Professional musicians on this board question



  • I read a lot of posts with discussions of practise routines and of people playing "gigs" all the time. I'd imagine most of the gigs are local and many really unpaid performances in churches and community bands. I did note the photos from the Oktoberfest bar gig. I was wondering how many of you have ever played on commercially produced recordings that may have been widely distributed. Any of you? Any of you work with any nationally famous artists? Anybody actually get a regular check from playing trumpet?

    Me.... I never recorded anything. If you are playing in any organized band you are way ahead of me.



  • @Niner said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    I was wondering how many of you have ever played on commercially produced recordings that may have been widely distributed.
    The Air Force band I was in did weekly radio broadcasts. I don't know which ones were put on disc. I have done radio and T.V shows all over. I did recordings on sax and flute but not trumpet. I haven't played on, but have conducted on, records and have compositions and arrangements recorded.

    Any of you work with any nationally famous artists?
    Bob Hope, Leslie Uggams, John Denver, The Mills Brothers, Ann Jillian, Herb Jeffries, Carlene Carter, Ralph Emery, Jiggs Whigham, Lou Marini to name a few. I worked with Japanese and European musicians but you probably wouldn't know them.

    Anybody actually get a regular check from playing trumpet?
    Trumpet as an Air Force bandsman and as a performer in a soul band. On sax, in several pop bands and big bands. Horn in Royal Hawaiian Band and Tokyo Youth Symphony. Paid individual gigs or steady salaries. At any rate, I have made a full time living off of music since1966.



  • There are multiple options that bands I have played in have been paid. In the early 2000's I lead a band and would get paid by club owners by check. I would bring cash up front in advance to pay all the side men then deposit the check in my account. This is a bit of a pain, as with checks made in my name, I am responsible for taxes. I do take care of this by subtracting the tax burden out from the cash payment I pay the band members.

    Over the next decade, I decided to get out of the leader role and became a side man. In that position, I now get paid in cash. Since starting this routine for playing, I keep an Excel spread sheet of gigs, locations, and amounts paid in cash, then submit this sheet with income statements for other jobs to my CPA when she prepares my IRS statement. The people that hire me as a sideman do so for gigs within a 6 state region. I am limited to how far out of my base I can go as I usually must return the next day for my day gig at my medical practice.

    I do union gigs as well and these typically pay by check, as a coincidence, I just sent a contract out tonight for a Christmas Eve performance my local 101-473 had referred for me.

    I have made recordings for which cash was used to pay me for the studio time. One of the recordings on a particular album I wrote, and I do get royalties in the form of a check for that work.

    Locally, I play for several big bands. Each pays differently as well. One pays by cash for the same amount per gig, another pays by cash from the door take and a 50/50 lottery that is run by the club each time we play.

    Also, I recommend using a tip jar even for salaried. gigs. I remember a gig our quintet played at the Chatter Box in Indianapolis where in addition to the fee paid to us by the club, each member received an additional $200 when the tips were divided.



  • @Niner said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    Any of you work with any nationally famous artists?

    My major employer now is Eddie Brookshire, a nationally recognized bass player. I had played with Kenny Drew, Jr until his death a couple of years ago. I have also played gigs with Bill Watrous and Louie Bellson when I was based out of Ft. Collins years ago before deciding to go into medicine at which time I had a bit more time on my hands that gave me the freedom to travel.



  • Ozzie Nelson. (Harriet's husband, Ricky's dad.) He gave us the worst ass chewing of my entire life, one time. IRL he wasn't the laid-back character he usually played on TV.



  • I play in an amateur band that gets paid really well for our "gigs". We get radio play, have performed with a number recognized artist and compete
    Our most recent of such was the principle trumpet of the Nashville symphony orchestra. And he singled me out to tell me to do it better. Not just like that but it was a part I’d been having trouble with anyway.
    Sorry for posting as I’m not a professional musician


  • Qualified Repair Techs

    I’ve been making money playing gigs for 33 years, since I was 15 years old. I made my entire living playing trumpet for 22 years, 20 of those for the Navy. While I was in the Navy I made plenty of extra money playing civilian gigs as well. I’ve opened for MCoy Tyner, REO Speedwagon, and Weird Al just to name a few, have performed on Prairie Home Companion, and have played on recordings for Kings of Swing and Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra. I decided to go to the repair field partly because I’ve always been fascinated with it, and I also don’t want to have to say yes to every gig that calls. I enjoy the work, and also get to answer a lot of player questions and match them up with new horns. While I do play with a couple of regular groups, the majority of my playing income is as a sub right now. I sightread well, so I get hired by both professional and amateur groups to sightread their shows when someone is missing or they need to beef up their sections. I do a lot of big band work as soloist/relief lead, and also do a fair bit of classical work in quintets. I’ll occasionally take a free gig if it’s fun for me, like subbing on cornet or flugel in the local BBB, but 99% of my gigs are paid. I’ve also been hired as a featured artist and Jazz coach for some local educational programs, which is a lot of fun. I hate teaching privately, which is another reason I went to repair, but it’s fun to work with kids on a short term basis.



