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  1. #51

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    https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/jazzg...tml#post470280

    Ambrose akinimusire.

    one of the top players in the world.

    what a nonsensical comparison. with a local player doing some little gigs here and there.

    We get it. You hate backing tracks with every fibre of your being.

    Idea:

    why don't you, and all the people that feel so strongly about us backing trackers, go start your own thread on how you hate backing tracks?

    and stop screwing up this one?

    Are rock bands playing of the backing tracks? No
    wrong. from top acts, to the wedding bands you are so scornful of, many use tracks, from sophisticated to simple. Michael Buble used "canned" music at the Olympics.

    A friend of mine played a cruise ship. He told the players were outstanding. All the music was in charts. Every single part was duplicated on a computer, and any part whatsoever could be performed without the musician being there if necessary. the whole concert (with singers and dancers) was to a click track. The music was demanding and parts complex.


    so much strong opinion here and so few facts here, it's remarkable.

    This place seriously needs some decent moderating.
    Last edited by markf; 10-31-2014 at 11:32 AM.

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  3. #52

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    It really is not an 'either / or" situation - i agree most of us would prefer to play with a live band of top quality musicians. But the economic and perhaps demographic reality is different today. Fewer gigs, more competition, fewer jazz clubs specifically. You cannot even busk without a freakin' license from the city. Demographics because the boomers are heading off to retirement and nursing homes. The current generation is accustomed to DJs at dances and they are fewer venues for live music. What are you supposed to do if you want to play? Unlike those who use Autotune to get their vocals in tune, those who use backing tracks for practice or certain performance venues are not trying to deceive anyone - they are competing for diminishing resources.

  4. #53

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    And now to finnish, electronic music based pop and mega rock bands having backing tracks support, or as complete soundstage, or what Henry told us he did with one band, all that is another unrelated subject. I won't go into explaining why, but it seams pretty obvious to me.
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  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandro View Post
    I will offer a live performance where I can connect with the audience and make them feel that I am playing just for them, some body is on the stage interacting with the audience just like a band will do play that song just for them at that moment in time, you can't do that with a recording. Now I am feeling that I am stating the obvious.

    Sandro
    Exactly. The people who should be concerned about what I do are DJs, not other musicians or bands. Many of my private event gigs were originally going to be hosted by DJs until they found out about me through word of mouth or seeing me play somewhere. They are often willing to pay MORE than they would have a DJ for the live experience. These are situations where a full band wasn't ever even a consideration.
    Last edited by EightString; 10-31-2014 at 01:48 PM.

  6. #55

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    In truth, I would agree that the finest players can carry off a consistently entrancing performance as chord melody soloists. But one has to concede that to create a set list of virtuoso level solo performances in that vein requires not only virtuosity but a lot of work.

    For example, last night I started working on that beautiful song, I Close My Eyes, by Billy Reid. This song like many other jazz classics can be carried off with panache as a solo chord melody. I wrote out the transcription in Sibelius in the key of F. This will be the basis for an improvised solo version, but I still wrote out the lead sheet as a melody stave and a guitar block chord staff accompaniment as my basic tracks to refine. With my new ability to use my Godin LGX-SA guitar for note entry into Sibelius I will be able to craft a more refined solo guitar instrumental version both at a ballad and as an uptempo version that is more boppy.

    I'm really excited to be working on this tune, because it is a beauty. And I would have to concede that playing over as a backing track would be far easier than taking it to a high chord melody level, especially at the faster tempo. But that is what I will aspire to do. And meanwhile as I dig into the improv possibilities, I use the backing tracks to free me up and keep me grounded. Plus I get inspiration from the notation.

    So I think the solo version would be much harder to perform, though I don't know if they would pay you more.

    Jay
    Last edited by targuit; 11-01-2014 at 11:13 AM.

  7. #56

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    Backing tracks in live performance just seem contrary to the spirit of jazz. It would be better if possible to form a duo with another musician who can provide some backing, e.g. bass or keyboard or (even!) another guitarist.

  8. #57

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    It's not jazz. I don't even know if i can call it jazz when i play solo. Jazz is all about the interaction.

    And music doesn't have to be jazz to be good. But i prefer not to distort people's opinions on what it is too much and dry up any opportunity i get to play the real thing...cuz thats the real thrill for me. And if that's selfish, tough tacos.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  9. #58

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    Going back to what the OP asked, there are some nice tracks available here.

    https://lrweb.berklee.edu/resources/playalongs/


    You can download as mp3s and pdfs. On the audio track you can change it from 'all instruments' to other options e.g. no drums etc.

