SYNTH ZONE
Visit The Bar For Casual Discussion
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#169281 - 07/18/05 05:09 PM Attention restaraunt players!!!
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2168
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Some background...

I've had a local upscale Italian Restaraunt indicate some interest in my services. They want to meet with me to discuss logistics. (Where I'd set up, speakers, scope of sound, etc.)They're mainly interested in Thursday evenings and want "upscale, jazz inspired instrumental music."

I've been looking for a Thursday and Sunday steady type gig. Although I sing 99% of the time when I play, I'm confident I could make this work. Honestly, a non-vocal gig at that point of the week makes a lot of sense for me to obtain.

I asked for and have gotten $100 plus tips plus dinner for 3 hours of work. 6:00pm-9:00pm is the likely time frame.

Any advice you guys (or girls) that do the restaraunt thing heavy care to offer? I can play standards all night long plus some tasty versions of misc. other pop tunes done with a jazz or Latin feel. No dancing to worry about...so, (and it takes a LOT for me to say this)...I might even consider using some high quality MIDI files to play over a few times throughout the evening. (I usually only play over styles...full kb mode on my Tyros.)

Do you suggest setting up a mic for introducing myself, announcements, saying good-night-seems to only make sense. My reputation is far more that of a vocalist than that of a pure KB player. Wonder how I might handle it if some people who follow me stop in one night and start requesting vocals. I may need to see if there's any wiggle room on the clients part with this. I wonder if playing the first two sets as instrumentals and then sing the third and final set makes any sense?

I have the Tyros satellite speakers that are available from Yamaha. I usually only use them for rehearsal and some VERY small gigs. Is anyone finding these to be adequate for a small to medium size room? If not, I'll be using my EV 15" and my Behringer PMH2000 500watt 10 channel box mixer. More than adequate...but the sound output is so clean and strong its usually worth it. I do have a pair of Yamaha Club Series 10" that might do the trick...but I'll sacrifice some bottom by using them. (Bottom that the club probably has no interest in hearing anyway, lol...)

Any advice or suggestions will be appreciated!

Thanks!

Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#169282 - 07/18/05 07:14 PM Re: Attention restaraunt players!!!
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 6949
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Bill, I've been playing upscale restaurants four nights a week for years. I just gave up my long-time job outside, but have replaced it with two nights at a country club and two nights at a restaurant.

The mix of vocals and instrumentals is tricky. Unstrumentals often work better early, when music adds class, but management is interested in turning tables. Playing all instrumentals often does not help retaining a late croud. What I do is play instrumentals with a rare vocal between 6:00 P.M. and a little after 8:00 P.M. Early crouds generally have something else to do, and management wants a turn every hour or so. People who are there after 8:00 P.M. are much more receptive to being entertained, and will generate revenue for the place on drink sales.

I would play instrumentals the first two sets and entertain the last one or two. You will build the late croud as well as satisfy the management and early diners.

Try a vocal or two the beginning of the third set and see how the croud and management reacts.

As far as sound systems, I use two small 12" with horn pads. I place them on the floor, not on stands. That way, the volume never hits diners in the heads. I turn up the horns a little on the third set.

This is what works for me.

Turning a room from a dining to a drinking room by transitioning from dining/instrumental music to entertainment is tricky, but results in long-standing repeat customers and recognition. Soon, other restaurants will hear of you, and there is a possibility that the Italian establishment will up the pay and add more nights.The rate here in Lexington is $150.00
for upscale places.

Good luck!

Russ

Top
#169283 - 07/18/05 07:36 PM Re: Attention restaraunt players!!!
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43364
Loc: USA
Bill talk to Uncle Dave he's the
Restaurant "MASTER"

Good Luck

Top
#169284 - 07/18/05 07:50 PM Re: Attention restaraunt players!!!
flatfoot Offline
Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 118
Loc: sacramento CA
>>>> The rate here in Lexington is $150.00
for upscale places...>>>

Is that 150 for the whole night or per hour?

Top
#169285 - 07/18/05 08:20 PM Re: Attention restaraunt players!!!
cassp Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/03
Posts: 3735
Loc: Motown
If it's $150 per hr. we'll all be there next week.
_________________________
Riding on the Avenue of Time
cassp50@gmail.com

Top
#169286 - 07/18/05 08:50 PM Re: Attention restaraunt players!!!
chony Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/10/04
Posts: 1247
Loc: New York
Bill, my only suggestion is to put up your price.

If you have a reputation, you can charge a little more. If you have no reputation then I can understand charging $100.

You're worth more than $100 for three hours!

Chony

Top
#169287 - 07/18/05 08:59 PM Re: Attention restaraunt players!!!
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2168
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Chony-

Well, when I've been asked to do other weeknight (M-TH) piano jobs, they usually paid anywhere from $50 - $75 for 3 hours.

Dayton, OH is a low paying market for restaurants, which was one of the reasons I stayed away from them in the first place. So, I think the owner would already say I am charging top dollar, lol...

Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#169288 - 07/18/05 09:45 PM Re: Attention restaraunt players!!!
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Quote:
Originally posted by Bill in Dayton:
They're mainly interested in Thursday evenings and want "upscale, jazz inspired instrumental music."


