Before Hiring a Musician, Consider These 5 Things…

twine thumbnail before hiring a musician consider these 5 things

It’s an exciting time, hiring a musician. Whatever the event, there’s plenty of professional musicians out there for you – ready to make your event unforgettable.

Because of this, it’s understandable that when excitement is high, mistakes are often made. At Twine, we’ve heard countless stories of freelancer pro musicians not getting paid, having their time wasted, or continually having to make changes because the hirer changed their mind. Yikes.

Let’s stop the madness here… shall we?

To put you clients, in check – here’s a list of the top 5 things ALL hiring parties should be aware of before they hire a musician.

1. Respect The Craft

man playing a guitar

Whether it’s a studio musician recording their latest dance track OR party musicians regularly performing at weddings and bah mitzvahs – they all deserve respect.

Musicians don’t just play an instrument – it’s hard work becoming a professional musician, and requires great dedication from the individual. Sometimes, they have to spend one hour on just a few notes in order to perfect them. This is the work musicians do, for hours, days and months. Yes, it’s fun, but the creative process isn’t always easy!

So, next time you’re browsing Twine and searching for musician services, remember – this isn’t a hobby, this is business.

2. Don’t Underpay

man holding out his empty pockets to signal he's been underpaid

Sure, a few entertainers make it to the big time and earn a fortune, but in most cases, professional musicians are seriously underpaid for the quality of work. Imagine your profession being this notoriously ruthless, the last thing you’d want is for a potential client to make it difficult too!

Before hiring a musician, do research into what the going rate for musicians is, as well as what types of services you’ll need them for. Will it be an hourly rate or flat-out project rate? Will you need a single musician for one night, or need to know the costs of bands over a festival period?

The main point is – if you want a high-quality product, you need to pay your musician accordingly. Don’t hire someone for $5 and then expect a professionally produced track to come out the other end…

3. Don’t take advantage

design of thumbs down

Just because a musician for hire loves their craft, doesn’t mean they should take on your project for free. This is a big no-no, so don’t even think of asking for it.

Assuming they’ll love helping you out on your project because it’s their hobby is pretty bad on your part – this is their career, remember? Even if you loved your job, would you still go to it, day in, day out, if it were for free?

Oh, and if they’re your friend, and you’ve asked them to work on a project, you risk putting them in a really difficult (and awkward) situation. They may not want to let you down, but if they take on your free work, they might have to turn down actual paid work or cut into their relaxation time.

A favour won’t pay their bills – so don’t be that friend.

4. Be considerate

two people putting their fists together to signal unity and friendship

Freelance, online musicians aren’t salaried, so won’t have a safety net if they’re ill or there are issues with delivering a project (whether your fault or theirs).

As a rule, you shouldn’t ask them to continually make changes on a project with no extra payment. Just because you changed your mind about what you want, doesn’t mean they should pay the consequences.

The longer a project takes, the less they earn. This could cost them in the long run, by interfering with other projects they have on the go.

5. Be super clear

scrabble letters spelling out simple

Work for musicians is very unpredictable: they might have a full diary one month and only a few projects the next.

So, when hiring a musician, you need to take this into account. Be clear about the timescale, the project deadline, and don’t forget to construct the perfect brief, detailing what they need to do and what format you need the finished project to be in.

The important thing to take away from this article, is that hiring a musician is fun! The hard bit is when you go about the hiring process in all the wrong ways…

Ready to hire? Our marketplace of over 410,000 freelancers have the skills and expertise needed to skyrocket your business to the next level. From marketers to designers, copywriters to SEO experts – browse the talented bunch here!

Joe Scarffe

Joe is the CMO at Twine.

When he’s not moaning about the state of the music industry or public transport in Manchester, he works with the Twine community and handles social media, the blog and partnerships with companies and institutions.