#1
So lately I've been throwing around the idea of starting a side-project of sorts to exercise my influences that I can't really touch on with my main band. However, because of time and resource constraints at the current time my best option seems to be to work as a one-man band and in a live setting play with backing tracks, at least until I could find the time and the musicians to actually put together a proper band for what I'm looking to accomplish.

As far as the logistics of this project goes (and remember this is mainly focusing on the live aspect of things), my sets would be comprised of rock-fusion instrumentals (think Guthrie Govan/the Aristocrats, the Bombastic Meatbats, Paul Gilbert's Fuzz Universe album) mixed in with covers that fit the show, and eventually my original compositions would be added in as well, that is after I could get into the studio to record them so I had the essential backing tracks.

A simple, small PA setup would be more than enough for this project, and my backing tracks would be played from my tablet. More than likely, I would have my girlfriend, my brother, or a friend come along and fire my tracks for me so I wouldn't have to start them myself (this looks more professional IMO).

Even though I have all of this planned out fairly well, I've yet to set the ball in motion. Mainly because I have a few concerns, and this is where I'm asking for your opinions:

First, I'm concerned about the appearance on stage of a guy standing there playing along to backing tracks. What do you think about this? I've seen a couple people in my area do this before and for some reason I've never really been all that impressed, and they've to my knowledge never really been too successful with their attempts either.

Next, if you walked into a pub and saw this type of show, would you be inclined to stick around and check out the show, or would you find this type of show to be a turn-off?

Also, any other comments/questions/thoughts very much appreciated.

This could be a fun way to play some of the music that I don't get to play with my main band, and by the way, I could really make some extra cash on the side by doing this as well. However, I'm still kind of wanting some opinions on this before I move on it.

Thanks!
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#2
That's how Buckethead has played both times I've seen him. An iPod taped to a stool. He had a rack with guitars and basses, his Mesa, and some random bust. The second time I saw him he had a bass amp as well.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#3
Quote by BladeSlinger
That's how Buckethead has played both times I've seen him. An iPod taped to a stool. He had a rack with guitars and basses, his Mesa, and some random bust. The second time I saw him he had a bass amp as well.


This is what I came to say. And Bucket always seems to put on a good show. How I'd love to see him live

As for how it'd sit with people, in my opinion it's strictly about whether or not I like the music. Many buskers in my area play/sing to backing tracks, and all but one of these performances left me unimpressed, but because I perceive the players to lack musicianship or I simply don't like what they're playing.

The one dude that did impress me was one hell of a guitar player, and it sounded great, which is why I liked it. Additionally, most of his backing tracks were kind of just a backdrop, and his guitar playing seemed to be louder/stand out more, so maybe mixing could be important. Some pieces may require the backing track to stand out more than others.

However it pans out, I wish you luck in these endeavours .
#4
Quote by Tommat
This is what I came to say. And Bucket always seems to put on a good show. How I'd love to see him live

As for how it'd sit with people, in my opinion it's strictly about whether or not I like the music. Many buskers in my area play/sing to backing tracks, and all but one of these performances left me unimpressed, but because I perceive the players to lack musicianship or I simply don't like what they're playing.

The one dude that did impress me was one hell of a guitar player, and it sounded great, which is why I liked it. Additionally, most of his backing tracks were kind of just a backdrop, and his guitar playing seemed to be louder/stand out more, so maybe mixing could be important. Some pieces may require the backing track to stand out more than others.

However it pans out, I wish you luck in these endeavours .

You brought up a key point that I forgot to mention in my OP, which is that the backing tracks I'll be using will essentially just be a backdrop for my guitar (and vocals if needed) and that they'll also be pretty high quality as well. No karaoke sounding MIDI junk, real tracks. Unless needed for something else, the only guitars in the backing tracks will be for rhythm.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#5
Quote by sjones
You brought up a key point that I forgot to mention in my OP, which is that the backing tracks I'll be using will essentially just be a backdrop for my guitar (and vocals if needed) and that they'll also be pretty high quality as well. No karaoke sounding MIDI junk, real tracks. Unless needed for something else, the only guitars in the backing tracks will be for rhythm.

If you're recording your backing track then I don't see much of a problem. Buckethead uses tracks from the album I'm pretty sure and he did all those himself. They may be rerecorded to accommodate his longer improv sessions.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#6
As long as it sounds good. I couldn't care less.

Sure, some people are probably anal about having a full band but who cares?! Its music! It was never about being in bands. As long as it sounds good there will always be someone who enjoys it.
Just another Sheep in the design of the Almighty Machine.


