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  1. #301

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    Awe, sell out. Work on other aspects of your creativity with a looper or making backing tracks. With rare exception, all of our favorites "sold out" in one way or another. Wes went commercial, Benson went commercial, Hall played in the Merv Griffin Show band, Kessell played on Beach Boys records, etc., etc. Keep your own counsel. It's the 21st century, electricity is here to stay.

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  3. #302

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    You can praise the use of backing tracks all you want, but when you look at all the gigs that have disappeared, and

    the sterility of virtually all of the music that's left, you begin to wonder if it's really even worth the bother of playing

    gigs anymore, if all they're going to sound like is canned music.

    I've always enjoyed the music that destinytot has posted here, because he features live musicians playing acoustic

    instruments who add their own musical reactions to what is going on.

  4. #303

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Intriguing.....
    I've yet to learn to use mine properly, but I'm now completely sold on looper pedals. And I don't think using a looper necessarily means selling out.

    My dilemma boils down to an attack of scruples over an offer of work from an agency that specialises in all manner of cabaret acts.

    The owner operates internationally, but he lives in Valencia - and he seems to like The Heartbeats. I'll post more after I meet with him.

    On the other hand,The Heartbeats have an agent working on getting us bookings as a six-piece (with a 'jazz' double bassist + either vibes or trumpet as featured soloist), but we're also hiring theatres to run our own events.
    Last edited by destinytot; 12-28-2016 at 08:09 PM. Reason: typo

  5. #304

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot View Post
    I've yet to learn to use mine properly, but I'm now completely sold on looper pedals. And I don't think using a looper necessarily means selling out.

    My dilemma boils down to an attack of scruples over an offer of work from an agency that specialises in all manner of cabaret acts.

    The owner operates internationally, but he lives in Valencia - and he seems to like The Heartbeats. I'll post more after I meet with him.

    On the other hand,The Heartbeats have an agent working on getting us bookings as a six-piece (with a 'jazz' double bassist + either vibes or trumpet as featured soloist), but we're also hiring theatres to run our own events.

    I wish I could help you on this moral dilemma.

    Some might praise you for sacrificing this immediate income in hopes of keeping "integrity" in your music. I am sure others that are ceding income for the sake of art will appreciate this because it requires more than one person.

    Others might call you a martyr or foolish, possibly even arrogant, for passing on what could be good income because you feel the music does not meet your standards. They might say life is too short, just have fun making music.

    Then again, your playing of "higher quality" music might serve to raise your commercial value, while playing "lesser quality" music could brand you a little lower in the eyes of your prospective employers and audiences.

    By the way, nice promo photo. Your group looks like the music it plays - classy and upscale.

    Good luck on your decision, and follow your conscience. You will sleep better in the end, I think.

  6. #305

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    I wish I could help you on this moral dilemma.

    Some might praise you for sacrificing this immediate income in hopes of keeping "integrity" in your music. I am sure others that are ceding income for the sake of art will appreciate this because it requires more than one person.

    Others might call you a martyr or foolish, possibly even arrogant, for passing on what could be good income because you feel the music does not meet your standards. They might say life is too short, just have fun making music.

    Then again, your playing of "higher quality" music might serve to raise your commercial value, while playing "lesser quality" music could brand you a little lower in the eyes of your prospective employers and audiences.

    By the way, nice promo photo. Your group looks like the music it plays - classy and upscale.

    Good luck on your decision, and follow your conscience. You will sleep better in the end, I think.
    Thanks very much indeed!

    But it's not the music that doesn't meet my standards - it's the tacky promotion. When I looked at sample promo videos and dossiers, the first act I saw was that old chestnut (roasting on an open fire), a Kenny G clone - with backing tracks, mirror ball et al - billed as 'jazz'.

    That kind of compromise creeps up on you. For example, I've taken pains to use a mic amplify an acoustic archtop in Marty Grosz/Carl Kress tuning on a festival gig at a theatre - only to find that the piano is digital. What gets my goat is that this was not what was agreed with the agent.

    On the other hand, and regarding backing tracks, yesterday I wrote and recorded some lyrics on a dubplate for a sound system - part of Valencia's remarkable (and resourceful) reggae contingent. I had a great time.

    Moreover, I had the following thought: why not partner up the dub producer with The Heartbeats for some reggae philharmonia? It's been done - the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra - but not here, and not by me.

  7. #306

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot View Post
    Thanks very much indeed!

    But it's not the music that doesn't meet my standards - it's the tacky promotion. When I looked at sample promo videos and dossiers, the first act I saw was that old chestnut (roasting on an open fire), a Kenny G clone - with backing tracks, mirror ball et al - billed as 'jazz'.

    That kind of compromise creeps up on you. For example, I've taken pains to use a mic amplify an acoustic archtop in Marty Grosz/Carl Kress tuning on a festival gig at a theatre - only to find that the piano is digital. What gets my goat is that this was not what was agreed with the agent.

    On the other hand, and regarding backing tracks, yesterday I wrote and recorded some lyrics on a dubplate for a sound system - part of Valencia's remarkable (and resourceful) reggae contingent. I had a great time.

    Moreover, I had the following thought: why not partner up the dub producer with The Heartbeats for some reggae philharmonia? It's been done - the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra - but not here, and not by me.
    I like the way you don't limit yourself. There is a lot of fun to be had in music. I met a young man who is heavily into Pro Tools, so I will be going by and watching him in action. I hope to learn from him and see what other options are out there for me.

