#1
Hi everyone,
I want to book gigs soon, I am a solo artist from Melbourne and I don't have a band to back me up. I sing and play guitar but it would be nice for me to have the flexibility of being able to just sing on my own or perhaps play lead and sing, etc with a live band. Backing tracks are an option but to some they are 'shunned upon' and I have less flexibility with them, it doesn't sound as good, after all it's meant to be 'live'. I don't know many rock musicians and forming a band doesn't sound too appealing because I sound bossy saying this, but I want to make all decisions as a solo artist. I would love a live band eventually when I have the power to choose, but I don't have that right now.
Any advice?
Roxie
#2
You don't happen to have any other musician friends do you? Because its quite possible that some of them would be willing to play for you and let you call all the shots. (As long as the music isn't personal for them anyway, which is a trade off you have to make.) I'm actually doing exactly that with a friend right now. We're doing some rock covers of pop songs, which I don't have much of an opinion of one way or the other. He tells me what songs we're playing, and I say, "Alright, sure. "

What genre do you play?
Quote by Trowzaa
what specs is your pc? like how much ram?


Quote by Hydra150
[IMG]http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large-5/three-rams-steve-mckinzie.jpg[/IMG]


Quote by eGraham
3 ram, nice

#3
since he mentions rock im gonna assume rock.

ts, while yes, its nice to call all the shots, as a relative unknown you need to get off your pedestal. the reason yngwie malmsteen can do all that shit is ultimately because he writes everything, and then others play it. if you do that most likely you have to pay them for their sevices. either suddenly magically become big and shit or get real and find friends.
#4
You'd be surprised how many people would be willing to just learn what you wrote and play with you. If someone asked me to do that I would definitely take the gig because it's easy, you don't have to think, you're not too involved you just put on a great show and that's it.
Quote by Tyson2011
when in doubt, adjust the truss rod.

Sfedf the First ...
or should it be the insane?
#5
I'm with sfedf1 here. There are many musos who just love to get supplied a song, they write their part and you all perform it. That way the muso doesn't have to be involved with the whole writing thing (which is slow and depressing) and they also have the freedom to write whatever parts they want for the song.

You should however consider what roles the extra band members would have. You imply that you don't want the whole band "all the time". I get the feeling that you're looking more for session musos than bandmates. That's fine, but when I'm picked up as a session muso, I expect to be paid (usually $100/gig). As a bandmate, it would be a share of profits, along with the right to express my issues with certain songs, ability to change chords/structure etc. When I'm session muso I keep my mouth firmly tight (as hard as it can be sometimes) and do whatever you want me to do.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
and there are some of us who, when dictated over, will tell you to go jump and leave because they like to do stuff as well. BUT for all this to happen you need to find the right people. network. its important.
#7
I may as well mention that when I'm in session role, I hate, hate, being reined in for song writing. Simply speaking, that's not what I'm being paid for. So make sure you have a full set ready to go at the point you get some extra guys in.

But I may have slanted views because I have a lot of musical commitments (4-5 days a week), and don't like my time being wasted.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#8
Quote by Danjo's Guitar
You don't happen to have any other musician friends do you? Because its quite possible that some of them would be willing to play for you and let you call all the shots. (As long as the music isn't personal for them anyway, which is a trade off you have to make.) I'm actually doing exactly that with a friend right now. We're doing some rock covers of pop songs, which I don't have much of an opinion of one way or the other. He tells me what songs we're playing, and I say, "Alright, sure. "

What genre do you play?


I know some people in the school rock band who play rock instruments but I don't know them that well. My friends play music but they play piano and sing, I play/sing rock music. I understand about the rest it's just hard finding people and having the confidence to ask them and play for me. Thanks for replying to my thread
#9
Yeah like what I said it's hard to find possible players, do people really not enjoy it if I sing and play with a backing track? Maybe I could do a first show with a backing track and keep looking for musicians? It would be only for live performances, I tell them what to play (I don't mind paying them) and we just go on stage and rock
#10
"I know some people in the school rock band who play rock instruments but I don't know them that well. My friends play music but they play piano and sing, I play/sing rock music."

so approach the guys in the school bands, hook up with a piano playing friend and sing and do whatever else.

believe it when i say you are in a very good position to get a live band, and all it requires is networking. simply inviting them to jam sometime is cool.

