Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Yamaha CP4 Rebate
Yamaha CP4 Rebate
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
148 registered (Albunea, Anita Potter, Anne'sson, anamnesis, Almaviva, 38 invisible), 1280 Guests and 10 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1715717 - 07/18/11 01:34 PM How do you charge for weddings and other events?
Redhead1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 135
I posted something similar on the non-classical forum, but thought maybe I'd get more input from different people here.

I am still semi-new at playing solo piano for weddings and parties. (I've maybe played for a total of twenty of them.)

I'm always unsure of myself when I quote a price. I've looked a some pianists' websites and have seen things like, say, $100 for the first hour and $75 for each additional hour. Someone else said they charge $300 for any wedding ceremony, no rehearsal.

As I mentioned in the other thread, I've been asked for quotes where I play for a while then "sit and wait" for an hour, and I'm not sure how to price them.

In general, I'm just not sure how to price. If I just have to play for a cocktail hour, for example, $100 seems a little low. But I also hate to fluctuate a rate -- I want to have a rate, or policy that I'm happy with, then always follow it.

Could someone please share how they price such things? Do you price hourly? Flate rate, no matter how long the event is? Do you charge more if you drive farther? Do you have "package deals"? When you play for a ceremony, do you have a flat fee, and if so, does that include a rehearsal?

Anything else I should know about pricing?
Thanks so much!

Top
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
#1715963 - 07/18/11 09:20 PM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: Redhead1]
Redhead1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 135
Anyone? Anyone?

Top
#1716196 - 07/19/11 07:54 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: Redhead1]
Gerard12 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 777
Loc: South Carolina
For non-booking agency event jobs in NYC, I used to charge average $150.00 for the first hour, $100.00 for each additional hour. Sometimes more, sometimes less - depending on whether I get a feel for what the client can really afford wink

Which means that when they ask for a rate, make sure that at least you first ascertain the event location - is it in the swankiest part of town or in a working class neighborhood? - that will tell you a lot about how to price.

If the rehearsal is held the night before, try to charge your first hour price for it. That way, you won't feel too cheated if you have to turn down another gig offer for that night. If the rehearsal is right before the ceremony itself, charge 50 - 75% of your 1st hour price for it.

If you have to cart a keyboard and amp to the event add on an additional $25 - $50 to your price.
_________________________
Piano performance and instruction (former college music professor).

Top
#1716270 - 07/19/11 10:31 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: Redhead1]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I would get an idea what people in your community already pay. Call a competitor or wedding planner and ask. I definitely need a contract, particularly with brides. they are phoners.. let me tell you. I am cheap compared to my competition for weddings.. 150 and 75 thereafter.

No one has asked me to play a party.. but back in the 80s I advertized and booked quite a few in the month of December.. like 8. I advertized 'absolutely free' and always made at least 100$. I guess that people who can afford musicians for parties are willing to pay more than brides.. just a guess based on their mansions and the grand (out of tune) high end pianos therein.

Funerals are a stable market... and my favorite venue. get in, get out and a guaranteed paycheck. kind of upsetting emotionally sometime tho.

I accept tips.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

Top
#1716311 - 07/19/11 11:31 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: Redhead1]
samasap Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/10
Posts: 607
Loc: UK
Have set prices for different things, so for an hours performance maybe charge $100 and for a full evening charge $300. But compare to other people and base your prices around others. Maybe charge slightly under initally to build up your work & reputation.

Top
#1716434 - 07/19/11 02:00 PM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: Redhead1]
BadOrange Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 368
Loc: Banned
i would charge 300 $ minimum. Weddings cost alot of money.About 23 000 on average. That 300$ compared to all the other costs will seem inconsequential. Keep in mind that this is barely the basic union rate. I would spend time on the marketing side making a nice website and if you have experience with references, then charge 500$. People will pay it, Again it depends where you live but you will often find people not hiring you because you aren't charging enough. People assume you suck,

Ideally, if you can find a way to not advertise the price directly and negotiate , you will find it quite easy to get 500$. It is a wedding, nobody will want to take a risk to save a few hundred $$.

