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#2394441 - 03/05/15 08:39 PM Transition to wedding pianist
Angela62213 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/14
Posts: 31
Loc: North Carolina
Hi there everyone!
I am a classically trained pianist and vocalist and am trying to make the transition to playing for weddings.I do have some experience with improvisation etc but definitely need some improvement. My main questions are these:
1) How did you get the word out?
2) What technical skills have you found most helpful?
3) How much do you charge and why?
4) Any general advice?

Thanks in advance!
_________________________
"Prayer is when you talk to God, Meditation is when you are listening, Playing the piano allows you to do both at the same time"

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Piano & Music Accessories
#2395840 - 03/09/15 12:23 PM Re: Transition to wedding pianist [Re: Angela62213]
Farmerjones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 238
Loc: USA
Disappointing response.
I was looking forward to reading the many and varied stories.

Though I've not done a wedding, I've got several corporate gigs by being heard in church as a soloist. Our church music director wants anyone that can play anything, and is willing, to add more music to our services.

Otherwise advice; though it seems obvious, first things first. If the job requires two hours of background music, first sit down in front of a clock and play for two hours. If it feels fine go with it. If it did not, work on the weak bits.
Many many practice but do not rehearse. Difficult to rehearse if one doesn't have good criteria. But by putting yourself in the customer's shoes, one can approximate. Best of Luck

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#2395860 - 03/09/15 12:51 PM Re: Transition to wedding pianist [Re: Angela62213]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 725
Loc: Germany
You might check out the "Let's Talk Weddings" thread. Buried between the funny stories are tidbits of very useful information about how to get started and make a living in Wedding World. Good luck!
RMG
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2396833 - 03/11/15 03:06 PM Re: Transition to wedding pianist [Re: Angela62213]
mc9320 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/11
Posts: 70
Loc: London, UK
I'm a jazz pianist and play at a few weddings each year, but I'm finding it harder and harder to get them, partly due to competition from other pianists.

I charge different amounts depending on how long it takes to travel to and from the venue. I would make sure you have a really diverse repertoire, some jazz, pop, rock and classical, so there's something for everyone to enjoy.

In my experience, the role of the wedding pianist is purely background music, and guests treat it as such. As a result, they don't really pay much attention to what you're playing, apart from during the wedding ceremony.

Just be polite, well dressed and turn up in plenty of time.

For some reason, I very rarely get any referrals from playing at weddings, despite many compliments from the bride and groom and the guests.

For finding weddings, you could try Google ads, but I find people who enquire just want the cheapest price! Instead, try tapping into clients who have more money to spend. Maybe try advertising in wedding magazines or websites?

Good luck with it!


Edited by mc9320 (03/11/15 03:08 PM)
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#2402858 - Yesterday at 03:30 PM Re: Transition to wedding pianist [Re: Angela62213]
Redhead1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 135
Hi Angela!

I've been working as a wedding pianist in Atlanta for about five years now.

Check out my site at www.PianoJenny.com to see my pricing and other cool stuff.

As far as getting the word out ... Well, it's still tricky! I have a kick-ass blog and a pretty active Facebook page ("Atlanta Wedding Pianist") but I don't get nearly as many leads or jobs as I would like. Like someone else said, people write me great reviews, but I almost never get referrals.

Maybe people mostly use DJs at weddings these days?

Over the years I have been getting a lot of jobs through a site called GIgmasters.com, but over the last year or so it has become a lot less lucrative for me for whatever reason.

What I would recommend: Visit some local venues by appointment, especially if you can take some photos and talk about how awesome they are later on a blog or something. Go to wedding networking meetings. Try to be helpful. DO NOT just go around looking pathetic and asking for referrals or just giving people your business card. Find some way you can offer value to people.

Technical skills -- the ability to improvise, although I'm hardly going to win any awards.

Pricing -- You can see more details on my website, but basically $300/cerremony OR cocktail hour, or $400 for a combo. $100 additional if I need to bring my digital piano.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Jenny

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