There are all kinds of gigs out there. Let's start by listing the most common genres of music requested by hotels, clubs and restaurants:

  • Pop
  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Some venues (but fewer) also hire acts such as:
  • South American (Latin) music and dance
  • Dance acts (Multicultural themed)
  • Strolling guitarist (walking around singing and playing with a guitar)
  • Other solo music acts

The venues that want bands or musicians that specialize in specific types of music such as reggae, metal, or country (just to name a few) are very rare. There may be such opportunities out there, but you must be aware that this is uncommon and more likely a very small part of the market.


Obviously different hotels require different types of musicians depending on the bars that they have and the image that they aim to portray to the public. Some large hotels require many different musicians to fulfill all of their entertainment requirements.

They may need a classical guitarist for the lobby, a jazz duo for their Jazz or Cocktail lounge, and a full-on 7 piece Top 40 band for their nightclub. Other smaller hotels may only need one of the above or a duo that can play a wide variety of songs and styles.

So many delectable dishes...

The array of gigs out there is dizzying. Here is a breakdown of the most common types of gigs:

  • Solo piano/guitar/harp (no vocals required)
  • Solo piano/ guitar (with vocals)
  • DJ
  • Duo (piano and a vocalist/guitarist and a vocalist)
  • Classical duo (any combination but usually piano and violin or a vocalist)
  • Trio (unrestricted but should contain either a pianist or a guitarist)
  • Quartet (either classical or a four piece band)
  • Five to ten piece bands

At first sight these may appear quite strict, however there are exceptions or 'crossover' genre gigs as well. For example, the gig could be in a Jazz lounge bar, but the management discovers that the crowd prefers music from a wide variety of genres (from classic Beatles numbers, musical hits, to The Eagles). You may have been told that this was a 'jazz gig' yet suddenly you are required to add these other genres to your repertoire.

So which gigs can I do?

This of course is largely dependent upon which instrument(s) you play and whether or not you can sing. You may find that you can do all of these gigs or maybe just one or two. Here are a couple of important points to note about 'crossing over' into different genres:

  • All of the classical type contracts are off-limits to musicians that don't have classical training.
  • Jazz gigs can be done by non-jazz musicians but it's largely dependent upon your all-round musical knowledge and confidence in your ability to be able to 'pull off' jazz standards to an acceptable level, and having enough of a Jazz repertoire to do a gig.
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