Top
#1716739 - 07/19/11 08:56 PM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: BadOrange]
Redhead1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 135
Originally Posted By: BadOrange
i would charge 300 $ minimum. Weddings cost alot of money.About 23 000 on average. That 300$ compared to all the other costs will seem inconsequential. Keep in mind that this is barely the basic union rate.


Thanks for all the replies.
What is union rate? I've always heard that term, but never knew exactly what it meant, and despite google searches, I've never been able to find an actual "rate."

Top
#1717096 - 07/20/11 09:38 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: Redhead1]
Gerard12 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 777
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: Redhead1
Originally Posted By: BadOrange
i would charge 300 $ minimum. Weddings cost alot of money.About 23 000 on average. That 300$ compared to all the other costs will seem inconsequential. Keep in mind that this is barely the basic union rate.


Thanks for all the replies.
What is union rate? I've always heard that term, but never knew exactly what it meant, and despite google searches, I've never been able to find an actual "rate."


I left the Musician's Union about 6 years ago. But if memory serves me right, the minimum scale for weddings in local 47 (Bad Orange's local , I think) was $65.00 per hour with no distinction made between soloist or sideman.

(Edit: I think that there was a min. # of hours mandated - something like 2 or 2 1/2 hours of pay so that just doing a cocktail hour would net you at least 130.00 @minimum scale. I don't know how much control, if any, the union holds over the wedding 'market' out there. Probably as little as it does in NYC.)


Edited by Gerard12 (07/20/11 12:12 PM)
_________________________
Piano performance and instruction (former college music professor).

Top
#1717451 - 07/20/11 06:47 PM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: Redhead1]
BadOrange Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 368
Loc: Banned
the musicians i deal with make about 200 per hour 3 hour slots. Little less depending on the size of the orchestra. They are all union musicians but they are also the top tier musicians.

I do think the fact that it is a wedding makes the number more up to the individual. That is why I think it is often better to start getting work via word of mouth with wedding organizers you have worked with in the past because you will have an idea of their budget and you can price accordingly. There are times were charging less than 1000$ will actually make your services less appealing. The nature of weddings are strange. Some people would rather pay 4 times the price and be guaranteed that you perform as one should.

If doing weddings is something you are interested in , I do think developing relationships with actual planners a much better strategy than advertising on your own. Like anything, when you start, you don't have as much leverage but when you have a good working relationship with someone that plans weddings, the price is really a percentage of the cost of the wedding.

I mean lets be honest, the wedding march performed poorly can ruin a wedding. Short of having the groom run away or have some drunk sibling denouncing the marriage because she is having his baby, having someone mess up the organ is next on the list.

Top
#1717809 - 07/21/11 08:09 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: BadOrange]
Redhead1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 135
Originally Posted By: BadOrange


I do think the fact that it is a wedding makes the number more up to the individual. That is why I think it is often better to start getting work via word of mouth with wedding organizers you have worked with in the past because you will have an idea of their budget and you can price accordingly.

If doing weddings is something you are interested in , I do think developing relationships with actual planners a much better strategy than advertising on your own.



Thanks. I agree that that seems to best way. But how does one go about going that?

Top
#1717832 - 07/21/11 08:54 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: Redhead1]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13825
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Redhead1
Originally Posted By: BadOrange


I do think the fact that it is a wedding makes the number more up to the individual. That is why I think it is often better to start getting work via word of mouth with wedding organizers you have worked with in the past because you will have an idea of their budget and you can price accordingly.

If doing weddings is something you are interested in , I do think developing relationships with actual planners a much better strategy than advertising on your own.



Thanks. I agree that that seems to best way. But how does one go about going that?


Send them a brochure and a sampler CD of your playing showing the different styles and skills you have.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

Top
#1717840 - 07/21/11 08:58 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: Redhead1]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6040
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Redhead1
Originally Posted By: BadOrange
That is why I think it is often better to start getting work via word of mouth with wedding organizers you have worked with in the past because you will have an idea of their budget and you can price accordingly.

