How much does a solo musician cost?

Average cost in 20149: $235 See National

$145

low cost

$235

avg cost

$375

high cost

The average cost for a solo musician is $235. You are likely to spend between $145 and $375 total. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated April 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Hiring a professional musician for a cocktail party, wedding, anniversary, dinner party or corporate event makes the event extra special. Costs for a live solo musician can vary depending on factors such as the length of the performance, how far the musician has to travel, the musician’s skill level and how in-demand the performer is.

Skill

Generally, the more skilled the musician, the higher the cost. But that’s not always true. Some musicians who are just starting to perform can be less expensive but quite talented. Listen to music on a performer’s personal website, SoundCloud or Bandcamp site to find someone whose style fits your needs.

Experience

Musicians with a lot of experience playing at events tend to cost more. For some people, the extra cost is worth knowing that they are getting someone who has been demonstrably successful at his or her craft.

Time

Many musicians charge based on the amount of time you want them to play. For example, Tucker Dale of Redondo Beach, California, charges $200 for up to two hours and $50 an hour thereafter.

Type of event

Some musicians’ costs vary depending on the type of event. For example, Scotty Paulk of Austell, Georgia, charges $50 an hour to perform at restaurants but $100 an hour for private parties and weddings. MarkOHarps of Arlington, Virginia, charges $100 for a small 45-minute dinner party and up to $350 for a large wedding and reception.

Union musicians

Members of the American Federation of Musicians union have defined minimum rates. While this may be a more expensive route than nonunion options, you will likely enjoy a highly professional experience.

Travel distance

Some musicians charge travel fees to attend events that are relatively far from where they live and typically work. For example, Aaron Copenhagen of Acoustic Guitar for All Occasions in Burbank, California, charges an initial flat fee for a set number of hours but adjusts that based on travel expenses and the gear needed to perform the job. He also charges by the hour for overtime. The Ocdamia Strings of Anaheim, California, sends musicians free to events within Orange County and Los Angeles County but charges $1 per mile in excess of 20 miles from Anaheim.

Consultation

It’s always a good idea to meet with the musician in person or over the phone to plan your event and make sure expectations are set. This should be a free service.

Deposit

Some musicians require a deposit upfront to secure their services. For example, The Ocdamia Strings requires a signed contract and a 25 percent deposit to book a date and time. The remaining balance is due on the day of the event before the performance.

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Recent reviews

J-Mann Music

Jason was wonderful! Arrived early to set up and was able to provide a microphone for the ceremony. His music was perfect! & everything we asked for. Very nice, patient and professional. Thank you so much Jason for making our day beautiful. Highly recommend & would hire for future events!

Sweet Harmony

We had a pleasant experience with Sweet Harmony from my initial inquiry to the wedding ceremony. Tara worked with us to create a customized song list and charged a small fee for Oksana to prepare some of our requested songs that were not already in her repertoire. We had an odd space for the ceremony, and Tara and I stayed in communication to make sure everything would go smoothly with no logistical issues. Tara texted me the day before the wedding to confirm the details, which put me at ease. Oksana arrived at the wedding on schedule and looking lovely, and played beautifully for our prelude, processional and recessional. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to speak to Oksana myself. I wish I could have thanked her in person!

Stan Hamrick - One of Thumbtack's Best of 2015 & 2016

Stan was great! We wanted a quality solo musician at an affordable price, to provide music for our tiny wedding ceremony in an outdoor park. Stan provided all of that, plus top-notch professionalism and friendliness. He was always quickly responsive to our questions leading up to the event, clear and direct in our interactions, and prepared two songs outside of his repertoire especially for us. Stan was also very relaxed and personable both beforehand and day-of, which was critical when we had a number of other things to stress about. Thank you Stan!