#1
This was never a real ambition of mine, but as my playing improves I'm starting to get the itch. I started playing because my weekend athletic career is winding down as my body breaks down and I need a new hobby/passion/outlet/activity to ease the transition of that part of my life ending. Lets just say my oh my do I love playing guitar and jamming. I'm not good yet, but I picking it up very quickly and have been told over and over again I'm very good for the amount of time Ive been playing. Dare I say Im showing a bit of talent? Call it dedication and love for now...

I have some good equip because I have a good job (being a corporate lackey has its perks). I play through a Fender Blues deluxe tube amp w/ a 40w speaker. I got the house to myself. I have a couple beers, smoke a little weed and plug my Paul in. This amp is sickly loud, but I'm determined to push it a bit. Just over 2 is jamming volume. 3 is we are all drunk and lets piss off the neighbors volume. So I start moving it up. I got as far as 5 (I had cotton in my ears). At this volume I can feel every note physically move through my body its so loud and let me just say what a rush. In that moment I understood how exhilarating it must be to play music live and put that sound out there....

So my question(s) are pretty simple? Do most people just play because its so much fun? If you play live how did you start? What kind of venues? Not so concerned about making cash... just the performing aspect.
he of tranquil mind
#2
We just asked around local venues and asked if we could play, they usually had local bands playing so it wasn't hard, providing you show up and behave yourself you'll probably get asked back. My first time on stage was incredible, terrifying and brilliant simultaneously. We sucked balls but it was still awesome. I would guess most bands do play for fun since you make virtually nothing, some places will give you a pint, and other maybe £50 - £100 depending on the venue. As you can imagine, split 4/5 ways means you get piss all.
Last edited by Calibos at Aug 19, 2011,
#3
Yeah actually alot of people play because its so much fun but some people play to make money, make it a lifestyle, and so forth!!! Well when my band Galvorika go out and play we just try to pump up the crowd and get them as energetis as possible. Where we live, you have to watch out for the venues that book you. Some will say you have a show and you gewt thier and you don't. You also have to watch out for some of the people that book you to cause they will either rip you off or not pay you at all.
#4
Playing live is awesome! Standing front of the crowd and hearing them cheering for you and your band is probably one of the best feelings ever! So first of all, you would need a band, where everybody is at a somewhat equal level of skill. How to hook up with gigs is another thing. Just sign on to some kind of battle of the bands thingy to get started, then take it from there
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#5
ive played live at some good sized places.
some places in Sacramento, San Fransisco , and LA.
ive also shitty venues like warehouse venues more than once.

its a rush, the first time was really nerve wrecking for me personally, but its fun.


most big venues have a sound guy that runs the PA system.
some shows i had to bring my own PA.


its fun if you get the chance and even better when people show up.
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Last edited by the_white_bunny at Aug 19, 2011,
#6
Im digging all your responses... thanks. I'm not suprised... Ive been playing competitive sports for a long time. Playing in front of a crowd is simply better. I remember the first time I pitched in front of a big crowd >500 people. Holy shit I was nervous but yea.. amazing is a good description.

There are a few places around me to play... I guess its about getting a playlist and getting some people together.

I dont care about the money. I would do it for pints in a heartbeat.
he of tranquil mind
#7
I've been playing live since about 1974. From the about 1978 to 1990 I played music exclusively for a living. I did a lot of traveling playing clubs and concerts, sessions, etc...

Got back into it again around 1997 to now.

For the last 4 years I've been working in a band that supports a full blown travelling burlesque show!!!

Over the next month we will be in Pittsburgh PA, Cleveland OH, Indianapolis IN, Kansas City, Detroit, etc...

I stick with it for a number reason, at least for this band:

1. I would still play guitar everyday if I could
2. I like to play many styles of music and this band learns a new show every couple of months and the music is literally all over the place (rock/metal, jazz, fusion, klemzer, noise/atonal/free, epic, drone, country, motown, classical, seasonal, etc...the list of styles is truly endless since it all matches up to burlesque dances and skits)
3. there's always huge crowds, much different type crowds than being in a bar band thing. There's a lot of theaters and large stages, festivals, etc...
4. Lets just say I can't complain about the money.
5. Plus, I travel around in a bus or RV with a burlesque cast/entourage!!! What a riot.

I do all this with a 40+ hour a week day job, a family, a lesson schedule, etc...but it's definitely worth it!

I'm a lifer
Last edited by MikeDodge at Aug 19, 2011,
#8
Quote by ChucklesMginty
Playing live is one of the most rewarding things you can do if you love music. As electric guitarists our instrument was designed for ensemble playing. It's also the absolute best thing you can do to improve your playing, that's a fact. Every guitarist who loves the instrument and is serious about it should play live. There's stuff you just can't learn from playing in your bedroom.


Exactly this, 100%.

You don't even have to do a formal gig. You can go to a jam night and play with strangers and make friends instantly.

Parties are best though. A man with an acoustic guitar at a party is an hero.
#9
so how far along in your playing were you before you started?

I was reading a Hendrix biography and early on the dude had no confidence and was convinced everyone played better than he did.

Thats been the coolest part about taking this up at age 35+

Seems most people my age dont dive into new things they cant quickly excel at. Im perfectly comfortable sucking at guitar until I get good... or at least good enough to express myself emotionally and artisticly through music (my spelling will ALWAYS suck. Phuck improving on that)
he of tranquil mind
#10
I was at a pub some time ago and there was this 80s rock band and my lord did they suck. They played your Blonde, Fleetwood Mac, Bon Jovi, Romantics, that kind of stuff. The funny thing was nobody seemed to realize they were terrible (including them). Still... they had a band and were playing and having fun so screw it.
he of tranquil mind
#11
fleetwood mac is awesome. sir.
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#12
Quote by the_white_bunny
fleetwood mac is awesome. sir.

