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Singers & Hosts Wisdom Post how to be a great karaoke singer or host.

View Poll Results: what is a fair amount?
100.00 - 150.00 28 9.18%
150.00 - 200.00 123 40.33%
200.00 - 250.00 91 29.84%
250.00 - up 63 20.66%
Voters: 305. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old May 4th, 2002, 01:15 PM
kingjames kingjames is offline
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Question rate of pay around the country.

I would like to thank you all for replying. The information is what i expected and am glad to see that I'm not alone (ha ha), when it comes to new KJ's and there underpricing. They have no idea how much time and money goes into the equiptment and libraries that it takes to do a (professional) show. If they did they COUL'NT ask the low prices they do. THIS IS NOT A HOBBY TO ME, IT'S A LIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU AGAIN: KingJames Karaoke
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Last edited by kingjames; May 15th, 2002 at 03:08 AM.
  #2  
Old May 5th, 2002, 11:27 AM
danny_g danny_g is offline
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Most club in my area pay between $100 and $150 depending on how well known your company is. Expect the low end if you are just starting out- Even if you have a better sytem than most of the companies out there. I just graduated at one of my clubs to $150 a night as I pack the place every week. Actually it is the only one I have now on my own. I just got hired at a bar for one night a week to run the system that the bar owns. I will see whether or not my own system is better than theirs or not. I once thought my system sounded better than a system i worked on for a buddy of mine untill I hooked my speakers to his system. Now if he ran the same speakers with that system I have actually admitted to him that they are dead even in sound Quality. The thing I like about his mixer/Amp is the ability to mix cd sources as easily as you can with it. What I don't like is the fact that at least one of the cd sources has to use a rca to 1/4 phone input adaptor to work with the system- actually I could do the same thing with my present amp if I wanted to- but I don't as the cd input would take up my announcer mike as I can only shut down one of th mike inputs' echo capabilities while keeping th echo ability for the rest of my five Mike inputs. I got another Amp that I actually like better than the one I'm using now but my present amp at least AUto switches between inputs in the back and the other one doesn't. also my present amp has a Key changer built into it that I like. the other doesn't. the other on the other hand allows me to adjust the bass, midrange, treble and echo for both mike inputs separately from each other.
  #3  
Old May 6th, 2002, 02:01 PM
Cid_cat Cid_cat is offline
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I'm expensive. I've been playing the same club, EXCLUSIVELY for 3 years, 4 nights a week. I average $250 a night but I'm worth it. My rotations average 30 singers or more EVERY night.
What I offer is a great karaoke experience with the stage, lights and sound system.
For portable, private shows, I ask $100 per hour and usually get it.

Everyone should charge about the same. It helps to level the playing field in the industry. I'm sure everyone has felt the sting at least once where your competition underbids you for a show. I've always had the last laugh when the club solicites me to replace the "less than worth the money" show. Fact is, as with everything in life, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

Hope this helps.

ps. Take note of last words. If you've been a loyal MTU user and Beta tester as long as I have, you'll completely understand their asking price when Hoster hits the market. There are several PC based karaoke companies already doing shows and none of the programs offer all that Hoster is slated to offer. I'm sure it'll be EVERY bit worth the extra money.
Keep up the great work MTU!
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  #4  
Old May 6th, 2002, 11:58 PM
kingjames kingjames is offline
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Cool thank you texas

Thanks for your reply, I get the same as you do, per hour at parties. I was interested in knowing what the standard was and hope everyone else get's on board.
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  #5  
Old May 7th, 2002, 08:30 PM
rctrego rctrego is offline
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In my opinion Anyone charging less then $200 per night when they have their own equipment is just making it harder for the rest of the group to get their rates where they should be. You either have the thought that you are GOOD and WORTH it or not.
If you do not have the confidence, then maybe this is not your thing......If you are drawing a good crowd, they will pay it gladly..

