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#666064 - 11/07/08 05:52 PM What is the range for an acoustic duo  
Joined: Sep 2006
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Monica L. Yasher Offline
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Monica L. Yasher  Offline
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Pittsburgh, PA
Hello Everyone.

I was just wandering if anyone had any input into what an acoustic duo should charge for a 3 hour show or 4 hour show.
This is just the typical duo in a coffee house, bar, or restaurant environment on a weekend.

I'm finally ready to get out there and am putting together the press kit. I can't find any price ranges on what is reasonable to charge. At this time, I do not have a large following.

Thoughts are appreciated.

Monica

#666072 - 11/07/08 06:05 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Monica L. Yasher]  
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Bob Cushing Offline
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If you were established, I would go for $300, but if you're just starting out, you may have to take what you can get until you make a name for yourself. Best of luck!


bc
#666084 - 11/07/08 06:35 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Barry Crannell Offline
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Barry Crannell  Offline
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Monica,

I've always tried to include whether you need to schlep around a sound system or not, but it's certainly not the bottom line. Acoustic gigs are more fun if you can be heard.

I'd have to agree with Bob on this one. $300 is nice, but hard to get a guarantee like that from most venues. They often rely on your draw to make any money on the music. No draw, no money.
I always used to enjoy playing at Border's instead of bars. The audience was more engaged, the room quieter, cd sales were better and, at one time, they actually paid their performers. Also, it made a better impact on the mailing list, and those are the ones you might want to go after.

Right now, my wife and I play at a nice wine shop for 3 hours (too long for my taste) and get $175 (we do sound). The beauty of it is, we're doing it for fun, and not so much for the money (thank God). It works for us because we prefer a listening audience to a noisy room.

I just can't recommend a 4 hour gig, but that's personal. Keep it fun.

Best to ya,

Barry



"the older I get, the better I was"
#666108 - 11/07/08 08:10 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Barry Crannell]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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Saint Petersburg. FL
You'd be doing well to get $150 in these parts.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#666120 - 11/07/08 08:31 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Colin Ward]  
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ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Ft. Myers, FL. USA
Monica, I agree with Colin, and we don't live very far apart. I don't play live anymore, my neighbor has been playing live for 20 years. He had a band once, but lately has been playing solo acoustic gigs. He told me just two weeks ago that his gigs went down from $150 per hour to $50 per hour. Of course we are in a tourist area and the rate may go back up during winter. He makes an average of $60 in tips per show. Hope that helps. Ben
P.S. Are you coming to Sanibel soon?

#666127 - 11/07/08 08:51 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: ben willis]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Originally Posted by ben willis
Monica, I agree with Colin, and we don't live very far apart. I don't play live anymore, my neighbor has been playing live for 20 years. He had a band once, but lately has been playing solo acoustic gigs. He told me just two weeks ago that his gigs went down from $150 per hour to $50 per hour. Of course we are in a tourist area and the rate may go back up during winter. He makes an average of $60 in tips per show. Hope that helps. Ben
P.S. Are you coming to Sanibel soon?



That is shocking pay. In my area a duet goes out for about 200-400 ($400-800) for two one hour spots. A four or five piece band will not play for under 500 a night. three hours max. Most charge a lot more. 1000 is about average. Tips are almost unheard of but we will accept the occasional free drink.

#666132 - 11/07/08 09:10 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Big Jim, I meant that the guy has recently been making $50 per hour for a solo gig, because of being out of season and the economy, I guess. It's a good excuse anyway, but he normally makes $150 per hour as a solo act.

#666134 - 11/07/08 09:27 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: ben willis]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
That is still pretty poor pay and way below what a professional entertainer should get. We have been feeling the pinch here too some clubs are shutting down and others cutting back. It is encouraging cheap karaoke acts and forcing good people to give up and take normal jobs.

#666136 - 11/07/08 09:34 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Barry Crannell Offline
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A lot of the places around here also have the "Open Mike" nights, which just means free entertainment for them. It's a good thing I'm no longer pursuing the brass ring around this stuff. Helps to have a day job I suppose, keeps the music fun.

I do love where music has taken me in the past, however - and it wouldn't do to be without it.



"the older I get, the better I was"
#666143 - 11/07/08 09:51 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Barry Crannell]  
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ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Why pay for music when you can have open mike nights? Thanks Craigs list.

