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View Poll Results: Backing Tracks for live gigs

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  • Agreed

    38 37.62%
  • Disagreed

    63 62.38%
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  1. #51

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    I think I've had enough "interaction" with musicians, especially the kind of interaction that has nothing to do with the music.

    Back in early 2005, I was in 3 working bands, two of which I was leading. For the most part, the music was good. But after 25+ years of bands and everything they entail, and several last straws of band drama breaking the camel's back all at once, I just finally reached my limit.

    I paid my band dues and then some. If, after nearly 3 decades on the merry go round, the removal of my primary source of unnecessary drama from my life and embracing technology is a cop-out or failure to adapt, so be it.

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  3. #52

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    I know I'm not going to convince anyone that backing tracks are "good" if they hate the very concept.

    By the same token, no one is going to make me feel bad for using them. I'm happy now, doing my thing, and confident enough about it that some people on the Internet aren't going to change that.

    However it does make for interesting (if sometimes repetitive) threads.

  4. #53

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    EightString, I do get where you're coming from, and admittedly, EOE's "faceless know it all" personality has me bristling at the tracks idea more than maybe I even would. It his actual disdain for other musicians that bothers me--it's been apparent in several threads.

    You've posted your performances before, and I can see what you're doing. You're an entertainer, and I can respect that.

    I just can't get on with people doing tracks and calling it jazz. That just doesn't fly for me. I don't even know if I can call a solo guitar gig jazz, anyway. Jazz just seems to scream "interaction between musicians" to me, and when people don't get to see how special that is, then they don't care when it's watered down. It strips possibly the coolest thing away from the music.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    EightString, I do get where you're coming from, and admittedly, EOE's "faceless know it all" personality has me bristling at the tracks idea more than maybe I even would. It his actual disdain for other musicians that bothers me--it's been apparent in several threads.

    You've posted your performances before, and I can see what you're doing. You're an entertainer, and I can respect that.

    I just can't get on with people doing tracks and calling it jazz. That just doesn't fly for me. I don't even know if I can call a solo guitar gig jazz, anyway. Jazz just seems to scream "interaction between musicians" to me, and when people don't get to see how special that is, then they don't care when it's watered down. It strips possibly the coolest thing away from the music.
    And I get where you're coming from. As I recall, you've always expressed your opinion on the subject with class and some reasoning behind your opinions.

    I can even agree to some of that reasoning or at least see your point of view.

    Is what I do "jazz"? Or is what I do "jazz-like" interpretations of songs? I've learned all the melodies, chord progressions, and improvise every solo. My overall interpretations on guitar and vocal differ from night to night within the framework of set arrangements, so there's that. I'm also constantly working on my vocabulary in the context of songs to come with with new ideas and approached to explore within that framework. It's incremental now, not so many "Aha!" moments, but the journey is there.

    On the flip side, an audience member isn't going to get a more raw experience by hearing wildly different interpretations by a group on consecutive nights, although I do have multiple arrangements of some songs just to keep it varied. But is it enough for a true jazz connoisseur? Maybe not.

    I personally love being in the middle of the live interplay between musicians finding the magic. I just don't enjoy a lot of the other interplay that comes with the territory.

  6. #55

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    Backing Tracks for live gigs Poll-one-man-band-jpg
    the lengths some people will go to avoid playing with other people . . . Lacking people skills or organizational skills can be a problem especially dealing with the hardest cats to herd: musicians. But for me the answer to the problem is not to take all of my crayons and toys home, but rather to figure out a better way to play with the big boys. EVERYTHING is about interaction, whether here on the forum, dealing with neighbors, relatives or co-workers. Sure you can always figure out ways to stay at home, work from home, only listen to messages and never pick up a phone call. Human interaction can take it's toll. But you don't learn much about being a human being without it. And certainly you'll learn even less about being an artist.

  7. #56

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    Thanks.

    It's really the "guitareoke" hacks that undercut that get under my skin.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    Backing Tracks for live gigs Poll-one-man-band-jpg
    the lengths some people will go to avoid playing with other people . . . Lacking people skills or organizational skills can be a problem especially dealing with the hardest cats to herd: musicians. But for me the answer to the problem is not to take all of my crayons and toys home, but rather to figure out a better way to play with the big boys. EVERYTHING is about interaction, whether here on the forum, dealing with neighbors, relatives or co-workers. Sure you can always figure out ways to stay at home, work from home, only listen to messages and never pick up a phone call. Human interaction can take it's toll. But you don't learn much about being a human being without it. And certainly you'll learn even less about being an artist.
    I'm not exactly "lacking people skills or organizational skills".

    Otherwise I wouldn't play for and interact with audiences (people), or have arranged and produced (organized) hundreds (thousands? I have to check) of song arrangements to play.

