Frequently Asked Questions
Do you use amplification?
Yes, I use gentle amplification to provide a volume level that is enough to appreciate the music but also comfortable for guests to speak to each other.
Which area do you cover?
I cover the whole of the United Kingdom and also travel abroad.
I have a particular song that I would like to have played as I walk down the aisle could you play this on solo guitar?
Yes, just tell me which song it is you would like and I’ll specially arrange it for the classical guitar to play at your wedding.
You probably have more experience weddings than we do could you advise me on when you should play and how long for?
Feel free to contact me and discuss your specific requirements. I also have some general guidance on when is best for a Guitarist (or any other wedding musician) to play on so please contact me.
What other costs do we have to account for? Travel, equipment hire?
My quotes are all inclusive there will be no extra charges for travel, equipment hire etc.
The ceremony and reception are at different venues is this a problem?
Not at all. There is always time for me to get from the ceremony venue to the reception venue and be set up and ready to play as guests arrive.
We would like to have the drinks reception outside, weather permitting, are you able to play outside?
Could you tell me which songs you play?
Yes, of course. Although it is not a fully comprehensive list, you can view a list of most of the songs I play on my Repertoire Page.
Obviously you can’t play non-stop continuously how do you organise your playing with breaks?
I generally play for about 45/50 minutes and then take a 10/15 minute break before continuing. I put on some background music during the breaks so that you aren’t left in silence during the pauses.
How do we secure the booking?
After you have listened to my music and are happy with my quote I ask for a 50% deposit to secure the date. As soon as the funds clear to my account you receive email confirmation and I then send you a signed contract.
What do we need to provide for you on the day?
All I need is a socket and an armless chair.
A friend of ours would like to sing a song for us at our wedding would you be able to accompany her?
Yes, of course. Please send me the song in advance and tell me in which key she will sing it in.
The wedding venue has informed me that all musicians have to have public liability insurance to play at the venue, do you have this?
The wedding venue has also stated that all electrical equipment must be PAT tested, is this the case with your equipment?
Do you have terms and conditions or a booking form? And can we see these before making the booking?
Yes, my terms and conditions can be sent to you upon request.
I would be more than happy to answer any other specific questions you may have. Please contact me via the contact page or by using the details on the bottom right hand corner of the page.
Practical Advice for Hiring a Classical Guitarist
We would like to offer you some practical advice for hiring a Classical Guitarist, be it Paul or any another Guitarist as you may have never hired a Guitarist to play for you before and may not be aware of some of the details.
There is literally a sea of Guitarist’s websites out there these days, some never having played a professional engagement and others with years and years of experience, some whose repertoire lists and style completely different from the next Guitarist. Before listing a few general check points below I will first talk about choosing a Guitarist that fits your wedding.
If you want the Guitarist to play mainly classical music at your wedding then be sure that this is something the Guitarist does. If you want the Guitarist to sing as well then you might well have to choose a completely different Guitarist. Some strictly Classical Guitarists do not play pop songs arranged for classical guitar so if this is what you were wanting and there aren’t audio clips of pop songs on the website then get in contact the Guitarist beforehand and ask. I have found in my experience that this is the most common style that is requested – Guests like to recognise melodies.
There are Guitarists who can arrange any song you want for solo guitar and yet for some other Guitarists this is simply something they do not or cannot do. Just as some singers also compose; Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen for example, and some do not (/did not); Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Barbara Streisand. It doesn’t make them any inferior, it just means that their musical inspiration does not come from that area. This, of course, is only of importance if you want songs played that aren’t on the Guitarist’s repertoire list (maybe your favourite song for the aisle walk). If this is the case then make sure to ask early on if this is something the Guitarist can do (and if it is included in the price).
Arranging popular songs is Paul’s speciality.
Have a good think about when to have the Guitarist play during the day. Here is a top tip: Think about having music while guests are being seated. This is often over-looked but can be one of the best live music moments Guests don’t have to walk in to a silent room and it instantly sets and a beautiful relaxing atmosphere.
Bullet Point List
Choosing between good Guitarists is subjective and is purely down to your taste and their style. There are however some more technical points which are objective and which should apply to ALL professional Guitarists regardless of style. Here is a checklist:
- Be sure the Guitarist has all his/her equipment PAT tested this is a certificate issued by a professional electrician to certify that the electrical circuits are up to current European safety standards. A lot of venues now will not allow performers who do not have this certificate to perform.
- Check that the Guitarist has his own Public Liability Insurance. In the unlikely event of someone being injured by the Musicians equipment you will not be held responsible. Again, a lot of wedding venues will not allow the artist to perform without this.
- Whether you are booking via an agency or directly with the Guitarist, be sure to sign a contract with the date, venue address, times of performance(s), and the agreed fee. The Guitarist/Agent should also sign a copy which you keep. All Agents and most professional musicians should have a template contract ready to print and sign which includes the necessary terms and conditions.
- Make sure you listen to audio samples of the Guitarist’s playing. These days most Artists have some audio clips on their website. Don’t even consider a Guitarist if he/she isn’t willing to put their work on display.
- Remember that an un-amplified guitar can be drowned out by the noise of three or four people talking, so in a room, for example, of fifty or so people, the use of amplification might be required. However, make sure the Guitarist knows what “gentle amplification” means if you are hoping for unobtrusive background music.
- Make sure you indicate which sections of your wedding you want the Guitarist to play during (ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast) and where your wedding will take place so as to receive an accurate quote. A basic quote that comes from one Guitarist that seems cheap but has yet to have travel, equipment hire and other optional extras added may end up being a lot more expensive than another Guitarist’s initial quote that has all of this built into it. Many different Musicians have different pricing plans which is fine as long as you know what is included and what you are getting for your money.