Russ
  #6  
Old May 14th, 2002, 06:01 PM
ARTHUR ARTHUR is offline
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Angry rates

THIS HAS BEEN A VERY SORE SPOT FOR ME IN THIS AREA. I WAS THE FIRST KJ WITH A PORTABLE SYSTEM AROUND HERE AND STARTED 11 YEARS AGO. AT THAT TIME I HAD NO PROBLEM GETTING OVER $200.OO PER GIG. AND AS THE POPULARITY OF KARAOKE ROSE, SO DID THE NEW KJ'S THAT HAD NO IDEA OF HOW TO RUN A SHOW OR WHAT TO USE IN IT OR HOW MANY SONGS TO HAVE IN THEIR SELECTIONS. (MOST HAD AROUND 1500 SONGS AND OF A POOR VARIETY) THE ALSO HAD A CHEAP SET OF PLAYERS AND SPEAKERS, SO THEIR SOUND WAS AT BEST MEDIOCRE. THESE BEGINNERS WOULD GO FROM BAR TO BAR AND SELL THEIR TIME FOR WHATEVER THEY COULD GET AND NEVER LAST VERY LONG. MOST OF THEM ARE GONE, BUT NEW ONES ARE TRYING TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS EVERY DAY. NOW THE AREA IS SATURATED WITH NOVICES AND LOW COSTS, SO MUCH SO, THAT IF I WANTED TO MOVE TO A NEW LOCATION I WOULD HAVE PLENTY OF TROUBLE FINDING A GIG THAT WOULD PAY ME WHAT I FEEL THAT I AM WORTH. THEY SAY..."WELL, SO & SO ONLY CHARGES "X AMOUNT" SO WHY SHOULD I PAY YOU WHAT YOU ARE ASKING?" MY ONLY ANSWER TO THAT IS...."YOU GET WHAT YOU ARE PAYING FOR. IF YOU WANT QUALITY & QUANTITY, YOU NEED TO PAY FOR IT. IF NOT, SO BE IT."

I AM NOW PLAYING FOR A LOT LESS THAN I WANT TO BUT I HAVE A GREAT CROWD AND THE LOUNGE OWNERS TREAT US LIKE FAMILY. PLUS, I CAN LEAVE MY EQUIPMENT SET UP AND NOT HAVE TO TAKE IT WITH ME, WHICH IS WORTH QUITE A LOT TO ME. AND THEY GIVE ME AND MY WIFE ALL THE FOOD AND DRINKS WE REQUIRE WITHOUT QUESTIONS.

MEBBE IN THE FUTURE THE OWNERS AROUND HERE WILL SMARTEN UP AND HIRE THE QUALITY KJ'S AND PAY US WHAT WE ARE REALLY WORTH. (BUT DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH)
  #7  
Old May 29th, 2002, 09:57 PM
terry myers terry myers is offline
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price

I'm new at this computer stuff. I wish I could find a step by step list. I printed the manual but can't figure out how to get started much less get to burn a cd HELP ANYONE!!!! I also would like to say I've been doing karaoke since 1989 and have 4 systems. We have 20,000 songs for each system and used to make good money. Now every tom dick and harry does karaoke here for less than $75 that's when I cut out. Some shows we've been at for 13 yrs those I keep. But to try and book a new show here is a joke.I will not even consider working for less than $150.
  #8  
Old June 28th, 2002, 05:41 PM
WallerMan WallerMan is offline
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Pay Fer Play

Here in Texas, outside of Houston we get $100.00 to $175.00 a night for our shows... We usually have a sliding scale until word get's out and the place fills up... We also do Parties ( I personally hate doing them, but they pay well... I get treated better at the bars... At Parties and weddings I'm just' da' hired hep!) But we consistently get $100.00 an hour for private parties with a four hour minimum...
Eric... aka.. The WallerMan
  #9  
Old August 7th, 2002, 02:47 PM
swaseysd swaseysd is offline
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I've only been doing KJ for a couple of years. I started off doing it for a friend at a private party. The commander of a local AMVETS post happened to be there, liked my show and asked if I would do it at his post. I did and purely by word of mouth, other military posts (AMVETS, American Legion, VFW) started booking me. The going rate in this area is $150.00 for 4 hours and that's what I charge.

