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Session Musician


Hertfordshire, England
Hi guys,

I have to say this aimed a bit more about the professionals in the café - how much would you charge for playing sax at a gig, with a band as a session musician?
I'm far from professional, but I've recently started doing this and have no idea how much a should charge, and if I should even charge in the first place... any ideas?

$200 (one hundred pounds) per person per session. If you're a name then whatever that market can take. Normally one wouldn't expect you to play for more than 3 hours. Recording sessions can take longer and there is a union scale for this (in some countires).

Also can depend on how large your group is. E.g. if playing a wedding the fee might be $800, but that might be the same if you are a trio or a six piece band. At the end of the day it's up to you as to what you will play for, but if they won't pay, then that shows that there is no respect for you or what you do. Building a reputation for being a freebee isn't necessairly a good idea. Playing for friends for free is another matter.
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Thanks Wade!

That's quite useful information to know - since I'm not a professional, and they're not exactly a big time band (they played at rhythms of the world and Standon Calling though!) I wasn't looking to charge a lot, but if two hundred pounds is a professional charge, then I would feel a lot less guilty asking for 15 to 20 quid!
From the world of classical music... if we hire semi-pro players for the chamber choir, they vary between about £80 - £120 which would get us a rehearsal and the concert. Fully pro starts at £120 upwards. You may have to pay travel costs on top of that if they are coming some distance.

I know a string quartet (amateur) that charges from £160 for a basic hour's worth of playing at a wedding service and same rate if they also play at the reception (i.e. £160 per hour).

There are guidelines on the Making Music web site.

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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