How much money does a professional guitar player make?

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juanjosor

How much money does a professional guitar player make?

Postby juanjosor » Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:42 am

Anybody knows? :shock:

I am just curious about this, because for me
it is a little late to become a professional.

Why? :roll:

Years went by and here I am, an eternal beginner. :oops:
But I think, it is an important question that will help the younger guitar players, who are planning to enter the professional field.

Have a nice day all :D

juanjosor

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owl
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$$$

Postby owl » Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:57 am

Hi juanjosor... I assume you mean soloist... there are many professional guitar players who make a good living playing in bands.

I am also assuming you mean CG.

It depends on how good you are... and how well known you become.
Whether or not you record and tour professionally also has a bearing on it.

Perhaps some of the professionals out there could share :?:

Cheers
Owl
Never, ever give up!... I leave my songprint on your heart.

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Florentin
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Postby Florentin » Sun Nov 20, 2005 3:07 am

Most guitarists make money by performing AND teaching.

Of course, there's people like John Williams or Bream, who don't really have to teach on a regular basis, because they make a very good living just touring once or twice a year... except that Bream doesn't tour anymore, not that I know of

like Owl said, if they record some music also, that becomes an additional source of income.

A few years back, in the 90's, at one of John Williams' concert in Chicago, at Orchestra Hall, I knew the person that signed Williams' check for the night. It was $30,000. I know, I know, but please understand two things: one, it was JOHN WILLIAMS, and b :), there are, I don't know, at least five thousand seats at Orchestra Hall - the cheapest ticket was $48 I think. You do the math.

But it is not good to use John Williams as an example because he is an exception.

I think the amount guitarists make each year depends on each individual: their level of playing, their popularity, the opportunities they find to play, their management, and so on.
Music Is Forever

upucci

Postby upucci » Sun Nov 20, 2005 5:50 pm

Thanks juanjosor, that was a very good question! :) I have also wondered this myself. It seems it's easy to know what other professions pay salary wise, but musician's salaries are more difficult to know.

Good question.

upucci

Postby upucci » Sun Nov 20, 2005 5:59 pm

Thanks Florentin for the answer to this question! I believe most CG players are somewhat concerned with how much a CG can possible make. Yes, it doesn't surprise me that someone as accomplished as JW, would make 30k in one evening. Just imagine, JW playing 4 nights a week, for even a 1 month tour, that's a lot of money! Anyway, thanks for your answer.

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jdhunt
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Postby jdhunt » Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:13 pm

Maybe it would be helpful to frame the question this way:

How much do some typical gigs pay for the us mere mortals, like a hotel reception, wedding, restaurant/coffee shop, etc?
Jose Ramirez 1a

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Florentin
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Postby Florentin » Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:27 pm

upucci: please understand that each case is different, and each performance pays a different amount. It is the job of the manager to make sure he/she gets the best posibble pay for their artist, each time they perform.

jdhunt: ok, well that depends on how much you play. In the Chicago area, for a "regular" gig, like a wedding or a hotel lounge, the rates are $150-$250 per sitting, depending on who you play for. A nice restaurant might pay you around $150-$200 for one night.

you can increase the amount considerably when you play chamber music. The advantage of doing that is that there are more opportunities to play, and it just looks different: people increase the rates considerably when they see a string quartet and a guitar performing. When they see just you, sitting there, playing some tunes, the average person is going to be greedy and think they can get away with paying you $100. I think the rates for a wedding for a small chamber ensemble would be more than just $150 per person. But again, it all depends on the occasion, and on who you're playing for.
Music Is Forever

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Sanft
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Postby Sanft » Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:44 am

Well, Florentin, it's perhaps too much to say that this is the reason I got into chamber music 8) , but since I play with singers, flutists etc. the number of gigs definitely went up and so did the money. The € and the $ are about the same, so you could say that with your regular gig, 4 weddings and a funeral, you earn the same here in Germany. Between 200 and 250 €. A proper recital never earns me as much money as playing in art galleries or for privat occasions. But I never play at a restaurant, because I always demand one thing, namely that the people LISTEN to the music. I once played background music 'cause a good friend asked me to do so on his birthday, some jazzy arrangements together with flute, and on a second occasion at my little sister's wedding. But that about does it.
CU! Clemens 8)
"...si nos quedáramos cuarenta y ocho horas seguidas sin música, habria una catástrofe mundial." Leo Brouwer
7stringed Matthias Dammann 1997; 9stringed Neuner&Hornsteiner ~ 1880
7stringed 1829 Staufer/Legnani replica by F. P. Dietrich 2007

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owl
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Postby owl » Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:44 pm

Sanft1 wrote:I always demand one thing, namely that the people LISTEN to the music.


Hi Clemens... don't want to harp on this too much mate... but that is EXACTLY my point from the "When have you been put on the spot" thread.

