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Accompanist Rates

Updated: 29 March 2021 | 14:29 PM

Minimum rates of pay per musician working as an accompanist, April 2021.

Rehearsal pianists

2 hours minimum call

Audition accompanists

3 hours minimum call

Dance class accompanists and ballet school

Minimum call 1½ hours

Exam accompanists

Minimum calls

Grade Preparation time (minutes) Exam Time (minutes)
1-5 30 30 £43.00
6-7 45 45 £64.50
8 60 60 £86.00

Weekly rate

Maximum 30 hours

Overtime an public holidays

Hourly rate of £43.00 payable at time and a half, therefore £64.50 per hour (or part thereof). Sundays or Bank Holidays to be paid at double time

Distance fees and travel expenses

Distance fees Fuel fees Congestion / Toll Charges /
£10.80 per hour pro rata

Travel time and mileage
52p per mile

HMRC guidance
All charges to be paid
by engager


Group A Group B Group C
Group D
£29.98 £25.89 £20.63 Negotiable
Electric guitar (incl. amp); Bass guitar (incl. amp); Double bass Bass sax, Tuba Contra bassoon; Baritone sax;
French horn + 1 other brass instrument;
Trombone + 1 other brass instrument or bag of mutes;
Two saxes; Cello; Bass clarinet; Pedalboards
Drum kit; Percussion; Harps; Keyboards; P.A.


15% of fee for each additional instrument


Minimum of 15 mins per 2 hours playing

Late fees

Payable when time of return is midnight – 2:00am - £27.07

Overnight stay

Payable when return would be after 2:00am - £110.00


Payable per day to cover meals and expenses -£50.00


Guidance notes

The MU’s live rates are based on an hourly rate which a self-employed musician needs to charge in order to earn an income, relative to their training, experience and expertise. Individual negotiations can be made based on these minimum rates.

If you’re self-employed, you do not have a contract of employment with an employer. You’re more likely to be contracted to provide services over a certain period of time for a fee and be in business in your own right. You’ll also pay your own tax and National Insurance Contributions. You don't have employment rights as such if you're self-employed as you are your own boss and can therefore decide how much to charge for your work and how much holiday to give yourself. You do have some legal protection. You must not be discriminated against and you're entitled to a safe and healthy working environment on your client's premises. Self-employed women who have recently left their jobs may be entitled to Maternity Allowance.