#1
Hey Pit. Not sure if it goes here but eh.

I'm working on a new project. It will be Covers and originals.

Basically, I'm looking to do it Solo. Me on stage with an Electric guitar. I will write and record all other parts (Backup Vocals, 2nd guitars, bass, drums) but perform alone to these backing tracks.

I plan on recording Video to all these parts too, and project basically a music video onto a screen behind me, showing me playing, and just having some cool visuals.

I have my full PA system, so gear is not a problem, recording is not a problem, and the video isnt hard, but will be time consuming (as will the whole project, but thats ok)

I want peoples input, advice, etc. What problems will I run into, How can I make this One man show awesome?

Help me out UG!
#2
My advice would be not to bother - there is barely more than no market at all for people playing a guitar onstage to backing tracks, and every time I've seen someone try it at a gig, the best they've got is a few mildly-appreciative claps for the effort and balls to actually attempt it.

Seriously, unless you're doing something that might work in a club setting, I don't think you'll get beyond the point of opening the night at a few local promoters' showcase events... which means going 'on stage', if there is one, at 6:30 pm or something to a shoe-string crowd and trying to have some form of impact on people who came to see live bands get sweaty and noisy.


Good luck though, if that hasn't put you off trying.
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#3
Listen kid, I've been in the biz for 25 years now and ain't no one gonna take some limp wrist shit with his epiphone les paul by himself on stage pretending he's in a real band seriously and that's that. You don't got no future in this industry and it's best if you sell what you got and start your career at burger king
#4
I thought about doing something like this, but its just nowhere near as entertaining as watching a full band in my opinion. I watched one of my guitar teachers do this live (without singing), and he was an incredible guitarist; but it was so boring to watch. Even I wanted to get up and leave; i can only imagine non-guitarists/musicians. Its not the same as a guy w/ acoustic guitar with a nice voice either, some reason
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#5
Yeah backing tracks aren't something that make people go "hey let's go to that guy's live show".

Play stuff by yourself, even a looper's gonna be a lot.
Acceptable but a lot.

Or get some other guy to do all the rest, say he manages the mac and sick wubs with a launchpad and another midi controller for live mixing while you're in the shadows playing whatever it is that you'd be playing.
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#6
I'm not asking for your opinion on whether it would work or not. I'm asking how to MAKE it work. Yes, I can and will keep going with the full band route, But i want this to be a fun alternative for me.

I've been doing the Full Band thing for over ten years, so I'm not new to the experience by any means. I just want to try something different, and I'm asking what can be done to take a one man show to the next level.

Let's be constructive, not a tool.
#8
Quote by Thetreystevens

Let's be constructive, not a tool.

You're walking a fine line for most people not helping you, but doing the opposite now lol.


Anyway, if anything it's no different to a normal band setup except you want even more stuff visually going on to keep peoples' attention. Also, if it's all backing tracks it's not like you need anything elaborate - just an MP3 player going into the desk, or if you need more control over it get a small mixer on stage and go into that for your tracks, and give a feed from it to the desk. Nothing else needed.
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#10
Quote by DisarmGoliath
My advice would be not to bother - there is barely more than no market at all for people playing a guitar onstage to backing tracks, and every time I've seen someone try it at a gig, the best they've got is a few mildly-appreciative claps for the effort and balls to actually attempt it.

Seriously, unless you're doing something that might work in a club setting, I don't think you'll get beyond the point of opening the night at a few local promoters' showcase events... which means going 'on stage', if there is one, at 6:30 pm or something to a shoe-string crowd and trying to have some form of impact on people who came to see live bands get sweaty and noisy.


Good luck though, if that hasn't put you off trying.



He wasn't asking about the "market" for this. Not sure why you and others in here are so keen to stop him from doing this, especially since you have no idea about his musical skill or creative abilities.


I don't know anything about what kind of music you're making, so the only advice I can really offer you would be to practice your performance many, many times before actually performing it for an audience. Since you will be playing with pre-recorded stuff, you have to make sure you can keep your place with the tracks without even thinking about it. Make your tracks as perfect and natural sounding as possible, and use as high quality of recording equipment as possible.


You could also go the route of using digital instruments for the backing tracks, which could actually give you more options in terms of sounds and effects. I have done this myself in a live setting, where I programmed drums and synthesizers in a DAW and played along with it on stage. It can be really cool depending on how much time and effort you put into your tracks.

As far as getting the backing tracks to play on stage, I have had success with just setting up my computer with good speakers attached on the stage, and a midi controller to stop and start things, add effects, etc.
Last edited by MeGaDeth2314 at Dec 10, 2014,
#11
Thanks Disarm, I agree with you there. I'd eventually like to have it up to a 3 screen setting, so there can be a lot of things going on behind me, and using Ableton to set my lighting rig to act on its own during each song. It would let me take care of most of that stuff beforehand, and help eliminate the need for a lights/sound guy.

