What kind of trumpet gigs are out there?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by nestbeast, May 5, 2010.

  1. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

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    Jul 31, 2008
    Cultural black hole
    Last week while I was making my regular stop to the state unemployment office, I told my councilor that I played the trumpet. He said " why don't you join the local musicians union?". (the state unemployment office is a true exercise in futility)
    We moved down here 15 years ago. When we lived up North I belonged to a small local. The only gigs were parades and park band and ,sometimes, big band concerts. There was up there, however, a few places where you could "sit in" - maybe play some tunes or attempt to play some jazz - I'm no Chet Baker. There even some "jam" sessions.

    I have always played trumpet but in order to keep the bills paid and pay my share of the food, I've worked a variety of miserable jobs, but you do what you have to do. So you understand; I have not just left Las Vegas or the LA studio scene. I've worked my day or night jobs and always tried to keep up on my horn. I haven't done, even a church gig, in 5 years.
    I know a bunch of "standard tunes", can read legit or big band stuff, and can fake my way through a jazz solo if I have to. About 3 years ago I played tunes while on the downtown main streets a couple of nights a week - very interesting. I was a "street musican".

    The area that we live in now is what I consider a cultural black hole. The local symphony just cancelled its season - it was dying a slow painful death over the past 10 years. You do not hear any horn bands in whatever night clubs/restaurants they have around. Churchs have taken to using the members of the congregation for soloists rather than hiring professionals.
    I don't even know of any places to sit in. About 10 years I auditioned for a agent at a gig he had. I asked to play " I Can't Get Started - the band didn't know the tune. Guess I'm dating myself.
    Today I sent in my application. I really don't know what to expect, if anything. I am not part of the "good ole boy" network around here.

    My question: what are other trumpet players doing? Please don't respond if you gig with Winton, Wayne Bergeron, or Harry Connick - you get the picture.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    The best way to get work is to make it yourself. Start a band and start harassing the local venues.
     
  3. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

    83
    1
    Jul 31, 2008
    Cultural black hole
    That's true and I have been told that before. The trouble is, is that its easier said than done. You have to know a lot of musicians and quality ones at that. You also need rehearsal space and people willing to put in the effort with you.
    I do hope that by joining the local that I will at least meet some musicians.
    Thank you for advice - it is good.
     
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    You have to market yourself.
    Get the phone book out and go to the yellow pages. As yourself "What places use live entertainment and what places "SHOULD" have entertainment" and write down the name of the place and the phone number. When you call, find out the name of the person that heads up entertainment and write the person's name by the phone number. That way when you call them next month, you ask for them by name.
    You'll get turned down alot. Along with people that hire you, you'll have people that will turn you down. Don't delete them from your call list.
    If they don't use your services, it means they didn't need you that particular month. Next month starts a new month and a new set of variables for the bar or restuarant owner to contend with.
    Find out what the general price of a gig is and offer less. For example, offer to play two shows back to back if the bar owner pays for the first one up front. That way they get entertainment for two nights instead of one. You don't have to stick to the "two for the price of one deal" but its a great way to get started.
    Always offer to do a little audition if it seems like the person is loosing interest in your sales pitch.
    Play at charity functions that "really" help the community for free or at a greatly discounted price.
    Play everything from prisons to palaces.
    Play at open mikes to get known.
    Dress nice when you play. It shows respect.
    ALWAYS look at the calender and find holidays. Design your gigs with a theme dictated by the holiday.
    Have a call list of people every month that you call around the 1st of every month and (in the case of a month with a holiday) also about a week before the holiday.
    Here's an unfortunate truth: People will be the one's hiring you. A person can have the greatest chops in the world but if they don't know how to market themselves and lack "friendly" people skills, then all they will do is play fantastic music to their cat in their apartment. I highly recommend Dale Carnegie's book "How to Win Friends and Influence People.
    Here's another unfortunate truth:
    The business part of music really sucks.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  5. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

    83
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    Jul 31, 2008
    Cultural black hole
    This is good advice, only, I just don't know any other musicians.
    The late, great Buddy Rich always raved about the Dale Carnegie Book and how it helped him.
     
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Don't need other musicians:
    Create or purchase play alongs and backtracks. Some will require BMI /ASCAP fees but for a song its usually way less than a dollar. Many really good professional musicians use backtracks exclusively because they simply got tired of having to deal with musicians who would either show up drunk or lacked the skills to pull off a competent gig. Also, with backtracks, you don't have to share the money.
     
  7. nestbeast

    nestbeast Pianissimo User

    83
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    Jul 31, 2008
    Cultural black hole
    This is something that I have never thought about or even knew about. What are backtracks? Are they like the Jamie Abersold play a longs? I do not understand about BMI or ASCAP fees. Does this pertain to my playing a song and paying royalities for this?
    As a trumpet player, have you ever done this?
    I would probably need some good equipment to play these tracks on so it would sound good with a live horn.
    This is a great idea - thank you. You are very smart.
     
  8. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

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    Feb 27, 2008
    Can you explain where this fee came from? Is it the venue owner telling you there is a fee to perform certain songs or...?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  9. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    2,156
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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Instead of me giving you second hand information, Go to ASCAP's website. A explaination of ASCAP terms and conditions as it pertains to using copyrighted material in a public forum can be found on their.
     
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    2,156
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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    The fee is payment for the privelege to perform copyrighted material in a public forum.
     

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