#1
I want to start gigging locally by myself as a solo musician. I don't play well with others. I want to play electric guitar & do vocals. I am able to record to my mac using an interface in order to create backing tracks and I am thinking of getting a looper pedal as well. But what would be the best set up? Let's say I have a good giggable amplifier, PA's, instruments and a good laptop (mac).

How should I set everything up? Should I mic my amp? Are studio monitors necessary?
More importantly, how do others do it, without other musicians to aid them? I'd like to sound as professional as possible without spending a fortune.

Thanks to anyone who helps.
Last edited by jomorgan582 at Aug 8, 2014,
#2
I don't know where you live, but in most North American cities nearly all music venues provide a PA and monitors, so that is not really crucial. You can just rent a PA when playing the odd event where the isn't a PA , which will be cheaper and less annoying in the long run ( lugging a PA is incredibly annoying). PAs are a complete waste of money unless you plan on using it for rehearsing.

Get a small combo amp ( 1x12 and 15 watts or under). You will only need to mic it for larger venues. A looper pedal is a bad idea because it will be clouding the sound of your guitar amp with a cluttered mix ( everything going through a guitar amp will sound terrible - trust me on this!). You're better off plugging your audio interface to the PA and running your backing tracks directly to the PA. You'll get a much better tone and you'll be able to control the mix between your guitar, the backing tracks, and your vocal better. If you have the actual DAW running on your laptop you'll also be able to adjust the mix of the various instruments in your backing tracks if need be (for example, lowering the bass track for a boomy room). The guitar amp will serve as it's own monitor and you can use the PA monitors for your vocal and backing tracks.
#3
i don't actually know any (good, notable) guitarists/singers that play without others and use backing tracks. it kinda ruins the vibe IMHO. just get a bassist and drummer like every other "solo" artist and do all the writing yourself - otherwise you're gonna be stuck on a click track. not that that's bad, but it's a lot more transparent and lifeless when you're playing 4 chord music than when you're doing prog metal
#4
I guess it just depends what kind of places you want to play and what kind of sound you are going for. I used to do a solo act at a cafe on a sunday afternoon, just me and amp a mic and my guitar. It can still be really professional and interesting to see this kind of trend forming where other artists like Asaf Avidan, Laura Marling, and Cat Power are also touring solo. They have pretty much all stated in interviews that they enjoy playing solo like this because it is much simpler to coordinate. From and audience perspective it makes for an intimate show and it can be really special to witness a musician stand up on their own like that... Check them out for inspiration... As long as you express your own personality and style in whatever you are playing you should be fine!