Re: [Harp-L] Wedding gig

Nor are we getting paid like a plumber ($100/hr per person) 

Thanks Jerry, 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gary Lehmann" <gnarlyheman@xxxxxxxxx> 
To: "Jerry Deall" <jdeall@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
Cc: "Mike Rogers" <bullfrog9@xxxxxxx>, "harp-l" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 2:10:13 PM 
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Wedding gig 

A lot of the gigs I play here in San Diego, the musicians are forbidden to eat from the buffet line, and don't get a table either. 
OTOH, my wife says, if you feed the musicians, you don't need to pay them-- 
My experience is that the more you get paid, the less fun you will have. 
I do enjoy it when I am treated well, but hardly expect it--I am, after all a professional--I don't have lunch prepared for the plumber . . . 

On Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 1:03 PM, Jerry Deall < jdeall@xxxxxxxxxxx > wrote: 

My favorite wedding gig story: 
Last year a friends band, played a wedding, at the break they went to get food w/ the guests. 
The father of the bride comes up to the band to tell them they have boxed lunches for them in back. 
So the sax player says "you think we do this for the MONEY, we're out of here" 
The bride's father had to do some fast talking to keep the band at the party 

Thanks Jerry, 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Rogers" < bullfrog9@xxxxxxx > 
To: "michael rubin" < michaelrubinharmonica@xxxxxxxxx >, "harp-l" < harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx > 
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 7:31:09 AM 
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Wedding gig 

Wedding gigs are chancey. I've done some, with folks I know and they have 
been just fine. Others, have had people conxtantly changing their minds, 
claiming that you want too much money, forgetting that they haven't paid you 
and wanting you to do more than originally agreed to. Not my favorite gig, 
but they often pay pretty well. 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "michael rubin" < michaelrubinharmonica@xxxxxxxxx > 
To: "harp-l" < harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx > 

Sent: Sunday, April 15, 2012 10:45 PM 
Subject: [Harp-L] Wedding gig 

> So about two months ago a student showed me a craigslist ad asking for 
> a harmonica player to play Pachelbel's Canon in D at a wedding. The 
> experience was interesting enough to share with you. 
> I emailed the bride. I asked her what I needed to know to quote a 
> price. It was an hour away from my house,each way. I would need to 
> provide amplification, I would need to buy the sheet music and learn 
> the piece. I would need to have another song for the wedding party 
> march and another for the walkout music plus 15 minutes of waiting for 
> the wedding to start music. I would need to wear a nice button down 
> shirt and slacks. I quoted $250. 
> "We didn't expect to spend that much on a harmonica!" 
> I asked what they'd be willing to spend. I said I wanted to help them, 
> but please remember it took years to learn the craft, plus how to read 
> music. It would be 3 hours away from home, where a wife and baby and 
> mortgage waited. The sheet music would cost money. It would take an 
> hour to buy the music. It would take at least 10 hours of rehearsing 
> to get ready. Amplification costs money. 
> I didn't hear back so I assumed it was lost. I told my top students 
> about the gig, maybe they could get it. 
> Two weeks ago, I got an email saying they were willing to spend my 
> price. Besides taking care of a baby, chores, 4 bands and around 30 
> students a week and a group lesson every Saturday, I also have taken 
> on 2 unusual music projects that perhaps I will share with you when 
> their stories are done. Plus I hadn't finished my taxes, which when 
> self employed doing by yourself is tough! Basically I was beyond 
> swamped and this would possibly sink me. Still, $250 is $250. I said 
> yes. 
> I rarely get nervous about performing. Now, I had 3 performance 
> situations that I was nervous about. I could feel stomachaches! 
> I bought the music. I listened to a video of a diatonic harp player 
> the bride sent me that she liked. The diatonic player was improvising 
> on the theme, it was nothing like my version of the music. The bride 
> said it was the speed she wanted. 
> Although Pachelbel's Canon in D is leagues easier than other classical 
> pieces I have learned, there is still a very complicated eighth note 
> passage in the middle that at her speed, I could only hit around 50% 
> of the time. One night, I played it for my wife who said that it 
> sounded uncomfortably fast. I agreed with her and slowed down that 
> section. We both agreed it sounded much better. I then decided to 
> screw the bride's tempo, I would play the entire piece with a goal of 
> comfort and beauty. That really was the turning point. I came up with 
> a nice version, in my opinion. 
> I chose 10 romantic songs out of the real book and read through each a 
> couple of times. I made sure I really had the walk songs down. 
> Today I arrived on time and the wedding coordinator acted 
> professionally with me. Although a beautiful space, it was very small 
> so my amp stayed in the car. After playing almost all my romance 
> tunes, they said it was time to start. After playing two verses, no 
> one had walked down the aisle. I stopped. Someone let me know they 
> needed 5 more minutes. I finished my chosen songs. Luckily I had 
> brought a real book with me. They whisper it will probably be another 
> 15 minutes. 
> A half an hour later I had read every romantic song I could find and 
> even a few where I was like "I cannot remember the lyrics. Is this 
> romantic or sad? Screw it, I'm playing it." When the wedding party 
> started coming out, I played the walk song until they stopped coming. 
> Then a minute later, they cued me that there was still lots more of 
> the wedding party to come out! I restarted the song again. Finally 
> they let me know it was time for the bride. 
> Remember it was a small place? I basically had gotten through the 
> first line Baa daaa daaa daa da da daa daaaa and the bride had made it 
> down the aisle. All that practice for nothing! Perhaps I will record 
> it for youtube this week. 
> Unlike normal gigs where you get to hang around the audience to get 
> kudos, only the preacher and the coordinator were left to talk to me. 
> The preacher took my card and asked if he could put me on his website 
> for recommended wedding players. The coordinator did not have my 
> money! Rather than run around the wedding trying to figure out who the 
> bride's father is and interrupt his picture taking, I went home and 
> sent the bride an invoice and said wait until after the honeymoon. 
> Hopefully this story has two happy endings and not a sequel! 
> Michael Rubin 


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