-GEAR-
Gibson 60s Les Paul Tribute (Sunburst)
1999 Ibanez RG470 (TitaniumIce-MIJ)
Jackson RR3 (Trans-Red)
Peavey 6505+
Podx3
#7
^^^ You're missing something mate. If it was all about the music people wouldn't go to gigs. CDs sound better, are cheaper, play anytime in any place and a record of a better performance than the band would usually have live.

If was just about the music, people would stay at home with a CD.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#9
If I'm going to see a band performing, I want to see a band. I don't care how good your backing tracks are, if you don't have a full band you need to market yourself to a different audience.

I have no idea how this translates internationally, but where I live there are two completely separate music scenes:
1 - The 'Real Music' scene, which caters for people wanting to see full bands.
2 - The 'Social Club' scene, where you often get solo artists & duos performing to a backing track.
(Note - the two titles aren't anything official, just an easy way to differentiate for this post).

These two scenes exist because they cater for very different markets, and also because the licencing for pubs/clubs that are only in the Social Club scene is different. Don't know the full legal details, but essentially they don't need a live music licence for acts of one or two people. The Real Music pubs have to have this licence.

Obviously Real Music pubs have full bands, whether they play covers or original music.

The Social Club venues can only have these duos, and they always play covers. Never anything heavy, usually fairly easy listening and covering pop music from the 50s onwards. If you want to play anything other than the classic hits that everybody can sing along to, you have to become part of the Real Music scene - that means having a full band.

About 10 years ago a band I was in had to use backing tracks for drums because we never managed to find a drummer. We had four people: 2 guitarists, a bassist and a singer/occasional keyboardist. Getting gigs was a real struggle, the Real Music venues didn't want us because without a drummer they didn't consider us to be a real band, the Social Clubs couldn't accommodate us because they thought we were a real band.

Like I said, I have no idea how this translates internationally, but from my experience & knowledge of the UK's live music scene, there won't be a market for what you're doing - you really need to find a real band.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
Last edited by GaryBillington at Jul 25, 2013,
#11
These two scenes exist because they cater for very different markets, and also because the licencing for pubs/clubs that are only in the Social Club scene is different. Don't know the full legal details, but essentially they don't need a live music licence for acts of one or two people. The Real Music pubs have to have this licence.

.....

Obviously Real Music pubs have full bands, whether they play covers or original music.

......

The Social Club venues can only have these duos, and they always play covers.

Hey this doesn't really make sense, as the licencing that you're referring to specifically is to play covers live, whether it be as part of a live band or a CD. The amount of members in the band isn't relevant.

It's more likely that the places with the smaller duos wanted quieter groups, because that's the sort of place they are.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#12
Quote by jkielq91
I like to see a show. A good show man can work a backing track but mot people couldnt so need some chemistry with the rest of the band to lift them.


This is where I feel like I can be more successful than others who I've seen take this approach because I have pretty solid stage presence from all my experience of playing live and I plan to really make the presentation of the gigs feel like a "real show" (aka a full band). The guys who I've seen do this before were basically a jukebox with a live solo musician. Interacting with the crowd as if I were fronting a full band will be key.

If I'm going to see a band performing, I want to see a band. I don't care how good your backing tracks are, if you don't have a full band you need to market yourself to a different audience.

I have no idea how this translates internationally, but where I live there are two completely separate music scenes:
1 - The 'Real Music' scene, which caters for people wanting to see full bands.
2 - The 'Social Club' scene, where you often get solo artists & duos performing to a backing track.
(Note - the two titles aren't anything official, just an easy way to differentiate for this post).


I realize there are going to be some people that feel this way, and although I feel I'll be able to bring something different to the table than others who take this approach and keep people of that school of though entertained and in the venue, I know there are some I won't be able to "win over". That's just the nature of the beast though, so there's no point for me to stress over it.

I understand where you're coming from with your two types of "scenes", however in my area it's easier to designate them as the "bands playing originals" and "cover bands". Venue-wise in my area, the majority of venues will book both so that's not an issue. I also feel like I'll be able to blend into both of those avenues since I'll have the capability to play both original music and covers and tailor my sets accordingly. It also helps that I've been a part of my area's scene for the better part of the last decade and have good relationships with many of the folks in charge of booking venues as well as good connections with the other acts in my locale.

And just to reiterate, I'd be taking this approach (playing solo with tracks) until I put together a full band around this project, which unfortunately is probably no sooner than late 2013 or maybe even the beginning of next year. That time frame may even be a bit optimistic since my main act is writing what should become our first full length and will likely be hitting the studio sometime this fall.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#13
Quote by AlanHB
Hey this doesn't really make sense, as the licencing that you're referring to specifically is to play covers live, whether it be as part of a live band or a CD. The amount of members in the band isn't relevant.

It's more likely that the places with the smaller duos wanted quieter groups, because that's the sort of place they are.

