i was recently hired to play at a wedding with my trio. i am 17 and this is my first wedding gig.  

we will be at the wedding for about 3 hours, not including set up and take down time, and we will be playing for about 2 and a half hours.  

what would you suggest for a price?

also, is it customary for the leader (myself in this situation) to keep more of the pay then the sidemen?
There are 19 comments, leave a comment.
$100 per hour per musician.
in any case, minimum for weddings is $200 a man.

as regards "leader pay", you are subcontracting the other guys.

the basis of capitalist exploitation applies here: "hire the best people you can for the least amount of money they'll take".

if those guys are happy with a hundred bucks apiece (and you don't tell them how much you're really getting), then everything is cool.

if the other guys know how much you're asking then there might be trouble (or at least hurt feelings). so play your cards close to your chest.

i have a catch line that i use at every wedding that you may use if you like.

after i've gotten paid (and only after), i go up to the newlyweds and tell them "next time either one of you gets married, call me and i'll come play for that wedding too!"

this line also works great at birthday parties "hey, next time you turn 50, .... "
that's pretty low class, imo.

you'll have to be more specific:

1. is it low class to set your minimum to $200 a man?


2. is it low class to pay the other musicians less than yourself if you're the bandleader and you've done all the legwork and promotion, etc but they're hired guns?


3. is it low class to tell a joke on this forum?

i expect your detailed response, complete with references and footnotes, to be on my desk no later than 8:00 am tomorrow morning. the text should be double-spaced, free of redundancies and contain no typographical errors.  

failure to comply in full with all of the abovementioned conditions will result in complete forfeiture of your remaining intangible assets including, but not limited to, your sense of humour.
"7" i think you are a very strange guy but you always make me laugh hard  (and i mean that in a positive sence!) so thanks for that.
anyway i think your right that it is perfectly allright that the bandleader gets more money than the other players. as long as the other bandmembers are satisfied with their salery i don't see any reason that the band leader can't get a little more if he is that skilled in negotiating wages.
here's a drummer's perspective:  unless you are being hired because you are well known in your own right, and therefore deserve a premium over your sidemen, then if you shortchange your sidemen, you will get a bad reputation in the industry.  in australia, we would use the word 'wanker'.  if you are 17, it's a safe bet that you ought not to shortchange your sidemen.
don't shortchange your sidemen.  this is what all of the ceo's of major corporations do, and they have a pretty weak reputation.  sure, it's ok to take a "leader" fee, but make sure it's not too much.  if you are getting $100 a person for the gig, maybe take $125 yourself.

you are a total control freak with expectations that the band will do everything your way. you decide on the songslist, the rehearsals, how much everyone should share in expenses and what kind of gigs you want for your band, etc. bandmates agree to "do it your way", if all income is equally split. why? cause you are getting everything you've wanted in a band...full control. keep your bandmates happy and not be too greedy.
i believe in pay for performance, not just because i declare myself "leader".  i therefore agree with the points that mojazz makes.
if you are hustling the gigs, contacting the site coordinators, or even just spending more time on the phone to arrange these things, you are by my definition the leader.  i think 7 sometimes states openly what may be on other peoples minds anyway.  
personally i don't believe in keeping secrets from the band.
everyone should get paid the same. the only exception is if the client requests something specific and someone in the band ends up doing all the transcribing/arranging...

if you're running a business, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your income versus outlay, and in order to run it like a business you have to take into account all financial factors that affect said business.

if you don't, it's a just hobby (and it's ok to lose money on a hobby).
i think it depends on two things....area of the country you're in and the amount of overhead you have (and whether that's share among the members or if you have to eat it.

a gig in nyc will be more expensive than a job in oklahoma city (all things being equal).  is there a pa involved?  if so, if it breaks or gets stolen, will the other members split the cost or do you shoulder that yourself?  you get the idea.  7 summed it up rather nicely.

if you are a say a 6 piece band, split it 7 ways and the 7th cut covers overhead, equipment repairs, upgrading, etc.  all of ask of my guys is to be set up and ready to play 15 minutes before start and to know the tunes, and rehearse one or two times a year.  my guarentee to them is that a job will be a minimum of three hours and they won't get paid less than than their agreed hourly rate. if they help set up or tear down, that's great but i don't expect it.  factor in a little more if they have to travel a little further than for a normal job.

the typical sideman/musician doesn't fully understand the time and $$'s it takes to book a band.  i know i didn't until i started doing it myself.  web hosting costs, printer costs, po box fees, shipping material and postage fees, demo costs, equipment...it all adds up and should be factored in the the booking price.  i think it all comes down to answering the question "who is taking the financial risk" in running the operation.
sorry, i should have made it clear that i thought this joke was low class:

"after i've gotten paid (and only after), i go up to the newlyweds and tell them "next time either one of you gets married, call me and i'll come play for that wedding too!"
and not the rest of the post.
if i am my own roadie, do i get extra pay?
<<if i am my own roadie, do i get extra pay? >>

you should!  i do!
this thread has probably covered most of the issues, but here are some more.  if you are getting what i consider to be "per hour" wages for the gig, e.g. up to a couple of hundred dollars each for a three hour set, then if you take more than your sidemen, you are shortchanging them.  if you are getting an "appearance fee", i.e. you are able to pay your sidemen a decent amount for their time and effort, then if the extra money is because of your  talent and reputation, then you deserve it.

the other issues are who does the most work.  if you got the gig, organised the players, lugged the pa, and do all the singing, liasing with management etc as well as playing the piano, well then, subject to the above comments, take the cream.
florists, photographers, and musicians seem to hike up their fees for weddings.  it's sort of sick.  when i got married a couple of years ago i was thinking of hiring a bluegrass band that played in the same club my band played in.  given the club and the size crowds they drew, i assume their nightly pay could not have been more than $500.  for my wedding, they wanted to charge $2500!!  i almost choked.  needless to say, i did not hire them.  instead, i went with an organ trio that did the gig for $750.

as long as i'm getting paid what i demand, i don't care what the other guys in the band are making and i don't care whether the leader makes more money (or sometimes less!) than me.
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