I love to sing but I don't consider myself a great singer. Since I started out with this, I've upgrade my equipment several times and I just recently purchased two JBL EON15 G2 powered speakers which have made a world of difference in my sound system. Since I have a regular, well-paying job, I do KJ simply as a hobby and means of recreation. I have a loyal following at the military clubs I gig at and I have a gig every Saturday and a few on Friday nights. I had one post offer to pay me more than I was asking because the previous KJ charged them $200.00. I insisted that I was happy with $150.00 because for me (and I'm only speaking for myself), it's not all about money. I have loads of fun interacting with my audiences. I have all wireless mics so that I can work the bar or the hall. I almost always try to connect the club's big screen TV to my system so the folks that would normally be shy to sing in front of everyone can sit at their seats and sing along. I get a kick out of seeing old ladies at the bar blush when I serenade them with some love song or other. Most of my crowd also likes the line dances I play every now and then and they especially like the fact that I'm actually out there dancing with them. I've actually introduced everything from Salsa, Merenque, Soca and Reggae to my audiences and they have a wonderful time with it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I know I'm worth more than $150.00 and I would undoubtedly get more if I asked for it. But for me, this is more of a hobby or a recreational past time than it is a living. I only perform on Fridays and Saturdays because of my regular job. I guess if the average rate in this area goes up, I'd probably increase my price as well so as not to give any other KJ the impression that I'm trying to undercut them. I'm booked through 2003 so I really don't need to undercut anyone to get bookings. This is so much fun for me, I've actually gigged three times for absolutely nothing, zilch, nada.
  #10  
Old August 21st, 2002, 06:59 PM
Alan Bingham's Avatar
Alan Bingham Alan Bingham is offline
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Talking

You said: I guess what I'm trying to say is that I know I'm worth more than $150.00 and I would undoubtedly get more if I asked for it. But for me, this is more of a hobby or a recreational past time than it is a living.

I suggest that you charge the $200.00 that everyone else is getting and put the extra $50.00 into CDG disks, or mikes or what ever.

While I understand it is a hobby for you, someone else in your area may be needing that extra $50.00 each week to put food on the table for their family.

Al.
  #11  
Old August 23rd, 2002, 01:08 PM
SteveWalker SteveWalker is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by swaseysd
II guess what I'm trying to say is that I know I'm worth more than $150.00 and I would undoubtedly get more if I asked for it. But for me, this is more of a hobby or a recreational past time than it is a living. I only perform on Fridays and Saturdays because of my regular job. I guess if the average rate in this area goes up, I'd probably increase my price as well so as not to give any other KJ the impression that I'm trying to undercut them. I'm booked through 2003 so I really don't need to undercut anyone to get bookings. This is so much fun for me, I've actually gigged three times for absolutely nothing, zilch, nada.
Would you be booked through 2003 if you charged what your worth?
  #12  
Old August 23rd, 2002, 04:53 PM
kedmison kedmison is offline
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Rate of Pay?

Just came across this post and found it interesting. I too started out in this business as a hobby. Having another fulltime job doesn't give me a lot of time to kj but have found it rewarding both as a release and as a financial boost. No one ever found my fishing or golf good enough to pay to watch. I do kj twice a week. $150 at each place. I read where some of you felt this was too low and that everyone should charge the same. I think we all have to realize that different parts of the country rate differences in pay. A house in Houston is definately going to cost more that one in a remote part of the country. Yes, there are those who seem to want to work for nothing. i know one in my area who does it for $50 for four hours. Is that hurting me? NO! The places that say they can only afford that are not the places I would want to play in the first place. And when an establishment agrees to hire for that amount I have often found the quality of the program isn't worth more than that either. I'm not saying that people who enjoy doing for nothing do a bad job. I'm just saying that I think that is rare based on MY experiences. I'll leave with this quote that hangs in my office.

"It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay to little. When you pay too much you lose a little money...that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot...it can't be done. if you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that; you will have enough to pay for the something better."

John Ruskin (1819-1900)


Kelly
  #13  
Old September 12th, 2002, 09:34 AM
SteveWalker SteveWalker is offline
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kedmison,

What you charge is about average in my area for a bar. I prefer doing private parties which pay more and the people are usually more friendly and looking to have fun. Bars pay less usually have a group of regulars who are negative toward karaoke - of course there are exceptions to this as well.

