How many musicians/singers should a wedding band have?
This is a very good question and, to be honest, there is not just one answer.
Let’s look at the facts:
On the one hand, you have the cost associated with hiring more band members. On the other hand, if you want a good band that can play different genres, having different band members will be essential in order to achieve this.
Your wedding size and venue will play a huge factor in determining how many singers you will need – you don’t need a 12-piece band if your wedding is in a small restaurant for 60 people and you can’t have a 5-piece band if you have 300 guests and want to hear different styles of music from Top 40 to Hip hop to R&B to Latin.
What that being said, let us explain a couple of things that will help you understand and make the right decision.
If you are looking to hire a band, one can assume that you are choosing this over hiring a DJ that plays recorded music. Here is the first thing to take in consideration:
A lot of bands (and I mean A LOT) play with pre-recorded background tracks. Some of them are likely just a few extra percussion and brass sounds, while others are basically a karaoke track with the musicians playing on top. Our recommendation is to NOT hire these bands since having a live band playing over tracks is essentially like hiring a DJ, only at a higher cost without any additional value.
You will ALWAYS need:
1 Keyboard Player
1 Female Singer
1 Male Singer
Pro tips –
1. Sometimes the keyboard player will say he plays the bass sounds with his left hand on a separate keyboard and you don’t need a bassist. It’s possible that he does, but then all the “new” music that needs more of the electronic sounds that the keyboard would also need to provide will not be there and the music won’t sound as good.
- Sometimes one of the musicians can also sing, so that’s one question to ask and potentially save a little bit.
So here you have a minimum of at least 5 or 6 pieces. Now, keep this in mind – song lists typically include different styles of music. For example, R&B vs. Classic Rock have totally different styles and sounds. Are the same singers able to perform both styles?
Our suggestion is 7 pieces: guitarist, bassist, keyboard player, drummer, two male singers, and one female singer. This setup would allow the most diversity in music styles, while still sounding very authentic.
From there, you can really take it anywhere you want to go. You can add a sax player or a whole brass section, a second keyboard player or a Latin singer, etc. The sky is the limit.