What to Charge for Remote Studio Musician Gigs

Jun 01, 2023

Setting Prices for Remote Studio Gigs


If you're ready to start accepting paid recording studio gigs from home as a demo singer, producer, songwriter, guitarist, rapper, mixing engineer, etc. but aren't sure what to charge, let me help steer you in the right direction! 

Let's first take a look at the marketplace. The number one website for offering these services is Soundbetter.com (and there is also Airgigs.com, Vocalizr, Fiverr, LANDR Network). I recommend setting up profiles on these sites for sure, but also plan to find clients through social media, word of mouth, and your own website!

When the conversation begins with a potential client, it is always best to ask what their budget is, and let them throw out the first number. It's possible to shoot too low when they would have been willing to pay you more if you put out the first number.

The simplest approach to finding your numbers is to check out the competition. Some artist list their prices right on their profile! 


When you're just trying to break out into this side of the industry, it is very reasonable to start with lower prices to get more clients faster and to also build up reviews on these sites. HOWEVER, I encourage you to offer these lower prices as a discount so that when you work with clients who will become returning clients, it's not awkward when you raise your prices on them. Let them know you're giving them a discount for your first project together, or even let them know this is like your grand open special since you're new to the websites! 

It gets ugly when recording artist start lowering prices intensely to outbid each other. Cost of eggs keeps going up, while cost of services seems to always be going down. We keep charging less over time, and that it super backwards! Don't be afraid to charge what you're worth, it actually helps the community of remote studio musicians at large.   

The average songwriter fees I've seen are around $400–700, bigger names tend to charge up to $1500 for a songwriting project because they're in demand and don't want to take on too many projects. So it really does vary! 

When I first started out, I was charging about $200 to record vocals (not songwriting) just to get some reviews going, but now my minimum is $350. 

My rate to write a song in 2010 was $1500 somehow, but now I start at $650 because of market conditions. I do feel the need to follow some of the trend so that I stay in business, and not gunna lie, I'm super busy! So even though I feel like I should be paid higher, I have consistent work because of my more fair prices and I'm about to log well over 6 figures in a year just singing. So I'm not too upset about it :) 


A big tip here is having an Upsell and a Downsell. Due to the price of eggs, not everyone can afford our prices, so sometimes what I'll do is work with someone and say, "I totally get it with the lower budget, if it helps, I can take $100 off if you're cool with the song being lead vocal only and no backgrounds." And of course vice verse... "Would you like to add on harmonies for an extra $100?"

 More add-ons to consider: an expediting fee for a turn around time of less than 48 hours. Have a set number of allowed revisions, but then charge an additional fee for additional revisions. Charge more for longer songs or songs with a key change or just more complexity than a typical pop song.  


Bulk discounts are something to consider, but typically I would avoid this. You decide. A very large amount of my business comes from returning happy clients, and if I allowed bulk discounts I'd basically always be giving a discount, so I do not offer this. But it's certainly an option!

You will see how things start to shift as you get busier. You will raise your prices more than once! It's really just one conversation at a time and you can always change your script for the next client. 


Remote Studio gigging is my favorite revenue stream, but it isn't my only one! Check out this article on my top earning music revenue streams.

And if you want the deepest dive on all things Remote Studio Gigging, grab a copy of my E-book!

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