    I'm not sure if there are any bossas, but still it's a useful resource.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Going back to what the OP asked, there are some nice tracks available here.

    https://lrweb.berklee.edu/resources/playalongs/


    You can download as mp3s and pdfs. On the audio track you can change it from 'all instruments' to other options e.g. no drums etc.

    I'm not sure if there are any bossas, but still it's a useful resource.
    Thank you grahambop for the link, is nice to see, once in a wile, somebody remembering my original post.

    Sandro

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandro View Post
    Thank you grahambop for the link, is nice to see, once in a wile, somebody remembering my original post.

    Sandro
    Have you checked out the BIAB forum?

  12. #61

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    I don't know. I've used some backing tracks to make some recordings, for fun and for students and just because. I haven't done it on a gig, but I haven't HEARD anyone complain about those. I found inspiration.

  13. #62

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    I like a nice set of backing tracks that include some sax solos and sometimes vocals every few songs. It's nice to take a break and just lay out for a tune or just comp a bit, really gives the audience a nice variety. Sometimes just pretending to play along with some Wes album cuts with my guitar volume turned off does the trick, and sounds awesome. The majority of listeners love it and have no clue. The proof is repeat gigs. Pay is better than real jazz gig.

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    I like a nice set of backing tracks that include some sax solos and sometimes vocals every few songs. It's nice to take a break and just lay out for a tune or just comp a bit, really gives the audience a nice variety. Sometimes just pretending to play along with some Wes album cuts with my guitar volume turned off does the trick, and sounds awesome. The majority of listeners love it and have no clue. The proof is repeat gigs. Pay is better than real jazz gig.
    No joke, recently I've heard about a childhood friend having agig where he plays rockaabilly records in some restaurant, full commercial records by all the greats, while plonking guitar here and there and making some dance moves, of course being properly dressed and everything. And guess what, audience loves him. That's what I've heard. Kind of radio DJ with a guitar, in a restaurant.
    ^ ^ ^
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  15. #64

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    Worst case of technology trumping me as a player.....

    I hang with a matial arts group 2-3 times a week. At an after-workout gathering as often occurs, someone brought an older friend along. One of the members started pumping me up about my guitar playing, and was asking me various questions on how to learn certain techniques. My bubble was quickly burst, when the group guest interrupted to tell us all that we needed to hear her grandson play. She relayed that he was only 7 years old, had only been playing a few months, and he was already playing at a professional level with a full band. At first I didn't say anything, except well "Great!" But then I started wondering, 'cause it just sounded a bit over-the-top. Well she never copped to it being 'Guitar Hero,' and she insisted he was playing a real guitar; but upon answering a series of questions, that's what it had to have been.

    Also......There's a South Park episode where the kids are playing 'Guitar Hero.' Stan's dad (one of the kids' dads) sees this, gets all excited and insists that the kids listen to him play a real guitar, where he plays an old classic rock song note-for-note (believe it was Kansas). The kids basically tell him to get lost, so that they can continue playing Guitar Hero. Funny, tragic scene.

    On the flip side.......I was doing a Social Work internship about 5 years back. It was for an adolescent program. I would often bring my guitar along and teach the kids some beginning songs. The ones that played 'Guitar Hero' tended to be able to switch notes and chords in time pretty easily.........oftentimes more easily than other kids trying to learn who had better ears.

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    I have just one response to those who feel that playing to backing tracks cannot be original, other than being an "original sin". And this is one of the finest guitarists I have ever heard. Happens to be a contributor to the forum, too.

    If you would be bored by this fellow because he doesn't have a real band behind him, then you have tin ears. Of course, Paul is so good, he should have a top class jazz quintet backing him. Just my opinion...



    Jay
    You are right, Jay! Paul is top notch and a very good friend, we both graduated from G.I.T. in 1978.
    Howie

  17. #66

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    Creating your own backing tracks makes them part of the creative process. Buying commercial backing tracks doesn't teach one as much as making them from scratch, no matter what kind of music, including straight-ahead jazz. Another way to do a solo gig effectively is with a looper. Play your solo arrangement of the head, then do a chorus of backup with the looper, then play over that, or do a vamp and play over that. One can even prepare and save loops before doing the gig, which may give you the opportunity to lay down a bassline, then comp over it, and even create a "drum" part by tapping or strumming the muted strings. With a 7-string, this becomes even more complete. I do many jazz brunches, and this is a great way to actually get to play some jazz, interacting with your own harmonic and rhythmic concepts.

