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Are you considering hiring a guitarist for your wedding? We asked some of our favorite GigMasters guitarists what you needed to know about hiring a guitarist. Even we were surprised by some of what they had to say.
With what kind of event does a guitar work best?
Although some people prefer to limit guitars to more casual or smaller weddings, our guitarists told us they were surprisingly versatile.
Guitar can work great for any event. From an unplugged and intimate wedding or proposal to a full on party with hundreds of guests as long as the performer has great PA equipment, stage presence and selection of songs. I have played both kinds of events but the proposals and small church ceremonies are currently the most popular. Aaron Short
Honestly, guitar works well at almost any type of wedding or event. It is such a versatile instrument and is certainly one of the most popular ones in our culture. The guitar has the ability to create various moods with one simple instrument. Whether it's flamenco or classic rock, from jazz to the country music, the prominent instrument is the guitar. Is can be soothing or dynamic; either an observer or the main act. If there is a "mood" you wish to create, the guitar is one of the most cost effective, sensible, and musically best option for a wedding or event. Just imagine hearing soft guitar work as you walk down the aisle, followed shortly by acoustic classic rock and radio hits at your cocktail hour. Few instruments can give that experience. - Ryan Fox
How does a Guitarist decide on the fee?
The guitarists we spoke with all charge different amounts. But, all agreed that it was important for people to understand that when you're hiring a guitarist you aren't just paying for the time the guitarist spends playing for your wedding. You're also paying for travel time, equipment (especially if amplification equipment is needed), and practice time. If you have special requests for the guitarist outside of his or her repertoire, you should expect to pay for additional rehearsal time.
What do you wish clients knew about hiring a guitarist?
Two of the most common issues guitarists mentioned were weather and acoustics. Guitarists really, really want you to know that they can't play in the cold or outside in the rain. If your wedding is outside, you really need to have a plan to keep your musicians dry and comfortable.
Being aware of sound is also very important.
In most settings, a guitar is not loud enough and requires amplification. I've had many wedding requests where the clients thought I could simply set up on a beach and play acoustically (no amplification). What I tell clients is that you will likely not hear the guitar in these settings unless you are about 5 - 10 feet away. The sound of wind, waves, people, fans, etc. can drown out the instrument. I understand the clients wanting a clean look without all these speakers worked in to their ceremony decorations but it's usually necessary. - David Youngman
What do you think? Is a guitar in your wedding plans? What questions would you like to ask a guitarist? Share in the comments below.