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Hi I was just wondering how much a professional jazz trio or quartet typicaly charges for gigs (private parties, weddings, events, fundraisers,etc)

I'm In high school and our jazz trio typically charges about $100 or so/hr and we advertise cheap rates compared to professionals, but we don't really know how much they get paid.

Also, ussualy we just set up the details for our gigs over phone or email, show up for the gig and get paid there. Should we have a contract for the people to sign ahead of time agreeing on the price, hours, etc. and should we collect a deposit beforehand to hold the date, how much?

Thanks
 

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Not sure about "professionals" as that can mean a lot of different things, but the combo I was in during high school (a trio most of the time too) charged $250/$300 minimum which got them around 2-3 hours of music, and we would add $100 for each hour after that. We also made sure that we got a free meal on top of that. Though, we also did a lot of free gigs to, depending on what the event was.


…that was our ‘blueprint’ for gigs I doubt any actually worked out exactly like that, but that is what we worked around.

There’s always a lot of exceptions, you have to be flexible, especially as a high school group….it really shouldn’t be about the money at that stage anyway.


Contracts are a good idea, and help a lot; most people want some sort of invoice anyway.

Oh, and if you do make a contract, put in rates for overtime, my combo got jipped a lot when the people hiring us would want us to stay for an hour for two more, promising that they would send more money to us later.
 

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We would like to get $150 a hour for our sax trio. Most times we do 1/2 hour jobs for 30-40 bucks. Our last job we played for 35 minutes and got $60. We do alot of freebies too!!!!!
 

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$300 for 4 hrs isn't that much unless you ment 300 each, our combo gets about $400 for 4 hrs and were in high school.

and by professional I mean they are all super good and most likely all have degrees in jazz studies, and they probably play their instruments for a living
 

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I'm playing mostly in big bands (and little big bands) and party bands and make anywhere from $75 to $500 a gig with the norm being between $125 and $250. All 4 hour shows. Not too bad considering it's usually a 10 piece group.
 

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I wouldn't expect a whole lot of money playing jazz. (At least what I consider jazz.) This is very true in Southern California, where studio musicians, (who don't really need the money), will play for low bread, just to get a chance to blow! I think there's a lot more money in casuals, corperate events, etc, where you have to play ANY kind of music, jazz included.
 

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Lukeduke said:
$300 for 4 hrs isn't that much unless you ment 300 each, our combo gets about $400 for 4 hrs and were in high school.

and by professional I mean they are all super good and most likely all have degrees in jazz studies, and they probably play their instruments for a living
Yeah, that would be $300 a piece...
 

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Lukeduke said:
$300 for 4 hrs isn't that much unless you ment 300 each, our combo gets about $400 for 4 hrs and were in high school.

and by professional I mean they are all super good and most likely all have degrees in jazz studies, and they probably play their instruments for a living
I see you live in Brentwood. That's one of the richest areas in California, if not the world. I would imagine people would pay a little more for private gigs in that area. At least I would hope so.
 

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I'm not a professional in the sense that I make my primary living from performance (as opposed to teaching, etc...). However, I will not leave the house for a club gig for less than $100 anymore. Private affairs are a minimum of 200 (and that's with a very loosely operating band but some awesome honr players in the section) and general in the 3-400 dollar range (per person).

Honestly, undercutting the rates of real pro's is not a good practice to get in the habit of. People take musicians for granted enough today and unfortunately the pay rates have hardly increased along the lines of inflation over the past 30 years if not longer.
 

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Swampcabbage said:
Honestly, undercutting the rates of real pro's is not a good practice to get in the habit of. People take musicians for granted enough today and unfortunately the pay rates have hardly increased along the lines of inflation over the past 30 years if not longer.
Ahmen!

My sax quartet made of 'well accomplished amateurs' never goes below 400$ (that's 100$ each) + traveling cost (and perdiems if applicable) On some occasions we did 'specials' but most of the time we go by the book because I know how frustrating it is to lose gigs because of other bands that work for peanuts :x
 

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Pros don't get paid - There's always High School Kids willing to play for nothing. :D

Really though - undercutting "pros" is not a great way to start a musical career. Particularly if you someday wish to be a "PRO." Call the local Musician's Union in your area and find out what SCALE is for different performances.
 

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Lukeduke said:
$300 for 4 hrs isn't that much unless you ment 300 each, our combo gets about $400 for 4 hrs and were in high school.

and by professional I mean they are all super good and most likely all have degrees in jazz studies, and they probably play their instruments for a living
$300 per man.

I charge $500 per man for my band to play a private engagement. My 9-piece band costs $4500 for 4 hours. I throw in a trio for a cocktail hour. I'm negotiable of course, but even at $4500, my band is less expensive than many New York based groups. I'm talking about weddings and corprate events at hotels and country clubs. I'll still take a weeknight jazz gig for $50 bucks. If nothing else is going on, that is. (Don't tell anyone.)
 

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A Greene said:
Pros don't get paid - There's always High School Kids willing to play for nothing. :D

Really though - undercutting "pros" is not a great way to start a musical career. Particularly if you someday wish to be a "PRO." Call the local Musician's Union in your area and find out what SCALE is for different performances.

Good sugestion. Don't undercut the pros. If you want to play for free or cheap, give a free concert at an old-folks home, or at your local grade school. Play at your local park's band shell.
 

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Or go to jam sessions and don't be afraid to learn something.

The reason I had to draw my line on the club gigs is due to the strain on my family life it is just not worth it for me considering it is not a necessary income.
 

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I definitely didn't undercut the local pros when I was in high school.

The only reason I even got gigs in HS was because the 'pros' would pass along gigs that they didn't and wouldn't take, to me (and other high school/college students)...like playing for a Day Care open house...or the local parks 'pancake breakfast' that attracted 5 people, and playing in front of our local hardware store because they donate money to our high school, and yes, plenty of retirement home 'gigs' too.

All the gigs my (schools) combo got were either passed along to us from pros, or for some family friend event.

I just think its too bad that there aren’t a whole lot of places for...non pros...To get together and play (besides with Jamey Aebersold that is) let alone play for an audience. What happened to learning on the bandstand?
 

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Swampcabbage said:
Or go to jam sessions and don't be afraid to learn something.
That would be ideal, but I know that at least in Sacramento (which is a fairly large city, right?), that there wasn't even steady jam session until the last few months I lived there, I'm not sure how much longer it will last either.
 

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I'm listing for individual per gig (2 to 3 sets spanning up to 4 hours).

ramZsax. I think that's a very valid point. However, I have noticed that there are generally more blues jams out there than most people think. I know it can be saddening to sit in on another version of Mustang Sally with 12 bad blues guitarists cramming up the listings when you really want to let it fly with "Isotope", but, the blues jam can be a great place for a young player to really develop their skills and voice. Plus, as one of maybe 2 sax players at a session, you usually get to play most of the night.
 

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You're right. I wasn't thinking about the blues jams that Sac has...I know there's a few...but unfortunately, I've never been to one myself...actually, I think I was to young for most of them anyway.

ChuBerry47 - I doubt you were referring to be, but I'll answer while I'm here...All the prices I entered were for the group as a whole, so on a three hour gig the group would likely get $300 total. If we got the gig through our high school, then 25% of the money went to the school...So, if we had a quartet on a three hour gig through our HS, we would each get around $56 for three hours of playing (plus a meal!)
 
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