NB: your piano player is most likely going to know a lot about various keys, and you and the band will have to learn about keys etc and jamming in them fluently

good luck, you just have to get out there!
#11
I just checked out your youtube channel and I'm sorry buy I have to ask - is that guitar supposed to be out of tune? Im talking about the Bruno Mars cover btw, the chords make my ears hurt.
It's the same in the Guns n Roses video - before you hire any session buy a goddamn tuner.

I feel bad for pointing something like that out, so heres a picture of a kitten to make everybody feel better.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Feb 24, 2012,
#12
You can also try to just drop the backing track, acoustic guitar all the way, strip your songs bare and enjoy. If you've got friends who play the piano, that works even better, you can basically just have semi acoustic sets. Piano (can give you the equivalent of a bassist and a rhythm guitar or rhythm and lead if they really know what they're doing) plus you makes a decent acoustic duo and gives you that backbone to solo over if that's what you want.
Quote by Tyson2011
when in doubt, adjust the truss rod.

Sfedf the First ...
or should it be the insane?
#13
You should do what you want to do.

If you want to play with a backing track then do it. Don't worry about it being "shunned" if you play well, people will enjoy it. If you want a backing band, don't be afraid to ask! If they say yes then they will be willing to follow you (assuming they understand they are backing you up) and if they say no then find someone else. If you did want to do it acoustically, just you and your guitar then that is equally just as good.

My point is don't not do anything because you aren't sure which one you want. Pick whatever you feel will be the best for you and go for it.
#14
Quote by Hydra150
I just checked out your youtube channel and I'm sorry buy I have to ask - is that guitar supposed to be out of tune? Im talking about the Bruno Mars cover btw, the chords make my ears hurt.
It's the same in the Guns n Roses video - before you hire any session buy a goddamn tuner.

I feel bad for pointing something like that out, so heres a picture of a kitten to make everybody feel better.


Thanks for taking the time to look at my channel, um no, not really, I didn't mean it to be like that. What you're saying does mean something but I don't find it necessary that you had to add that the chords made your ears hurt, or say 'goddamn' before the word tuner. That is a cute picture but I think it could do without if you didn't 100% speak your mind for someone else's sake.
#15
Quote by Roxie23x
if you didn't 100% speak your mind for someone else's sake.


Nah.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#16
Thanks everyone for your answers and encouragement, I like all of your ideas you have given me. I think I'll go semi-acoustic/not too heavy or loud for some songs with my friend who is a great pianist who would definitely be suitable, and then I'll use a backing track for songs I really wanna get moving with the mic. I initially asked this question on here because I wanted a backing band but I've learned it's okay to compromise for now. You're right about the backing track attitude, they'll only complain if I do a bad performance and I will do everything in my power to make them enjoy it instead
#17
Quote by Hydra150
Nah.


A different point could be:

If you want to bring "your" music to the airwaves, why are you uploading a whole heap of other people's songs?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#18
Quote by AlanHB
A different point could be:

If you want to bring "your" music to the airwaves, why are you uploading a whole heap of other people's songs?


In all fairness having just looked myself the first thing I saw on her YouTube page was an original song called "Tired" which is definitely better than alot of the original songs I've listened to on here.

To those in the know, uploading covers of other peoples songs to YouTube is a proven method used to draw people onto your channel to view your songs.

Boyce Avenue, among others is a prime example of this. As a result of there YouTube covers they not only got signed but also embarked on numerous tours including a couple of european tours. I think we'd all do the same if that was the result!
Last edited by FrontmanShields at Feb 26, 2012,
#19
Quote by AlanHB
A different point could be:

If you want to bring "your" music to the airwaves, why are you uploading a whole heap of other people's songs?


