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silb on 03/22/2019 at 01:39PM

Managing the Cost of your Band

There is no worse feeling as a musician than turning up for a gig only to find there is no decent backline to plug into. From cymbals to guitar amplifiers, every gigging musician has been guilty at some point or another of assuming someone else is going to sort them out the night of the gig. This kind of lazy unpreparedness has caused much unnecessary headaches and panic over the years and could all be easily avoided with just a smidgen of professionalism and accountability.

In an ideal world, everyone would be able to show up with their vintage USA made Fender Jazzmaster (like this 1963 beauty priced at £3,850), plug into their pristine mid ‘70s Sovtek head (good luck tracking one of those down on eBay!), and rock away. However, most musicians don’t have the necessary funds available to go this heavy on a vintage musical equipment shopping spree. At the same time, no one wants to turn up at a gig with one arm longer than the other, hoping that they can plug in and play off of the generosity of others.

There are a number of cost-effective solutions out there for all budding rock stars. There are some great bits of kit on the market currently such as the Orange Micro Terror guitar amplifier series from the legendary British manufacturing brand. Not only is this a reasonably inexpensive option (prices starting around the £109 mark), it is also a purposefully scaled down valve head unit that can easily be transported in its own gig bag. So no excuses for turning up empty handed on the night to your gig! The lunchbox amp also packs a serious punch and features both a single 12AX7/ECC83 Pre-Amp Valve and 20 Watts RMS Solid State Output, making sure you get plenty of bang for your buck!

Of course, for those of you wanting to invest a bit more into your backline with the view to helping develop your musical careers, there are other options. Firstly, there is the tried and tested method of simple saving – putting aside any spare cash that you can, curbing your going out habits and spending, selling unwanted stuff on eBay and Depop, taking extra shifts etc. Or you could always look at suitable financing options, such as a loan. There are loads of companies out there who can offer specific loan funds for musical instruments, and there are also handy calculators to figure out repayments and interest rates.

 

So if you are serious about pursuing your musical dreams, then these are just a few of the options available to you to help you realise that dream. By no means is this an exhaustive list, but if it helps you start the journey of not being ‘that guy’ at soundcheck, then it can only be a positive thing!  A lot of time and investment goes into making a band work. Once you have incurred that initial cost, you can focus on getting bookings and ultimately making music!

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silb on 12/18/2018 at 10:54AM

Buying Band Gear For Less

We all know that around Christmas time, we might have ambitions to get new instruments and gear to improve our band set up. However, while it is nice to ask for certain things for Christmas, you can get surprisingly good deals on musical equipment with just the right amount of research and a degree of budgeting. If you are wanting to upgrade your band gear, but don’t have the money to afford an a-grade set up here are some handy hints to help you get the gear of your dreams.

Do Your Research

While there are a lot of musical instrument retailers across the UK, you are likely to find that they won’t offer the best prices for what you’re looking for. It pays to have patience on this front as many people would prefer to hand their money over now to get a hold of a new guitar or keyboard, instead of doing the research online to find a better price.

When looking into online retailers, it’s vital to know that they are a trusted and reliable business. Using an online review centre like Feefo or TrustPilot will ensure that you’re not sending your money off to a company that is unreliable or doesn’t pack instruments for transit properly.

The Second-Hand Option

Many people will only be satisfied if they buy equipment brand new and won’t give the used gear market a second thought. The reality is that tens of thousands of musicians from across the world are posting and selling things every single day. Depending on what you are in the market for, you are likely to find things being sold that haven’t been heavily used and are in good condition.

Sites like eBay came to the fore for selling on gear over the last decade, and if you know exactly what you are looking for, it’s worth checking in from time to time to see what is for sale within the market. Beyond this Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years for good equipment deals.

Saving For The Future

We all like to put a bit of money away for our musical projects and having a rainy day fund of cash is a useful thing, regardless of what your musical ambitions are. There are several different things you can do to develop your fund. Ringfencing the money you earn from paid shows to use as an investment for your band can almost be seen as a business expense.

As well as this, there are a number of useful finance apps you can use to see where your money foes from month to month. By tracking your spending, you can calculate the cost of running a show and find ways of making savings that will be transferred back into the band.

 

We all know that being a musician is an expensive life. There are all kinds of different running costs that ordinary people don’t appreciate. By being wise with your spending, you can ensure that your band has the very best gear available to you and you can concentrate on further improving your sound as a band. 

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