  18. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    Play your solo arrangement of the head, then do a chorus of backup with the looper, then play over that, or do a vamp and play over that. One can even prepare and save loops before doing the gig, which may give you the opportunity to lay down a bassline, then comp over it, and even create a "drum" part by tapping or strumming the muted strings. With a 7-string, this becomes even more complete. I do many jazz brunches, and this is a great way to actually get to play some jazz, interacting with your own harmonic and rhythmic concepts.
    I'd love to see/hear you doing this if you've got a recording or whatever...or just a phone at a gig maybe. sounds cool...

  19. #68

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    We have a really good guitarist in town, Hank Easton, that plays in bands and does solo acts also.

    I go to see him play solo sometimes at a outside dinner place that has maybe 10 - 12 tables, it's part of a hotel. I don't know what he get's paid but it can't be much, maybe mostly tips. He also has to keep his volume down because of the location. They have solo acts every night, he has Wednesdays. This is clearly a solo act location and gig.

    He splits his act up between some tunes with backing tracks and some not. He has a huge repertoire across genres.

    I would argue his use of backing tracks is not putting anyone out of work, is not hurting any musicians. He could easily do the gig without the backing tracks, he chooses not to. The small audience seems to dig it and he's a draw. He makes a living.

    He's so, so, so much better than me... these are the kind of musicians that keep me from having any desire to play in public.





    Hank playing with one of the bands he plays with:

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  20. #69
    Meh...I'd rather listen to someone who doesn't need backing tracks to perform...in any situation. However I don't care if others use them. Whatever makes you happy however....

    This guy is a human jukebox.


  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGuitarPlayer View Post

    This guy is a human jukebox.

    That's so neat! Or as the old song goes, "That's Entertainment!"
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  22. #71

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    This is another way to be a solo artist:


    Hey no backing tracks!!!!!

    Sandro

  23. #72

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    It is business. players can be hard to find. then the gig has to pay for the size of the band...if backing tracks are a good tool...players who have good business skills and marketing skills are going to survive. hold outs refusing to flow with the market will not. seams like cats want to keep doing things the old way, gig for cheap. l will be starting with backing tracks till I find a good drummer for the project.. lots of issues with musicians now days. but the pros that wait for my project to be finished will not be paid as good as the ones who are putting in sweet equity.

  24. #73

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    Since backing tracks have long been accepted on recordings, it's no surprise that most people do not object to their use in live settings....
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  25. #74

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    Jazz is all music and no a guitar is not a orchestra . you can not do bass, drums ,keyboards, sax and guitar on one. and that is not a orchestra.. you have to face facts . the target audience for solo guitar is small. but a cruse ship will hire you. I will say it another way, marketing class............ and many times the soloist is playing too backing tracks...may times the supporting music is recoded first.......musicians who make backing tracks are getting paid..well if you are cool you will pay.

  26. #75

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    Backing tracks aren't the same as having bass, drums, keyboards, and sax on the gig either.

  27. #76

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    your right it is not the same as drums keys and bass... I do not have to worry about backing tracks flaking out and not showing up..or showing up and getting drunk. if the sound is good. then great. if find a drummer with a electric set great . do not talk about rods and brushes that will not give the sound I want.. till then will move forward.

  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by EOE View Post
    your right it is not the same as drums keys and bass... I do not have to worry about backing tracks flaking out and not showing up..or showing up and getting drunk. if the sound is good. then great. if find a drummer with a electric set great . do not talk about rods and brushes that will not give the sound I want.. till then will move forward.
    You could bring Band-in-a-Box guitar soloist to the gig too, then you could have the night off.

  29. #78

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    Hi grahambop.
    I have just had a quick look & listened to your soundcloud clips again,
    and they are mightily impressive, you achieve a very nice tone from
    I guess, your Es175. The youtube clip of Jim Hall with Bob Brookmeyer
    on "I should care " is absolutely exquisite also. Thanks for the post, it's
    a pleasure to listen to these wonderful renditions.



    kind regards
    Silverfoxx

  30. #79
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGuitarPlayer View Post
    Meh...I'd rather listen to someone who doesn't need backing tracks to perform...in any situation. However I don't care if others use them. Whatever makes you happy however....

    This guy is a human jukebox.

    Such joy... and Bucky's smile will light up the largest room.

  31. #80
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post

    Hank playing with one of the bands he plays with:

    My kind of pageant, if needs must.

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by EOE View Post
    your right it is not the same as drums keys and bass... I do not have to worry about backing tracks flaking out and not showing up..or showing up and getting drunk. if the sound is good. then great. if find a drummer with a electric set great . do not talk about rods and brushes that will not give the sound I want.. till then will move forward.
    If you view a drummer showing up with an electronic drumset and without brushes as a positive I think it's pretty clear we have hugely different preferences for playing a gig. If the drummer is playing an electronic drumset I'd be the one to worry about getting drunk.