    On top of that, my day job for the past 8 years has been as CEO of a software technology company. That is like herding cats in its own way. Prior to that? I ran software development groups at Sony, Disney, Electronic Arts, etc.

    I've got people and organizational skills covered.

    I'll say it again: I love playing music with other people. But at this point in my life, after over 25 years of bands, I feel like I've earned my scars and the right to color with my own crayons for a while. I don't do this full time anymore, and I just don't have it in me to wrangle people as part of my "paid hobby" when I wrangle people throughout the day as part of my work. If that's "avoiding playing with other people", so be it.
    Last edited by EightString; 03-04-2015 at 09:18 PM.

  9. #58

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    Fair enough.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    Backing Tracks for live gigs Poll-one-man-band-jpg
    the lengths some people will go to avoid playing with other people . . . Lacking people skills or organizational skills can be a problem especially dealing with the hardest cats to herd: musicians. But for me the answer to the problem is not to take all of my crayons and toys home, but rather to figure out a better way to play with the big boys. EVERYTHING is about interaction, whether here on the forum, dealing with neighbors, relatives or co-workers. Sure you can always figure out ways to stay at home, work from home, only listen to messages and never pick up a phone call. Human interaction can take it's toll. But you don't learn much about being a human being without it. And certainly you'll learn even less about being an artist.
    Why not use a much more current example?

    Backing Tracks for live gigs Poll-metheny-jpg

    Metheny did it. And those of you that think he used this setup live like a looper... for about 90% of the show he did not. Most of the material was pre-programmed, I went to the show.
    Last edited by fep; 03-04-2015 at 09:28 PM.

  11. #60

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    If you want to compare a musical system that the guy envisioned, built, programmed, and composed for to playing along with "All of Me" at Geno's Spaghetti house, go ahead, you've made this ridiculous claim before.

    I've posted an article before that Pat says much of it is controlled with his feet, and he drops things in and out at will. He's also into software like Ableton Live and Native Instrumens' Kontact, which can be programmed to give him random playbacks he has to react to.

    Pat Metheny: The Orchestrion Project

    This is how the project actually worked. Hardly a "canned band."

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    If you want to compare a musical system that the guy envisioned, built, programmed, and composed for to playing along with "All of Me" at Geno's Spaghetti house, go ahead, you've made this ridiculous claim before.

    I've posted an article before that Pat says much of it is controlled with his feet, and he drops things in and out at will. He's also into software like Ableton Live and Native Instrumens' Kontact, which can be programmed to give him random playbacks he has to react to.

    Pat Metheny: The Orchestrion Project

    This is how the project actually worked. Hardly a "canned band."
    I don't want to make that comparison to ""All of Me" at Geno's Spaghetti house" as you implied with your ridiculous statement indicating that I did.

    I really liked the Metheny show and it was primarily backing tracks used in a very creative way.
    Last edited by fep; 03-04-2015 at 09:47 PM.

  13. #62

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    Well, you implied it was a way to avoid playing with actual musicians, because you posted in reply to Henry's one man band post.

    No need to backpedal now. You've used the Orchestrion project as an attempt to call out anti-tracks posters in the past too, right? As an attempt to say, "if ypur hero Pat does it, it's ok, right?"

    Please don't be coy on this Frank, we've had this disagreement before.

  14. #63

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    I was thinking of taking a booking to play for the dinner crowd at a local Italian restaurant... now maybe not.

  15. #64

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    Just do you and a guitar. You got the chops for it.

    Restaurants, for the most part, don't want a "show."

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by EightString
    I'm not exactly "lacking people skills or organizational skills".

    Otherwise I wouldn't play for and interact with audiences (people), or have arranged and produced (organized) hundreds (thousands? I have to check) of song arrangements to play.

    On top of that, my day job for the past 8 years has been as CEO of a software technology company. That is like herding cats in its own way. Prior to that? I ran software development groups at Sony, Disney, Electronic Arts, etc.

    I've got people and organizational skills covered.

    I'll say it again: I love playing music with other people. But at this point in my life, after over 25 years of bands, I feel like I've earned my scars and the right to color with my own crayons for a while. I don't do this full time anymore, and I just don't have it in me to wrangle people as part of my "paid hobby" when I wrangle people throughout the day as part of my work. If that's "avoiding playing with other people", so be it.
    I walk the earth, eat a lot of fish and listen to jazz. Next stop- Barbados.

  17. #66

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    I know a lot of CEOs and people who run big companies. Not many of them like to compromise a whole lot. That's what bands are all about. Unless you're wealthy enough to keep the guys on retainer you hire people (I do anyway) for their talents and abilities. With me I write most of the music. Even in that case I prefer guys to bring me what they have, including their own ideas. It makes it more fun that way. But as I said, fair enough. You have it your way and it works for you. Just not as a jazz thing. I'm sure you're not expecting a call from Terrence Blanchard?

