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How To Set A Price Tag On Your Musical Performance

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How To Set A Price Tag On Your Musical Performance

Without a doubt, music is one of the most lucrative businesses around. You know this, I know this, the world knows this.

Of course every musician has to battle hectic tour dates, grueling sessions in the recording and keeping up with the demands of record label executives.

According to a list released by the booking agency, Degcy Entertainment, here’s how much the following star artistes charge:

Taylor Swift $1mil+

Rihanna $500-750k

One Direction $100-200k

Nicki Minaj $200-300k

Usher $150-250k

Maroon V $400-700k

Adele $750k+

Imagine Dragons $400-600k

Bon Jovi $1mil+

Justin Bieber $1mil+

Each artiste considered a number of factors before settling on this price tag. Follow this link to know more about such charges.


Now, it might be a big leap for a beginning musician like yourself to charge a million dollars per gig a la Taylor Swift but it does not mean you short sell yourself either.

Whatever price tag you place on yourself as a musician is a determinant of the value of your work and an evaluation of how much you value yourself as a musician.

An instance is the case of a Vizio TV versus a Sony TV.

If you come across these brands in the average supermarket, Sony will have a price tag that doubles the Vizio television set even though they are both just that; television sets.

Despite the higher price tag, Sony television sets will still be purchased more by consumers because the inherent gulf in quality is apparent.

The same is true of the way you price yourself as a musician.

Like I said earlier, you might still be some ways off from charging a million per performance but this does not translate to you undervaluing yourself as a musician. By all means, charge what you are worth!

This article does not pretent to give you a cast in stone system for billing but it will most definitely give you a good foundation to build on.

No matter what your band does: playing original songs, performing under an hour, or performing all night long, you need to consider some factors before setting up a bill.

It rests largely on the type of gigs your band offers. For a four piece string routine, you might decide to raise the amount on the bill for functions like weddings and cocktail parties while a songwriter with a solo routine that is restricted to writing only original songs will be restricted to just two sets and thus, will attract a lower fee.

However, the key is to learn from established musicians, both past and present and also to never view your skills and time as valueless.

Here is a small list of things to do:

Lesson 1: Research What Your Competitors Are Charging

With the help of websites like GigMasters, you can do a bit of research and find out how much other bands in the area are charging.

If enough research is done on a certain number of bands, say five similar bands, you can have an accurate idea of a price to fix.

You should find out the going price for functions like anniversaries, birthday parties, weddings or other major celebrations.

With an accurate idea of the pricing situation, you will have a good knowledge of what to charge for what and that way, you will not undercharge or overcharge.

And you will have just the right amount of value for your time.

Lesson 2: Give Them What You Value Yourself to Be

Charge your clients according to an evaluation of your talents.

If you believe a three-hour performance by you is worth $3000 of entertainment to your audience, by all means put that on the booking bill.

However, if you know that your talents are more humble and deserving of a lesser tag, add a less price tag.

If you charge $2000 for an event and your performance ends up being a dreary affair, the organizers will most likely demand a refund and they will not be wrong in doing so.

The point here is, you need to do a complete and extremely critical evaluation of your performance as a musician and use this to set the bill.

It does not hurt to start with a little amount and then working your way up towards that elusive $1mil pay day.

However, this does not translate to you undervaluing yourself. The point is to strike a balance where you give the clients just what is right.

Lesson 3: EstablishComfortable And Reasonable Price Range

Now that you know what you are worth, you can start hunting for available singing gigs in town.

Sometimes, you get amounts lower that your bill.

Oftentimes, organizers will offer you $300 when your valuation of yourself is $400.

If this happens to you regularly, you cannot say no everytime.

That is why you need to establish a price range. The rationale for this is simple, you need to establish a 'lowest price range possible'.

You cannot turn down every gig just because it is a few bucks short of your self evaluation.

To succeed in the entertainment business, your price range is important and you should strive to find clients who will hire you within that range.

Some clients will try to pay you the lowest amount as possible and if you accept this a tad too much, your band will lose its value.

If you are not comfortable working a gig for a low amount, an amount lower than the minimum in your range, you will do well to pass it up.

Lesson 4: Identify your strategic position in the Market And Use It To Your Disadvantage

The rationale behind this is simple.

If your money is lower than that of competition, you will get more gigs but if if yours is higher than, well, prove yourself.