  33. #82

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    John Pizzarelli has a room full of adults singing "itsy bitsy spider."

    That's commanding an audience, right there. What a performer. What an entertainer.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  34. #83

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    you really think a guitar soloist can deliver the same percussions as a backing track? A few people may like a solo instrumentalist. but they are to few to consider in a business plan. look I play double neck bass and guitar. I can play both necks at the same time and do it effectively , I can even improve solos on both simultaneously . that is great for the show I am working on.. but in a high end restaurant they are there to talk with some nice music creating a atmosphere . not to watch a show. a drummer with a acoustic can not play at a low enough volume for that kind of gig. at least I will not be satisfied with the sound.. been there done that...not much I have not done gig wise.
    Last edited by EOE; 02-10-2015 at 11:50 AM.

  35. #84

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    grahanbop asked .That is very impressive, in fact I'm trying to picture how it's done.

    I have Michael Angelo Batio ( who is the master of multi neck playing) string dampers on the necks. the instrument is on a guitar stand. necks pointing up at about 10oclok. left hand is fingering normal using all taps .hammers etc. the right hand frets over the top of the bass neck. taps and hammers. can also play it more traditional doing taps ..but over under is more effective.. but the down side is I can not do pick techniques like pinch harmonics et.. can not do flamenco or classical finger styles which I draw on heavily...or slap bass .. so while it does look cool the soloing is limited in tones I can get so I still need a band to achieve a sonic landscape that satisfies me. I have got rid of all my hang-ups that I think slows musicians down. like not using backing tracks or loops etc..having to play a 2000.00 dollar guitar.

  36. #85
    I play in a trio with a bass player and a drummer and they always show up on time and don't get drunk on the gig.
    This is because they consider themselves professionals. We always never make less than $100 each for a 2 hr gig. If someone justifies using backing tracks because they don't have to worry bout flakey or drunk musicians than they need to play with a higher caliber of working musicians. Having had to sit through a set of backing tracks by a local pop singer it gets very boring and tedious and after 30 mins I left. I guess it's ok for the "fern bar" crowd who aren't really paying attention however if that's your target audience than why bother with backing tracks at all? Just play your guitar quietly in the corner and still get paid. I've done it plenty of times.

  37. #86

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    even with a bass and a drummer I will still use backing tracs.. my understudy plays bass, percussions and keys. now that using backing tracks no longer bothers me they will be a part of my acts. until I can afford a 9 or 10 pic band that is.

  38. #87

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    Somewhat related, I saw Beck (the guy who just stole the grammy from Beyonce ) at a small gig at Northwestern University some years back...just him and his guitar player and a drum machine (and old Roland thing)

    Near the end of the show, he had the drum machine take a drum solo. It was great.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  39. #88

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    My question is, if a player is only making $200 for a gig, is it reasonable to expect him to split that with 3 other people because...Jazz?
    $200 doesn't seem like "lemme split this up" kind of money.

  40. #89

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    That's why you play larger group jazz gigs for your soul and make your money in the local wedding band, or something.

    Or play solo.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  41. #90

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    200 dollars is not enough really for one.. backing tracks are a industry standard and lots of acts use them at some level.. I look to people who make good money and many of them use backing tracks loppers and other types of sampled music. I apologize if offend anyone but if you are only making 300. dollars for a 2 hr show for three people you are each making a profit of what 10. dollars? at best 50. dollars? your advice and opinions is not something I want to copy..quite the opposite . it is a example of what not to do.

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by EOE View Post
    200 dollars is not enough really for one.. backing tracks are a industry standard and lots of acts use them at some level.. I look to people who make good money and many of them use backing tracks loppers and other types of sampled music. I apologize if offend anyone but if you are only making 300. dollars for a 2 hr show for three people you are each making a profit of what 10. dollars? at best 50. dollars? your advice and opinions is not something I want to copy..quite the opposite . it is a example of what not to do.
    When I was at jazz camp last summer, we had a small course on technology. One of the faculty guitarist talked about how he gigs with his looper pedals and iPad. It was pretty impressive how he uses technology to create sets and arrange music on the fly.

  43. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by EOE View Post
    200 dollars is not enough really for one.. backing tracks are a industry standard and lots of acts use them at some level.. I look to people who make good money and many of them use backing tracks loppers and other types of sampled music. I apologize if offend anyone but if you are only making 300. dollars for a 2 hr show for three people you are each making a profit of what 10. dollars? at best 50. dollars? your advice and opinions is not something I want to copy..quite the opposite . it is a example of what not to do.

