Question about starting a solo project


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Iplayblues
03-18-2008, 08:25 PM
Ok so first off i didn't really know where to put this so i'm sorry if its in the wrong spot!

But i have been trying to put together a band for several months now. More specifically a blues trio. I have been playing guitar for 4 years now and can play drums, bass, sax, and several other instruments.

The only problem is that most of the people where i live want to play metalcore or metal. So i've been thinking about starting my own solo project seeing as i can sing and play guitar. Now i thought this would be a great thing for me to get my name out there and maybe eventually find some people to start a band. I am mainly an electric guitarist, but most "solo artists" play acoustic guitar and gradually go into electric.

I was just wondering if electric guitar can stand by itself as well as an acoustic guitar can? I don't mind acoustic, i just enjoy solos and stuff haha. I was also just wondering going out and playing some small gigs at coffee shops and stuff would be a good idea or if i should just wait a few more months and try to find a band. Oh and any tips about recording or getting gigs would be greatly appreciated.

af_the_fragile
03-18-2008, 09:11 PM
Hell yeah, you can do anything you want in you solo project. Afterall its YOUR solo project!

I've got the same problem as you too. I've sorta given up looking for the proper bandmates, well, i did find a good band but i couldn't commit to it anymore so i left it.

Anyway, I'm currently working on my first solo project. Its gonna be a mix of acoustic/electronic/experimental. Well, i'm not really sure what its gonna be, but i know its definitely gonna have acoustic and electronic parts to it.
Now i've got a descent background in recording and production so that helps me a lot with it. I'm gonna be writing the lyrics, singing, composing and progaming all the music and recording and producing it all by myself. Gonna be taking a few friends help for artwork though.

An electric guitar will do great if you've got some sorta backing track to go with it.
I say go for it, its a great idea to write a few songs and play them out at little venues. Maybe even busk on the streets a bit to promote yourself!

I'm planning on first finishing off a solid EP. Plan to get it finished towards the end of this year. Then i'll set up a myspace for it and put up the EP there. Try finding gigs, i'll work on my live performances, trying to make them interesting and give the audience a different experience from that of the EP. Probably gonna have some sorta live setup of my Laptop + backing tracks + MIDI controllers/keyboard + a guitar + pedals and effects.
So that way i'll be able to gain popularity and recognition. After that i'll look for a proper band, but i don't plan to stop working on solo projects. I'll probably be taking the Trent Reznor direction with NIN.
But the most important thing to have is for your music to be really outstandingly good. So always good to spend a good amount of time working on your songs and getting a good few solid songs down before you go out there performing.

And if you want any tips on recording and production, you can check out the Riffs and Recording forums, loads of people with knowledge there who can give you good tips/advise and help you out with any problems.

To get gigs, you've gotta really go out there and promote yourself. I'ld highly prefer on getting some sorta EP recorded and having a myspace set up before you go out there looking for gigs. Once you've got that, just take a walk to all the venues around your town, speak to the managers, give them a listen to your stuff and your background, see if they've got a spot for you. Then you've just gotta look around, bands who are looking for supporting acts, venues who are looking for acts etc.
Just be careful with promoters. A lot of time they can badly screw you over!

So good luck mate and lemme know if you get anywhere with your solo project.
Solo projects are great cuz you have all the freedom of doing what you want in your own time without any one tainting your music!

Iplayblues
03-18-2008, 09:18 PM
Haha thanks thats exactly what i wanted to hear!

I think i'll just do a mix of acoustic and electric. I have a few people that i know that have recorded some stuff so i'll get there advice as well.

But yeah man good luck to you too!
I'll let you know when i start getting some stuff up.
And keep me updated on your stuff man.
Good luck.

af_the_fragile
03-18-2008, 09:30 PM
Check this dude out, he's my current inspiration: http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=-PsloKTJMCk

And i'ld say the best way to work on your solo project is to keep it no bounds. Use whatever instruments you feel like, make whatever kind of music you feel like. As long as it sounds good, it doesn't matter how you make it!

CoolDudeMorgasm
03-21-2008, 06:32 AM
Hahaha, ****, Af has covered everything.

But its your solo project, most people do it to try something different and put themselves out of their comfort zone, so go for it man.

SlackerBabbath
03-21-2008, 07:24 AM
I know a guy who's a solo artist that plays electric guitar to backing tapes of his own material that he's recorded himself.
He has a small vocal PA (about 200w) a 50w combo guitar amp and even a neat little sound to light show on a cross bar that goes behind his head.
All his equipment fits in the back of his car, he's NEVER short of bookings and generaly gets paid more than the average band would get, because he's also bloody amazing and he draws a good crowd. Only, he gets to keep any money he makes all to himself.
That's all he does. He plays in pubs and clubs either in the afternoon or at night and he does it about three or four times a week, playing just two 45 minute sets, and without having to tour out of the immediate area too. (He's getting on a bit now so he's not as 'into' touring as he was when he was a young man)
The guy is making a damn good living doing this, lives in a lovely big house that he owns outright and it only goes to show what is possible as a solo act if you just think about what you're doing.

af_the_fragile
03-22-2008, 09:37 PM
And if you think about it Trent Rezor started off Nine Inch Nails as a solo project where he was messing around with the synths and stuff in the recording studio he worked as a janitor in. He just used loads of his skill and talent to produce his first album Pretty Hate Machine for NIN. The manager of the studio let him record the album in the studio for free saying it would just wear out the tape head a little. Trent recorded the album and he sent it over to many different record labels around america and almost every label accepted to offer him a record deal. Making Nine Inch Nails one of the most influential bands of the 90's (and it still is!).

Now things have changed a lot. Due to music going digital. The development of better, faster and more powerful computers and loads of softwares like Pro Tools, Cubase, Reason and all, you can create and record excellent music right in your bedroom. You don't need to be working in a studio or anything. And then even due to websites like Myspace, facebook, UG and all, its also very easy to promote your music.
So all you need to do is to be able to make good music and have the skill to produce it well. You'll be well set with a strong solo career!