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June 19, 2013



What are your thoughts on musicians performing for free? Does that give the impression of a "hobbyist" vs. a "professional?" Does it undercut other musicians trying to make their living off live appearances?

We're getting approached frequently to perform at promotional events for kid-related businesses and parenting groups. A charity benefit is a clear case to play free, but what about for-profit businesses seeking free services? Or do you draw the line at playing free at a venue that is selling admission for profit?

And what if the band is in your name and you're paying your band members whether or not you get paid? I understand the importance of growing the mailing list, but how do you judge the line between smart promotion and devaluing your work?

Tom, David, Wendy, readers, I welcome all your discussion on this!

Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam

David Hooper

It depends on what you'll get out of it. Sometimes there is a "secondary payment" that is bigger than money, such as you mentioned about your policy of playing for charity. If it makes you feel good or you're helping people, why not?

But it's tricky when somebody else is making money and you're not... Is "growing your mailing list" or whatever else big enough for you to forego monetary payment? That's your answer as to whether or not you want to take the gig.

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