Working musicians – an oxymoron?

Once upon a time, musicians could buy a home, raise a family and even plan for their old age by being a musician.

They could work seven nights a week, even perform more than one gig per day, and could apply for a home-loan based on their income as a musician.

These days, a musician is teetering on the edge of being a second-class citizen unless they work in an orchestra, a big-name band or are teaching music.

The skill and talent required to be a professional performer takes years to perfect, and in fact without consistent practice, such skills can quickly fall away to mediocrity.

Why is it that musicians so often feel that asking to be paid for a performance is difficult?  That they feel they ought to be grateful for whatever crumbs are thrown their way?  Why do they not feel they can charge, say $100 per hour, without having to justify it in some way.  Social media metrics, a “following”, whether or not they have any albums to their name – these are things that an employer might take into consideration when deciding how much a band is “worth”.

Does an optometrist have to justify his fee? Does a doctor? Does a plumber? They all have a reasonable expectation of being paid a minimum fee. Why then are musicians in this strange “no man’s land” when it comes to pay?

Notoriously, we are our own worst enemy.  We do not unionise. We are, by nature, non-conformists. We don’t want to band together and present a united front. Heck, we don’t even want to get out of bed before noon let alone think about political issues like unionism.

So, we go about deciding our own worth, every time we quote for a job. We have to play “russian roulette”wondering at what point our pay request gets shut down and we are out of a job.

With so few live music venues left that offer work for real bands (4 piece and up), the soloists now rule the roost.  Walk past any pub on any night of the week and witness the sad reality of a soloist shoved in a corner of the bar, under a TV screen, being largely ignored.  Duos are now even struggling to compete with soloists who can charge anything up to $600 a night if they are good.

But is a soloist really indicative of “live music”?  I never wanted to be a soloist because I believed the art of music was best practised with others who could teach me, guide me, improve me, have fun with me.  Sitting at a piano in a bar somewhere in the wee hours didn’t seem much fun to me.

With the advent of affordable digital equipment like loop machines, stomp boxes and the like, a soloist can quickly make himself sound like more than one person.

But there isn’t more than one person.  He or she is all alone.

My son is a guitarist and he largely dislikes playing on his own.  He really enjoys playing with his trio where he can bounce off people and truly feel what it’s like to be a working musician in a band.

Bands these days have to cross many genres in order to stay employable.  Does this mean there are fewer bands who can specialise in a given genre?  Do we all become “genre-crossers” and “all-rounders”.  From my own experience, yes.  I stopped calling myself a jazz singer a long time ago because this just pigeonholed me and closed a lot of musical opportunities off.

So, I am a vocalist. A singer. A musician.

I am one of many such people across Australia who struggle in this large continent with its tyrannical distances which make touring costly, time-consuming and, ultimately, profit-diminishing.

The constant hustle for work, the skills of relationship-building required to create new networks and opportunities – this is the life of the modern musician.

Oh yes, and we love what we do.

Christmas party bands

Brisbane-based duo Body and Soul are the perfect solution for all your function needs.  The experienced musicians are well-versed in making an event great!

Visit their website http://www.bodyandsoulmusic.com.au to check out their work.

Functions, parties, birthdays, Christmas parties – no matter what the occasion, these versatile, talented musicians have what you need.

Jazz and Koalas Charity fundraiser Magnetic Island

It’s nearly time to sit back under a palm tree, cocktail or beer in hand, warm tropical winter sun overhead, and enjoy some first-class jazz by UK songstress, Trudy Kerr.

The charity event supports the Magnetic Island Koala Hospital headed up by veteranarian Ali Bee of Magnetic Island Vet.

The event is sure to delight audiences and will run from 12pm to 3pm in the grounds of Arcadia Hotel.

Also appearing will be vocalist, Sandra Beynon, of Body and Soul Music.

Patrons may make a donation at the gate.

 

Bands for Christmas Parties

Finding the right band for your Christmas party needn’t be too daunting.  From acoustic duo right through to party band, Body and Soul Australia can sort it out for you.

Body and Soul Duo is one of the best function bands in Brisbane, providing a wide range of music from country right through to Top 10.

Sandra Beynon and Sean Mullen are Brisbane’s premier duo and can also provide more band members to make a full band.

Get a quote today and make sure your Christmas party goes off with a bang.

Wedding entertainment Brisbane Gold Coast

Finding the right entertainment for your wedding can be daunting.  Should I choo

Body and Soul Australia bringing you the best in corporate bands and wedding entertainment

se a duo, a trio, a band, a DJ, a juggler?

Luckily, Brisbane wedding entertainment needn’t be difficult.  Brisbane’s best duo is Body and Soul Duo, featuring Sandra Beynon and Sean Mullen.

Music for weddings needs to cater for a wide range of tastes – your guests are there to enjoy and celebrate with you. Dancing the night away to some cool grooves and latest hits is what you need to look for in an entertainer.

Whether it’s an acoustic duo or a dance or party band, Body and Soul can deliver the right music every time.

Check out their website when choosing your wedding entertainment and you’ll soon see why some of the best have chosen this duo.

 

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