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Author Topic:  Whats the average pay for steel player
Greg Lambert


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 1:26 pm    
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Heres what I get in Illinois

1. Thursday - 6-9 pm - 3 Mile drive - $40
2. Friday - 6-9 pm - 1/2 Mile drive - $90
3. Saturday - 6:30-9:30 -35 Mile Drive- $65
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 3:15 pm    
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Now all the steel players will be moving to Illinois.
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Larry Baker


From:
Columbia, Mo. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 3:19 pm    
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Breaking News... you mean you can get paid for playing steel!!!!!
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 3:29 pm    
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To me, that is not that impressive except the short distances, with all due respect... Anything short of $80 for 3 or 4 sets is a rip off.. $50,40 etc is simply a disgrace for a good musician... I no longer gig but for many many years $100 a man was the norm, sometimes $125-150, and we might even go in on a one shot deal or a favor for $75 a man, but we tried to avoid it.. I love to play, but felt it was fair I was compensated at least minimally for the time, effort, gas, etc.. Too many good musicians playing for free or close to it these days,, call me mercenary, but I will have no part in it... bob
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Dick Wood


From:
Springtown Texas, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 3:32 pm    
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No less than $100 but many times $120-150 night in the D/FW area.
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Jack Stanton


From:
Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 4:09 pm    
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What Dick Wood said in the NJ, Philly & suburbs and northern Delaware areas
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Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 4:37 pm    
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My gosh. When I played those hours with a 5-6 piece band back in the 80's, I was getting $50 - $80, depending on the venue.
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Dick Wood


From:
Springtown Texas, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 4:48 pm    
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In the 80's I was also getting around $60 but it increased in the 90's to a $100 then slowly upwards to the $120-150 range.

I've made as low as $16 to $1000 for a night's work.

Edit: Mickey Adams was with me the night we all got paid the $16 LMAO!
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Wally Moyers


From:
Lubbock, Texas
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 6:06 pm    
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That's like saying, I have a car, whats it worth? Really just kidding(:
Around the Lubbock, Texas area I'll get 150.00- 300.00 plus extra pay for rehearsals. Sessions I charge 100.00-150.00 per song if I can do it in my studio.. I've found the better player you are you usually get paid more to play less and less.. I mainly play shows and a few dance gigs and even some church things that pay pretty well.. I have a couple of bigger artist that come out of Nashville that I'll just go set-in with for the fun of it.. just to hang out with great players and friends.. Now I'll sound like an old guy (64 now) but in the 80s we would make about 60.00-100.00 for a four hour club gig. I know some guys doing it for less these days, it depends on your motivation. If your a young player just get out there and play, stay sober and learn on the job. It's the best way to learn..
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J R Rose


From:
Keota, Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 7:06 pm    
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West Texas in the Early Eighty's 9:00 pm to 2:00 am $100.00 to $150.00. Holidays were very good, $300.00 a night. But that was when they were having a great oil boom.
Time changes everything. J.R.
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Kevin Fix


From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 7:32 pm     Wages Per Gig
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We play County Fairs and Festivals. We play for 1 and 2 hours tops. usually we get about $100.00 to $125.00 per member. We pay our band leaders wife the same that we all get. She gets all our bookings and takes care of our web page also and anything on the business end. She does a super job. Back in the 70's and 80's we got about $50.00 for playing 5 hours in the bars which was the norm up here. I have not played a Bar or Club job in 10 years. Don't miss it. The smoke was the worse thing.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 7:46 pm    
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I remember playing back room at Tootsies on Thursdays few years back, and we were paid like $20 + tips... one time owner canceled our gig because there was a out of town band that actually paid him to let them play .... no business like show business huh
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, Northern California
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 10:45 pm    
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received this via email the other day:
Quote:
Hi Bands:
I have started scheduling bands for the 2018 year. There are some changes for 2018 calendar year at the Cloverdale Ale Company. Bands will play from 6:30 -9:30 on Saturday evenings and each band member will receive two free drinks of their choice. As of January 1, 2018, we are not offering $100 to the band or comping food.
The Cloverdale Ale Company wants to continue to have bands play at the pub, but needed to make some changes for the upcoming 2018 year.
If I haven't response to an email, I have been very busy at work and with other family commitments.
Thanks for your understanding

To paraphrase Earnest, now all the steel players will be moving to Cloverdale. Laughing

Understand that they were paying $100 for the whole band. Tips were good, so me and Hugh would usually make about $80 each plus a good dinner for our duo. No more. I won't book a commercial establishment without a cash guarantee.
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Brooks Montgomery


From:
Idaho, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2017 10:55 pm    
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Well I guess The Cloverdale Ale Company is now just another karaoke bar.
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Bill L. Wilson


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 1:38 am     Ahhh The Big Bucks.
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Played steel and guitar tonight (Friday) at a fishfry out in the sticks, Kingfisher County Oklahoma, made $70 and all the fish and hush puppies I could consume. Had a large time and enjoyed gettin’ to pick. Sat. night we’ll get at least $100 maybe more. Sun. night we play a wedding reception and we’ll probably make more than a $100. All of our gigs are an hour or more drive, one way, so we try to get $400 for a four piece band. I’m not a very good player, and a $100 is probably way over paying me.
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Wally Moyers


