Charging to play

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by akinsgre, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 6, 2012
    Ft. Worth, TX
    I tend to agree. Donations of any kind should come from a sincere heart, not from guilt or pressure from someone else.

    As motivators, those are no more honorable than money.
  2. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Tobylou8,
    You stated:
    "Interesting, I play in church twice every Sunday 8-9 songs weekly. It's always good, so what could that be worth? There's also Thursdays rehearsal 7-8:30! Not that I'm looking for a check (but the preacher does get paid), just curious.
    Oh my!! What you are doing is just fine and fine is good enough. Let me explain why:
    There was this old lady in the neighborhood that had apple trees. Every year, kids in the neighborhood would climb the trees, pick the apples, throw them at each other and kids. Every year the old lady would come out of her house and yell and scream at the kids and just like kids do, they would run in twenty different directions only to be back in the trees the next day doing the same thing. One year however, things changed. Just like the years before, the apples were ripe and the kids were in the trees and the old lady came out of her house. The kids were expecting anger and cussing but instead she said "don't run. I've got a proposition! For every apple you kids pick that's good, I'll give a quarter." Of course the kids went wild and picked a bunch of apples and got a bunch of quarters.
    The next day, the kids were back in the trees and the old lady came out of her house and said "don't run, I've got a proposition. For every apple you pick that's good, I'll give you a dime." Granted, it's not as much as a quarter per apple but it's still a lot of money. So the kids picked a bunch of apples and got a bunch of dimes.
    The next day the same kids were in the apple trees and the old lady came out of her house and said "Don't run, I've got a proposition. For every apple you pick, I'll give you a penny." The kids voiced up almost in unison saying, Hell no old lady!! pick your own damned apples." The kids then left the orchard pissed, feeling that the old lady was a cheap skate and found a new place to play.
    What's the moral of the story?
    Be careful when you attach an extrinsic reward to something that was once free and intrinsically rewarding.
    Sometimes the real worth is found in just doing it.
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Dr. Mark, I agree 100%! I was just curious.
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    The United Methodist Church which my wife and I attend seats a congregation of 250 with 24 more seats in the choir loft. The Jackson Baptist Church seats only 200 plus 24, and the Episcopal 100 & 0. I reiterate, none of these is musically adequate IMO. The Town of Jackson has a population of just 695 according to the 2000 Census ... my wife and I came here in 2009. Don't know if that increased the Census or not. The biggest activity in town is County Government. Whiskey & liquors are not served by the drink, but can be purchased by the bottle at County ABC stores of which my wife is now the manager of one. IMO the absence of alcohol by the drink diminishes the venues for music AND THE TAX BASE. Commercially, the town is dying and if the State re-routes US 158 ( the main thoroughfare thru town) as is planned IMO one can consider Jackson a ghost town. I can count on my fingers and thumbs the new builds in town within the last 50 years! I would have to use my toes also to count the deteriorated uninhabitable structures that still abound. I would add that Jackson is only 108 feet above mean sea level, quite moist and subject to Atlantic hurricanes.
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    How large is it! :-)
  6. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Let me add my perspective. Oh, I'm not bragging, or trying to make anyone squirm, here, just relating my side of things. Last Easter I had an offer to play at another church for two services, practice ahead of time, and it would pay $200. I also was committed to play at my own church for Easter Sunday, two services, just like every year. My choice was exactly what you might expect. I played for my own service, and did it to praise the Lord and enjoyed it very much, thank you.
  7. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    IF I get a call for a free gig I always explain that I live 25-50 miles away (depending on the location). Each way. For each rehearsal and service.

    So, two rehearsals and 3 services costs me $50 bucks just for gas plus 7-10hrs of driving time back and forth. If it is MY church, or something I support then it is up to me to decide if that committment is worth it. BUT... if it is YOUR event/church/charity then why is it on ME to pay for YOU to have a killer trumpet player.

    This holds true for guys that call me to sub in their college community big band that they normally play in for free. I play in my own band but there a 4-5 others across town. Once in a while one of those guys get a paying gig and I have to explain that its going to cost me $xx to cover the book just in gas and time. Why should I have to cough up money so YOU can go take a paying gig!? They have to at least cover my expenses.

    Even so, it is good to have guys owe you favors, and it is good to get heard by other people across town... so there is value in doing it.

    If you are just straight up the hired gun pro for the Easter service at some church you have never been to then you should get the full monty.
  8. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    My quintet is playing Easter for 1st time in a few years. $500, no negotiation.

    Unless its my own church, which I do for free, or a friend's which I'll do for whatever they can pay,
    I really am not going to be interested for less than $100, and if it's a holiday then $150.

    There's other factors too. If the MD is not someone I've worked with I will not cut a break, and here's why,
    last year I agreed to do Easter and I ended up playing off copied keyboard parts because when I told
    them I didn't have a preference for what to play, they took it as I would be selecting and bringing music.

    That might fly in some "liberal" services, but most churches want to know what is being played and when during the service.

    Anyway, I kinda scratched that client off my list for "return engagements". Working with clueless people is not fun.
  9. duanemassey

    duanemassey Piano User

    Jul 14, 2009
    Being that I am a long-standing confirmed heathen, I am not interested in donating my services. I do play at two or three churches here in the region, as well as write out simple horn parts, and I am always paid for this work. The churches involved are all very knowledgeable of the prevailing rates, and the amount they offer has always been more than what I would have asked (in one case I negotiated with them for a lower price for some charts). I also have received requests to play at other churches that normally used volunteer musicians, but the conversation ended when I inquired about the pay.
    If you are comfortable with $20, then you're good. The problem will be the day that you decide it's not worth $20, and you ask for more. No good deed goes unpunished.
  10. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    On the subject of playing in church services, I always play in my own church for free, even when there are "outside" musicians brought in for special events and are paid. They used to pay me, too, in those circumstances, but I asked them not to. I always donated my pay back to the church anyway, but that just created extra IRS paperwork. As for other churches, I always expect to be paid for my services.

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