Do You Work for Free?. Only if I know that the caterers and other folks providing services at the event that features my music are also working for free. In other words, it must be a charity event.
(Or the wedding or funeral of a loved one, but that kinda goes without saying.)
Same reason why I don’t have my Reverbnation songs available for free download.
Am I a fuddy-dudd for thinking that our current “free music” era is an abomination? True, we’ve exposed the naked emperors of the major labels and big corporations in the industry, but we’re still not putting the money where it belongs: in the hands of the artists. Instead, we’re putting it in the hands of the Internet providers who give us endless YouTube.
Am I being stingy when I don’t roll out my semitrailer of a keyboard for every open mic in town? That thing is heavy! My objective for playing open mics is to network and test myself; I don’t do it just for the joy of playing; there has to be more reason than that for me to bust my hump lugging my Casio around.
Allow me to steal a page from Ayn Rand and say yes, I’ve earned the right to play professionally and get paid for it. I’ve put in the work, I’ve built upon my talent, and I think I got something special. Nothing would make me happier than to share it with the world.
But I’m not just going to give it away. Unless you’ll give away yours, whatever it is.