No, it's definitely related to the size of a band as far as I'm aware. Obviously there's nothing stopping a place with the live music licence from having a smaller group, but venues that don't have a live music licence are still allowed acts of 1 or 2 people.

Like I said, I don't know the full legal details but the band I referenced were turned down from a number of potential venues because they were only allowed solo artists & duos. If it was just one venue, maybe they misunderstood the rules, but we had several places quote that licencing issue at us.

More recently I played in part of an acoustic duo & we specifically marketed ourselves at places that wouldn't normally be considered music venues and used this oddity in the licencing as a way to sell ourselves.

It may not make sense, but that's the way it is (or at least the way it was then, I've been fairly inactive for the past 5 years so am unaware of changes since then). Rules don't always make sense from all perspectives, especially when you're looking at another countries rules when you're used to something different.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#14
Quote by sjones
I understand where you're coming from with your two types of "scenes", however in my area it's easier to designate them as the "bands playing originals" and "cover bands". Venue-wise in my area, the majority of venues will book both so that's not an issue. I also feel like I'll be able to blend into both of those avenues since I'll have the capability to play both original music and covers and tailor my sets accordingly. It also helps that I've been a part of my area's scene for the better part of the last decade and have good relationships with many of the folks in charge of booking venues as well as good connections with the other acts in my locale.

We have "bands playing originals" and "cover bands" here as well. Both would fall into my first category of "Real Music", because they are still full bands.

The point was that solo artists playing to a backing track are not considered to be real bands, and are not booked by live music venues.

See it as a third option to the way your described things:
1 - Bands playing originals
2 - Bands playing covers
3 - Solo artist/duo with a backing track.

1 & 2 would play the "Real Music" venues, 3 would play the "Social Club" venues
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
Last edited by GaryBillington at Jul 25, 2013,
#16
Told you I was unaware of any recent changes!
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#17
Quote by GaryBillington
We have "bands playing originals" and "cover bands" here as well. Both would fall into my first category of "Real Music", because they are still full bands.

The point was that solo artists playing to a backing track are not considered to be real bands, and are not booked by live music venues.

See it as a third option to the way your described things:
1 - Bands playing originals
2 - Bands playing covers
3 - Solo artist/duo with a backing track.

1 & 2 would play the "Real Music" venues, 3 would play the "Social Club" venues

Gotcha. My point though was in my area venues would book all of the above. It's not uncommon, for instance, to see a venue have an acoustic duo on a Friday night playing mainly covers and then a multi-band Rock show on a Saturday that features bands playing originals.
Quote by Zeppelin71
Umm. . .uh. . .your mom touched sjones' dick. YOUR MOM TOUCHED OUR GUITARISTS GENITALS IN A CAMPER AT A BIKER FESTIVAL! truth.
#18
Quote by GaryBillington
Told you I was unaware of any recent changes!


Hey me too, I just thought it was a weird law to start with so googled it. Must have been pretty frustrating.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#19
It was for the band I was in 10 years ago without a drummer. Nowhere wanted us! Real music venues didn't think we were a real band, the social clubs thought we were.

It worked well for the acoustic duo though, we used it pretty successfully to sell ourselves to places that couldn't have real bands, mostly food pubs etc. We had quite a few regular bookings - at one point we were gigging twice a week, all with regular bookings: 4-5 monthlies and a couple of fortnightly gigs. Think it's the busiest I've ever been as a musician!
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#20
^^^ Nice one. Why did you stop? I've gigged pretty hard for the last couple of years. You can get burnt out sometimes but your guitar skill gets pretty awesome.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#21
The singer got married & moved to Canada

Was actually kind of glad, it was getting way too much & I was definitely getting a bit burnt out. Didn't play at all for a good couple of years after she left.

I just joined a real band in the past few weeks so hopefully in the next couple of months I'll start gigging again. This one is a full band and tends to gig a couple of times a month, which sounds about right for me. Enough to keep you busy, but not enough to take over your life.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#22
you could always play with backing tracks until you find like-minded musicians.

the big thing being, of course, that live sound is very different from recorded sound, and that you have to be pretty damn tight if you're doing anything complex, especially if you don't have quality monitors/in-ears and/or don't get a soundcheck

even bands that run digital rigs (particularly the axe-fx trend of the last couple years) 100% DI and run backing tracks have to make dedicated patches because the live mix is very different from a controlled studio environment. i know periphery had to hire a full time sound guy to handle that, and that was early in their career where they were basically paying him out of pocket because their sound required it.

but yeah for little pubs and stuff don't sweat it, i mean worse case scenario you get booed and forgotten as "that one dude that one night at that one bar i can't remember the name of" and then it turns into a learning experience
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.