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Thread: How does your band divide workload?

  1. #1

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    Default How does your band divide workload?

    Besides showing up to play, a lot of other responsibilities go with keeping a band running.

    I'm involved in more than one musical project, I'm going to use the one that is currently busiest as an example.

    In the current rock and soul cover band that I play drums in we have our roles divided as such...

    Randy, the Rhythm guitarist is the guy who originally brought everyone together. He supplies a rehearsal space. He is a big guy, has a truck, does a lot of our heavy lifting. He and I have identical complete Presonus/QSC PA systems, his usually stays at the rehearsal space. We augment my system with parts from his system when we need to scale up at larger venues.

    Paul, the lead guitarist is the musical director. He provides arrangements and is the go to guy who is most responsible for our "sound"..

    Joe, our singer owns the lighting rig, or at least most of it. He also does 95% of our booking.

    Jim, our bassist handles social media.

    I'm the drummer in this band, own the PA that we use most of the time. I supply my van for most of the hauling as well. I'm the technical guy for PA, lighting, rigging, etc.

    We have a sound guy and a lighting guy, who are also our roadies.

    At every gig every one of us dives in and helps with setup and tear down, load in and load out.

    I'm curious how other bands divide the work.
    -Mike


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old.
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  2. #2

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    Default Re: How does your band divide workload?

    The drummer does it all. The others show up and play LOL

    j/k

    I'm not officially in a band any more, but most of the times, guys just brought their own stuff, set up, and we played.

    all the best...

    all the best...

  3. #3

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    I'm a white glover now. I don't do labor lol
    "The chances of being attacked and killed by a terrorist are less than the chances of being attacked and killed by your own heart"
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  4. #4

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    I play for the George Howard band . George is somewhat of a local celebrity . He gets involved with most of the big charities and big music events and festivals . He is the lead singer and he also plays drums and sings at a few events where he's promoting himself .
    So in a band like this he's in charge of all the bookings and handling all the promotion and media work as well and the sound system/PA . All the rest of us have to do is show up with our personal gear . Sometimes he will augment the band with a horn section or another guitar player , depending on the gig .
    I just show up with my kit . I don't carry mics or anything else . Most of the time we don't run the drums though the PA . Sometimes the gig is such that George hires a sound company and they do all the sound and lighting for us . No worries .
    What I have come to find lately is that more and more musicians ,at least around here , are out for themselves and less likely to get involved in a "band" situation . Most do solo acts , where they play to backing tracks . They don't like to rehearse , only want a set list then show up to the gig and get payed . It's sad that it has come to that . We don't see "bands" anymore . It's usually one guy , who owns all the gear , and a bunch of "fill in" musicians . You never know who you'll see at the gig and it usually isn't very good !
    Rudy .

  5. #5

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    I handle 99% of the bookings, advertising, marketing, social media and business related stuff. I do all the song lists, arrangements and direction during practice, as well as choosing most of the songs we do. We haul all the equipment in my truck. Everyone helps load, unload & set up, but occasionally I have to do that by myself as well. My brother (bass player), myself and the lead singer own all the PA system. My brother supervises the sound system set up and sound check levels while I set up my drums. Looking from the outside in, I basically run/manage the band. I never asked for it to be that way, but someone had to take the lead and give us focus and direction. Everyone seems happy and no one else wanted the responsibility. We split all the money equally, even though I have all the advertising, income tax and fuel expenses on my own. That said, if we need new speaker cords, mics, cases, etc., we always hold back gig money off the top to pay for it.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  6. #6

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    Usually one or a few people end up carrying more weight than the others. I was raised to face work head on so I always help load and unload gear, even when we have roadies. There are always some of the guys that try and do as little as possible. In my opinion, the guys that do more should be paid more.
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  7. #7

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    Starting at the end.....all band members help packing up the gear after gigs.
    If you're a band just starting out, make sure everyone is going to help load stuff at the end of the night. Resentment quickly grows gig after gig if you don't enforce this.