Steve
  #14  
Old September 13th, 2002, 12:53 PM
jim in ohio jim in ohio is offline
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It's hard to put just one price on a gig, I can't charge the same nightly rate for a bar that can seat 75 people as I do for a bar that seats 400, priviate parties, or company parties, now that is a different story, I don't care how large or small it is the rate is 150 per hour of play time, I don't charge for set up or tear down on top of that rate, but three hour is min.

We do four bars five nites a week 175 to 225 per nite, and I work on four month contracks, and four hour bar gigs show starts at 9:00 and ends at 1:00.

Jim
  #15  
Old September 15th, 2002, 02:20 PM
SteveWalker SteveWalker is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by jim in ohio
......... I don't care how large or small it is the rate is 150 per hour of play time..................We do four bars five nites a week 175 to 225 per nite Jim
You said its $150 / hour but get paid $175 to $225 per nite. Do you do 1 to 1 1/2 hours per nite?

Steve

Last edited by SteveWalker; October 3rd, 2002 at 07:51 PM.
  #16  
Old September 15th, 2002, 03:49 PM
jim in ohio jim in ohio is offline
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Steve,
I thought I made it clear, we have 4 bar gigs that we charge from 175 per night for the low one to 225 per nite for the high one, four hours a night five nights a week.

What we call custom shows, company parties, and other one time gigs we charge 150 per hour for play time with no set up or tear down charge on top of that. We don't care if it's just DJ or KJ or mix, we do the light stands, mirror ball and tux for the night. Christmas parties are big for us.

The bars allow us to leave everything in place, we just pull the books and discs out each night.
  #17  
Old December 19th, 2002, 12:36 PM
WallerMan WallerMan is offline
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Just read through these again.

I definitely agree with Jim... Depending on the venue size...In our small Gig at a local Ice House here in Waller, TX We can only Justify based on the size of the place and what the Beer costs to charge 150.00 for a show. The owner just can't remain profitable if we gig him for more money just because we get that at our other shows which are in larger facilities, in a larger metro area, with Beer and mixed drinks.
I also have to identify with the poster that said he has more fun doing the shows than some of the participants... As I have said many nights at our shows when the audience is really into it, "I love my Part time job! Where else can I drink beer, smoke cigarettes, listen to good music, and look at hot looking women! Beats the heck out of a partime job at Target Skippy"!!
I have to disagree about parties and weddings though.. They pay great but I have been treated worse at those types of shows than at the bars... Maybe it's just in our area...

...WallerMan
  #18  
Old December 20th, 2002, 06:17 PM
jim in ohio jim in ohio is offline
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Need to agree with Wallerman about parties, they for the most part treat you like hired help, at least the drunks in the bars treat you with respect, and buy you drinks...

Jim

Last edited by jim in ohio; December 20th, 2002 at 07:10 PM.
  #19  
Old December 21st, 2002, 08:51 AM
WallerMan WallerMan is offline
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Too Funny!

Yeah the drunks do buy you drinks... Never really had anybody treat me with disrespect at the bar... Did have a drunk do a swan dive into my monitor stand one night... I honestly thought the old guy had a stroke... Was walking up to the stage and kinda just crumpled face first into the equipment... Thankfully we called 911 and they took him to the hospital... Turned out he was just way way intoxicated... We continued the show that night... Good thing the monitor stand had wheels.. When the Guy fell into it... It just rolled out of his way and miraculously didn't turn over..
No Harm No Foul..
Weddings are Brutal.. I charge $100.00 per hour minimum 4 hours for that very fact... Everybody's always stressed out at the beginning of the night... I actually have gotten my only bad check from a bride... The guests treat you like dirt if you don't have their special obscure song...
Like I said, they pay good But I'd rather work the Bars..
..WallerMan
  #20  
Old December 25th, 2002, 04:22 AM
TraxMasterDJRob TraxMasterDJRob is offline
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Smile

I like what I'm reading. Seems to me most of us KJ's/ DJ's got the general idea of what's going on. I live in SW Michigan, and all of your stories have rung true. keep up the good communication, Merry Christmas
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