I know that backing tracks aren't a popular way to go, but that's why I'm reaching out to see what else could be incorporated to make the show more exciting.
#12
Quote by MeGaDeth2314
He wasn't asking about the "market" for this. Not sure why you and others in here are so keen to stop him from doing this, especially since you have no idea about his musical skill or creative abilities.

Because I've been involved with live music (both performing, and mixing live sound/technical side of it) for longer than some users on here have been alive, and have yet to see somebody succeed at doing this. I'm not trying to be mean or aggressive, but just trying to make sure TS is aware of how huge an obstacle it will be to try and take it anywhere. Musical ability is not relevant beyond being able to play what he/she wants well enough to perform it.


I don't know anything about what kind of music you're making, so the only advice I can really offer you would be to practice your performance many, many times before actually performing it for an audience. Since you will be playing with pre-recorded stuff, you have to make sure you can keep your place with the tracks without even thinking about it. Make your tracks as perfect and natural sounding as possible, and use as high quality of recording equipment as possible.

This is blindingly obvious though - I don't think this is what TS was looking for, either.


You could also go the route of using digital instruments for the backing tracks, which could actually give you more options in terms of sounds and effects. I have done this myself in a live setting, where I programmed drums and synthesizers in a DAW and played along with it on stage. It can be really cool depending on how much time and effort you put into your tracks.

Unless you/someone else is going to use Live to improvise arrangements on the spot, this is a totally pointless idea - you'd just mix it all down to the backing tracks, and use it that way. You're not going to get any benefit from bringing a laptop onstage and making it run everything in real time, unless you have some form of live input that will require the flexibility.
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#13
MegaDeth, I plan on doing a fair amount of of Real and Virtual instruments, drum triggers n whatnot. How did the experience go for you?
#14
^ Edit: Well, you'll need a MIDI controller or more to control things on the DAW then while you play - some sort of floorboard thing would be best.

Quote by Thetreystevens
Thanks Disarm, I agree with you there. I'd eventually like to have it up to a 3 screen setting, so there can be a lot of things going on behind me, and using Ableton to set my lighting rig to act on its own during each song. It would let me take care of most of that stuff beforehand, and help eliminate the need for a lights/sound guy.

I know that backing tracks aren't a popular way to go, but that's why I'm reaching out to see what else could be incorporated to make the show more exciting.

Well, I think you have to look at it as though you'd look at a band's performance - what can you add to each song, in terms of certain movements or certain things going on with the lights, or other tools etc. Like, if your song has an easily-identifiable theme can you accentuate it with a certain colour of lighting, or certain style of lighting?

I have never used Live to program lights, but I imagine you'd have a lot more control with a more traditional lighting program - I imagine you could still have the scenes trigger automatically in time with the music without needing an additional lighting guy or something.

As silly as it sounds, could you use some sort of gimmick to create this alter ego/personality people might buy into and pay attention to? I'm not really a fan of his stuff, but Buckethead has that strange mystique through slight anonymity. Gorrillaz did it by having animated shadows projected onto a blank screen etc.


The biggest issue you'll have from a technical point of view, is having the time to actually set all this up, and the space to put it, when you're opening a night with 4 or 5 other acts, unless you can land some impressive or better/placed gigs from the beginning.
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#15
Well, it'd be a solo show for the whole night. I wouldn't need other acts to fill out the night, and have enough history in the area to book wherever in the area pretty easily.

Thanks for the insight folks
#16
In that case, you just need some form of concept that you can base a show on - don't think anyone but you can come up with that. If you can come up with something clever and intriguing though, you have a basis to design your show around.
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#17
I don't think doing backing tracks will be enough. You should be actively doing stuff all night and not just practising away on your guitar. I remember seeing Pendulum live back in the day and although the lead guy was basically just triggering samples on his keytar thing, it looked really intense and complicated and he was signing at the same time so everyone got into it.

If you just stand there performing to a backing track playing your guitar it'll look lame. I've seen bands use backing tracks and it all looks lame and everyone gets turned off.

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#18
Quote by EndTheRapture51
If you just stand there performing to a backing track playing your guitar it'll look lame. I've seen bands use backing tracks and it all looks lame and everyone gets turned off.

this is a big issue. I know I'm not adding anything constructive to the conversation since basically everything has been said already.

But yeah a lot of people are turned off by watching a live performance where parts of it aren't done live. People have really come to expect everything to be performed, even if its just DJing tracks. Even in electronic music there is still (supposed to be at least) a performance aspect where everything being done is done by the performer.
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#19
Forget the backing tracks. Ed Sheeran's done well enough on his own playing live shows with a loop station. As limiting as a loop station is compared to a full band, it's still going to be more exciting than backing tracks.