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Accompanist Rates

Updated: 03 November 2023 | 16:47 PM

Minimum rates of pay per musician working as an accompanist, April 2023.

Rehearsal pianists

2 hours minimum call: £98.00

Audition accompanists

3 hours minimum call: £147.00

Dance class accompanists and ballet school

Minimum call 1½ hours: £73.50

Exam accompanists

Minimum calls

Grade Preparation time (minutes) Exam Time (minutes)
1-5 30 30 £49.00
6-7 45 45 £73.50
8 60 60 £98.00

Weekly rate (max 30 hours): £1,099.00


Hourly rate of £49.00 payable at time and a half, therefore £73.50 per hour (or part thereof). Sundays or Bank Holidays to be paid at double time.

Distance fees and travel expenses


  • Group A - £35.23 – Electric Guitar (inc’ Amp); Bass Guitar (inc’ Amp); Double Bass.
  • Group B - £30.50 – Bass Sax, Tuba.
  • Group C - £24.30 – 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.
  • Group D – subject to individual negotiation – 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 between midnight and 2:00 am: £31.89

Overnight stay

Payable when return would be after 2:00 am: £125.00


Payable per day to cover meals and expenses: £56.70

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.


Live rates

Member benefits for live musicians