WE LOVE YOUR SONGS BLOG
What do you do when someone asks you to play for free? Try asking some of your friends – they don’t all have to be musicians – just people who do freelance work. Ask them why they choose to do or not do unpaid work. Be sure you ask people who actually do a lot of work because those are the people you want to emulate.
The most important thing is to develop your own policy about unpaid gigs. Should you do all work, paid or unpaid, simply because it’s better than sitting at home? Or do you protect your brand by doing only paid work? Still another option is to do unpaid work only in certain situations, such as a cause you believe in, or large amounts of exposure.
There is no correct answer to this question – just make sure you develop your own policy on how you want to handle it. If you’re a musician, you’re going to get asked to do free shows. Save yourself a headache and think it through beforehand.
Article written by Isaku Kageyama, music professional at Berklee College of Music, traditional Japanese drummer and WeLoveYourSongs collaborator.
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