Saturday, November 5, 2011

The gig triangle

Hey folks,
I'd like to talk about a concept around deciding what work to take as a musician. This comes from great sax man and educator Dave Neill. Dave talks about the "gig triangle". Basically there are three points (or corners) to consider when taking (or not) a gig. The first corner would be good, satisfying music, the second is decent people you want to be around, and finally the third is money. The concept is that after a certain amount of professional playing ( when you're young and inexperienced, you should take EVERYTHING that comes along, and this wouldn't apply to you) two of the three corners should be present for it to be worth your while to come out and play. For example, if you're getting to play interesting and challenging music with people who are fun to be with, then it's probably still worth doing the gig, even though it probably won't make much of a dent in your retirement fund. or, if you're with nice folks and you're making a decent taste, you can probably live with the fact that the music is a little wanting in quality. Finally, if you're getting well paid and it's good music, you can probably put up with almost anyone (especially if it's only one night!)

Occasionally you run into a gig that satisfies all the corners of the triangle. I ran into one of those tonight. In fact, it was extra cool because it was a quintet, and that particular 5 people had never played together before, but almost from the first note there was a very great vibe about that combination of people. A great feeling, almost a bit like a first infatuation with someone. We'll definitely work together again!


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