    Stevebol - wasn't directed at you. Sorry.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Well, you implied it was a way to avoid playing with actual musicians, because you posted in reply to Henry's one man band post.

    No need to backpedal now. You've used the Orchestrion project as an attempt to call out anti-tracks posters in the past too, right? As an attempt to say, "if ypur hero Pat does it, it's ok, right?"

    Please don't be coy on this Frank, we've had this disagreement before.
    Why so confrontational? Why is it so important to you to put me down because of this point I made about Metheny? This is very weird. So we disagree, who cares, why the big f'n deal.

    I'm not being coy. I'm using Orchestration as the best, or at least my favorite use of backing tracks. And you are right, I am using "the Orchestrion project as an attempt to call out anti-tracks posters"

    This conversation wouldn't be complete without considering possible the best and most creative use of backing tracks ever.

    How you can find that innapropriate to this conversation is bizzare.
    Last edited by fep; 03-05-2015 at 12:36 AM.

  19. #68

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    Well, I apologize if I misunderstood your post--it really seemed like a passive aggressive "ha ha, hypocrites" comment to me.

    If you're saying that wasn't your intention, that's good enough for me, I'll bow out on this one and get some sleep.

  20. #69

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    It is so much of a hassle dealing with those stupid sidemen, all they want to do is drink or smoke pot, if they even show up for the gig at all.

    When I get the okay gigs for $3000-$4000, then I hire some good help, but why go to the trouble when you can just do those $1000 backing track gigs 10-12 times a month and laugh all the way to the bank. I can afford to have Nile Rodgers make me the dopest backing tracks.

    Whenever Sco, Herbie or Kurt are in town they're always telling me how hip it sounds, and want to know what kind of cables I use, etc. They be wanting to know if I'll go on the road with them, but they know for real I got too much loot to make local and still go home and sleep in my own crib every night and count my money. Diggin' the scene with my own bad self. Too cool.
    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 03-05-2015 at 03:33 AM.

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    It is so much of a hassle dealing with those stupid sidemen, all they want to do is drink or smoke pot, if they even show up for the gig at all.

    When I get the okay gigs for $3000-$4000, then I hire some good help, but why go to the trouble when you can just do those $1000 backing track gigs 10-12 times a month and laugh all the way to the bank. I can afford to have Nile Rodgers make me the dopest backing tracks.

    Whenever Sco, Herbie or Kurt are in town they're always telling me how hip it sounds, and want to know what kind of cables I use, etc. They be wanting to know if I'll go on the road with them, but they know for real I got too much loot to make local and still go home and sleep in my own crib every night and count my money. Diggin' the scene with my own bad self. Too cool.
    Gosh, I wonder what the unedited version said. lol

  22. #71

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    EightString - Congrats on running a software company. At least there is a thriving industry. I'm a physician, and primary care is virtually imploding, thanks to the Feds and the insurance companies who own them.

    Could you briefly summarize how you utilize backing tracks? I create Sibelius tracks (every note is my input via keyboard) to rehearse with and for my enjoyment. But lately when I record, I am using a three-track format of vocal and two guitars or keyboard/guitar, all played "live" by me. I do not have several musicians on speed dial, nor a desire to waste endless hours getting to and from rehearsals, and frankly dealing with personality quirks and egos.

    I understand the purist point of view - ideally I would love to have a regular live duet or trio of musicians who don't need a lot of rehearsal and can just play the music. But it is hard enough just to find gigs these days for a soloist.

    But I'm still curious how you run your rig.

    Jay

  23. #72

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    I have every respect for those who earn a living playing music, but bear in mind this is a JAZZ GUITAR forum. We aspire to playing jazz, like our heroes.

    The use of backing tracks on live gigs is never going to find much of a sympathetic audience here. Simple as that.

  24. #73

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    Eightstring -

    I listened to your CD preview on CD Baby - congrats on creating a nice CD including originals! Naturally, you can't hear the whole songs in their entirety - I would have enjoyed hearing your guitar more, but the vocals were quite good. Can you fill us in on the recordings - mics, site, eg. - and how they went down? Nice job!

    Jay

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I'd love to know what those successful bands were, but alas, all we get is anonymous internet blowharding from a nameless, faceless, mysterious--yet reportedly wildly successful--guitar player.
    +1 for this

    EOE is always talking a big game yet won't post any playing because his music so valuable that a 20 second clip would undermine the entire music economy.

  26. #75

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    Hell YEAH!
    They call me the backing track Burt Bacharach.