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Old 14th October 2018
Lives for gear

From my own experience I'd recommend you charge money for your work. Even if it is not very much right off the bat for a few projects I think it is important that your clients understand how the relationship works.

I first made the mistake to follow an approach you are considering a long time ago in the US. It became difficult for me to break the collegial relationship I had with some musicians who almost treated me like one of themselves and a part of the band. And then I made a similar mistake here in France.

Looking back I could have saved myself some grief by charging at least some money right off the bat. When clients pay any money they listen better. When clients pay from the beginning it is much easier than moving to a fee relationship later. Gear is a heck of a lot more affordable when your clients' projects are paying for it, and so you can fill in the weak spots in your equipment much quicker.

I accept almost all of my projects because I know and care about the musicians and their music. I don't care at all about building a brand and I probably could be busier if I did. But I like very much being invested personally in my projects, even if the musicians understand they must also invest in me for the work I do for them.