    As for 'promo', 'bookings', 'driving', 'set up', 'asking for money', etc.....these tasks usually find the right individual quite naturally.

  8. #8

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    I'm in a 3 man band and the lead guitarist books the gigs, arranges the song list , and provides the rehearsal space.

    The bass player provides a pick up truck and PA system

    I the drummer provide the video and conduct the band meetings

    As a whole we load and unload all together until it is done. If money is being made it is divided among the 3 of us. We hold band meetings to see where everyone's head is at. Any problems, new music, upcoming gigs,etc. Communication is very important in a band and we air it all out just like a marriage.

  9. #9

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    My club band has a female lead singer; we allow her to get away with doing zero labor.

    All other players simply take care of their own rig.
    I don't mind not getting any help since I'm picky about the way everything is packed and loaded.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    My club band has a female lead singer; we allow her to get away with doing zero labor.

    All other players simply take care of their own rig.
    I don't mind not getting any help since I'm picky about the way everything is packed and loaded.
    At our last gig, a couple of the guys started unpacking my drums and hardware and started setting them up. It drove me crazy....screwed up my sequence of operation and made it hard to move around and adjust with everything in my way. Not to mention over-tightening all the thumb screws. They were just trying to help, which is great, but just made it worse. I need to politely nip it in the bud, before it becomes a habit.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    At our last gig, a couple of the guys started unpacking my drums and hardware and started setting them up. It drove me crazy....screwed up my sequence of operation and made it hard to move around and adjust with everything in my way. Not to mention over-tightening all the thumb screws. They were just trying to help, which is great, but just made it worse. I need to politely nip it in the bud, before it becomes a habit.
    Agreed.
    When people help, it is nice of them but, I end up missing felts, wingnuts, etc.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  12. #12

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    the manager and I feel like we do most the work... our singer is lazy and our bassist has so many excuses he's just lazy too.... he's great though at putting his hands in his pockets and staring at us as we setup.
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  13. #13

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    Outside the duties of actual playing, there wasn't a divide in the workload. Which is a huge part of why I have absolutely zero desire to be in a band. I may never be in a band again.

    Our singer provided the practice space and PA. That's big. But that's about where his participation ended. In 10 years he never carried a piece of gear other than his own microphone. The guitar player wrote the songs and didn't do much else.

    I booked the gigs. Ran website and social media. Shot and edited videos and photos. Reached out to promotors, radio, etc. Handled ALL day in and day out responsibilities.

    Quite frankly it wore me out. The bass player handled a bit of what I did too but only enough that him and I MF'd the other two all the time and got us sour.

  14. #14

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    We have a pretty solid bunch as far as this stuff is concerned. Everyone pitches in setting up, breaking down, loading and unloading.

    Other stuff........not so much, but, I don't mind.

    I provide practice space and PA. I do all the booking and interaction with the promo agent. Our guitarist takes care of our band website. I take care of the rest of social media. Gets a bit much sometimes.....but, heck someone has to do it. Plus I know that if I'm doing it its getting done right. Control freak? Yeah.

  15. #15

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    Having an issue with this now. Bass players wife gave me hell because I did not show up at the rehearsal space last weekend to help load up the van. I explained I load my own gear from my own house (I take nothing from the rehearsal space) which is a lot of stuff being the drummer and all. And if neither of the guitar players or the lead singer is going to go help him then don't give me crap for it? I help load out at the end of the night but I do not go back to the rehearsal spot and help unload there, I mean no one comes to my house and helps me unload my gear.

    We are having a get together tonight and I will bring this up, the lead singer just shows up 10 minutes before the gig and does not help with set up at all, he does help with tear down and loading the van back up but he does not go help at the rehearsal spot. I am going to suggest either we all hold an informal 1 hr practice the night before the gig so then we are all there to help load in the mains, pa, lights etc etc into the van, and als that we should all try to show up at the gig at the same time.

