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...a guy asks to hear a demo of your 4 man combo before committing himself to giving the band a gig
... he hears the demo and says - "it's great - what do you want to do?"
This could be taken negatively, it could be like a "so what" like a "getout" from the man.
But, looking at it another way, you could take up the challenge, step in with a totally free hand and do something "knock-em-out" amazing?
But....What would the "knock-em-out amazing" be....?
 

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I am not a pro musician, and not a native English speaker, so the subtleties of the conversation are probably lost on me.
But to me it sounds like a challenge which I would accept. Give it your best and knock them out! :)
 

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But, looking at it another way, you could take up the challenge, step in with a totally free hand and do something "knock-em-out" amazing?
But....What would the "knock-em-out amazing" be....?
Knock ‘em out with merely really good for now - “amazing” will come with time (or not).

This is like asking “URGENT - I need a really great original idea”...

There are no shortcuts, but there may be opportunities. Be diligent in your endeavors, and realize that EVERY PERFORMANCE IS AN AUDITION FOR YOUR NEXT GIG. Don’t be anything less than your best.
 

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I can see a lot of doubt and second guessing. That's probably normal for a first time. :)

What about playing the gig and analysing facts afterwards ?
To say 'ok' or 'no' was THEIR responsibility. Seems to me you have a green light here...

Blow them away !
 

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It just sounds like the typical negotiation technique of forcing the other person to identify a number first. He knows his budget, but you don't. He figures the closer you are to his budget, the lower he can work you down. So, the response is something like "we usually get [insert top dollar market going rate here]." And let him respond to that. You'll figure out what his budget is - and companies, associations, weddings all have a budget based on a market going rate, or they are bluffing and trying to get away with something for a few hundred bucks with no budget. Which is ok, if you're ok with a few hundred bucks.
 

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Its great what do you want to do? We usually get 150 a man for a three hour gig so we can play for 600 a three hour gig on X/XX. Thanks. If that isn't in their budget what it? Don't play anything without knowing how long and how much K
 

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...a guy asks to hear a demo of your 4 man combo before committing himself to giving the band a gig
... he hears the demo and says - "it's great - what do you want to do?"
Is that an exact quote from the potential client? Is he offering you the gig? If so, I guess he's asking how much you charge to do the gig. Or are you just paraphrasing what he said? I'm really unclear on what you are asking from us on here.

If you're simply asking how much to charge, musekatcher and Keith gave pretty spot-on responses. But a lot depends on the gig. Is it 'just up the road' or 300 miles away? A private party, a wedding, a late night dive bar gig, an afternoon winery gig, etc? We can't tell you exactly how much to charge without a lot more details. I'd start by getting those details (time frame, etc) from the client, then using your own judgement given the type of gig it is, come up with a minimum you're willing to accept, tack on a bit more to leave some room for bargaining and quote him a price.

Or are you asking us some other question? It would help to be a bit more specific in order to get a useful answer.
 

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I guess I don't understand the question. If someone said to me "It's great. What do you want to do?" then my only interpretation of that would be he thinks it's great and wants to know what the next steps are to hire you. You are the one in the business so he is looking to you for guidance. At this point you tell him what the terms would be: I can do it on that date from this time to this time for X amount of dollars for x number of players at x location for 4 hours. If he agrees, you present him with a written contract and collect a non-refundable deposit to hold the date. Just FYI - You can also negotiate things like the size of the stage, whether there is shade (if it is outdoors) and that there should be electricity available within a specified distance of where your setting up. If you have to be there early and need to be on site for an extended amount of time, that should be negotiated in the price and maybe you can even negotiate a meal for the band. :)

I'm not sure what you mean by "you could take up the challenge, step in with a totally free hand and do something "knock-em-out" amazing."

#1 I don't see that you have been challenged in any way.

#2 If you are hired for a gig you rarely have a totally free hand. The client is looking for some something appropriate for the gig. Again, you are supposed to be the expert so be prepared to make recommendations. Sometimes the client has something specific in mind but they're not always right. If you have been doing this a while you will know what works for a particular type of event, so you may need to gently re-direct them, if possible. Ultimately though, it's the client's nickel so give 'em what they want. If you can't do that, then don't take the gig. Unless of course, you want to have some material to post in the "Gigs from Hell" thread. :)

#3 It sounds like the guy already likes you so I don't think you need to do anything additional to convince him. Save the something "knock-em-out" amazing for the gig as long as it fits within the parameters of what is appropriate for the event. LOL! Also keep in mind that what you, as a musician, think is knock-em-out amazing may be totally lost on the crowd at the event. No worries though, you get the satisfaction of it and still get to take a check to the bank. Remember, unless someone is paying to come see you in concert then the event is not about the band. It's about what it takes to do your part so that the client can have a successful event. He may have a lot riding on it, the least of which may be money. Be professional and make him look good.

#4 Get paid what you're worth and don't be afraid to tell someone that you can't do it for an offered price. It's like any other business dealing, don't be afraid to politely decline if it doesn't benefit you and your musicians appropriately. In my experience, if you throw out a number that is too low then that becomes your perceived worth to the client (and to yourself). If the client balks at your number, ask them what they are spending on catering (assuming the event is catered). It will almost certainly be more than they are spending on the band, yet good entertainment is as equally important as good food when putting on a successful event. Wouldn't you agree?
 

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I guess I don't understand the question. If someone said to me "It's great. What do you want to do?" then my only interpretation of that would be he thinks it's great and wants to know what the next steps are to hire you.
+1 (to your entire post). However, the OP never came back on here to clarify, so I guess it's a moot point. Still doesn't hurt to give good advice for other interested readers on here. Well said!
 
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