at the right time.

Often times people will try to get you to play for the charity, telling you will get this and that; telling you that "so and so" will be there or it will land you more gigs. In over twenty years of playing professionally, I can count on one hand the number of times anything positive has happened to my career ... directly linked to the charity gig. Sure, you can feel good knowing that you are DONATING your time to a worthy cause ... but to expect anything more than that will leave you very frustrated.

I recently played for a benefit for a foundation that raises money to aid abused children in the state of Texas. I got $100 for the gig (which was low in my mind) but it was for a good cause ... AND ... I got to back a hot local R&B artist. Turns out that everyone loved us, and this artist loved working with us and wants to do more! So, it really paid off so to speak.

The important thing in my last scenario is that I went in expecting nothing. All the cool stuff that ended up happening was serendipity.

As long as you don't expect anything more than the obvious, like what you agreed to play for $$$ wise, I wouldn't hold on to any other promises, etc. Any exposure is good exposure. Even politicians agree that bad press is good press because their names are in the public eye.

So if you can AFFORD to play for nothing or very little, and you need to get more exposure (who doesn't), and it's for a good cause, then I'd do it in a heart beat.

Jazzman

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Re:charity gigs, do they help
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2002, 10:53 PM »
Hey shan-o and Bart,

There is a local group that puts on a show on at a local highschool in MI for a meager fee I believe if not for free.  

The leader that I know(guitarist) has his band that features some well known people that play along with the group.  They have at least seven people in the group.  They feature some high profile folks on stage too.  They do this once per year, and have some of the selected music students from the school play lead parts in front of the audience with the band.  It always turns out good for the group and for the students.

The group really benifits.  They do cover songs, but do gigs all around the Detroit area.

I think this is cool if this is a set time and you are willing to do it fo free, or at least cover the cost for gas and some time.  Call it what it is a charity session.  But you need to be tight, professional, and hand out freebee's to gain exposure for other gigs.

My 2 cents worth........

Jazzman 8)

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re:charity gigs, do they help
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2002, 01:44 AM »
yeah ... the whole pro bono thing is great ... but only when YOU decide it is. Even lawyers do this, but it's usually their decision. They are expected to do a certain amount of this type of thing throughout the year, but THEY decide when. I think YOU or your band should be the ones who decide whether it's right or not. What I hate is when someone tries to manipulate the me or the situation ... telling me what I should or shouldn't do; almost to the point of making me out to be a jerk or "non-caring" if I refuse. That's when they start making claims like "oh, you'll get lot's of exposure" or "it will be good for you" or "you'll meet __________" or even worse "we've got a big (paying) event coming up in a few months, so we'll be calling you for that".

I helped out a local bass player who was producing a particular local artist. He talked me into laying some percussion tracks for him and I was to be paid $1.00; that's right one dollar. He said that he had some "other" projects coming up that he would use me on; and yet he's never called me to this date. We know each other and work together on ocassion.

So if someone lures you in with the promise of more work, etc., I would encourage you to get it in writing or even get a contract on it before you do the pro bono thing.

nullify_drummer

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Re:charity gigs, do they help
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2002, 10:05 AM »
hey thanks for the advice. its a free gig and i'm not much up for doin it but i'll do it and give it my best, but were a new band and we need to get out name out. its for the relay for life/cancer society, so i guess the only thing were gonna get outta it is the satisfaction that we helped out in trying to cure cancer and thats about it.

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re:charity gigs, do they help
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2002, 10:23 AM »
hey thanks for the advice. its a free gig and i'm not much up for doin it but i'll do it and give it my best, but were a new band and we need to get out name out. its for the relay for life/cancer society, so i guess the only thing were gonna get outta it is the satisfaction that we helped out in trying to cure cancer and thats about it.

Sometimes ... that's enough ... just knowing you did something positive for your fellow man.

Who knows, you never know who will hear you. But for a new band, I think it would be a real plus. Free exposure, laid back gig, getting your feet wet performing in front of people as a group ... just think of it as a organized rehearsal.  ;D

Jazzman

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Re:charity gigs, do they help
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2002, 10:18 PM »
I forgot to mention that the band I was refering to had this live performance taped for cable TV.  The school has their own studio and local network.  They air the gig many times on a specific channel, day and night.  The credits are shown too.  Good press,and a good way to deliver demos of the band at the session.

Maybe you could get someone that has a good digital camera to record the session, talk to the local newspaper and or TV station to let them know that this charity event is comming up and maybe you'll get some professional free coverage.  

With all of the crap going on in todays cities, a good fund raising affair sheds light to local issues, it might produce additional work, exposure, and repeat business.  Who knows unless you try.

You'll never know who might have a loved one viewing your work that day get some ideas to  promote this type of event for other areas.  This would of course need to be reviewed by the group as one way to get some additional exposure(not for free either).

I'd call up some local news folks to see if they may be interested, and I would still tape the session for future reference for your own performance evaluation as well as for promotionsbeyond that event

My extended 2 cents worth........

Jazzman 8)

 

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