There are many reasons why you could decide to hire a solo musician for your event:
Maybe you want a more dynamic entertainment for your guests, or you want something special to remember your wedding ceremony by…
Maybe you want to keep an intimate occasion feeling intimate by having just one professional musician, like a solo violinist or solo saxophone player, entertain a few guests…
Or maybe you want somebody on the dance floor, like a solo percussionist, to encourage the guests of your corporate event to partake more actively in the festivities and dance the night away.
No matter your motivation, it’s pretty much proven that a solo musician can make your party feel extraordinary, either by lending to the intimacy or grandeur of your event. A solo musician can be a great alternative to a wedding band.
How Much Does a Solo Musician Cost?
Another reason to hire a solo musician is the lower cost compared to hiring a full band. Solo musicians are easily the more affordable choice, however, there’s no simple answer to the question, “How much does a solo musician cost?” The industry average is highly variable. The cost of a solo musician will depend on a number of factors like the kind of musician, the time and duration of the event, the type of the event, the musician’s skill level and experience, and the travelling involved. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Type of Solo Musicians
Different kinds of musicians have their own going rates and it can vary greatly from one type of musician to another. A musician’s rate can depend on his or her training, experience, and instrument used. Classical musicians may charge higher due to their training and the fact that they have to bring their prized instruments to the venue. One thing is for sure, hiring a solo musician is cheaper than getting the entire band. For instance, a jazz musician will be cheaper than jazz quartets or a jazz band.
Time and Duration of the Event
Another factor that will affect the cost of hiring a solo musician is the time of the event and the duration that you expect the musician to play, including setting up. Like with full bands, the longer the musician has to perform, the higher the cost. However, some solo musicians for hire sometimes reduce their hourly rates for longer performance times because the additional hours can minimize the cost of the time they will spend for set up.
Preparation and Requests
All bands and musicians, solo musicians included, have a repertoire that they play for different event types. If you will have your musician perform a specific wedding song or a piece that they have to learn exclusively for your event, this might affect their rate because of the time they have to dedicate for rehearsing this new music.
Type of Event
Different event types merit different rates for a lot of musicians. Performing for a short guest list of under 50 people is a different kind of work when playing for a big venue with over 100 guests when you are a solo musician! As a rule, the more people there are to entertain, the more a musician can charge. A solo violinist at a small drinks reception will cost less than a solo saxophonist hitting the notes all night at a huge corporate event. If you are trying to save money by hiring a solo musician, you can consider hiring him or her only for a part of the event if it’s a big event.
Skill and Experience
Skilled musicians that underwent a lot of training for their craft can charge premium rates but if they are only starting out, they can charge less. Same goes for solo performers who have a ton of experience and rave reviews — if a solo percussionist or a solo violinist has a great track record (with videos and testimonials to prove it!), they can charge higher. And guess what? Plenty of clients are willing to pay more knowing with certainty that the solo musician can deliver a stellar performance during the event!
How far you’re asking your musician to travel for your event will affect their rates. Travel will cost the musician time, money, and energy that they have to recover through the fees that they will charge you. So it’s best to look for solo musicians near you first before searching elsewhere.
Different Kinds of Solo Musicians
Not sure what kind of solo musician to hire for your party? Whatever the event type is, there is a solo musician that could rock it. Solo musicians are a versatile and talented bunch. Imagine carrying all the entertainment duties for a portion (or the entire) of the event on your shoulders! Some of the solo performers that you can hire include:
A lot of solo guitarists are talented vocalists as well so they can double as a wedding singer! So if you’re looking for a crooner to walk you down the aisle with the accompaniment of Elvis’ Fools Rush In on strings, a singing guitarist may be for you. Classical guitarists are also perfect if you’re looking for low-key yet romantic entertainment for the night, or if you are hoping to have your guests sing along to a song or two.
Solo Percussionist/Solo Drummer
For some, it might be difficult to imagine a drummer outside of a live band. If you’ve never experienced a solo percussionist at a party, then you’re missing out — big time! Solo percussionists are a lot of fun. Percussionists or drummers outside of cover bands or wedding bands can play a wide range of musical styles from contemporary to African beats. A solo percussionist is also one of the most dynamic solo musicians for hire: they are constantly weaving in and out of your guests throughout the night and are very effective in getting them onto the dance floor.
There are different kinds of solo singers that you can hire for your event: opera singer, jazz singer, classical singer, acoustic singer, etc.. A talented solo singer is a wonderful addition to your event entertainment if you’re looking for someone to sing a special number or if you already have a band (or another solo musician) for the night but only need a singer for a portion of the event.
A saxophonist doesn’t always have to be part of a jazz band. These guys can hold exceptionally well on their own! A solo saxophonist can be a great solo wedding musician and perform powerful music on the wedding ceremony itself or later in the wedding reception. Like a solo drummer, a solo sax player can also move along with the crowd!
Feeling fancy and romantic? The sound of the violin is beautiful no matter the setting. Solo violinists can make your proposal unforgettable, walk you down the aisle, entertain guests during drinks or receptions, play background music during dinner, and the list goes on! Don’t think of these exceptional musicians as high-brow either — they can play different types of music from classical to pop. An electric violinist can play music that’s accessible to everyone and bring a lot of energy to your party!
Another solo wedding musician that you can hire is a solo cellist. The sound of the cello is fantastic wedding music whether for the ceremony itself or for the wedding reception later. Apart from nuptials, cello music is a great addition to special occasions like a milestone wedding anniversary, a re-taking of vows, or wedding proposals.
Like solo guitarists, many solo pianists can also sing. A singing pianist can be delightful as a form of wedding entertainment and without a doubt, your guests (and you) will feel like you’re being treated to a mini concert. A good solo pianist can play a variety of musical styles!
Hiring a Solo Musician
The process of finding a solo musician for hire for your wedding ceremony, mitzvah, birthday, or bridal shower can be a little different from hiring a band. Though you will be looking for the same qualifications like skill level, experience, and equipment, you will be asking a different set of questions from a solo performer than you would when screening a group of musicians. Here are some tips for hiring a solo musician.
Check Out Their Social Media
Going through a musician’s Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter is a good way to gauge how he or she performs live music. Not only do you get an idea about their musical skills, you can also get a grasp at how well they can engage guests.
Schedule a Consultation
Even when you know a solo musician by reputation or you’re thoroughly impressed by what you see on their social media and website, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation (over the phone, via video call, or in person) before you finalize your booking. Most booking policies are non-refundable so it’s better to be sure about what you’re getting into! A lot of musicians offer consultation for free anyway so this is more of a time commitment on your part. This is the time for you to ask your questions, clarify the policies and rates, set your expectations, and make your requests be known.
Always Sign a Formal Contract
Have everything in writing. Any reputable musician has put in the work to have a formal contract ready for you to go over and sign after everything has been agreed upon. A formal contract provides both you and your musician the confidence and peace of mind that neither party can escape their responsibilities to one another.
CW Productions Solo Musicians
There’s nothing like live music to make your event memorable. Whether you’re hiring a solo percussionist, a singing guitarist, an electric violinist, or an acoustic singer, the advice we shared above can help make finding the right solo musician for your event easier. Still wondering if a solo musician is right for your event? Are you thinking whether a jazz trio, string quartet, or cover band is a better fit for your occasion? We can help you figure that out! Just leave your details here and we’ll reach out to you for a free consultation.