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Event Inspiration/Articles/Tips/Tips For Hiring A Pianist

Tips For Hiring A Pianist

Chelsea Pellegrino


The piano is one of the most enjoyed sounds in music. It's elegance and versatility make it the ideal addition to events of all kinds- especially holiday celebrations! With the holiday season rapidly approaching, now is the perfect time to pursue a pianist. To ensure you find the perfect performer for your party, we have asked our own piano-playing members for their top booking tips. Read on!

Bachground Information

Before you even begin to look at pianists, the first thing you should do is make sure (then double check, then triple check) that your venue has a tuned piano! No matter how skilled your pianist is, they won't be able to play without a piano. They also won't be able to play well without a tuned one. If there isn't a piano available, your search will be narrowed down to those who travel with their own keyboard, so be sure to specify this when you create your request!

Another important factor to mention is if you're looking for a singing pianist. Not all pianists sing, but many will be able to accommodate by bringing in an accompanying singer. (Thanks to Footlights Entertainment of New York, NY, for sharing this tip!) Jim Loftus (Catasauqua, PA) recommends starting off by looking at piano players within the style of music you want to hear. As Jennifer Warren-Baker (Purcellville, VA)  suggests, a classical pianist is more appropriate for formal ceremonies, whereas party clients will need a pianist who is fluent in many genres, from classic rock to blues. 

Once you've determined the sounds you're looking for, our members highly recommend reviewing  GigMasters profiles. "Items such as online reviews, song samples, photos and videos, can be a good indicator of the skills and reputation of the pianist," shares Pianist for Events, Fred Yacono (Eagan, MN).

Staying in Tune

Once you find the perfect pianist for your event, you'll want to finalize a few details. Arrival time, parking information, length of performance, dress attire and amenities available are all basic points that need to be discussed beforehand.

Song list is another very important topic to cover. Meg Graf (Eugene, OR) recommends that you discuss songs you would like to hear, as well as any tunes you absolutely don't want to hear! As Pianist Josh Espinoza (Indianapolis, IN)  also suggests, "If you have a couple of favorite songs, you might ask your pianist if they wouldn't mind learning them for the occasion - but be aware that they may request extra compensation to cover the cost of new sheet music." To avoid surprises regarding any of these details, John Arden (Island Park, NY) stresses the importance of creating a contract.

Q & A

Below are some questions our members suggest that you ask when looking to hire a pianist for your event:

  • What kinds of gigs do you usually book?
  • When did you begin performing?
  • Can you tell me about your training and experience?
  • What styles of music do you specialize in?
  • Do you have a portable keyboard?
  • Do you sing as well as play?
  • Do you take requests?
  • Are there video or audio files of your performances that I may preview?

The holidays are just around the corner, so there's no better time to book a pianist for your events! It's the perfect entertainment to put both young and old in the holiday spirit. If you need any assistance finding the perfect pianist, or any other kind of vendor for your event, we're here to help! Our wonderful Account Specialists can be reached by calling 1-866-342-9794 or emailing info@gigmasters.com.