  • @flugelgirl said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    I’ve been making money playing gigs for 35 years, since I was 15 years old.

    You're fifty!? Man, if you wouldn't take this wrong but . . you look great!



  • @Newell-Post said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    Ozzie Nelson. (Harriet's husband, Ricky's dad.) He gave us the worst ass chewing of my entire life, one time. IRL he wasn't the laid-back character he usually played on TV.

    How long ago was that? His orchestra I thought recorded until the early 1940's. How long did it last?


  • Qualified Repair Techs

    @Kehaulani said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    @flugelgirl said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    I’ve been making money playing gigs for 35 years, since I was 15 years old.

    You're fifty!? Man, if you wouldn't take this wrong but . . you look great!
    Thanks - actually 48, must’ve hit a 5 instead of a 3! I was 43 when that headshot was taken and have added a few grey hairs, but not too many...


  • Qualified Repair Techs Credentialed Professional

    Playing since 1958, gigging since 1964, full-time professionally since 1970 after winning the World Championship.

    Principal in the local Symphony and first call session work till 1980. Not many world class acts came down under in those days. I moved to Australia to do the premiere and cast recording of a Broadway show than went to England for a couple of years to be a rock star! It didn’t work but I wrote and recorded a couple of singles. Back in Australia I concentrated on Salsa at night and managing a manufacturing company by day for ten years or so, then got head hunted for some teaching gigs and managing a music instrument importer/retailer.

    Head hunted to USA in 2000 for my particular teaching philosophy so came here on an Einstein visa. Since then I have concentrated on recreational music making, even founding a not for profit public charity. It is this charity which underwrites the Trumpet Saturdays held by www.Trumpet4Fun.org

    Once settled in US and dissatisfied with available models I realized that I could build a trumpet that would be easier to play and give more satisfaction to the player. So I combined my playing abilities with my manufacturing knowledge and latent Kiwi know-how to come up with Jaeger trumpets.


  • Qualified Repair Techs Credentialed Professional

    @Dr-GO As a medic does it bother you that most of these guys are dead? ☺


  • Global Moderator

    I'm in trumpet playing for the fun of it; but some of the fun comes of being paid for the fun you're having! From an early point in my trumpet playing, I was a regular member of several church orchestras and got a fee for every performance. Easter weekend was always the best-paying in the year. Usually, the run started off on Easter Sunday at about 4 am in a freezing church, sitting there with the brass quintet waiting for the lighting of the Easter fire (usually about 90 minutes after the beginning of the service), the call "Fiat Lux" and the first fanfare (frozen instruments, frozen fingers, frozen lips). Then, an hour later, the first orchestral Mass. If you were lucky (and sitting in an organ loft or somewhere at the back of the church) sneak out after the last notes of the Agnus Dei, jump into the car and go to the next church to repeat the performance. With good time planning, one could do up to five churches (and five orchestral Masses) in one day, netting between 500 and 700 Euros. And then, on Easter Monday, another three performances so you could reckon with a minimum of 800 Euros for one weekend... Later, joined the Irish RTÉ Concert Orchestra as a paid sub; and nowadays, I'm playing regular paid gigs with the Markus Fluhr Big Band (www.bbmf.de) and a few other bands.



  • @Trumpetsplus said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    @Dr-GO As a medic does it bother you that most of these guys are dead? ☺

    What bothers me is that I am that old, and but am grateful that I have out survived these individuals.



  • @Trumpetsplus said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    @Dr-GO As a medic

    Also as a medic (physician) I take my own advice.... it seems to be working!



  • @Dr-GO said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    @Trumpetsplus said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    @Dr-GO As a medic
    ...I take my own advice.... it seems to be working!

    Albeit there is the saying: A physician that treats himself has a fool for a patient.

    Guilty as charged.... But again, I am a well aged OLD fool!😂



  • Another saying is, "You know what they call the guy who's last in his medical class?" . . "Doctor."

    barliman - "Usually, the run started off on Easter Sunday at about 4 am in a freezing church . . "

    In Germany,we used to play a saint's day by starting the day at a castle ruin at the top of a hill, overlooking the town. That was also freezing, so I can relate to you. The good thing was that, after scaling the hill in the early morning and freezing weather, a case of beer was waiting for us at the top.



  • @Kehaulani said in Professional musicians on this board question:

    Another saying is, "You know what they call the guy who's last in his medical class?" . . "Doctor."

    Which reminds me of another saying: You get what your insurance pays for.



  • @Niner Not his big band. It was in the 60s. Ozzie and Harriet owned the rights to an old Broadway musical named "State Fair." Their semi-retirement gig was to tour the country every few years doing revivals of "State Fair."



  • OK. Just wondering.


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