#666146 - 11/07/08 10:05 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: ben willis]  
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Letha Allen Offline
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Letha Allen  Offline
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Michigan
Hi Monica,

Good luck on going out, I know those butterflys when you start out. I do have a suggestion for you. If you go listen to some musicians at the establishments you would like to play at, and catch one on a break, it is likely you can get an idea of what that establishments average pay is,by striking up a converstaion about music.

It is different in every area, and every establishment. One small restaurant in my area has singles or duos every weekend. On one side of the road, the musicians have to have an agent, and can get up to $400 a night for a proven act. They want you to go through an agent.

On the other side of the street at a little coffehouse, they pay 75 dollars a night no matter how many in the act.

Just starting, I would play somewhere even if it was not very much pay, just to get my feet wet, and chase the butterflys, and get something under my belt to use in promotion of your show.

I have played for nothing, tips, $50, $200, one song at a wedding for $100, and you will get a kick out of this, at a place called Mainly Chocolate, tips and a pound of whatever chocolate I wanted lol.

But, if you get out, are well recieved, and research the going rate for your area, then I would stick to whatever rates you set and not do too many pro bono shows, as that can make you look not as desired or professional.

I am not a pro, but played in bands, single, and duo, and trios for quite a few years, so these are just my personal thoughts on the subject.

Good luck and have fun!

Letha

#666166 - 11/07/08 11:15 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Letha Allen]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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Saint Petersburg. FL
Jim,

Here in Florida, good musicians are a dime (or 10p) a dozen. A bar, restaurant, typically pays $150 for a four hour set, solo or duo (that's $75 each man for a duo). A good band in a bar for dancing gets $300 - $400 total unless they are well known and have a pretty good following. A working musician has to be happy with $100 a night and often $75.......and if you don't like it they just get somebody else. You can make more as a waiter at the same place. I know one guy who has a gold record hanging on his wall and he is playing 6 nights a week for $75 - $100 a night.

Some bars are trying to do what is done in California which is charge the band rent in their club to use the stage! Then it is up to the band to make money via tips and merchandise sales.

That's why I was trying to advise Christine Donovan's son's band not to quit their day jobs! There is a well-publicized tour called the Van's Warped tour that is made up of young bands. When it comes through here, the less well known musicians are sleeping in their cars because it doesn't pay enough to get a hotel room.

Not a good time to become a working musician!


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#666229 - 11/08/08 10:50 AM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Colin Ward]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Different story here. We have a healthy music scene although it has had a few hiccups recently due to smoking ban and hard times overall. There are large venues where top bands play for obscene amounts of money. There is a club/pub scene where good local acts can make a reasonable living and there is the small venues where the not so good or up and coming acts learn the craft. The small venues sound very similar in rates to your general scene. We do not have a tips system and nobody I know would even consider paying to play regardless of how many tips they received. Sometimes bands mainly tribute acts will hire a theatre and sell tickets at 15-20 each. Hiring a 1000 or so seater if full will make you money. Most of the top acts have agents and or managers who get us work. It is a tough life but beats working for a living LOL.

#666234 - 11/08/08 11:30 AM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Texas
Monica:

I don't perform but I sure respect what you are about to do. It takes a special form of courage to get out there and start building a fan base. I suppose one of the hardest things to take while "gigging" is to put up with the inconsiderate fools who make all that noise while you're up there wearing your voice out.

Best wishes for success and happiness.

Dave

http://www.showcaseyourmusic.com/DaveRice

#666259 - 11/08/08 12:26 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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Three of our local artists do European tours (Steve Arvey, Tommy McCoy and Charlie Morris) so that explains why!


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#666416 - 11/09/08 12:06 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Marc Novoselec Offline
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Kawartha Lakes, Ontario
I host an open mic night, and get paid for it. A modest fee, considering I bring the PA and typically around 7 people who poplulate the coffee bar. So it's a symbiotic relationship. My name, such as it is, helps draw other local players and even some from further away, so business is usually really good on a Friday night.

Too often though, smaller venues will offer a 'bar tab' in other words a few free beers, I just remind those who offer that, that music is not my hobby, I pay my bills and buy groceries for my family with the money I make making and selling music. Sometimes if you want to be taken seriously you have to have a dollar figure attached to your name/service...unfortunate, but true.

For a duo, I would think that $100 ie $50 each is fair. Don't ever play for beer, don't even act interested!

#666422 - 11/09/08 12:27 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Marc Novoselec]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
I would be interested to hear what hourly rates of payare in the US compared to UK.