I don't want to make a fuss here Alan, but if you listen to my other uploads I have originals on there, I just happen to have a cover as my featured video...
#20
Quote by FrontmanShields
In all fairness having just looked myself the first thing I saw on her YouTube page was an original song called "Tired" which is definitely better than alot of the original songs I've listened to on here.

To those in the know, uploading covers of other peoples songs to YouTube is a proven method used to draw people onto your channel to view your songs.

Boyce Avenue, among others is a prime example of this. As a result of there YouTube covers they not only got signed but also embarked on numerous tours including a couple of european tours. I think we'd all do the same if that was the result!


Amen! Thank you very much for taking the time to listen, I'm quite pleased at what you think of my song. I also thank you for defending me in comparison to people who don't take a moment to look beyond my cover. I happen to like the song so I covered it (although I don't really like Bruno Mars lol) and I also did it because it is indeed a proven method to attract a bigger audience
#21
Quote by Roxie23x
Amen! Thank you very much for taking the time to listen, I'm quite pleased at what you think of my song. I also thank you for defending me in comparison to people who don't take a moment to look beyond my cover. I happen to like the song so I covered it (although I don't really like Bruno Mars lol) and I also did it because it is indeed a proven method to attract a bigger audience

I listened to various uploads on your YouTube channel, nice layout by the way.

I noticed that your original (Tired) did come up first, which was "OK". I will state it sounds like that it had zero post done to it and that there wasn't a whole lot of takes done before making the final mix. Studio time is cheap with todays technology, when you think you nailed it, retrack it a bunch more times.

I would suggest that you remove everything on your channel except for:

Tired
I Don't Wanna Be (Don't explain the lack of syncing rights in the write up)
Without You (remove the demo version)
Without You Official Music Video

If you are serious about your act, remove your live stuff and the covers playing along with the backing tracks. The behind the scenes stuff in the studio is self indulgent and doesn't belong here at this point in your promotion of yourself. Also keep the one minute short (cute, lol type videos) off the channel.

I think basically what I am saying here is put up the what appear to be decent home/semi-pro studio recordings and drop the stuff recorded with a handycam. If you want to share those with family and friends, set up another YouTube channel, don't mix personal with professional. I realize that you are still school age, but you may as well learn about professionalism and marketing now.

If you are selling your live show, you will have to get a quality live video at some point or at least get your Dad a tripod for the camera. Live audio can be a pain, especially if you are recording small venue because you don't normally mic things up properly.

For example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuZxl3Usaww&feature=related

The audio in this was recorded live in mono off the sound board using the "Aux Send" channel to a one channel pos USB interface into a laptop by a colleague of mine as a favour to the artist. This was mixed live down to one channel and has zero post production done on it, this gives you an idea of the initial audio quality you are looking for your live demos. The cheesy Burns effect on still photos taken during the same show is just a reflection of the zero budget on this video. Not actually sure how this video showed up on YouTube, it was originally on a DVD as part of a press kit. Another lesson in that you never can be sure where your work will wind up after a couple years.

This artist has a bunch of different shows. The Motown review (shown here) is a live band with another vocalist that are all hired hands and the size of the band, depending on venue and revenue is from 6 (this show) to 9 people on stage. He also has a lounge cover act with either a piano accompaniment or backing tracks with an iPod through a PA. He also has an originals set. Why I mention this is you do not have to limit yourself to one type of show, you can adapt your live performance to the venue and requirements.

Nothing should go public that is not polished and professional because if they hear/see that one below par piece, everything else you have is irrelevant, you have already lost the audience. YouTube users upload the equivalent of 240,000 full-length films every week, you have be pretty dam good to stand out or, for some reason, insanely bad (most viral hits). Only present your best. You don't need a potential patron hearing an out of tune cover recorded with a cheap camera mic.
Last edited by Quintex at Feb 27, 2012,
#22
Quote by Quintex
I listened to various uploads on your YouTube channel, nice layout by the way.

