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Topic: Quiting day job and writing for big band

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  1. #1

    Quiting day job and writing for big band

    Is anyone making a living writing only for big band?

    It does not sound like Jeff Jarvis only hangs out by the pool and pounds out charts. Perhaps he could, but chooses not to.

    ---------------------------
    Jeff Jarvis: Jazz editor for Kendor Music and a big band writer.

    "Jeff Jarvis serves as Director of Jazz Studies at California State University Long Beach, and is a Yamaha trumpet artist and clinician. Jeff is the music director emeritus of the Central New York Jazz Orchestra, jazz coordinator for the Texas Bandmasters Association, and is a former Vice-President of the International Association For Jazz Education. He’s also a contributing editor for “The Instrumentalist” magazine. "

  2. #2

    Re: Quiting day job and writing for big band

    The only guys I know of are the staff arrangers at the big publishers and the military band arrangers. Other than that, I think most everybody else supplements with gigs, teaching, etc. Unless you self-publish and can sufficently market yourself and your charts, there's not a lot of money to be made unless you can generate a large catalog of material that keeps on selling year after year.

    Typically, a composer will make $5 on a $50 chart. Given the number of charts on the market, even if you sold 100 copies, you end up with $500. Unless you're really good and really fast, that won't cover the time you spent creating the chart in the first place. Of course, if you sell 1,000 copies, the news is much better, especially if you have multiple charts selling that well.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  3. #3

    Re: Quiting day job and writing for big band

    Paul,

    Five dollars per chart sold. Ouch! I would need a very busy pen and some very catchy tunes to feed my family!

    Thanks for the reply,

    Chet

    BTW - I like the number 1000.

  4. #4

    Re: Quiting day job and writing for big band

    Yeah, self-publishing gives you all the profits, but it requires that you do all of the promotion and manufacturing/shipping/billing yourself, too. There's always a trade-off.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  5. #5

    Re: Quiting day job and writing for big band

    Here's a link to a guy who publishes his own (and other people's material) through the internet [other than buying some charts off the website I have no connection with him at all].

    I think it's a great way to self promote - plus he writes some great charts too!

    http://www.pdfjazzmusic.com/
    Richard N.

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