Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by animal.22, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    Eyup, thinking of moving to "Pence per mile" expences for deps. What is the average "Ppm" these days?
  2. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

  3. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Expenses has always been a difficult subject to measure 'correctly' for bands.
    We all have our regular deps and agreeing fair recompense for these, is usually straightforward.
    However, there is an element of a gamble with unknown deps, whose idea of a fair amount, may be poles apart from your own.
    I believe that the subject should be discussed at the 'booking stage', so that any future bad feeling can be avoided.
    Players who treat a band concert as a way of earning, are the biggest challenge. They may be pro/semi-pro and sometimes expect their normal rates for depping.
    If this is not discussed until after the concert/contest, it can be a bit of a shock to find your band paying out half of the fee, to one dep!
    The mileage route sounds ideal but at 45p per mile, would become expensive, on average.
    Most of us are happy just to help, or accept a gesture payment but this should not be an expectation on the band's part.
    If you are using new deps, just discuss your policy and I am sure that no problems will occur.
    As past secretary of a local band, I had a stand-off with a player who refused to play until we payed him, prior to a contest performance.
    The amount requested was beyond the band's means and subsequently led to us performing a player short!
    It is too easy to find yourself in this kind of situation, without prior discussion.
  4. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    45p a mile is what the government sees as fair for use of a vehicle to cover fiel, wear & tear, insurance, tax, etc.

    If a band is doing a gig, I assume they are being paid, is it fair to expect deps to play, and help the band earn £££s, but end up effectively out of pocket themselves?

    By the way I was depping this weekend, as I have most weekends this summer, and I certainly don't ask or expect 45p per mile! :)
    marksmith likes this.
  5. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    sorry, but money grabbing prima Donnas comes to mind, never taken a penny from another band, as havent most of the people I know !
    marksmith likes this.
  6. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Seems to depend a lot on the band, and the people involved...

    One band I've depped for fairly regularly pretty much always offers expenses (and insisted the one time I tried to turn it down), another I help regularly hasn't offered expenses even once... I help both regardless, but guess which I make more effort to get to rehearsals with?

    My personal experience is that most bands seem to offer a fairly flat "tenner" (sometimes more) as a gesture as much as anything else, most will insist even if you politely waive it.
    I'm not aware of any band that makes it as formal a process as to calculate it based on mileage.

    At the end of the day, I turn up not expecting anything (and not wanting anything). It's always a pleasant surprise when its offered (and yes, it helps), but I agree to help out because I enjoy doing it, playing different music, it's good sightreading practice and it's nice to have favours in the bank...
    marksmith likes this.
  7. owain_s

    owain_s Member

    45p is what the government sees as the maximum for fair use of a vehicle. It isn't a recommendation that everyone should charge it for depping! Encouraging a 'pence per mile' approach might just end up costing more.

    As has already been said, a lot of this should be settled before the gig, and the only way over-the-top expenses will be curtailed is by the player not being engaged, and being told why. Basic market economics, "we can't afford to pay that".
  8. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I certainly agree for most levels of banding. It is certainly the norm on this side of the world to not expect any cash for helping out, but I have on rare occasions offered (and been offered) when there has been a lot of travel or other bother involved.

    When I was playing in the UK a tenner (or twenty from a good band :p) was not uncommon, and as a student with no income and catching trains or driving a car on vapour the money was very welcome. Certainly not a matter of being a prima donna or trying to be a mercenary musician, just good manners from the bands who were aware of personal circumstances. Since I graduated and had a source of income I haven't taken money from any band.

    That said, if you are driving three hours in total to help out a band with a superstar conductor, brand new instruments and a four figure appearance fee I think it is not inappropriate to see you are not out of pocket.
    Accidental likes this.
  9. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    In the 1990s I once depped for a 1st Section band for a contest. I did four consecutive rehearsals with a 60m round trip each time plus a contest the same week which was 150m round trip which, at the time, added up to about £100 in petrol. I asked for a token £40 in total and you would have thought I'd asked for a Kings ransom. They were absolutely aghast and deeply shocked at my request. I felt guilty about it for years afterwards.
  10. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I think the important thing is to have the awkward chat about 'expenses' before booking the player (or accepting the booking if you are the player!)
    Euphonium Lite likes this.
  11. x9ret

    x9ret Member

    Yes, it is a common misunderstanding that the only expense is petrol when in fact it does cost around 45p/mile to travel by car. The cost of making the same journey with a combination of trains and taxis would be similar. Alternatively you could ask to be picked up and dropped off. Remember the empty seat is the band's problem, not yours!
  12. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    That's an interesting twist to the situation. Who knows what the band thought but IMHO your request was more than reasonable. It seems to me that if someone asks you to dep for them then, at the same time as requesting your time and skills for free, they should expect to offer to pay reasonable expenses too so that deps are not noticeably out of pocket.
    marksmith likes this.
  13. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Exactly so, 2nd tenor.
    There should be the expectation to pay someone for their help, rather than not.
    In today's situation in banding, it is almost impossible to fill every seat for every event through your registered cohort. Therefore, it is important that you show some appreciation for the time and effort that deps give to you, at these times.
    You cannot rely totally on favours, or goodwill to cover your empty chairs, even at regular rehearsals.
    Obviously, there will always be those who give these willingly, but it should never be assumed .
  14. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    What do you drive that in the 1990s you paid about £100 in petrol to do 390 miles? Even now, when prices are a lot higher I reckon I could do 390 miles on one tank at a cost of about £45.
  15. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Maybe a little earlier than the 1990's but I recall having clapped out old cars that did 15 miles to the gallon and mid 20's was considered OK. You 'd need a big car to cart a full sized bass around too. I had a youngish Mondeo auto in the 90's which gave just about 30 mpg. The actual amounts aside offering and asking for fair mileage before a Dep leaves their home must be the right way forward. What's a fair rate? Well petrol, servicing and the likes of tyres are all linked to mileage ...... once you start doing the maths it can all add up to a surprisingly large cost per mile.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  16. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    By this logic, bass players should be paid more, which does make sense. However, they generally contribute much less to each performance. Maybe expenses should be paid per note played?
    Ianroberts likes this.
  17. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Does that work by the actual value of the note? A crotchet (Quarter note for others) is worth 25 pence, a minim 50 pence and so on?
    Bbmad likes this.
  18. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    It stands to reason
  19. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    That reminds me of a dispute in the symphony orchestra of Cologne, Germany a few years back, where the string section argued, that they should be paid more than the brass section on the basis that they played far more notes than the brass players - not to mention the stress involved in playing the 5th chair 2. violin compared to the walk in the park that is the solo trumpet position.
    Mesmerist likes this.
  20. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    Surely in an orchestral, and brass band, it is not the number of notes played that counts but the sum of the sound generated (i.e. total length of notes x dynamic in decibels)

    Bass trombone and tuba (Bass) will suddenly be very sought after seats
    Slider1 likes this.

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