Blondies pretty good too in my book
#13
I started on drums as a child. I played my first gig when I was about 9 or 10. At about 12 I started playing VFW halls, parties, etc...

At 12 I picked up guitar and never played drums again really except to make money.

All through high school while my friends were working a fast food joints, I was playing bars Fri and Sat weekly. I was still playing drums and would play guitar on a couple of tunes. But through high school I played guitar in a bunch of bands with friends.

It was about 1978 or 1980 that I started to play in working bands as a guitarist, overlapping with the drumming gigs. Since about 1981 I haven't done anymore drumming gigs and everything the last 3 decades have been on guitar.
#15
Quote by z4twenny
Blondies pretty good too in my book

it wasnt the music I was taking a stab at, rather the lousy playing. Both those bands have some GREAT tunes. I might not be a 'fan' per say but I'm not switching the station or skipping to the next on pandora
he of tranquil mind
#16
i get it, bad interpretations of songs by bad bands.
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#17
I do. Not often tho. But to answer your questions:

Do most people just play because its so much fun? of course, in addition to having fun playing, it's a rush being on stage too. On a local level the money you get from playing out is never really that much. Just extra pocket change. But that's beside the point.

If you play live how did you start? I kept my bass playing kind of a secret hobby but a good friend of mine who is more involved in music got me to join his band.

What kind of venues? Hipster dive bars mostly. Some biker bars. Nothing fancy.

Other comment. I wish I had started in my teens rather than mid 20s.
#18
Quote by the_white_bunny
ive played live at some good sized places.
some places in Sacramento, San Fransisco , and LA.
ive also shitty venues like warehouse venues more than once.

its a rush, the first time was really nerve wrecking for me personally, but its fun.


most big venues have a sound guy that runs the PA system.
some shows i had to bring my own PA.


its fun if you get the chance and even better when people show up.
the question would be weed before or not? Ive found a few times jamming with other cats I get nervous, too much tension, play like crap... you know the drill. A little Mary Jane and Im free and easy and in the groove. What to do??????
he of tranquil mind
#19
Quote by fishmike
the question would be weed before or not? Ive found a few times jamming with other cats I get nervous, too much tension, play like crap... you know the drill. A little Mary Jane and Im free and easy and in the groove. What to do??????


yeah well me and the other guys all burned it.

so we usually had a joint between 3 of us and then drank a beer during the show never got drunk before hand(made us too sloppy we found).


never over do it is the point.
just get a light head high and jam out.
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#20
Quote by the_white_bunny
yeah well me and the other guys all burned it.

so we usually had a joint between 3 of us and then drank a beer during the show never got drunk before hand(made us too sloppy we found).


never over do it is the point.
just get a light head high and jam out.
yea good call.. thats always my MO. Getting wasted was great in high school. These days its like you said.. get a light head and jam out. All about the cool buzz.
he of tranquil mind
#21
I have one beer per set. Keeps me from being too anxious.

The stage isn't a place to be completely trashed, makes most peoples playing very sloppy.
#22
Quote by BlackVoid
I have one beer per set. Keeps me from being too anxious.

The stage isn't a place to be completely trashed, makes most peoples playing very sloppy.
dont laugh but whats a set? Do you figure out how your going to break it up before you play? Or just go in with a songlist you practice and see how the night goes?
he of tranquil mind
#23
I've been playing multiple times a week at musician's jam nights with a good house band. I highly suggest trying something like that if there is such an oppurtunity in your area. It can be a great learning experience, having to develope a repitoire of songs that you know and getting used to improvizing with other musicians.
#24
I play in a Rage Against the Machine tribute and we play shows around the S.East. Anything from Bars, music halls, events, even doing a small festival called "coverpalooza" here soon. Even got to open for "cage the elephant" and "trapt" here in my area. (won a contest)

It's a lot easier if your just wanting to play live to do a tribute or a cover band of some sort. There's a lot less work going into it because all you have to do is learn the songs as they are and go out and play. You also can make a good bit of money if your good and have a good show.

That would probably be the best and easiest way to go, especially if you have a job and music is just more of a hobby than a goal for a career.

And it also is a good thing to do to gather contacts from people if you plan on doing your own music down the road like me. In just 6 months of doing a tribute, I have made more contacts with some real industry pros compared to next to nothing in almost 6 years of playing in original bands.
#25
I play live a few times a week. 2 or 3 times a week at open mic nights and open jams, and I just joined a band that is actually pretty big in my area.
Theve already played at the biggest/most popular club in my area three times.

Open mic nights I do acoustic guitar and singing, just my own little solo thing but I'm the lead guitarist in the band.
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#27
Quote by z4twenny
every time i pick up my guitar i play live.

Icwatudidthar

Haha
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#29
Had a great show last night.. the atmosphere started out calm but a group of people showed up with speakers and a laptop claiming they were gonna bump dubstep so they did that outside while beer pong went on while there was real music inside the house. Great night got a lot of respect.

I ****ed up by getting too ripped nearing the end. I got hella beer and smoked out with a fat blunt. If I were sober it would have been a lot cleaner playing.. I forgot how to play guitar at that belligerent level of intoxication too.