What do you tell potential clients when they say "Too M

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by DLoeffler, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Yeah, I have to agree with Robert White's assessment - by undercutting everyone else, you effectively start to gut the business and kill the market for live musicians. I understand you want experience, but dude, PLEASE stop lowballing because in the long run, not only are you hurting the other musicians in the area, but you also hurt yourself for potential for what you can make for a gig in the future. Keep up that sort of thing and live music will go by the wayside and be replaced by DJs with sterile recordings.
  2. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    I'm not going to be as harsh as some of the other folks here but let me suggest you not sell yourself short to get the gig. It usually doesn't work anyway. When people call and balk (rarely) at my very reasonable, but market rate price ($200 if it's not too far away) I tell them that my check will be the smallest one they write that day and nothing can ruin their wedding quicker than a cheap trumpet player. I also tell them I've done over 1,000 weddings and have confidence they will be happy with the performance. Most of the time they listen and I get the gig. If not I wish them good luck and invite them to call back if they change their minds. I don't recommend anything less than a professional at a wedding. They'll have to listen to the tape years from now and, if it's not good that will be what they have to listen to. Taking this approach will give them confidence in you and inspire them to pay you what your worth. It might even give you more confidence in your own abilities and sense of worth. Good luck.
  3. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    I used to work with an older guy around town, unfortunately gone now. He told me a story: he was a piano player and had a duo thing with his wife who was a fabulous singer. His temple asked them to perform at some function at a reduced rate, $200, and he agreed thinking that it would be a showcase and that he'd get gigs out of it. Well, the performance went really well, and he got a lot of inquiries but no one would pay him more than $200. So he learned a valuable lesson. "From then on I always charged my regular rates and if they don't like it, screw 'em!" I took that to heart (I was but a young sprout just out of school) and I don't worry about people who aren't willing to pay.

    I got a backhanded kind of compliment a few weeks back. I did a wedding with a terrific band, real pros and very hot. A guy came up to us afterwards and said, "You know, I don't really like bands, but you guys were good!" Thanks, I guess.

    Michael McLaughlin

    Harpists spend 90 percent of their lives tuning their harps and 10 percent playing out of tune.
    Igor Stravinsky
  4. Joe DiMonte

    Joe DiMonte Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 30, 2006
    Great point but that should be directed to the FATHER's of the Bride :D

    My daughter selected a local band (PURE GOLD) that mirrors "The Temptations" and although the cost set me back a few pennies,the performance was worth every dime.
    I even threw in food and booze,above the cost.

    Just to digress for a few moments,the VA is in search of players nationally.
    Over 1,000 WWII VETS are dying daily and TAPS are played from an electronic bugle. I disdain electric music.
  5. Bugler

    Bugler Banned

    GREAT TOPIC!!!! And if you will indulge me for a few moments, I will try to reply with the truth of my professional experience.


    The first thing that sticks out in my mind regarding the original post was the comment "We can get any high school kid to do the gig for $25.00 (or something like that)".

    This is a result of choir directors being fed up with egotistical trumpet players who think that THEY are the boss, and not the choir director (or the conductor of the band or orchestra in other venues). Getting a kid at $25.00 surely does not lend to a professional performance, but it surely avoids a lot of other headaches related to EGO. And it's easier to tell a kid to "Shut up" than it is an "adult".

    Example: I recently brought my protege to my church to play a Mass the week after Easter. We did duets on picc (him) and D trumpet (me) with the choir and organist/choir director.

    We had a bit of a tempo issue on one tune during the rehearsal. Seems my protege thought he was supposed to "call the shots" on the tempo. We got it worked out, but after the Mass my choir director made a point of this to me in private, and I later relayed the sad news to my protege. He still doesn't get it, but he will because he's a good student. The trumpet player does not call the shots. The choir director does. You are just a hired hand.

    In closing, be grateful for the opportunity to get paid for what you love to do - playing trumpet. Trumpet playing does not guarantee that you will make more than $40-50 grand a year. But it does guarantee peace of mind - if you take the right approach.

    Remember, a garbage man makes more than you, but he works physical labor 8 hours a day 5 days a week and comes home smelling like crap and gets no respect, no glory. What would you all rather do - pick up garbage for a living, or play the trumpet?
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    I'll second that. But its not just trumpet players. I've seen organists foist their will on choir directors many times. I did a gig once where the guest choir director booted the organ player from his own church choir because he wouldn't follow her direction! That one was a good one - too bad he didn't learn anything from it, but I digress.

    Yes! By all means, no matter how good a player you think you are and how incompetent a choir/pit/etc. director is, its still their gig to direct so "shut up and play!" - so to speak. :)


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