Hiring multiple subs for gigs

(4 posts)


  1. surfinboy

    I was wondering what people's thoughts are on hiring subs for gigs. I lead a quartet with a standard 4 guys (including me), and I can usually book any date fairly certain that on any given night at least 3 of us can do it. Even in an absolute worst-case scenario I could grab 3 totally different guys and get it covered.

    But I wonder how much the integrity/vibe of the group suffers if I get subs for 2 or more players. The flip side, of course, is that even if I'm hiring a lot more subs, the group could play out more, and the band name/identity of the band would keep going even if I'm the only original guy on that particular night. Bandleaders, what are your thoughts on subbing out multiple players?

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  2. jbroad

    it's always a good idea to have a pool of players that you like to play with. you wouldn't want to lose out on gigs just because 1 or 2 of the guys can't make it. every band that i've ever played with has subs available

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  3. jorgemg1984

    It kind of depends I guess... but it's always a good idea to have backups. Playing with the same people for a long time leads to a much tighter group but sometimes playing with new people can be really fresh.

  4. gleepglop

    I think it depends on the music you are doing. If it's standards or standard-like originals, then you can probably sub everyone out all the time and have it be fine, even interesting.

    If you are doing difficult or unusual original music, then the group will probably suffer with any subs.

    I have a band (quintet) that does all original music with a lot of complex aspects, and if I have to sub out even one person the music suffers.
    Depending on the instrument, I can have one sub, but more than one and it's not worth it.


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