In situations like this I usually bring one of my digital pianos which can even be used outside. My digital pianos are ideal when playing for events that require music in more than one location. I can usually relocate and set up within twenty minutes or set up piano in one location and set up another somewhere else. If I set up two pianos I can just move from one to the other without a there being too much of a break in the music. Please note that I don’t charge any extra for bring a digital piano with me to an event.
It does depend on the quality of the proper piano that you are comparing the digital piano with. A digital piano is nearly always better than the piano that you will find at a venue. You can hear the quality of the instrument I would bring by listening or downloading the music on this site.
The digital piano that I usually use doesn’t really look like an acoustic piano, but it definitely does look neat and tidy. I can provide the normal digital piano free of charge, but if you are looking for something more like a real instrument I can now offer a digital baby grand piano for an additional charge of £80. The regular digital piano and the digital baby grand piano are both shown below:
Yamaha P-155 Digital Piano
Digital Baby Grand Piano (front view)
Digital Baby Grand Piano (side view)
I usually bring a spare piano with me and I always have all my other equipment backed up up with spares. I have very seldom had an amplifier, piano or anything else fail on me at an event, but if it ever does happen I am always prepared.
As a solo pianist, using my regular digital piano, I can fit into the tiniest of spaces – a space of 1 metre X 1.5 metres being more than adequate. As a duo (piano and bass or piano and vocals) we would only need an additional 1 square metre which brings the performance area needed up to a meagre 1 metre X 2.5 metres. Space for larger line ups takes a little bit more working out as the musicians can be placed in a line or any number of other formations.
No offence to bass guitar players, but most people refer to a double bass as a proper bass. The bass players I use (mainly Mike Porter-Ward) always play a double bass which you can see in the photograph below:
No, the drummers I use (usually Roy Jackson or Rod Brown) are skilled jazz drummers and are capable of playing very quietly. They are also masters of the long lost art playing with brushes which is ideal for background music. Also, the drum kit that they use is different from that of a rock drummer – one of the key differences being the diminutive size of the bass drum. A jazz kit does not produce anywhere near the same volume level as a rock kit.
This isn’t usually a problem as I usually have a CD player or MP3 player with me which I can plug into one of my compact PA systems.
I don’t usually work from a playlist. I prefer to pick the songs I am going to play at the time of the performance. This enables me to select material that matches the mood and the ambience of the event.
You can see a list of songs I play on the repertoire pages.
Yes, most definitely. Just let me know your requests before your event and I’ll make sure that I play them on the day.
Protection from the elements is vital. The heat from the sun can be very harmful to electronic equipment and a sudden downpour could be disastrous. I can provide a gazebo for outside protection which is more than adequate for most situations.
This isn’t necessary as nearly everything has to be sorted out on the day of the event. No meeting beforehand can really help with the decisions that have to be made on the day. Music for ceremonies and other requests can usually be sorted out by email or telephone.
Prices are from £250 (for me as a solo pianist) depending on distance from venue and other requirements. Please contact me for a quote for your individual requirements.
After I’ve given you a quote and presuming that you have decided to go ahead with the booking: I’ll send you a contract. In order to send you this contract I need to make sure that I have all following information:
The type of event (Wedding, engagement party, corporate dinner etc.)
The date of the event
The address of the venue including postcode
The line up (piano and bass, solo piano etc.)
A start time and a finish time
A contact number for if I have any queries
On the day emergency contact number (best man’s mobile or similar)
Dress code (lounge suit, black tie etc.)
Any other requirements (music for ceremony, gazebo, radio microphone for speeches, extra long extension lead etc.)
I’ll then usually send you the contract by email and then you can either sign the contract and post it back to me or confirm on line by clicking on the link included in the email.
Yes I do. After the contract has been signed and returned or confirmed on line, I send an invoice for a deposit of approximately 33% of the full fee.
I’ll send you an invoice for the remaining balance and you can pay on the day of the event by either cash, cheque or by BACs. I would, however, prefer the balance cash, rather than other forms of payment, if you are hiring me in a larger line up such as a duo, trio or band. This enables me to pay the musicians straight away – rather than making them wait for the cheque to clear in my bank, before paying them.
If this is what you prefer then its OK with me.
Throughout the year I do play for quite a few events that are public, but Most of the work that I do consists of weddings, corporate events and private parties. Public events will always be advertised on this site here, or alternatively you can fill in my mailing list form on the left and I’ll keep you informed of anything that is public. If you do join my mailing list it will entitle you to a free CD ROM of all the music on my site.
I have public liability insurance which is provided by Hencilla Canworth. The certificate can be viewed HERE.
Could I ask, in the interest of safety, that all children are kept out of the performance area. Also, they do like to twiddle knobs and press buttons which can make things very difficult for me.
Yes all my equipment has been tested by a qualified electrical engineer. My PAT Test Certificate can be viewed or downloaded at the end of this short section.
A PAT test certificate is not a legal requirement, but some venues like to see one. My PAT Test certificate proves that my power leads are tested for safety and only provides half the story. There is no real point in me providing proof that my equipment is safe if the power supply provided by the venue isn’t. Electrical sockets in historic venues are frequently damaged or do not work.
A venue should provide a power supply socket of the 13 amp type (to BS 1363). It goes without saying that all power sources should be electrically safe and conform to the HSE EAW Act 1989, and amendments thereafter. Copies of venue Electrical Installation Safety Certificate (Periodic Inspection Report to NIC EIC standards) should be made available upon request by law.
Please note that if a venue requests a copy of a PAT test certificate from a musician or entertainer, it is customary for them to provide a copy of their Electrical Installation Safety Certificate, and is illegal not to provide one if requested to do so.
If for whatever reason the venue cannot provide an Electrical Installation Safety Certificate, then I can do an ‘on the spot’ test. Firstly I would make a visual inspection of the socket making sure that it has been installed correctly and that there is nothing loose or damaged. After the preliminary inspection I would then use a professional socket tester which will give me either an ‘OK’ reading or give me a diagnosis of the problem. If the socket gives me an ‘OK’ reading, I would then plug something like a household light into the socket as a final check before plugging my keyboard or any other valuable equipment into the power supply.
My PAT Test Certificate can be viewed or downloaded HERE.