Meri’s Musical Musings

Top 10 things professional musicians would LOVE for you to do before hiring them for gigs

Posted on: December 27, 2013

10. Have a great quality piano which was tuned within the last 3-6 months.

9. Pay them at least union standard rate, and ideally well above the standard rate (at least 20% above), especially at Christmas, which may compete for the same musician. You often get what you pay for, and if you ask pro musicians to play for free or offer significantly lower than standard rates, you’ll sometimes if not often end up with poor quality musicians that audiences do not like.

8. If hiring a pianist or organist, have an instrument at your location; sometimes such people don’t have an instrument, or are too heavy for them to carry because they don’t have a vehicle.

7. Have at least 3-4 extra music stands at your location, more if you regularly have large ensembles.

6. Provide a meal and a drink or two AS WELL as paying them when possible.

5. Allow them to test out their instruments in your venue before they perform on stage a day or two before.

4. Provide a space that can fit at least 6 musicians comfortably when possible, even if there are only one or two musicians in the ensemble. (remember that they might be adding other musicians for future gigs for works that require more musicians, or they may know other ensembles that want to perform)

3. Provide good lighting so the musicians can see each other and their music, or advise them to provide their own lighting if they need it for their stands.

2. If you and the audience enjoyed the ensemble, hire them again within a few months, initiating the call, which they will rarely expect.

1. Pay them IMMEDIATELY after the gig in person, or at least mail out the cheque the same day.


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  • None
  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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