From:
Lubbock, Texas
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 8:51 am    
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Damir Besic wrote:
I remember playing back room at Tootsies on Thursdays few years back, and we were paid like $20 + tips... one time owner canceled our gig because there was a out of town band that actually paid him to let them play .... no business like show business huh


My first gig in Nashville in 1980 was at Faron Young's Celebrity Ballroom that was on lower Broadway. Bruce Bouton gave me the gig. We played 6 hours with one break and made $20.00.. I met Don Kelly who was playing guitar that night, because of him I was on the bus with Red Sovine headed to Canada two days later.. On those package shows almost ever major country artist performed giving me a great way to meet many great musicians. I later played a lot a Gabes, they paid $35.00.. I read a book several years ago titled, "The Ten Best Decisions The Beatles Ever Made". One of theirs was to have a mission statement. It was simple, to just be bigger than Elvis... There were times when they would take low or no pay gigs rather than high paying jobs if the lower paying would fit their long term mission. It certainly worked for them...
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 11:16 am    
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Most of my Weekend Warrior gigs around Portland over the last 20+ years have paid around $50... +/-$50! Shocked
This is to go down and set up at a local bar and play 2 long sets from 9-12pm-ish. Often includes two beers and/or a meal, and usually a fun evening Cool
These gigs are often paid by a percent of the Till at the end of the evening. Sometimes a cover charge. Most local bands carry their own tip jar.
I played last Thusday at The O'Neill Pub and we made $177 at the Bar, and $52 in Tips (it was a good night!), for a 4-piece with Chick-singer who we give a $20. I made $52 I think, and a few Irish beers Wink .
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The only thing worse than gigging, is, ...not gigging Whoa! Embarassed Alien Smile
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Bill McCloskey


Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 11:55 am    
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So, if I read this right, it takes about 50-100 gigs before you even pay the equipment off.

Where do I sign up?

Like the gold rush: the people who made the money were the ones selling the shovels. People making money playing steel guitar are the ones selling the equipment. Smile

Good thing not too many steel players in a Who tribute band
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Greg Lambert


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 12:05 pm     Now I'm mad !
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Guess we have been getting ripped off... There are a lot of 2nd and 3rd rated bands in my area and they will play for anything.

All of the places that I mention earlier , with the exception of one , require us to pay the rent for the building which is $100 per night.

Now how many want to come to Illinois? Oh Well

I can remember back in the mid 60's We were in the musicians Union out of St Louis and we each got $35 for a 3 1/2 hour gig. Things have really changed.
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Bob Knetzger


From:
Kirkland, WA USA
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 12:09 pm    
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Wait, what?--there's money?!?!

Wink
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 12:56 pm    
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I played full time from '81 to '89 or so.
We made like $250-450 a week and lived in a band house.
I have had a good day job for 22+ years and play as a hobby.
Gigs give me some pocket money and i like that.
Or... My child support payment is $416/month, and i can usually make most of that 😊
I usually just pay cash for gear and call it good.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 1:11 pm    
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Been a while since I've done any gigs for profit, but the average VFW, Lodges, PWP dances etc. usually worked out for around $75 a man. House drinks soda pop, no beer or liquor. You pay just like everybody else.

Back around the late 70's, early 80's somewhere close, maybe a little less. Back in those days, you might have a house gig where you could maybe play 4 or 5 nights a week and those were better. Nothing like that happening around here these days though.

The better paying jobs were the opry style jamborees around the area.

About all I do are senior events and favors for my buds and friends private things which of course we reciprocate on. I've put a $100 minimum for my services otherwise.

I have ambivalent feelings about people who play for peanuts and prevent good hard working groups from making a better wage. Club owners really don't care how good you are, long as you have a crowd and they sell lots of booze.

Guys that have good paying day jobs can afford to play just for the fun of it.

Interested others will undercut everybody else just to get in the door and "get our name out there".

All this makes it hard for deserving bands to get decent pay.

Overall, I don't think we put a high enough value on what we have to offer.

This all on a local level of course. I have no experience with road work and such.

My thinking... FWIW.
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Danny Letz


From:
Old Glory,Texas, USA 79540
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 2:51 pm    
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I don't play all that often, usually once or twice a month, but they usually pay 100 to 150 sometimes more. A lot of times it's farther from the house than I want to drive at 1 or 2 in the morning so a motel room and a meal or two and it's gone. Besides it's like my friend says, "Damn I hate playing but I just love unloading and loading this stuff and driving home". I guess that's what we get paid for?
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 3:10 pm    
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I made $100 one year. Whoa! Rolling Eyes Muttering Crying or Very sad
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2017 3:58 pm    
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at my age I'd pay them $50 just to leave me alone, so I can spend my Friday night with my kids lol ... my priorities have changed drastically since my daughter was born... thank God, or I'd be sitting in some dive till 3am playing for drunks at 50 years old.... I'm way too old for that ....
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