If doing weddings is something you are interested in , I do think developing relationships with actual planners a much better strategy than advertising on your own.
Thanks. I agree that that seems to best way. But how does one go about going that?
Contact them, talk to them, leave your card or maybe a demo CD with them, go to wedding expos or similar functions you might have in your area and make yourself known.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#1717849 - 07/21/11 09:20 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: Redhead1]
Saul Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 743
Loc: Banned
I think musicians should get paid at least much as photographers. Its incomprehensible, that a photographer may be paid several thousand dollars for a night taking some video and photos, and a musician should be paid like 300 dollars.

Music is way more important then photography in my opinion, for without it the wedding loses all its spark , beauty and happiness.

We need to elevate the status of the musician, at times they are the main movers of the entire wedding.
_________________________
http://www.musicalpaintings.net

Top
#1717857 - 07/21/11 09:30 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: BadOrange]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Originally Posted By: BadOrange
I mean lets be honest, the wedding march performed poorly can ruin a wedding. Short of having the groom run away or have some drunk sibling denouncing the marriage because she is having his baby, having someone mess up the organ is next on the list.



I played for a drunk bride.. a friend of the priest.. who was actually friends with the family who decided 'Let's get Sharon married already'.

At the question (at the altar during the ceremony) she was asked.. 'do you promise to love honor and obey your husband? (they should have worded that differently knowing Sharon).. she said 'heck no.. I'm not going to obey anyone'!!! and there were other goofs during the ceremony.

I won't even go into what happened during her celebration at the reception.. since I left after 30 minutes, except that I heard it went on until 2 AM and she was pretty toasted for the last several hours. She did try to pay me 3 more times in the next month or so. (I have a contract and am prepayed).

I am on the low end of the totem pole pay-wise... not because I am bad.. I can play really mean processionals and recessionals, but there are some established players in my region with solid reputations with which I don't really want to compete.

.... just send me the paupers and drunks.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

Top
#1717868 - 07/21/11 09:44 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: BadOrange]
Robert W. Weber Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/20/11
Posts: 9
Loc: Mullins, SC
Originally Posted By: BadOrange
I mean lets be honest, the wedding march performed poorly can ruin a wedding. Short of having the groom run away or have some drunk sibling denouncing the marriage because she is having his baby, having someone mess up the organ is next on the list.


When I was in high school, my geometry teacher offered me $50 to play at his wedding. The church had both a piano and an organ. I suggested the piano because it had a much fuller sound, but his bride decided on the organ. Lo and behold, as the bride began walking down the aisle, the organ shorted out! You could still hear a little, but it was barely audible. Poor girl. I felt terrible for her. For the end, I switched to the piano. At any rate, my teacher never paid me... and it wasn't even my fault! I didn't ask for it, though. It was high school. I didn't know any better. So, yes. The aisle music (or lack thereof) can totally ruin a wedding day... even if the pianist doesn't suck. smile
_________________________
Robert W. Weber
Cocktail Pianist, Carnival Cruise Lines
www.facebook.com/molotovcocktailpiano
http://twitter.com/molotovpiano

Top
#1717894 - 07/21/11 10:27 AM Re: How do you charge for weddings and other events? [Re: currawong]
Redhead1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 135
[/quote]Contact them, talk to them, leave your card or maybe a demo CD with them, go to wedding expos or similar functions you might have in your area and make yourself known. [/quote]

Okay, well hopefully I am on the right track then! I have been doing that sort of thing for about a year now.

I guess it just takes time ...?

Top

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
PianoSupplies.com is Piano World's Online Store
Please visit our store today.
Composer Statuettes
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Rehanging hammers
by rysowers
04/26/15 11:03 PM
Yamaha CP4 Best Buy!!!
by tnsettlemo
04/26/15 09:43 PM
Grand Piano House name change
by newgeneration
04/26/15 08:59 PM
Exercises for syncopation
by DeadPoets
04/26/15 08:54 PM
Valentina Lisitsa--web site
by Bech
04/26/15 08:04 PM
What's Hot!!
New Forum for Selling Your Products or Services
--------------------
Historic Piano Documents
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Forum Stats
79,055 Registered Members
44 Forums
163,573 Topics
2,400,188 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission