Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 142 - High-Paying Gig Series: Part #4 Private Parties

Episode 142 - High-Paying Gig Series: Part #4 Private Parties

Thursday, May 25, 2023

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared explores the world of private parties as part of the high-paying gig series. He shares stories from his experiences playing at various private events, including birthdays and backyard barbecues. Jared emphasizes the importance of professionalism and adaptability in catering to the specific needs of private party clients. He also discusses the unique dynamics of funeral gigs and how they can be emotionally rewarding. Jared highlights the challenges of marketing for private parties and emphasizes the significance of having a strong online presence to attract potential clients. He concludes by emphasizing the value of serving others through music and the potential for high-paying gigs to elevate musicians' careers.

Best Quote

"In these high-paying gigs, your music adds so much value to something that we're trying to do already. Your music is in service of others, and that's what makes them high-paying. We are servants in this world, and our music is in service of others."


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What's up gigging pros! Jared Judge Welcome to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

This is episode for the exciting conclusion of our high paying gig series, where we dive deep into the different types of high paying gigs that are available to musicians that I've played personally and the musicians that I work with.

Also play and focus on. And so first episode was weddings, which are awesome. Second episode were corporate events, which are also awesome. The third episode was nonprofit events, which was awesome.

And I shared an embarrassing story from one of the early nonprofit events that I played. And this episode is all about private parties. These are basically social events that are hosted by individuals celebrating or commemorating an occasion.

So these are fun, they are a bit more low key than some of the other event types like you. I don't want to say you have to be less professional. But I would say they run a little more. The the very a bit more on how formal these events are.

You know, when you think of a wedding, first off, and you feel that you think of people wearing suits and ties and dresses, same for corporate events, same for nonprofit events, but private parties, some of them do have people wearing suits, ties and dresses, however, a lot of them are a bit more casual.

For example, a backyard barbecue would be an example of a private party that might hire a musician. a graduation party might hire a musician. In fact, I got a request recently to play a graduation party.

Other types of events or birthday parties. And a quick story about one of those was, we were hired once to play a private party for someone's 75th birthday party in an assisted living facility, which was really nice.

This was a early gig in Dream City Strings is existence. And they hired our group to play some fun jazz music that this person remembered from, you know, their childhood.

So I don't remember exactly how I got that gig, I think I got it from Thumbtack. And they requested just a fun group to play it. So I hired my wife, and I, and a cello player. And we got to play my wife as a flute player.

And so she played basically the first violin part. And I played the second violin, we did alternate for a little bit. And then the cello was laying down the baseline. And it was a super fun gig. Super easy to like, these gigs tend to be a bit less stressed than weddings.

And I guess weddings are kind of the most stressful event type. Just from a timing perspective. There's a lot of planning and logistics, you know, who walks down the aisle? When and what do you play for that? Or when do you play the couple's first dance song.

And the other gig types tend to be a little more like you play for longer blocks of time uninterrupted. However, at these events, you do also have to be aware that they might want to make speeches, they might have some sort of events planned within your performance that you need to be aware of.

And it could be in your best interest, even with some of the other gig types to to be able to facilitate those speeches, even as simple as like letting people use your microphone if you're open to that.

And you know, you could pitch that and charge more for that if you want. I do charge more. at weddings, I should have mentioned this in the wedding episode. But do charge more at weddings to basically let them use my wireless microphone system so that they could have the officiant heard, and somebody uses a handheld to read speeches.

But like, that same concept applies to private parties too, is that you could offer that as an additional service as letting people use your microphones to give speeches.

Or you could facilitate them yourself like by emceeing the event I mentioned emceeing during wedding. emceeing is a valuable skill that oftentimes does pair with, you know, being a private event musician.

So it is worth considering whether or not you want to do that. Not all groups do that not all musicians do. And then there are other gig types within private parties. There's always tons of shades of nuance to what we do.

And one of the event types of actually considered to be part of private parties is funeral gigs, which my group gets maybe 20 or so funeral requests a year, we don't play them off, because funerals tend to be planned very last minute.

Sorry for the dark humor here, but like you can't really plan a funeral in advance. And so these tend to be last minute requests, which when you lead a group of musicians, coordinating schedules last minute, is a bit more difficult than planning in advance.

That doesn't mean we haven't played any. In fact, one of of the funerals that we did play back in Milwaukee was a very high paying gig. That was actually one of the most musically rewarding gigs of our career, which is kind of a weird thing to say that one of our favorite gigs was a funeral.

Although I do believe funerals can be beautiful, that commemorate somebody who is no longer with us. This particular funeral was referred to us through word of mouth.

Through one of the the staff members of the music school that I went to, for grad school, he was an orchestra conducting, or no, he was a choral conducting grad student, who he was hired to basically put together a complete performance of the Mozart Requiem, which is a classical piece, beautiful piece, take a look at it.

In fact, you know, one of the most beautiful pieces of music, most devastating pieces of music of all time is the Lacrimosa, from the Mozart Requiem. If you listen to it, or go on YouTube, or Spotify, listen to it, you recognize it from some movies when they want to make you cry.

And so this funeral was a wealthy individual who passed, and they had a budget to hire basically a full string quartet plus four singers to perform the Mozart Requiem. And so they hired us, they contracted us as the string quartet.

And that gig did require a bit of extra rehearsal, and preparation. You know, most I recommend music is not terribly difficult, but it is more of an orchestral style piece of music. And it does require a little bit of practice.

So we had a dress rehearsal for a funeral, which is kind of a funny thing to say. But the did the gig did pay well enough that it merited a rehearsal. I don't typically rehearse for my gigs, like I will practice and learn the music.

But, you know, I expect myself and other musicians to be good enough musicians and sight readers of music, to be able to handle almost any piece of music that comes their way. And they get the music in advance.

So if there's something that they can't get on the first try, they can practice it. So yeah, funeral was a great private party to play for.

And there are so many others, because these are all personal occasions that are celebrated by an individual that they need some live music to add to the atmosphere, or commemorate that occasion. I will say, it is a little more tricky, and to market to this specific gig type.

Because with weddings, your weddings is a well established market, it is easy to market to a well established market, because there are marketing channels, designed to reach those specific markets, you know, weddings have wedding expos, and magazines.

And there's a defined process of what people go through in order to plan a wedding. And there are online directors specifically for those corporate events and nonprofit events. Those are also I don't say there's that there is easy as weddings.

But there's a process that you can go through which a lot of it is networking, and building up your your network with event planners. And then for private parties, there is no network, like perhaps, you know, there, if they rent a private event venue, then you can tap into that network.

But a lot of these social events don't happen at private event venues, they happen at people's homes, and there's no network with home party planners, that just is not a thing. However, for all of these gig types, online presence definitely will get you you know, 80% of the way there.

That's why having a good website with SEO, where you can be found when somebody searches for, you know, entertainment for my party, they want to find a live band, you got to show up in Google, having a strong social media presence is also a good thing to do.

You know, if somebody is looking for that, they might be able to find you on Instagram, see a reel that you posted, where you and your band were jamming out, and they're like, Oh, that'd be perfect for my funeral.

Probably not for their funeral, but you get the idea. So those like the online presence is one of the biggest things. And then just the overarching theme of these high paying events is that you are helping somebody else with your live music.

It is not about you. So we have to set our egos aside and realize like your music is in service of somebody else, which instantly makes your music more valuable. There was a famous quote by Zig Ziglar Zig Ziglar I look him up.

He's a cool guy. His quote is you can have everything you want in your life. If you just help enough other people get what they want in their lives. And these high paying gigs like that's what makes them high paying is that your music adds so much value to something that we're trying to do already.

So that is a different mindset shift for a lot of musicians. And if you've gotten through this series, perhaps you've started to realize that and like, you know, we are servants in this world, and our music is in service of others.

But that is one of the reasons why they're so high paid. So hopefully, this helped shift your mind a little bit, introduced you to four categories of high paying gigs. And of course, I didn't cover all the high paying gig types, it would be impossible to do that.

So I tried to categorize them into four primary categories. Within those categories. There's a lot of subtlety and nuance. But if you get started with one of those gig types, you will make a lot more progress than if you just kind of treat every gig as just another gig.

So hopefully that was helpful. I'd love to know what you think. Drop me a line. Get on my mailing list.

And yeah, come, come check out some of my stuff like, we do have a book that focuses on how to get each of these four high paying gig types.

It's called gigging secrets, and you can get your free copy, just pay a little bit shipping at Alright, thanks for listening to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

Remember, "You are just one high paying gig away!".

Episode 232 - From Bar Gigs to High-End Events: The Renegade Musician's Guide to Success

Episode 231 - Leadership in the Music Industry: How to Secure High-Profile Gigs and Take Charge of Your Career

Episode 230 - Unlocking the Secrets of Consistent Networking and Modern Sales for Musicians

Episode 229 - The Power of Networking and Recommendations in the Music Industry

Episode 228 - Navigating the Gig Economy: Venue Tours, Expos, and the Power of Numbers

Episode 227 - Strategic Moves: Venue Tours, Expos, and Unexpected Gigs

Episode 226 - Maximizing Gigs: New Tools for Tracking Success and Boosting Bookings

Episode 225 - Unlocking Gigs: Venue Tours and Strategic Partnerships

Episode 224 - A Day in the Life: Venue Tours, Unexpected Gigs, and Networking Wins

Episode 223 - Landing Gigs Post-Wedding Expo: A Musician's Success Story

Episode 222 - Navigating the Wedding Expo Scene: A Musician's Journey to Success

Episode 221 - Maximizing Success at Wedding Expos: A Musician's Guide

Episode 220 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: Venue Tours and Virtual Assistant Strategies

Episode 219 - Maximizing Your Music Career: The Power of a Personal Assistant

Episode 218 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: A Musician's Guide to Preferred Vendor Success

Episode 217 - Gigging Musician Podcast: Joe Deninzon Interview


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