There have been times when we’re done setting up the band and having a soda when someone in the band remarks “Have you ever taken the amount of money we’re making, divide it up between all the hours – travel, setup, play, teardown, travel back, and realize we’re making like minimum wage?!”
Depending on the job we play, it may be true. Then why on earth do it?
Well, if I wasn’t here at some club pushing an amp around, what would else would I be doing? Watching a DVD or out spending money somewhere. So, as far as the budget goes, it’s a constructive use of time.
But that’s not the real reason.
Life has it’s ups and downs. Significant others come and go. Jobs go through good times and bad. And these days everything costs more (inflation) and companies are tightening their belt, which means limited raises and bonuses. We’re squeezed. And if you’re in college, you have to be worried about employment after you graduate.
Yet when I strap on that guitar and the drummer counts off a song, I feel better. In fact, nothing else matters in that time. You can’t play guitar and wonder how you’re going to get your refrigerator fixed at the same time!
It’s therapeutic. It’s enabling. And, you just might make a few dollars at it. It’s a great way to express yourself that doesn’t cost a thing except the gear itself and the electricity to run it.
I’m currently going through a challenging time at my “day job”. It’s very stressful and even while I may look for work elsewhere, I have to really put effort into my job in the meantime.
I have band practice tonight and wouldn’t miss it for the world. No matter what happens today, no matter what goes wrong, no matter who says what, it’s all washed away when I go into our practice studio and MUST leave my problems at the door. Even if I exchange them for “band problems”.