What kind of trumpet gigs are out there?

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

  1. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    What are backtracks?
    Usually, its the harmony part that is electronically generated while you play the lead. This concept has been used for many decades by musicians of all types and genres.
    The downside to backtracks are, you better be pretty good on the horn because it is just you and no one else. You can end up sounding very professional or crash quite hard.
    If you decide to use backtracks, make sure you know your parts!
  2. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    That's what I eventually did. You might have to play on weeknights for tips, but that gets exposure. What helped me the most is that I married a piano player. Band In A Wife!
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Join as many bands and ensembles as possible , it doesnt matter how good or bad you think they sound, you'll be meeting new people each time. When I was discharged from the army after 3 years of service,, I realized I needed new contacts. I joined different groups and each time someone would tell me of an other better band that they played with. This went on for some time before I started playing good gigs, never auditioned, always got gigs by word of mouth.
  4. dan42guy

    dan42guy New Friend

    May 6, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    Find a trumpet teacher in the area that is also involved in the local music scene. Take a few lessons with him/her and ask them to recommend some groups for you to play with. Al Innella has it right, but sometimes finding that first group to play with is difficult. Having a trumpet teacher is a good way to find out about groups like that. Also, the teacher might know of other people doing the same thing you are and be able to help you put together a band or at least a quintet.
  5. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    Any place that has music in it, whether live music or radio or Muzak or whatever, is almost certainly going to have blanket BMI/ASCAP licenses that allow any song to be performed there. As a performer you should pretty much never have to worry about whether or not you can play a certain song because of licenses/copyrights.

    Unless you're playing BMI/ASCAP songs on the street, anyways. Then somebody might hassle you about it but I think the BMI/ASCAP people generally have bigger fish to fry and won't bother you unless you're drawing a big crowd.

    I'm just wondering whether you have paid this fee before and who you paid it to, where you were performing when you paid it and who told you that you needed to pay it? Because I've never had to pay a fee nor have I ever heard of someone needing to pay a fee. It sounds like maybe some club owner was trying to take advantage of you by telling you "it's $1 per BMI song" or something like that, trying to get help paying off his license fees which really aren't very expensive for most venues anyways...
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I totally agree with that - in my experience gigs have almost always come from who I have known than in "winning" the gig with my playing. I mean, I don't suck, but it's not a stretch at all to say that there are many trumpet players in this region who are much better than I am. I get the gigs by being solid enough and by having a reputation for reliability when it comes to punctuality and being prepared.

    Good luck with it - a good first step would be to find a community band if you can because in the local community college community band out here, a some of the players who participate there gig fairly frequently. It's always good to increase your network of musicians.
  7. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    Hi, Nestbeast!

    You say you don't know any other musicians? If there are really no other musicians in your area, are you sure you want to live there?

    If there are community bands/orchestras in the area, go to a few of their concerts, and see if you think you'd be able to hold your own in their trumpet sections. If so, go up to the director, or the principal cornet/trumpet and tell them that you're interested in playing with them...Odds are, in a band, they'd be happy to have you.

    Orchestras are a bit harder to join, but get on their sub list! For example, I'm playing principal trumpet with the Santa Cruz County (California) Symphony for their last set of the 2009/10 season, because I'm on their sub list!

    Once you're in a group, talk to the other players. They may have a quintet of members already playing weddings and stuff. If not, maybe they'd be interested in forming one with you as the "leader".

    If you want to make money, join the local union. They, too, can be a source of jobs. I've been called more than few times (unfortunately usually for unsuitable gigs for me: rock and jazz, country AND western both) by the union, because somebody called THEM looking for a group, or a player. Plus, you want to be in the union to help protect you from greedy, avaricious venue owners who'd make you pay to play if they could! Again, being in the union, puts you in touch with the other pros in the area, and makes it easier to make contact with them.

    Again, if you REALLY want to play, there are many ways to do it, but some will take more effort and imagination on your part than others.

    BTW, as for band-in-a-box recorded backgrounds... the less said, the better. You want to have LIVE real musicians playing with you, not some recording that never varies, never changes, is of lower fidelity than live.

    As they say at the union: "LIVE MUSIC IS BEST!"

    Good Luck!!!

    Guy Clark
  8. Jay-Eye

    Jay-Eye New Friend

    Apr 15, 2010
    Sunny Birmingham, UK
    If there really are no other musicians in your area, Nestbeast, think of all the work you'll get once people get to know about you!! =;0)
  9. Mambo King

    Mambo King Pianissimo User

    Aug 20, 2009
    Don't EVER use backing tracks please. There are more than enough promotors trying to shaft us all without doing it to ourselves. The proportion of drunk non-entities is small and decreasing. We all have bad experiences with these idiots but if you resort to tracks you are doing as much damage to us all as the drunken numptys.
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I guess I've been pretty spoiled over the years. I live in a culturally diverse area that has a lot going on all the time - for any halfway decent player who really wants to find a playing opportunity, even one that pays, it's not terribly difficult. Community bands and orchestras abound, and gigging for pay isn't terribly difficult either, although finding steady work as a supplement to your income might not be that easy.

    I gigged Latin Band from mid 1997 to mid 1999, gigging almost every weekend, both Friday and Saturday night. The pay wasn't great, but I sure had a lot of fun. I've gigged with a couple of area Big Bands - pay was better, but gigs were less frequent. Aside from that, I've been in a party cover band since 2001, gigging on average 30+ dates a year (last couple of years have been closer to 35) and it has been a reliable second source of income. It has paid for my last few family vacations and it's what pays for my son and daughter's guitar and dance related expenses.

    I think that backing tracks have their place - logistically you can't always find musicians or you can't afford to pay them, so backing tracks allows for a situation where you can still play a solo-type instrument live and not have to worry about other people commiting to the group, working out logistics or scheduling for multiple people, whether the other members are going to be well practiced and rehearsed, etc. While I agree that in an ideal world we'd be paying other people to play, the reality is not always that simple.

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