    I don't understand your math. If my trio gets paid a minimum of of $300 (we usually make more than that) for a 2 hr show that is $100 each or $50 an hour each. I pay everyone in my group equally including myself. Sometimes I pay myself less because my band is so good! You should try hiring competent musicians sometime. It's a lot more fun than playing to canned music.

  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by EOE View Post
    200 dollars is not enough really for one.. backing tracks are a industry standard and lots of acts use them at some level.. I look to people who make good money and many of them use backing tracks loppers and other types of sampled music. I apologize if offend anyone but if you are only making 300. dollars for a 2 hr show for three people you are each making a profit of what 10. dollars? at best 50. dollars? your advice and opinions is not something I want to copy..quite the opposite . it is a example of what not to do.
    That depends .... First of all if the industry is improvising music or jazz then backing tracks are absolutely not the industry standard. Saying they're okay is one thing and it's certainly your prerogative but they're most definitely not an "industry standard" ... I also put loops and samples in a different category than boppin' along to Stella with a backing track band. Also ... There's a difference of perspective. I'm not an act ... I'm a musician ... W backing tracks the music isn't as good. Again ... My opinion... But that's end of story for me
    Last edited by pamosmusic; 02-11-2015 at 03:35 PM.

  45. #94

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    the math.. what were your expenses?.. how much fuel? was there a meal involved? was there at least one rehearsal? you have to figure in space even if you own the space has to be figured in for tax purposes. what were the expenses on that? was there miscellaneous expenses? just saying I know from past spreadsheets.. not a lot of profit there. I do not have anyone on my list that will work for that.. 200. minimum is the cheapest cat on my list. my understudy works for free but that will most likely not last over a year and I will have to pay him. I do not like all jazz bands ... lot of trios etc . I would not go see...just saying .
    Last edited by EOE; 02-11-2015 at 04:50 PM.

  46. #95

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    I am working on a series of home recordings that I would term "work tapes" of jazz standards that essentially are three tracks - two classical guitar and a vocal. Occasionally I add a synth bass track. I term them 'work tapes' because they are not fine tuned in a computer DAW with comped tracks, extensive dynamics processing, etc. And I would never use Autotune, which I consider a form of fraud. I think the results are pretty good.

    I find it is harder to overdub oneself well than to play with other musicians live. But I could see doing a restaurant gig or wine tasting or private party with well executed backing tracks that are in effect recorded as one take "live" tracks.
    The point is that the music becomes more complex and rich imo. I'm also comfortable doing chord melody instrumental versions or voice plus guitar accompaniment live. I just like to go beyond the limitations of live solo performance. And if a restaurant proprietor is willing to pay me for a gig with this format, I would not turn it down. Nothing replaces a live jazz trio or quintet, but these days economic reality rears its ugly head. It ain't the Fifties in Manhattan anymore.

    Jay
    Last edited by targuit; 02-11-2015 at 06:11 PM.

  47. #96

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    Even as a listener/consumer, I would never stick around a bar listening to someone playing to tracks. At that point why not just play in a wedding band to make money?

  48. #97

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    upscale restaurants pay better have you even been following the thread? and if you can read I said " as a consumer" so ill help you here is the definition. a person who acquires goods and services for his or her own personal needs .. if you are performing in the bar you are not a consumer. I know i am a bad writer but did not think that was that bad, cosmic I have been to way to many jazzapaloozas and rockpalozas to old for that now .lolol
    Last edited by EOE; 02-11-2015 at 11:38 PM.

  49. #98

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    cats that play like that can also play like this...



    but yea a lot like that i am just moving in a different direction now I still do neo-classical just doing more fusion and blues nowadays... you wish you had his success. skill. talent and have influenced as many guitar players as he has . At the age of fourteen he started playing jazz guitar, and within two years he had won the Chicago-based "All-State Jazz Solo Award". at age 5 he was playing piano and composing. when you compare him to spinal tap puts your judgment into question in my book
    Last edited by EOE; 02-12-2015 at 08:39 PM.

  50. #99

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    That second clip is fine, I quite like that.

    I just don't like the shredding stuff much.

    Have you got any clips of your playing? I'm being serious, I'd like to see how it works. There's a guy called Adam Fulara who's done some Bach tapping pieces which I found interesting.

  51. #100

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    as soon as I get organized on recording I am going to do one of those monthly poll standards .. but I believe posting music on utube and giving it away for free is a mistake. and my show is still a year away from being ready at least as I am financing it. Michael has lot of less shredding stuff. I am moving away from that the money is only there in japan etc for that kind of playing. some people say I am dumbing down my music ..but I am enjoying nice easy smooth melodies now days and smooth jazz.