Unless your playing in a dedicated bar section of a restaurant, I suspect what they're looking for is 'background' music w/o singing, unless they're soft airy vocal numbers. I've found restaurant 'dining only' gig venues reserved for background wallpaper music .

Does the restaurant have a house acoustic piano or will you be utilizing the Tyros? I've found including solo piano (requiring a kb with at least 76 keys) an important element for this type of gig, especially on jazz ballads (Misty, My Funny Valentine, etc). To satisfy the 'upscale jazz' mood requirement, when playing in auto accomp mode, be sure to keep the auto accomp parts to a minimum: acoustic bass & drums only.

Songs with loud dynamics & heavy orchestration (Latin Samba, Big Band, etc) should be reserved for later in the evening (last hour), but the key to your success is being able to gage the restaurant staff & customers musical mood requirement of the moment.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bill in Dayton:

I asked for and have gotten $100 plus tips plus dinner for 3 hours of work. 6:00pm-9:00pm is the likely time frame.

Not much money (and FAR below minimum for my area), especially if you're required to supply & haul your own equipment in/out as well, but I suppose it could be worth it to you for the experience & free meals, and are able to reap at least the same amount in tips.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bill in Dayton:

I might even consider using some high quality MIDI files to play over a few times throughout the evening. (I usually only play over styles...full kb mode on my Tyros.

Sure, whatever works, but if this restuarant is attempting to tout themselves as some kind of upscale acoustic jazz restaurant, stay away from commercial generic cover tune midi files that scream karoake backing tracks. That's the kiss of death especially if upscale jazz is the code word. If you must use midi backing tracks . . . . record your own instead. Frankly, though I've used midi files in the past, I find auto accomp music sounds a lot more geniunely LIVE when performed in auto accomp mode.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bill in Dayton:
Do you suggest setting up a mic for introducing myself, announcements, saying good-night-seems to only make sense.

How large is the restaurant? If your primary function is instrumental background mood music then a microphone is not needed or recommended. Exactly where are you going to be setting up? I think you need to discuss with the management exactly what they want. What are the other music acts booked for other nights? I suggest popping in then to see what type of set up they utilize. In my own experience playing restuarant venues of a similar nature, I reserve vocals for later in the evening, but of course, you need to determine each situation & night differently.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bill in Dayton:

I have the Tyros satellite speakers that are available from Yamaha. I usually only use them for rehearsal and some VERY small gigs. Is anyone finding these to be adequate for a small to medium size room?.

For background mood music in a small restaurant, this should surfice, but for mid-range presence (which includes vocals) I take a more tradition small PA system. I have the Tyros Satellite + subwoofer as well, but for small-med venues I utilize my Motion Sound KB100.

Quote:
Originally posted by Bill in Dayton:

If not, I'll be using my EV 15" and my Behringer PMH2000 500watt 10 channel box mixer.

Hmmm. Definitely nice sounding, but not worth the trouble to haul imho, especially for what they're paying you. Just my opinion.

Bill, whatever you decide, this sounds like a good opportunity to pick up restaurant gigging skills, as well as the opportunity for more exposure and possible other private gig booking opportunities.

Good luck. Keep us posted.

Scott
_________________________

Top
#169289 - 07/19/05 06:09 AM Re: Attention restaraunt players!!!
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2168
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Scott-

*I'll be using my Tyros...

*Yes, I'll be using traditional jazz styles that aren't too imposing...

*The subject of a fair wage is really better called a "competitive wage." Like I said to Chony, I've usually not bothered with restaraunt jobs for several reasons, with the pay being one of them. In 10 years of performing in the Dayton area...I've never heard of anyone getting more than $75 on a weeknight. I know Dayton doesn't compare to the East/West Coast or Resorts for money. It is what it is...if I can add an account like this...as long as it suits MY needs...I think it can be a good thing to try.

*Using MIDI files were just a thought. Like yourself, I usually do NOT use them. Playing live with styles (IMO) sounds better and is more in line with how I want to play...

*They do not offer music currently...I'll be in a corner facing the main dining room. It's something they want to slowly get back into. This place is not considered a place to go to for music, so they really don't have a big history to work off. That can work for me as much as it works against me.

*I should be meeting with the client later this week and learn a great deal more about logistics and the their expectations.

...Its funny...you work on building a client base and you kind get locked in on certain type accounts. Some fit better than others based on our own individual situations. MY business is mostly Retirement Communites during the week and Ballroom Dances/Animal Clubs on the weekends. I'd really like to add a week-night gig to my regular schedule. With our daughters getting older (17, 13, 10) and my wife in a Masters program, I'm hoping to streamline my schedule a bit for 2006. I'm running all over hell's half acre, (not complaining, mind you) but, If I could shape things so that I usually work W-SU, that would be sweet.

...yes, kind of different circle for me to move about in. Hopefully, I'll have the same results in this environment as I have had in the others...

Thanks-

Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

Top
#169290 - 07/19/05 07:08 AM Re: Attention restaraunt players!!!
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 6949
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
It's $150.00 per night-tops here.That's the rate at about 1/2 dozen restaurants. Musicians establishing themselves get $100.00-125.00. Private jobs pay much more. There are a few folks out there offering to play for as low as $75.00. Luckily for me, a few of the owners don't let lowball prices only influence their decision.

Russ

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Admin 



Help keep Synth Zone Online