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Event Inspiration/Articles/Tips/Tips For Hiring An Acoustic Guitarist

Tips For Hiring An Acoustic Guitarist

Chelsea Pellegrino


An acoustic guitarist can bring a lovely, unique sound to your next event, but there are many things to consider before hiring one. Member Barry Pollack (Seattle, WA) puts it perfectly when he says, "The musician's role is more than just playing the music- a great musician creates an atmosphere!" At GigMasters, our goal is to match you up with a performer that creates the ideal atmosphere for your event. That's why we have asked some of our own acoustic guitarists to provide tips on what steps should be taken to find the perfect acoustic guitarist for your event. Check out the awesome advice they shared with us!

Think With Your Ears
The number one most important factor is to make sure you like the performer's sound! Check out the audio clips and videos on the guitarist's profile to see if they're someone who fits your vision of the event. Many performers have residencies or perform at public events, so if you get the chance, you can even check them out live! Once you find a performer who's sound meets your needs, consider how you want to incorporate the music into your event. Rick Iacoboni (Brecksville, OH) suggests that if the event is a wedding cocktail reception, you'll probably want ambiance rather than a full on rock show. Ask if the musician can play at a volume just below the level of conversation. If you're adamant on having the sound of a DJ or big band during your reception, no worries!  Frank Persico (Ozone Park, NY) suggests having an acoustic act earlier on in the event and then transitioning to a band or DJ as the event moves along.

Talk It Out
Provide the performer with all the information they'll need to make sure the event goes off without a hitch. The most important factor to discuss is location. Be specific in informing your guitarist on the venue's details and amenities so they can come prepared. Joe Tunon (Miami, FL) points out, "There's a big difference between a wedding on the beach, or by the beach under a patio!" Another key item to chat about is how frequently you would like the music played. Are you looking for multiple songs in a row with vocals included, or breaks of time with only instrumental? If you want constant tunes, consider asking the performer if they can bring along an MP3 player. Greg Jones (Swedesboro, NJ) brings his MP3 player to use during set up, break down, and during any breaks he may need to take during his gigs. "This way, music is being played from the second I turn the power on until I break down my last piece of equipment," Greg explains. Once all the details are finalized, James Duchon (New Smyrna Beach, FL) encourages you to provide a day-of-event contact person in case any issues arise. If you're the bride or groom, or a busy host of any event, designating someone else to be the person of contact can help lighten your load!

GigMasters' acoustic guitarists recommend asking some questions before hiring a performer for your event. Here are a few they suggested:

  • Do you need any special equipment (Chairs, extension cords, etc.)?
  • How much time do you need to set up?
  • Do you work solely with a guitar or do you use additional elements? Some artists expand their performance with backing tracks or a harmonizer, says Lefty Mann (Freehold, NJ).
  • How long have you been performing with an acoustic guitar?
  • What are some notable gigs you've played? "My most unique gig was when Paul McCartney hired me to play a small event!" -Mario Vuksanovic (Miami, FL)
  • Do you have video demos, or a live show I can attend prior to my event?
  • Have you played this type of event before? Random Radio (San Diego, CA) also suggests asking what sort of issues, if any, the performer ran into so you can proactively prevent them!
  • Why do you perform?

Now that you have the scoop on how to find your perfect performer, it's time to start searching! As Glen Roethel (Tuckahoe, NY) says, "You've already made an excellent choice to hire a live musician. Book one who will be 'the life of the party!'"

If you need help finding an acoustic guitarist, contact our Account Specialists by calling 866-342-9794 or emailing info@gigmasters.com.

Are you an acoustic guitarist looking to book more gigs? Sign up with GigMasters today!