I noticed that your original (Tired) did come up first, which was "OK". I will state it sounds like that it had zero post done to it and that there wasn't a whole lot of takes done before making the final mix. Studio time is cheap with todays technology, when you think you nailed it, retrack it a bunch more times.

I would suggest that you remove everything on your channel except for:

Tired
I Don't Wanna Be (Don't explain the lack of syncing rights in the write up)
Without You (remove the demo version)
Without You Official Music Video

If you are serious about your act, remove your live stuff and the covers playing along with the backing tracks. The behind the scenes stuff in the studio is self indulgent and doesn't belong here at this point in your promotion of yourself. Also keep the one minute short (cute, lol type videos) off the channel.

I think basically what I am saying here is put up the what appear to be decent home/semi-pro studio recordings and drop the stuff recorded with a handycam. If you want to share those with family and friends, set up another YouTube channel, don't mix personal with professional. I realize that you are still school age, but you may as well learn about professionalism and marketing now.

If you are selling your live show, you will have to get a quality live video at some point or at least get your Dad a tripod for the camera. Live audio can be a pain, especially if you are recording small venue because you don't normally mic things up properly.

For example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuZxl3Usaww&feature=related

The audio in this was recorded live in mono off the sound board using the "Aux Send" channel to a one channel pos USB interface into a laptop by a colleague of mine as a favour to the artist. This was mixed live down to one channel and has zero post production done on it, this gives you an idea of the initial audio quality you are looking for your live demos. The cheesy Burns effect on still photos taken during the same show is just a reflection of the zero budget on this video. Not actually sure how this video showed up on YouTube, it was originally on a DVD as part of a press kit. Another lesson in that you never can be sure where your work will wind up after a couple years.

This artist has a bunch of different shows. The Motown review (shown here) is a live band with another vocalist that are all hired hands and the size of the band, depending on venue and revenue is from 6 (this show) to 9 people on stage. He also has a lounge cover act with either a piano accompaniment or backing tracks with an iPod through a PA. He also has an originals set. Why I mention this is you do not have to limit yourself to one type of show, you can adapt your live performance to the venue and requirements.

Nothing should go public that is not polished and professional because if they hear/see that one below par piece, everything else you have is irrelevant, you have already lost the audience. YouTube users upload the equivalent of 240,000 full-length films every week, you have be pretty dam good to stand out or, for some reason, insanely bad (most viral hits). Only present your best. You don't need a potential patron hearing an out of tune cover recorded with a cheap camera mic.


Thanks for taking the time to look, I'm glad you like the layout With 'Tired' I can understand where you're coming from, if I could do it again I would do more takes, I am learning more about recording every time I go in the studio.
I am serious about my act, I have gone a little overboard with the uploads but I do it to show everyone how I am developing so they can watch me 'grow' as an artist. I'll think about deleting some, most of all though I want more views and although it's quality over quantity, people still enjoy watching anything I put out so that does contribute to views. The behind the scenes video was an effort by me to get what I have of a following excited about the next song I was to finish, which they did enjoy, I don't think I'll do it again though. I have another fun/personal channel but I liked the idea of my music channel being a place where you can see everything I've done + improved newer things, almost like a timeline. I do understand where you're coming from though and I thank you for your advice.

I have not done a proper gig as a solo artist before, my performances are mostly from recitals, improving audio quality is definitely a focal point. I have a tripod now and I will definitely use it! Perhaps a zoom or other portable device would help. The video sounds pretty good, despite the burns effect cheesiness lol :P You're right I don't have to limit myself to one option on how I can perform, backing tracks are just very flexible but indeed not the only way.

Now that I've read your last paragraph it does make me think a lot more about the quality of my videos and what is most important. Perhaps overhauling my uploads is really the best idea. It's all about what I put out and what impressions I can give to viewers.

Thanks again for your advice, I do appreciate it