Over two years ago I wrote a post about flying with your musical instrument. At that time a new law had been passed detailing what US airlines were required to do when a musician wanted to board with their instrument, but it was not actually going into effect for two years!
I’m happy to announce this rule has been finalized. This has not immediately stopped musicians from being hassled from what I’ve seen on Twitter, but I suggest that in addition to the tips about which I wrote previously you also print out and carry with you the finalized rule and a TL:DR summary:
The actual ruling
A summary of it in plain English
If you have a problem with the gate attendant show them the printouts and request to speak with a supervisor (who will hopefully set them straight). Also, if you are allowed to pre-choose seating request the rear of the cabin so that you will be boarded first before all the overhead compartments fill up! [EDIT: a violinist friend who flies fairly often notes that not all airlines board rear first, so ask whether you can be part of the “early boarding” group – some carriers will let you do so for an additional fee, or if a member of their frequent flyer club.]
A teacher friend forwarded to me a request from one of her students who wanted information on how to do home recording with her Windows PC (the teacher is a Mac user). Here’s what I replied FYI:
It sounds like you already have [free software for Windows/Mac/Linux] Audacity, which was what I would recommend for basic Windows recording. There actually isn’t a GarageBand for PC, despite what searching would have you think – the link that came up is not a product by Apple, but something downloadable from “Rare Software” – I can find no references for that from reliable sites, so personally I would hesitate to install it.
The other important part of making a decent-sounding home recording into a PC (or Mac) is how you get the analog sound (the waves of sound your harp makes through the air) converted to digital 1s and 0s inside your computer. Your PC may have a line in/mic in 1/8″ jack, or a built-in mic, but those are only sufficient for talking on Skype calls, etc. You want some type of external analog/digital (A/D) converter.
Negotiating is only fun for certain people, of which I am not one. But whenever I’m asked to perform, musically or otherwise, I need to decide if and under what circumstances I want to accept.
I did write a bit about this in my infamous blog post about playing with Amanda Palmer, so here’s a bit more: when I negotiate various offers, my interior dialog/checklist goes something like this (read more in detail about each point after the cut):
What are the reasons, if any, I want to do this gig?
If primarily for pay, what amount is sufficient for my efforts?
If primarily for a non-monetary reason, am I clear what the effort cost to me is and am I willing to donate the relative time/financial difference between that and what, if anything, I will be paid?
Is there something other than money I can request as compensation?
Am I clear what the finances of the event are, so that I can be clear I’m not the only event supplier donating my time? (e.g., if they are paying a caterer and venue rental, they don’t get a discount from me)
Am I comfortable that the person who wants my participation knows what they are doing, has the authority to do it, and has realistic expectations for the event and me?
If the request is from someone I know personally, will anything about the above (esp. 5 & 6) or about our relationship make it difficult for me to have a proper business relationship with them, so I should just say I’m not available?
Am I prepared to turn down a “better” offer if one arrives after accepting this one?
Read more about each point: Continue reading