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6 Reasons To Tip Your Local Musicians.

By Yandas Admin August 19, 2022 0 comments

Whether your a seasoned Rockstar selling out stadiums, or a weekend warrior playing local bar gigs, the reality is that the life of a gigging musician isn't all fun and games. It's hard work! Hours spent on the road, driving home from the middle of nowhere at 4am, hauling heavy sound gear. Not to mention the countless hours of practice time that goes completely unappreciated. If you are a gigging musician, you are out there making it happen, keeping music alive. This is our salute to your hard work!

For those of you enjoying a night out at the bar listening to that killer band play your favorite tunes, those musicians worked their butts off to get there. Don't be afraid to leave those musicians a tip. Here are 6 reasons they deserve it!



Play For Exposure

Bars, Clubs, Hotels, Really any venue you can name will use the phrase "play for exposure". If you have been around the industry for a while you know exactly what I'm talking about. If this is a new phrase for you buckle up! Basically the venue isn't paying the band in money, they are paying the band by giving them the "honor" of playing in their venue. The so called incentive here is that so many people will see your band, that you will book more paid gigs as a result. I may be biased here, but this is a crap deal. The long and the short of it is your time is worth money. You wouldn't flip burgers at the local burger joint for "exposure" hoping to get hired for a backyard barbeque. "Exposure" doesn't pay the bills. That band on-stage may not be making dime for their time. Throw 'em bone!



Cost of Gear

People not in the industry do not understand the cost of putting together a sound system, a trailer to haul it, the cost of quality instruments and amps. Just to get a band up and running cost a small fortune in gear. What about singers? They don't need any gear right? Just because their instrument is their voice doesn't mean they don't need a quality microphone and vocal fx processors. Most local bands will be 10 to 20 grand in the hole on equipment cost just to get up and running. 



Outdoor Gigs

Outdoor gigs are great! There is nothing better than rocking a small town street dance, where the crowd is having a good time, letting loose until the wee hours of the morning. There is no better feeling a musician, than to entertain a crowd. There is no worse for feeling for a musician than having your $20,000 worth of electronic equipment get drenched in rain as that Thunderstorm rolls in from out of nowhere. Who do think the foots the bill for equipment damage? 

The reality is that a band is taking a large financial risk when playing an outdoor gig. Show them your support and appreciation by throwing little cash their way. 



Practice Time/Education

The amount of people that aspire to be a musician, versus those that actually put in the time to become good at it is a staggeringly small number!!! Even to be a mediocre musician takes A LOT of time, practice, and experience. On a similar note, the number of people that call themselves musicians versus  the ones that are actually good enough to entertain you is an eye opening stat as well. It takes an incredible amount of time locked in a practice room working out riffs, working on timing, and learning the craft of music. The point here is that very few peopl will actually get to the point where they are good enough to get on a stage and entertain people. Many musicians receive secondary education, which aint cheap, to become a proficient musician. Other professions generally get paid more for higher levels of education. What about Musicians? Oh that's right, we are supposed to be happy with "exposure". 




Every time I tell someone I toured as a drummer I get one of two responses... "I didn't know you play drums" (I mainly play guitar now) and "Oh My Goodness You Toured!!!" Ok guys it's not at all that glamourous! We played little dive shows across the Midwest. We spent more money than we made and I slept on couches in the homes of strangers and in vans with four other dudes and no showers. Good times indeed! This is the reality for all but the most successful touring acts. It isn't partying in hotel rooms without a care in the world. It's hoping to sell enough Merch so that you can afford gas to get to the next town. 



Can I Play Your Instrument?

If you have played bar gigs for any length of time you have probably heard this question a time or twelve. Weather it's setting up or tearing down, sometimes it can be between sets, I'll always get some drunk person ask me if they can play my guitar or my bandmates drums. You can always tell they have no idea how to play but in their mind, they are ready to be a real rock-star! For the sake of not angering the people you're trying to please, you have be kind and politely turn them away just to have them keep pestering you. I have personally witnessed multiple occasions of gear being destroyed by this drunk fool who thinks he deserves the spotlight. 1. Don't be this guy. 2. Don't let your friends by this guy 3. TIP YOUR MUSICIANS!.

Now obviously this article is somewhat tongue in cheek and there are clearly much harder ways to make living. Thank you to anyone who works a difficult job and feels unappreciated. My point here is that playing shows may seem like fun (it is) but there is a lot of less-than-glamorous work that goes into it.

If you're out on the town at a venue with a band or solo artist playing, first of all thank you for leaving your house. Less and less people want to do this now days. All I ask is that you don't take for granted the amount of dedication, sacrifice, and hard work those musicians had to put in so you could have a fun night out. Keep music alive by supporting your local musicians.

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