... you realize that the cheers from the audience after a particularly difficult passage are for a sports play on the big screen tv over the bar, and that in fact, no one is listening to you.
... the gig you drove 200 miles for to make $100, and had to pay for a hotel room, is later referred to as your "summer tour".
... your most sincere, heartfelt comments are made by people that are drunk and who won't remember you in the morning.
... you are repeatedly told that the lead singer who can't read, never practices and has been singing for only six months is "the strongest part of the band",  primarily because she has big tits.
... you are pleased that the pay for the gig, when looked at hourly from the time you leave your house to when you return meets minimum wage.
... someone comes up to you to tell you how much they love your playing, because they didn't think anyone played those things anymore.
... you get to the gig to find out that nothing is comped, and you're charged $10 to park.
... someone seeks you out to complement your playing as the "best sax player they have ever heard", and you're the trumpet player.
... you realize that a small piece of equipment - such as a wireless mike you need to get that big new years eve gig - will take months of weekly gigs to pay for.
... you have to add $30 or $40 out of your pocket to find a sub, cause no one will cover you for what you are paid.
... you aren't offended when all of the young wedding guests leave after the second set to dance to the dj at a club down the street.
... you are told that you must play until the very end of when you were contracted for, when your only audience is the bartender, and you're being paid 40 or 50 bucks for the night.
... the bandleader or club owner wants to pay you in food or drinks, and you have $100,000 in school loans to pay off for that music degree.
... the guy collecting money at the door for the band's performance makes twice over the course of the evening what you do as one of the band members.
... as a member of a blues band you no longer even pretend to smile when asked to play "free bird".
... you know that other musicians who routinely claim they don't work for less than $100 a night only work a few times a year.
... people who are drunk tell you that what you are doing is absolutely great and the best thing they have ever seen or heard, but refuse to pay more than $5 at the door.
... someone calling the cops for noise is a good thing: you get to go home early and you still get paid.
... you realize that asking women out that you meet on gigs doesn't work, for now they know you're a musician.
... you get invited to play the same gig the following year, which means that you don't have tear down after this year's gig.
... you have, for several years, been paid the same amount for a gig, but are afraid to say anything about it for fear that you might lose the gig.
... you spend more on the bar tab than you get paid for the gig.
... you finally have to resort to playing proud mary in order to get the audience dancing.

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There are 24 comments, leave a comment.
...when you're in the middle of a solo and someone asks you where the restroom is, and you tell them without disturbing your solo or thinking anything of it
...when you just automatically play tunes in the key of the blender
... the bandleader or club owner wants to pay you in food or drinks, and you have $100,000 in school loans to pay off for that music degree.

that must be a berklee degree
mike, trust me or not about 90% of what you said above applies to me now here in morocco. how about this?

......when you take a taxi driver from your own town to the city where you play at, then once you finish your gig you can't find any taxi driver to bring you back home (hitchhiked) nor find any friends with whom you can stay home that night till tomorrow ad what? yo have to set alone that night and wait for a taxi driver or anybody passing driving his car and ask him if he can bring you to your town this is if he accept.....and what? while you're making hitchhiked you're in winter and the rain falls on you then you're all wet...and still you feel the fear of being attacked by someone.....then yo just pray that somebody may come then bring you back home as you can't afford buying a car.

............so much to say!
...when you get to the gig and the band leaders hands you a shirt  to wear
...when the band leader constantly finds ways to bring up the fact that dave weckl played in this band while he was in high school
dr. whack...  were you already wearing a shirt?
...when your'e dragging your equipment through freight elevators and  liquid kitchen waste in your tuxedo...

...when you're setting up your keyboard on an outdoor patio in the 110 degree sun drenched in sweat and the country club owners tells you you have to wear your tux coat
yeah cynbad - but it wasn't the goofy  one that matches the rest of the band - same with coats, vests, etc...why the hell do we have to match anyway?  how goofy is that?
.....when you play jazz in a country where people and friends even your family consider you as being crazy or somewhat not from their world and like you confront with the culture of your country like you must play what they like! when sometimes you feel sadness like vincent van gogh and then you avoid cutting off the lower part of his left ear lobe lol!
...when you'd rather make $25,000 a year playing gigs and teaching, than get a "real" job
you've been hired to play quiet dinner music by the host and his quests constantely come up to you and ask you to play some music you can dance to.
when you start hating brown eyed girl,a song you used to like many ears ago and had to play it hundreds of times
....when your music make you tears...
..when a group of people at a table sing 'happy birthday' while you're playing 'lady is a tramp'
..and you realize you're just a seal jumping through a hoop.
(this one is perhaps one of my favorites)

...after the gig someone comes up to you and tells you how much they love jazz music, and then name kenny g, and yanni among their favorite jazz artists.
...during the break the drunk guy in the front comes up to you puts his arm over your shoulder and gives you a 20 minute rant about his brother (dad, cousin, etc.) who can play 16 different instrument and literally any song by ear without even trying. (when in reality he probably couldn't keep up w/ the bb blues  the band just played).
train 39

  oh i forgaot about that one! what i've experienced so often is along the same theme. whenever i'm in a social setting--not playing at all, and will not that day-- and some person who has just met me  is talking what i do and i reply "i'm a musician" yes, quickly out comes the story about yes, some relative who ( usually a child ) has achieved all the loftiest musical achievements imaginable with the implication of 'this guy is better than you are'--and it happene almost everytime.
when the manager of the venue comes up with your check and asks you to sign for it in the middle of your piano solo!
... when they politely ask you to load in through the kitchen.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
....when you are what you are, when you are just what you think and when you are at what you're. (i think..)
when you thank the bald man sitting behind you for his solitary applause and he replies that he wasn't clapping, he was slapping his head to stay awake.
your microphone has that well earned "club" smell.
on another note it was said by the late freddie fender that some of
his early gigs were so hideous that he would close his eyes and
pretend he was on the johnny carson show.
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