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I would think that there is one or at most two visionaries in any rock band The creative forces that actually write the songs.
How are percentages usually broken down with rock groups?
For instance I have been writing songs for 10 years and am just looking to form my first band, which I plan to sing and already have all parts to all songs on my Cubase with midi instruments.
So the way I figure it since I will do everything and just say learn this to play" I should recieve a high percentage of money that may come "the bands" way. How is this matter settled?


anonymous Mon, 12/18/2006 - 05:40

Well - first off, you'll have to realize that in the world of "original" music, there isn't a whole lot of $$ coming in for most bands out there.

Secondly, and most importantly - if you want a crew of "hired guns" to play your music and you won't allow any creative input, you're going to have to pay them as "hired guns". Going rate around my part of the world seems to be around $70-$100/night per member for smallish 'pub' shows, and upwards of $200/member for bigger gigs. Professional musicians expect to get paid, so a guarenteed flat-rate is always something you should work out with all your musicians in advance. Advantage: you *CAN* make a lot of cash if your merch-sales do well and the door-sales and/or guarentee from the bar is high. On the flip side, you stand to lose (potentially a lot) of $$ if attendance flops or the bar screws you.

anonymous Mon, 01/01/2007 - 02:02

This area is quite clear to me. I have 30 + years experience in the music industry (writing, performing and recording). I am drummer by trade, but I play bass and guitar quite fluently. It would be a mistake to think that everyone individually in a band is not a musician in his or her own right. Each artist has his or her area of expertise. This indeed is the most positive way to look at the band dynamic. As far as monetary value there are very distinct rules set forth that are already in place and a few that I have had to clearify over the years in order to not be taken advantage of.

This is the way that I break it down:
As far as band touring:
In support of an album release.
Equal split as long as everyone shares equal duties. If the guitar player also is responsible for counting merchandising revenue and accounting for the band than of course equal splitting is not fair. If all the duties are equal then it is an equal split. Yes, this actually includes roadies, soundmen and other auxillary staff. Equal duties equal pay. If the band is great and the soundman sucks or doesn't care, the band sucks. On the road, it is a team effort that makes everything come together.

Playing in clubs to support an artist. (The James Lee Band)
An agreed flat rate per night!

Recording Royalties:
Writer's royalties:
Writing a song includes all parts! If you compose a song, that includes lyrics, melody (chord progression), Lead parts, drums, bass progressions etc... the whole package baby. This is really where alot of mistakes and hurt feelings can prevail. Song writers, typically guitar players just consider the hook or riff to be the song, They throw lyrics on it and have the bass player and drummer join in. That is not writing a song! Any creative input that creates any portion of the song, deserves royalties. I record drums for artists and co-write songs all the time. If I am in a band situation, I certainly lay the boundaries clear. I don't just join in with a beat of any kind, unless I get either one of two things straight.
1. I ask for a written drum chart from a song writer.
2. I ask for a composition in the form of a programmed beat with all the fills and chops already predetermined.
If I cannot get either of these, then I consider anything I add as creative input. Otherwise, I play exactly what I am given and that falls under performance royalties. I do the same for any bass parts I do with no improvising whatsoever.
Sometimes, I will wait unitl a song writer produces said drum chart and or programmed composition, then I will play it their way and ask if they want me to play it my way. Usually, my way is what will make their song more natural and overall cooler (because i am a drummer). So i provide an option. If the option is undeniably better, a song writer feels as though they got what they paid for, but more importantly they understand that they have to pay for what they always took for granted before.
If the song writer chooses to stick with their original idea, then my participation falls under performance royalites.

Performance Royalties:
These monies can be a flat rate fee or a point(s) on the album (a point is determined as percentage of each song sold or played on the radio (ASCAP). Drummers have to be careful here. Most don't realize this but, more times than not a record company will withold performance royalties until album sales pay off the recording budget. That means that you are gambling or playing russion roulette with your money. You wont see a dime until the album recording budget is paid in full. This can take a long time and depending on the expertise of your record label, they can drop the ball on marketing etc... Keep in mind all this time the writers are receiving their royalties all along the way. It is tuff, when you are out on the road playing for equal split pay amongst members and staff and writer's royalty checks show up in an envelope and some of the guys in your band are out eating a steak and lobster dinner that night! Think about it! Live and learn, but now I always make sure the following is in order.
1. Contractual agreements do not withhold performance royalties. I may give in this area if it is does not exceed 10%
2. I get a flat rate up front and ask for a point or two on the song. (A point or two is considerably less than perfomance royalties). This is if I only perform on one song. If it is an album, Performance royalties for each song is a better deal.
Hope this helps.

yeahright1 Tue, 07/24/2012 - 00:58

sounds like a drummer lol, trying to cash in on the songwriters talent. did you live that experience?, if you did you deserve royalties, if not. you dont. songwriters make alot of sacrifices and go through alot(good and bad) to be able to write songs( unless they are meaningless or unreal) so that must be taken into account. they cannot always write "drum charts" and even if they could probablily wouldn't. saying thats good or no its rubbish till you get it right. does that count as a drummers "artistic" input? or just doing what needs to be done. it could be played acoustic and it would still be a song. drums are better than no drums but that doesnt mean they wrote the song ha. i wonder if bob dylans drummer tries that one., hey bob i wrote that one aswelll looooooooool

yeahright1 Thu, 07/26/2012 - 11:45

grandmaster, post: 391801 wrote: Great post Tommy, very informative and helpful!

ha! your just trying to dismiss my post and trying to make it irrelevant.
dont listen to him. if you wrote the song it's yours!!!!
dont give anyone your rights unless they are in your band (longterm) even then make sure you get a higher percentage. if you wrote it at home and took it to practice, your the songwriter. but you can choose to pay a percentage to them for adding to the sound.(not for the writing)
drummer wanting songrights dont think so. that is wrong!!!! and you know it. the only drummer that deserves rights is phil collins.
very informative doesn't mean its right! unless you mean he informed you that he's a shady character like the other guys who offer recording contracts that mean they own all your rights.
stop sucking the life out of real artists and be happy your getting paid for hitting something instead of being jailed.

yeahright1 Thu, 07/26/2012 - 11:51

you mean the beatles? lennon and macartney. ringo got rights when they released octapuses garden, why? cos he wrote it! everything else was john and paul, or george on his own(e:g here comes the sun )
the gorchie band lol sounds like most bands. you sound all like a bunch of drummers, studio guys bassist lead guitarists. of course you want rights but you cant have them it's wrong.!!!!!! isnt being paid for your work enough? if you want song rights, write a song!