Forgive me for bringing it up here but I couldn't resist quoting you.

Cheers
Owl
Never, ever give up!... I leave my songprint on your heart.

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Sanft
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Postby Sanft » Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:57 pm

Caught in the act! :kap:
"...si nos quedáramos cuarenta y ocho horas seguidas sin música, habria una catástrofe mundial." Leo Brouwer
7stringed Matthias Dammann 1997; 9stringed Neuner&Hornsteiner ~ 1880
7stringed 1829 Staufer/Legnani replica by F. P. Dietrich 2007

kfisherx

Postby kfisherx » Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:17 pm

owl wrote:
Sanft1 wrote:I always demand one thing, namely that the people LISTEN to the music.


Hi Clemens... don't want to harp on this too much mate... but that is EXACTLY my point from the "When have you been put on the spot" thread.

Forgive me for bringing it up here but I couldn't resist quoting you.

Cheers
Owl



My teacher does not permit us to perform background music. He says it is not only bad for ego (nobody listening to you) but it teaches the student to NOT listen to themselves which is one of the worst things a student (who wants to perform) can do. He allows me to do art galleries on First Friday because I play off in a quiet corner and always draw an attentive crowd. But even that he doesn't want done very much.

Wrt the original question. I think most teachers/performers make between 50-100K a year US and they work REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY hard for that money. At least that is what I am finding in my short time of discovery.

Jennifer Z

Postby Jennifer Z » Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:23 pm

The eternal question. Of course what everyone else said is correct. It all depends. When I was gigging and teaching, the most I made was $25,000 Canadian in a year. I also supplemented that income with 2 part time jobs, in the music biz but unrelated to the guitar.

I actually quit playing guitar because I couldn't afford it anymore! The Student loan people were on my back to pay for my schooling.

The musicians' union in the US and Canada has set minimum fees for a gig, but it's not usually that much. I would charge a lot for a wedding, just because it was a wedding and would make about $250-300 a weekend in the summer months. In the lean winter months I would look for an in-house restaurant gig, usually about $90 a night 2x a week plus do Christmas dinners that sort of thing. I even did a political rally, I don't recommend it! When I was teaching I would make about $50 an hour. But you add up all the expenses, travel, guitar, house, insurance, nail files, well I never really came out ahead.

I know big names here in Canada, soloists, charge between $500 and $1500 per concert depending on the travel, if it's far, they charge for that as well. Not much $ to be made as a classical guitarist. I even know that Jason Vieux, after winning the Guitar Foundation of America competition had to play weddings in the summer for a few years until his teaching schedule filled up...

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Russell
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Postby Russell » Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:42 pm

How much money does a professional guitar player make?

It's almost crass to ask the question, yet it is intriguing nonetheless.
Surely, most people that go into the "arts' do not start with money being the final objective?
I would think that unless you were a professor at a U somewhere and/or ensconced in the CG business with a lot of wealthy naive students, one would be scratching to make a decent living. The time it takes for the art to compensate $$$ meaningfully you could have become a brain surgeon, or not. Still a crass thing though in my mind. Artists never seem to get their due unless a major public recognition takes place .......

So, it is not the money, right? :reflechir:

Russ :)

ever get that feeling you are in trouble? :roll:

tomc

Postby tomc » Fri Nov 25, 2005 8:13 pm

Precisely Russell, But I'd have to say that money as a final or at least as a well-considered objective entered into it early on for me. After finishing my first year at the conservatory, I looked at the job board they kept in one of the offices at the school. There was one job open for graduates which paid $14,000 per year (1978). It was at that point where I decided against continuing. Throughout history all artists have been the most speculative of entrepreneurs, not risking money, but their lives. Picasso, Segovia, Michaelangelo were all compelled by circumstance to develope business heads. I decided to risk money solely and became a futures trader and Chicago in the late 70's and early 80's was the place to do it. It worked out. The ancillary benefit was I had more time than your average 9-5 person so I could continue to do what I liked to do. I have nothing but admiration for those who can risk themselves but it was not a risk I was willing to take.

juanjosor

Postby juanjosor » Sat Nov 26, 2005 12:10 am

tomc wrote: I have nothing but admiration for those who can risk themselves but it was not a risk I was willing to take.


I tougth the same when I studied for two years in the conservatory in Guadalajara, Mexico.
I was going to be a music instructor which it was going to take me 3 years, after that I could teach music in high schools earning I think...
the minimum wage.

So I was curious about how much a musician can make here in the US
but I think it applies to all countries.
Am I rigth OWL, Russell?

And don't get me wrong, my first objective was my love for the music
at that time. But you have to take in consideration the money as well.

Thanks for all the in put everybody!!!
I really appreciate It

Have a nice day!!!

juanjosor

:merci:


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