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...a true story or another accordion joke?

Tom

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So, guy calls up the accordionist, "About what would it cost for you and a guitar player to play for a four hour wedding?"

"Oh, that would be about $500."

"What, are you crazy, $500 for some music???!!!"

"OK, tell you what, you call a plumber and an electrician and get a quote to work on a Saturday night for 4 hours. We'll do it for half."
 

debra

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Don't know whether this is just a story or actually true, but I think it is pretty accurate. You'd be lucky to get the plumber and electrician for $1.000 so indeed the musicians are just asking half of that. I have not considered what it would take to actually make money with my playing. Considering the cost of the accordions, mics and amplification... it would take many gigs to recuperate just that, let alone have some money left over for something simple like food...
 

jozz

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wedding bands get top $$$

500 / 4hrs would be reason to search elsewhere, because: probably not good enough.....

then on the other side:

a professional duo near here doing music theatre (no side jobs) - you look at their regular schedule - averaging 3-4 shows a week, sounds good! in fact, they are an example to me - how I wish I could get a repertoire and a schedule like that and live off it... instead of my desk job

corona comes in - they now live in an abandoned school building supplied by the village community, with blankets and such

I always ask and give decent wage for gigging artists when organizing something
still, competition is big - and people like acoustic duo's simply accept what's offered
 

losthobos

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wedding bands get top $$$

500 / 4hrs would be reason to search elsewhere, because: probably not good enough.....

then on the other side:

a professional duo near here doing music theatre (no side jobs) - you look at their regular schedule - averaging 3-4 shows a week, sounds good! in fact, they are an example to me - how I wish I could get a repertoire and a schedule like that and live off it... instead of my desk job

corona comes in - they now live in an abandoned school building supplied by the village community, with blankets and such

I always ask and give decent wage for gigging artists when organizing something
still, competition is big - and people like acoustic duo's simply accept what's offered
No venue too small, no fee too large... 😉
 

Thomas N

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Frustrating to be a musician. Years of training, thousands of hours of practice, and thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Nobody wants to pay for it. Musicians are a dime a dozen - I know literally a hundred incredible guitarists and pianists. Us accordionists are quite a bit rarer, but those that know anything about the accordion or would pay to hear it are unfortunately also quite a bit rarer.

Regarding this joke - definitely some truth in it. In our neighborhood everybody was getting their windows "professionally cleaned". Two story houses and many windows.

I watched the guy clean our neighbor's house. Young guy, maybe 25, and his tools consisted of a ladder and a long PVC pipe that he had fitted a pressure nozzle to. He uses your water outlet and connects a long hose to it. He proceeds to go around your house and "cleans" all the windows without ever touching them just using water pressure to remove the debris that has accumulated. Oh, he does remove and replace any screens that are on the windows to facilitate cleaning.

Takes about 45 minutes per house. I asked our neighbor what he charged and he told me "Only $225! It's a steal!"

Not sure how long he trained to perform this job, and I'm not saying it's not worth the amount he charges. You couldn't pay me to climb any kind of ladder since the number of people that I know that have sustained serious injuries from falling off of them is in double digits.

But go to any restaurant and tell them you'll be happy to provide accordion music for 45 minutes and you only charge $225.

They'll laugh you out of the place.
 

Ventura

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my standard for decades was to set Pricing, and stick to it

Period

now that doesn't mean i might not give a DISCOUNT to some parties
IF i felt i had a good enough reason
(like a favorite Nursing Home and such)

nevertheless, i gave them an Invoice which reflected my FULL PUBLISHED PRICE
and the next line item is marked "discount" and in fine print i would also indicate "why"

and the purpose of this was so that the Nursing Home, when asked what I was worth,
KNEW it and would say so

because we are our own worst enemies everytime a Musician just settles for
a pittance without much argument... because then that customer BELIEVES
that is all you are worth, AND will tell other people that, when they ask

i provided an invoice to every customer, payable to my Business account,
with clear description of services and times and breaks

regular customers got 2% 10 net 30 terms, new customers were due upon completion
minus deposit

for corporate customers and large private events, i also would often provide
a written report (within a months time) regarding how the event went

ciao

Ventura

my friend, Merv Cohn was a Union guy, and he also never lowered his prices,
but he took full advantage of that Loophole the Union won during the great
strike in the 40's with Hollywood, so the Union paid him out of that special fund to
play Nursing Homes and do other Pro-Bono public service gigs all over town

Merv was also the "Organist" playing his Farfisa SynthAccordion at all Washington Senators
Baseball games
 

Tom

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Yeah, it is, Dingo. I'm pretty much an amateur, and at my age, probably always will be. But as I was improving (before covid) I played a lot of "free" benefits for my friends, like senior centers, nursing homes, Alzheimer's events, etc., plus a few paid restaurant and other gigs. I considered it my giving back to the community and liked to make people smile. I hope the (2) professional accordionists in my city weren't worried I was stealing their gigs, or deflating their prices. 🤣

I think you have a real good system, Ventura. I'll keep that in mind for when I'm good enough.....
 

JerryPH

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Frustrating to be a musician. Years of training, thousands of hours of practice, and thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Nobody wants to pay for it. Musicians are a dime a dozen - I know literally a hundred incredible guitarists and pianists. Us accordionists are quite a bit rarer, but those that know anything about the accordion or would pay to hear it are unfortunately also quite a bit rarer.
Reminds me of a few years back, I was selling my mixer, and this kid about 25 comes to take a look and ends up buying it... he asked me what I used it for and I said my home studio, just for fun and make my music recordings. He said "hey, I am a musician too!" I said great, what do you play? His response was priceless... "oh I don't play anything, I download MP3 files off the internet and jumble them up all on a mixer, and yours would be perfect for that!"

I had to bite my lip REALLY hard and not comment on his "I'm a musician" comment... lol
 

cat

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When I was playing out (drums), we usually played Sat night, and sometimes Fri as well, at the bars and clubs. The standard rate was $100/person, for four sets of music; we'd do 40- or 45-minute sets, with a 10-minute break between sets (to enjoy complimentary beverages). This was always what I was given - never remember a time when the amount varied.

This is a long evening - from 9 pm until 1 am - and a fair bit of work. While $100 isn't much, it was a heck of a lot of fun, and the money made it 'worth it."

I don't think I would want to do four hours solo.

In the ye olde days, (I hear) dancing out was much more common and musicians could work in the bars and clubs most nights of the week.
 
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oldbayan

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The duo gigs I was doing in a small restaurant before COVID were $200 for music between 8:00pm and 11:00pm, organized in sets of 45 minutes with breaks to make 3 hours. We usually also received substantial tips from the audience! If they asked us to carry on past 11 they were giving us an extra $80.
 
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