Here a qualified nurse typically gets about 15 per hour.

Garages charge upwards of 70per hour for labour.

Plumbers charge upwards of 30 per hour.

Lawyers well they charge what they like. LOL

It should be easy to equate musicians pay as slightly better than the likes of a good qualified tradesman. Certainly in my book they should be paid no less given the unsocial hours and irregular work.

#666525 - 11/09/08 08:30 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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Saint Petersburg. FL
Jim,

I am a bit out of touch but I think our nurses range from pretty low to pretty high based on various qualifications. I would guess $10 for a practical nurse to $40 for a registered nurse.

A major garage like a new car dealer gets about $80/hr for labor - somewhat less for an independent garage.

Plumbers called out to do repairs might charge $80/hr....less for a planned/bid installation.

The last lawyer I consulted charged $250/hour but I escaped pretty quickly.

There is no doubt a lot of variation in this depending on location and how busy people are.

The problem for musicians is that the supply outstrips the demand by a lot so the musicians have no bargaining power. Big name acts do well of course.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#666527 - 11/09/08 08:49 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Colin Ward]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Thanks I think the rates you give are pretty similar give or take. Pity the musician rates are so low in comparison.

#666605 - 11/10/08 01:52 AM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Monica L. Yasher]  
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AJ Baker Offline
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AJ Baker  Offline
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Hi Monica,Alot has to do with if you are doing covers or your own material.Most open stages are occupied by singersongwriters who are out there building a fan base so playing for exposure is okay.I fit that category and play out 4to5nights a week sometimes for free meals and tips.I have a good job so money isn't that important to me.on the other side of the coin if you're playing covers i would charge $100 an hour for a duo .Like the above people said you have to decide whether you are working musicians or doing it for extra cash or the rush of adulation LOL.Anyway good luck I'm heading to Nashville November 22nd for a few days of getting my name out there.AJ PS you never know i may be over your way some time soon to play a open mic.Seems i've looked in that direction and there are a few.

Last edited by AJ Baker; 11/10/08 01:56 AM.

Life was once a beautiful thing when we were able to live it.Love is such a beautiful thing when we are able to give it.Time alas has no meaning when there is no time but it takes but a moment for one to be so kind
#666838 - 11/10/08 11:54 PM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: ]  
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Monica L. Yasher Offline
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Monica L. Yasher  Offline
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Thanks for the help everyone. I think for now we will go for 100 or 150 a night for the restaurant or bar scene. I also hear there is the "let's make a deal" factor at the end of the night at times.

I guess for festivals you can go more the upper end.

AJ-I will just miss you in Nashville. I'm going down on the 20th and 21st so far. Don't think I will be there on Saturday.

Take care everyone!

Monica

#666861 - 11/11/08 02:32 AM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Monica L. Yasher]  
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AJ Baker Offline
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AJ Baker  Offline
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Dayton,Ohio
Hi Monica,That's too bad i will be at the Commodore That night22Nov.One Thing I did find out is that there are plenty of open mics in Pittsburg so i'll be taking a road trip there Soon as the weather permits.I'm about 4 hrs away.I'll send you a PM to see if you guys want to come out to play some.AJ


Life was once a beautiful thing when we were able to live it.Love is such a beautiful thing when we are able to give it.Time alas has no meaning when there is no time but it takes but a moment for one to be so kind
#666875 - 11/11/08 04:24 AM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: ]  
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Larry Williams Offline
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Big Jim...that's why so many American bands and artists like touring in Europe vs in the U.S. They can actually make money touring there. Here, there is simply not enough people willing to pay decent money. I don't know if the UK is much different from the rest of Europe, but it sounds like musicians can actually make a living there without being a superstar.

A friend of mine is pretty well known (he's been on the cover of many music industry magazines) and when his band tours in the U.S., they lose money, but when they tour Europe - and especially Japan, they make a LOT of money.

Monica: If you can get $150, I'd take it and see how it goes.

#667826 - 11/14/08 11:41 AM Re: What is the range for an acoustic duo [Re: Larry Williams]  
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Doug Heard Offline
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Serious Contributor

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 497
On the Road USA
Wife and I are a duo, we ask $250 for a 3hr gig.
But we often work for less depending on what we can get.
When we play biker bars we can do over $300 in tips.
Country bars luck to hit $100 in tips.
Restaurants $50 to 100
Given the right spot I can solo and do $100-200 an hour busking, wife doesn't like busking. LOL


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