What Can A Plumbing Mishap, Teach Us About Music?

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.  

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5 Responses to What Can A Plumbing Mishap, Teach Us About Music?

  1. mxr effects says:

    Can definitely relate to spending all the money on smokes and drinks. Much less, all the cost of the gear. Never thought of insurance on the instruments, though.

    • Grady says:

      To be honest with you, insurance was the last thing that ran through my mind. My awakening came when my car was broken into, and my keyboard was stolen! They left my speakers, radio, and everything else. I grieved the loss like losing a child; and I didn’t eat anything for days. I hope that doesn’t happen to anybody, not to mention musicians that are uninsured! Many quotes that I’ve seen have coverage for multiple instruments, and in some cases, is less than the cost of your least expensive piece.

      • Ella says:

        An answer from an expert! Thanks for conitrbutnig.

        • Hasan says:

          No if you have insurance cogareve that meets your home state’s requirements, it won’t cost you any more to take the trip for insurance. If you have an accident in another state, your insurance will automatically adjust for another state’s higher limits or for no-fault cogareve. For good cogareve, though, you should carry at least 100/300/50 limits. Ask your agent about this.Even if your company doesn’t usually write in all states, you’re still covered. Just be sure to have the insurance ID card with you at all times, and be sure the license for anyone who might drive is current. Also, be sure your policy is paid up for at least the length of the trip.We did the same thing in the summer of 1988 a 31-day, 7000-mile trip out west, including several states where our regular company doesn’t normally write insurance, and had no problems at all.Enjoy!

    • Hendra says:

      I work at State Farm and we offer a personal artlices policy. All you need is a bill of sale/estimate/appraisal pictures and it is very inexpensive to insure. I have insured $17,000 diamond rings for $130 a year, so of course it would be cheaper for a couple thousand dollar laptop. It’s an all-risk policy so you’ll get the money back no matter what happens. And you can have a $0 deductible. You might also want to check and see what your homeowner’s insurance covers. it might cover the value of the laptop in your personal property coverage.

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