I got a request from a college songwriter who gave me a recording of his song with nothing but himself singing and strumming an acoustic guitar. He wanted me to compose something alongside it to add color to the piece. The song is about 4 minutes long, and throughout the piece I added things here and there to add some texture and depth.
How much should I be charging for this type of project. (professionally speaking)
Things to factor:
A) How much did you contribute to the overall success of the song, in your humble but honest opinion?
B) What is your time worth to you? Any decent musician should value his/her time & abilities.
C) What do you think your client is willing to pay?
If your not a \"studio cat\", you can easily price whatever you feel to be appropriate, w/o locking yourself into a hourly, or per/song rate. Keep in mind he may start coming back to you. If you\'re too cheap, this could become a waste of your efforts. When I initailly started to contribute to my studio client\'s music, I charged my studio rate plus $35/hour to lay tracks. This did not include composition consultation or anything other than \"coloring\" recorded material. Be careful that you don\'t accidentally assume the role of producer, without being compensated as such.
What your doing can be a lot of fun, & rewarding. Just think it through!
In addition to Pianojoe\'s list I would maybe look at what other people the client could potentially ask to the job would charge. At least it would give you some idea of what the market would stand and whether you are asking too much or too little.
My way of dealing with this kind of question has worked like this:
1)if you know, or know of, anybody doing comparable work, check out what sort of rates they have
2)In a \"non-commercial\" context (that is like your present situation) , i.e you did something for somebody without it being a contracted job, ask yourself what you would like to receive...then, keeping your figure in mind, ask what the other party is willing/able to pay (like, \"well, what do you have in mind?\" is an inoffensive opener).
3) This approach also works for commercial jobs, only the question would be more like\"well, what kind of budget do you have?\".
Very often, you\'ll be able to \"meet in the middle\" , price-wise.The funny thing is, with my first jobs, I was always offered MORE than the amount I had been thinking of....anyway, just the idea that I could GET PAID doing what I love was such a blast!!
Nowadays, unless I were really stuck for work, I wouldn\'t take on a job where I felt underpaid, because that\'s not a good basis for being creative- UNLESS the job is worthwhile for other reasons: experience, contacts, working for a friend,or for someone I admire or want to support.
One more thought: there are also other ways to be rewarded, not just financial: if someone can support you in some way with their skills, knowledge, time or connections, that could be a valuable exchange too.
Ok, that\'s my (long!) 2 cents worth. Hope you are happy with whatever deal you do.