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2 weeks, 4 gigs, 4 different bands


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Some of you may remember a column Tommy Todesco wrote for Guitar Player Magazine back in the 70's. As a studio musician and "guitar player for hire", he would run down the details of a recording session he had been hired for. He would write about the session duration, other musicians on the session, producer, song, guitar part he played, etc. He would even give the wages earned. I always found that column fascinating, and it was usually the first thing I turned to when the magazine showed up in my mailbox. I always thought the "guitar player for hire" was an interesting way to approach the "business", versus just playing in a band. Unfortunately, not living in LA, NY or Nashville, there's no way to actually make a living at that here in the Midwest, but....


I have done pretty good over the years here in St. Louis in the "for hire" business, if not in pay, at least in variety. Years ago when I was playing 100+ nights a year, that would include working with as many as 8 or 10 different bands as a "sub", fill-in, or "for hire", as well as being the regular, or semi-regular guitarist in a couple of bands.


Since I've slowed way down as an active participant on the "business" side of music biz (band leader/band manager/booking agent), most of what I do now is as "the guitarist of the band", "guitar player for hire", or "contractor". Last Friday I started a pretty interesting 2 week run which will include 4 gigs with four different groups, with the obligatory 4 rehearsals. I thought some of you may find this side of the business interesting, as I always encourage other musicians to expand their horizons, and don't get pigeon holed in one band or music genre. Variety is good in almost all of life's endeavors.


Anyway, here's what I'm doing for the next two weeks, something I like to call "Adventures In Music".



Jazz Duet (guitar/piano): Dinner music at a local fine restaurant. 3 hrs, no rehearsal.


Blues Band (two guitars, bass, drums with various special guests): I will be providing the "house band" for a blues and jazz variety showcase at St. Louis' premiere blues club. 5 hours, two rehearsals.


Jazz Big Band (17 piece, plus three vocalists): "Special Event" concert performance at a furry animal club. 2 hours, one rehearsal.


Variety Band (eight piece with vocalist): Mardi Gras party at a hotel ballroom. 2 hours, one rehearsal.



Only one other musician overlaps any of these dates, and there will be no music in common. It's going to be a fun and busy couple of weeks for me. Wish me luck and survival.

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Do you use lead sheets, reading music as you go? Use a "Real book"? I find these kinds of gigs easier if I have a lead sheet to follow.


The duet is "Real Book", the big band and variety band are guitar charts, and the blues gig is "head" charts.

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