    Do you guys see any issues with this that I may be missing?
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDK View Post
    I am going to suggest either we all hold an informal 1 hr practice the night before the gig so then we are all there to help load in the mains, pa, lights etc etc into the van, and als that we should all try to show up at the gig at the same time.
    This is a great idea MDK. I played with a bunch of old guys with a lot of physical limitations so pitching in to help above and beyond what was expected of me was okay. My last cover band did a quick run through the night before the gig and we loaded the gear together. After the gig, the entire band would caravan back to the garage and unload the PA, lights, and guitar amps. I had a practice kit and a gig kit so I didn't have any drums to set up after each gig. I just kept the gig kit in cases ready to go.

    As far as the "outside of the band responsibilities", the bass player booked the gigs and ran the FB page and printed flyers.

  17. #17

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    Last project it got to the point where I was doing everything. It had to break and it did. I blew it up. Next project, I'm just showing up to gigs with my sticks ready to hit things. I'm done with the rest of the BS.

  18. #18

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    We do our best to share responsibilities. All (typically) show up to pack for the gig, if it was not substantially accomplished at pre-gig practice. As drummer, I tend to have a lot to haul/pack. I show up to join others to load in PA, etc. At gig venue, I try to show up earliest if possible, and get sorted on drum side, so that others can build around me. They are trained on PA specifics, so I can focus on drums. After I finish, I move to help with whatever details (lights, monitors, gaffer tape cords on floor, etc.) still need to be finished. For non gigging issues, we all try to pitch in on social media and promotion. Our one of our guitarists provides practice space and helps with the bookings. We keep a band calendar in an attempt to simplify things for gig booking. All are expected to keep it up to date.
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  19. #19

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    This is probably useless information since gigs are so different now but I'll tell you how we did it back when i was playing out. We gigged 48 out of the 52 weeks of the year. Each week was a different club on what was known then as the New England Club Circuit. This covered Maine , Massachusetts , Vermont , New Hampshire , Connecticut , Rhode Island , and some times New York on a rotating basis. The gigs were usually Wednesday through Saturday some clubs were Tuesday through Saturday.

    We had a full show , concert P.A. and light show , drum and keyboard risers, the works. We had a 26 foot box truck with a lift on the end and all the equipment except for guitars stayed in the truck between gigs. On gig day myself and the Light and Sound guys would take the band truck to the gig , we liked to arrive at the club no later than 11:00 am. We would unload all the gear and the light guy would set up lights and the sound guy would set up the PA. , I would set up my riser and kit then help the light and sound guys finish up their set ups. Once that was all done we would do a drum sound check , by this time it's usually around 2:00pm and the rest of the band is showing up and they start setting up their personal gear. By 3:30 - 4:00pm it's a full band sound check then off to relax and have some dinner before we go on. Gig time is 9:00pm until 1:00am usually 3 - 50 minute sets.

    Saturday night after the gig the full band helps with tear down and loading of the truck. Depending on the length of the drive we would either head out or sleep there and leave early in the morning. Sound and light guy leave in the truck and band members usually leave in two cars or one minivan and head home for Sunday . Monday , Tuesday and do it all again on the next Wednesday.

    When i was working this schedule my take home pay each week was $150.00 this was in 1982 -1984 minimum wage back then was $3.35 per hour. I figure my time worked each week from set up , playing each night and tear down was 33 hours ( travel time not included) so I was making a bit more than the minimum. But I wasn't doing it for the money , that didn't start until 1986 when I said ok enough of this crap , I want to get paid. I jumped from band to band from 86 to 91 but I made top dollar for a musician that time. I always went with the highest paying gig even if i hated the music we were playing. If I had it to do over again I would do things much differently. At the end I was making great money but i was not happy hence i stopped playing out at the young age of 31 , I'd had enough , I couldn't find musicians who were in the same mindset as I was , so I took my kit home and that is where it's been played from that point on except for a handful of tribute and charity gigs. There you have it kids........
    Last edited by NPYYZ; 11-27-2018 at 09:16 AM.

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