    Looks like you are well on your way. Enjoy!

  8. #307

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    I like the way you don't limit yourself. There is a lot of fun to be had in music.
    That's very kind, and I agree that there's a lot of fun to be had. But it isn't all fun.

    I'm not saying it's 'hard work'; I'm saying:
    (a) that it takes me a long time and lots of introspection in order not to give a f*** what other people think;
    (b) that just when I think I'm cool with this, I find myself/my values in conflict with (those of) other people I'm working with. This rarely becomes a major obstacle, but it happened recently - and I reacted along these lines*:


    *engaging in a little fantasy.

    No, it isn't all fun - but, for me, it's more important than that.

    I think Prince said it best:
    "Money don't matter to night
    It sure didn't matter yesterday
    Just when you think you've got more than enough
    That's when it all up and flies away
    That's when you find out that you're better off
    Makin' sure your soul's alright
    'Cause money didn't matter yesterday,
    And it sure don't matter to night"

    I'm determined to pull my own strings, and to find a way for everyone to get paid.
    Last edited by destinytot; 12-29-2016 at 10:46 AM. Reason: be

  9. #308

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot View Post
    I'm prompted by events to write a quick message about this topic.

    Speaking entirely about myself (I want it to be clear that I'm not trying to dictate to others), I don't want to sell out my principles.

    The thing is, this only becomes an issue when I actually have an opportunity to sell out (and not for - ahem - 'small potatoes').

    Well, such an opportunity has arisen in the form of a clear offer - and I'm trying to find a way to get those potatoes without selling out!

    To be continued - after tidying and tree decoration!
    I remember a quote from Tommy on the old Smothers Brothers show from the 60s. To paraphrase, he said 'My principles are not for sale. However, I will rent them out from time to time.'
    Eastman 810 7 string
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  10. #309

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    Quote Originally Posted by rsclosson View Post
    I remember a quote from Tommy on the old Smothers Brothers show from the 60s. To paraphrase, he said 'My principles are not for sale. However, I will rent them out from time to time.'
    Another option is to trade on others' principles - here, the 'Jewel in the Crown'.

    There is no way I'd use a looper on an event like this, but I do plan to use one on a couple of tunes during a 'performance' - as opposed to background music - on 15th Jan.

    I can be seen briefly - but not heard - @1m17s.

  11. #310

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    Here's the 'beauty' of backing tracks, if you missed it last night:

  12. #311

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    Just remember that backing tracks can fail:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/01/ar...=top-news&_r=0

  13. #312

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    Quote Originally Posted by rictroll View Post
    Just remember that backing tracks can fail:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/01/ar...=top-news&_r=0
    Only in America..

  14. #313

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot View Post
    I'm prompted by events to write a quick message about this topic.

    Speaking entirely about myself (I want it to be clear that I'm not trying to dictate to others), I don't want to sell out my principles.

    The thing is, this only becomes an issue when I actually have an opportunity to sell out (and not for - ahem - 'small potatoes').

    Well, such an opportunity has arisen in the form of a clear offer - and I'm trying to find a way to get those potatoes without selling out!

    To be continued - after tidying and tree decoration!
    Game on - never judge a book by its cover.

  15. #314

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    I'm on in 30mins - and my new octave pedal has packed up on me. So much for backing tracks? Nah! Back to the shop it goes on Monday for replacement!
    Last edited by destinytot; 01-07-2017 at 05:21 PM.

  16. #315

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot View Post
    I'm on in 30mins - and my new octave pedal has packed up on me. So much for backing tracks? Nah! Back to the shop it goes on Monday for replacement!
    Scratch that - tried it again when I was packing up and it worked fine.

  17. #316

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    I don't know if anyone has posted this amazing "backing track" performance of Kurt Rosenwinkel.


  18. #317

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    I'll use a looper on select tunes. I would consider playing to a backing track with drums and bass, but only if I played the drums and bass or another guitar part on the tracks. I'd feel okay, because it is still me playing, Just MHO.

  19. #318

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    Quote Originally Posted by RomaSoul View Post
    I don't know if anyone has posted this amazing "backing track" performance of Kurt Rosenwinkel.
    Yeah.... but if a restaurant could afford to book Kurt, they could probably afford to book his band, too. I'm not sure he counts! Ha.
    Completely unhindered by talent.

  20. #319

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    I play in a duo - myself and a singer and we DO use tracks. Some I make and some are professional studio karaoke tracks. We do it because we play dance music and customers want to hear a band. We play oldies - 50's and 60's rock, some country and a few instrumental surf tunes. We played a '62 high school reunion last Saturday night - made $300 apiece for a total of a bout 3-1/2 hrs work including load in and load out. If I can make that kind of money using tracks and the audience is satisfied, I'm a happy camper. As I've said before, I'm a musical whore and will play anything, anywhere for the right money. I'm not in it for anyone but myself - let the other guys get their own work any way they can.

  21. #320

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    I think DJs might have the right idea, why bother learning an instrument when people will actually pay more money just to listen to you play recordings through a sound system. Great way to make the money, and the audience is as happy as the proverbial pig in shit. In the end, it's all about buying groceries and paying the rent.