#1January 20th, 2009 · 08:44 PM
22 threads / 7 songs
164 posts
singing for supper
So......i had a thing with stage fright.....but over it now. 

Played my first gig (ever) in my hometown Dec. 23/08.  I was home for the holidays & my best friend asked me to play a couple tunes in the bar she works in.  I said sure.......she just about fainted (she knows how much of a nervous nellie I am).  it went from a couple tunes into a 7-9 performance, posted on facebook & flyers all over town.

well......it turned out GREAT!  i did two 40min sets......first set solo......then my bro played the second set with me.  he's a killer lead player.....nice PRS....tons of pedals.....sweet.

I played for tips......about 75 people showed up....tiny bar....room for 60....lol.  I ended up making about $300 for a 2 hour gig.

The reason I played for tips.....is because:

A)  my first gig
B)  not a pro
C)  didn't have a CLUE what to charge
D)  no reputation/followers  (couldn't gauge what the turn out would be)

I want to keep doing this.....but.....NOT for tips.  & not for a burger & free drinks.  Not that I'm the best musician in the world or anything.......BUT.....if I play for free......doesn't it make it harder for other musicians to get payed?? 

it took me 35 years of practice.....that is worth something yes?  plus.....the bar income SKYROCKETED that night.  the owner was pretty happy......

what do you guys charge?  what's the going rate?  i'm green when it comes to this.

& I need to know 'cause a bunch of other places have asked me to play.

#2January 20th, 2009 · 09:49 PM
160 threads / 33 songs
1,964 posts
United States of America
You have just asked the hardest question to answer for musicians that perform all over and just locally.  The reason being is that the pay can go from a local performer at $200.00 per night , to $15,000.00 for one show for national acts (in small venues only).

    My experience has been that each bar is different but ,, Bands with Three people or more in my area (local bars , local performers), the going rater is anywhere from $600.00 to $1,200 a weekend with $800.00 a weekend being the norm and  $500.00 for a single night.   I am not sure what solo performers are making but , I wouldn't do it for under $400.00 for the weekend and $150.00 for a single night during the week...

 My thought on it are this.. I always ways  ask real high and come down to some kind of middle ground usually works out just about right. Night clubs that have been booking performers know what they can afford a week for entertainment, they are in the business to make money so they will try to low ball you if they can.  You can go to open jams and talk to other performers in your area , they will give you and idea of what they are making.

 Original music performers on the local scale tend to make less $$$ than cover performers.
#3January 21st, 2009 · 06:44 AM
22 threads / 7 songs
164 posts
So.....then mb asked...
should I join the local musicians Union?

does one HAVE to be in one...to play gigs? 

thanks for the info.....it's all new to me!  
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