Yes, you can almost spin any topic into a music discussion! I recently had the misfortune of suffering from a severely clogged kitchen sink. This led to a lot of frustration, and some learning experiences as well. Because we’re family, I’ll let the guards down and give you some insight!
Lesson One: Preventative Actions -It’s the small things we do, that pay off big down the road. With plumbing, (at least in the kitchen) its best to every now and again to pour scalding hot water down the drain. Every time you do the dishes, run some hot water down the drain when you’re done. This will keep stuff from becoming solid and clogging the drain. Common sense right? Unfortunately, many of us (or maybe just me) don’t think of doing that because it’s a waste of time. It’s trivial, non-relevant, or a waste of money. In actuality; it’s quintessential, and a money saver as well. How much money would it take to boil a pot of water once or twice a year? How much would a plumber cost to unclog a clogged sink?
In music, preventative actions are numerous! The more of these small acts you do, the better you become. Here’s an action for you to take to the bank. If you have musical instruments, take advantage of insurance. This cost effective measure does a few things. It gives you assurance that if something happens to your instrument, its covered. It also makes plain sense. If your instrument costs $1,000, if something happens to the instrument, you’re $1,000 in the red.
Here’s a scenario for you. A band had two keyboardists, a drummer, lead and rhythm guitar, a bassist, and a lead vocal. They did a couple of gigs that netted them each $500 a piece. One keyboardist took that $500 and (after getting a quote from a musical insurance company) paid $100 to cover his $3,600 keyboard. He spent another $250 for a hard case for the board. The rest of the band took the gig money and blew it on smokes, phone bills, and some drink.
The band became the hottest in the area, and quickly put together a tour. Three cities into the tour, while breaking from a set, somebody spilled their drink onto the keyboard. Shocked, the dude scampers around for a towel. He doesn’t want the band to see that their board is now out of commission. In a frenzied panic, this dude runs out the building. Of course because he’s drunk, he knocks the other keyboard off the stand! To make the situation worse, the owner of the bar says the band won’t get paid unless they play the whole five sets they’re supposed to!
The band decides to do an unplugged session, and the night goes on without further incident. They get paid $120 a piece for the five set show. Band members lament on the misfortune of the board players. The lead vocalist buys them both a few drinks, feeling sorry for them. Now let’s look at the faces of the board players! They’re both mad (could you blame them), but one is very worried and close to tears, while the other one is writing what took place on a piece of paper.
Let’s fast forward a few days. The keyboarder with the insurance is waiting on a check, the other keyboardist is out of a job (he doesn’t have a board to play on). While this scenario may seem hard to believe, it happens very often. It might not even be that severe. You might just drop your instrument in route to a gig. Maybe the venue has a power surge, there goes your instrument.
I know that insurance is a touchy subject. “Why waste money? My instrument is my baby, and I’ll never let anything happen to her/him!” Again, this precautionary step gives you assurance that you can do what you do best, without worrying about something happening to your equipment. I’ve seen a lot of grown men break down and cry because something happened to their equipment. Someone trips on the patch cord, there goes your baby! Musical insurance is something everybody hates to get, but loves having it cover accidents that would’ve wrecked the bank.
As a gigging musician, I’d hate for you to go out uncovered. It’s too late to get insurance when you’re equipment is broke. The last thing you want to feel, is that sinking feeling in your gut that happens when you realize that you have to spend a grip of money. Here’s my solid recommendation for you. Get an insurance quote, they’re free in most cases! You may be surprised at how affordable great protection can be. If you’re gigging, save a little from each gig for your premium. You can be aggressive and spend a whole gig’s pay on the insurance. Depending on what policy works best for you, you might not have to pay another premium for a full year!
Do your homework! See if you can find a musical instrument policy that is affordable and meets your needs. Bringing my keyboards with me, used to be a hassle. I was always paranoid that something bad was going to happen. I never really enjoyed the gig! Playing on insured equipment has taken an enormous weight off my shoulders. I’m not looking at all the bad that can happen (of course, I still treat my equipment like they’re my kids), and I can enjoy the gig for what it is. Should something happen to me, I’m covered.
Well, stay tuned for the next segment of “What Can A Plumbing Mishap, Teach Us About Music?” We’ll cover why you need certain equipment (not insurance related) to build a strong music career! What does it take to actually get into the industry? You’ll be surprised to find out, but you have to wait until next time.
Long live music, and rock on!
D. Grady Scott Jr.
Low Key Music Entertainment
P.S. Sorry I’ve been gone for a while! I’m prepping for a few upcoming DVD concerts and two CD releases. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.