#1
I've been doing rock bands my whole life and now I wan't to do more folk/american material. Any advice on how to go about doing it? How to work a crowd? etc?
#2
Decide whether you'll be originals or covers, get a set down and play.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
Also, decide if you want your new business to be a partnership or a sole proprietorship. This can be tricky with solo artists. If you're a "band" then people expect to have input. If you're a hired gun, then you don't expect to have input... but you expect to get paid.

So.... consider a John Mellencamp or a Tom Petty. Who is in their band? Most people don't know. Most people can't pick Kenny Aronoff out of a line up. But he expects to be paid rather handsomely. How does John Mellencamp do that? Well, he makes money. Kenny shows up with the material prepared. Very little time is spent rehearsing. He shows up, and he kicks ass, takes names, and cashes the cheque. John Mellencamp looks like a hero because his band is solid as f**k, and he writes great songs. That's why it works.

But starting out... how do you get to a point where you can pay your hired-guns in your band? And how do you get to a point where you can pay *enough* to get the really *good* players? That's a real trick.

But if you want a *band*, they might not expect to be paid every time, because you know, you're all in it for the common good. But they're not going to want to be a nameless, faceless automaton who shows up and plays and rehearses for free. They'll want to appear to be part of the team that works for the common good.

Also consider... if *you* are *the guy*, and thus, the sole proprietor of your business, then the onus is on you to get gigs, and do all the other legwork. As the bass player who backs you up, I'm not the guy whose face is on the poster, I don't write the songs, my name isn't on the marquee, none of your fans know my name... I get paid (whatever....) $150/show to arrive on time, play my bass, and go home. I'm not paid to hump your gear, pick up your PA and drop it off in the morning, put up posters, pay for a rehearsal space, etc. That would be you.

Now to be fair, there *are* people out there who will be a part of a team that, in no other obvious way, appears to include them. But having this as a perspective will help you to position yourself as far as how you go about finding those people and appreciating what they do.


CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Feb 10, 2017,
#4
axemanchris Axemanchris and AlanHB taking the forum back!

Seems like a real lame version of The Expendables
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#5
Quote by axemanchris
So.... consider a John Mellencamp or a Tom Petty. Who is in their band? Most people don't know. Most people can't pick Kenny Aronoff out of a line up.


To he fair, there are plenty of "bands" that are just as big or bigger and people probably couldn't name many of the members. Who is the bassist from Queen? Who is the lead guitar player for Pearl Jam? Who else besides Mick and Keith even play in the Stones? Who is anyone in Coldplay? Maybe you know and maybe you don't but I'm sure there are many people that can't answer those questions and don't really care.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#6
Quote by theogonia777
To he fair, there are plenty of "bands" that are just as big or bigger and people probably couldn't name many of the members. Who is the bassist from Queen? Who is the lead guitar player for Pearl Jam? Who else besides Mick and Keith even play in the Stones? Who is anyone in Coldplay? Maybe you know and maybe you don't but I'm sure there are many people that can't answer those questions and don't really care.


But lots of people DO know the names of at least some of the members of those bands. Similarly, there are people who can't even name the lead singers of some of those bands. The point is, as a person in the backing band for a solo artist, you are virtually ignored. You are invisible.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
AlanHB

Like old times!

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#9
Do you plan on a straight acoustic performance or will you be using some midi tracks or your own backing tracks? Maybe it would be helpful to mention the type of material you want to perform. A few song titles maybe? 
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#10
Just an acoustic guitar. 

Take It Easy by Jackson Browne
Hurricane by Bob Dylan
The Weight  by The Band
What It's Like by Everlast
Country Honk by The Rolling Stones
Ball And Chain by Social Distortion
#11
Here's some random, free advice. It is worth every penny. 

Go to solo artist shows and pay attention. Note what things the performer does that the audience reacts well to, and what things the audience reacts badly to. Especially visit open mic nights. Learning from mistakes is a great way to learn, learning from other peoples' mistakes saves wear and tear on you. 

Don't worry about whether a song someone else wrote was an acoustic hit or not. A lot of great songs started out as acoustic demos before they were arranged into band songs. YouTube is a great resource for hearing acoustic versions of band songs, often by the original artists playing in an unplugged venue. One of the first performers to make acoustic versions of band songs a "thing" was Pete Townsend, who would perform acoustic solo versions of Who songs at charity benefit concerts. 

If you're performing solo for an audience with an acoustic guitar, chances are you'll be going through a PA system. A mic for the voice and another mic for the guitar is awkward, and seldom done nowadays. Almost every acoustic guitar performer you're likely to encounter in a typical live music venue will be plugging in an acoustic/electric. So don't fight that, accept that. And since you're going to be plugged in anyway, there's no reason why you shouldn't use an appropriate stomp box. There are some good ones out there with loopers and other neat tricks. I've seen some that support both guitar and vocal mic that will provide synthesized vocal harmonies. Think of it as a box to turn Crosby into Crosby, Stills, and Nash. From what I've heard of musicians using them, they're not perfect, but they're OK. 

Never forget that when you're performing solo, your job is entertaining people. A band can get away with ignoring the audience between songs, or leaving all audience interaction to the front man, while everyone else acts like they're playing a studio session gig. You have to engage the audience. Even a few bad jokes are better than nothing at all between songs. And when you're singing for an audience that has paid money to hear and see you, give them their money's worth and more. When you're practicing, or if you're recording in a studio, then you're can only worry about being a musician. When there's a paying audience in front of you, you are an entertainer. That's a musician on steroids. The great studio musicians who went on to successful careers as performers, like Glen Campbell, were musicians who were also entertainers. The great studio musicians whose names are only known to people who read liner notes were musicians who were not entertainers.