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  1. #1

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    Playing solo gigs is harder than I thought! I was playing through the setlist well until the owner told me to play more 'lively' and also told me to play louder. It was 4 songs in and i just finished playing blue bossa. I turned up the volume midway as I didn't want to overwhelm the few people eating at the place and apparently thats still not enough! Needless to say I pretty much forgot the rest of the setlist about 40 minutes in as I also cannot consider sentimental songs (or minor keys).. I just winged it in for the next 15 minutes pretty much noodling in the major key plus chromatic notes.

    Here is the setlist:

    1) Take the A Train
    2) Cantaloupe Island
    3) Tenor Madness
    4) Blue Bossa
    5) Straight No Chaser
    6) Satin Doll
    7) The Girl From Ipanema
    8) So What
    9) Donna Lee
    10) Autumn Leaves
    11) 26-2
    12) Summertime
    13) Elle
    14) Blue Monk
    15) All of Me
    16) Perdido
    17) Fly me to the Moon
    18) I Could Write a Book
    19) Beautiful Love
    20) Solar
    21) Tune Up
    22) Freddie Freeloader
    23) Road Song
    24) Impressions
    25) Chitlins Con Carne
    26) Out of Nowhere
    27) Well you needn't
    28) Embracable You
    29) Nows the Time
    30) Little Suede Shoes
    31) A Night in Tunisia

    Songs I ended up playing:

    1) Take the A Train
    2) Cantaloupe Island
    3) Tenor Madness
    4) Blue Bossa
    5) Satin Doll
    6) The Girl From Ipanema
    7) So What
    8) Donna Lee
    9) 26-2
    10) Perdido
    11) Well you needn't

    After everything is finished the owner told me that they are pretty much looking for lively music (They do Flamenco) and they'll consider calling me for special events. I think its safe to say that it probably won't happen.. Is there anything I should learn from this? All of this was done without backing tracks of course

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  3. #2

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    Owner is a moron thinking solo guitar would be "lively."

    Cool set. 26-2 solo guitar? That's lively enough for me!

  4. #3

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    Most places want you to turn down.
    You don't have to memorize an entire set list, just bring one along.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazznylon
    Playing solo gigs is harder than I thought! I was playing through the setlist well until the owner told me to play more 'lively' and also told me to play louder. It was 4 songs in and i just finished playing blue bossa. I turned up the volume midway as I didn't want to overwhelm the few people eating at the place and apparently thats still not enough! Needless to say I pretty much forgot the rest of the setlist about 40 minutes in as I also cannot consider sentimental songs (or minor keys).. I just winged it in for the next 15 minutes pretty much noodling in the major key plus chromatic notes.

    Here is the setlist:

    1) Take the A Train
    2) Cantaloupe Island
    3) Tenor Madness
    4) Blue Bossa
    5) Straight No Chaser
    6) Satin Doll
    7) The Girl From Ipanema
    8) So What
    9) Donna Lee
    10) Autumn Leaves
    11) 26-2
    12) Summertime
    13) Elle
    14) Blue Monk
    15) All of Me
    16) Perdido
    17) Fly me to the Moon
    18) I Could Write a Book
    19) Beautiful Love
    20) Solar
    21) Tune Up
    22) Freddie Freeloader
    23) Road Song
    24) Impressions
    25) Chitlins Con Carne
    26) Out of Nowhere
    27) Well you needn't
    28) Embracable You
    29) Nows the Time
    30) Little Suede Shoes
    31) A Night in Tunisia

    Songs I ended up playing:

    1) Take the A Train
    2) Cantaloupe Island
    3) Tenor Madness
    4) Blue Bossa
    5) Satin Doll
    6) The Girl From Ipanema
    7) So What
    8) Donna Lee
    9) 26-2
    10) Perdido
    11) Well you needn't

    After everything is finished the owner told me that they are pretty much looking for lively music (They do Flamenco) and they'll consider calling me for special events. I think its safe to say that it probably won't happen.. Is there anything I should learn from this? All of this was done without backing tracks of course
    What you’ve learned (what we all learn)

    Bookers just book. They only realise later you’re not what they’re after.

    You can be playing the best you’ve ever played, and they’ll hate it.

    You can be playing the worst you’ve ever played, and they’ll love it

    You get blamed for not knowing what the booker didn’t know

    Your next gig will be better.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by dlew919; 01-15-2020 at 07:56 PM.

  6. #5

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    Lively solo jazz guitar is difficult. I've heard some players do it (Mimi Fox comes to mind, and a number of Brazilians, playing in their idiom), but what I usually hear (Joe Pass Virtuoso style) doesn't strike me as "lively" even when it's well played.

    The client is entitled to want what he wants. If a player's skillset doesn't extend to the client's desires, so be it. Most of us have a hard enough time playing our usual stuff, whatever that is. You can't play everything in every style. Well, most of us can't.

  7. #6
    Here, you're preaching to the choir. But there, you've got to know the audience and the room. Variety and excitement are going to get your next booking. For many around here, an evening of Joe Pass playing behind your dinner would be heaven, but to the general public, Joe Pass mixed with Paul McCartney, some Sting with Paco DeLucia or Mike Moreno will keep it fresh. The owner may not have been too articulate in his sentiment but maybe he meant to say "Make my customers smile, give them something they can feel at home with; sit at their table (metaphorically) and be comfortable and friendly."
    Remember that solo is a challenge, and solo to a group of strangers who are not "hip" to jazz is not to be taken as a background gig, but rather you might think of it as the ultimate challenge.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone Deaf Tony
    Here, you're preaching to the choir. But there, you've got to know the audience and the room. Variety and excitement are going to get your next booking. For many around here, an evening of Joe Pass playing behind your dinner would be heaven, but to the general public, Joe Pass mixed with Paul McCartney, some Sting with Paco DeLucia or Mike Moreno will keep it fresh. The owner may not have been too articulate in his sentiment but maybe he meant to say "Make my customers smile, give them something they can feel at home with; sit at their table (metaphorically) and be comfortable and friendly."
    Remember that solo is a challenge, and solo to a group of strangers who are not "hip" to jazz is not to be taken as a background gig, but rather you might think of it as the ultimate challenge.
    Always remember, J: if you aim your program at the least common denominator(dumbest audience)--you'll win the day. 98% of my gigs are solo. However, I'm very selective where I play(no lcd's): only very upscale restaurants, private events, weddings--no bars. Of course, I play Classical, Jazz, and Bossa and if one is getting more response, I'll keep going in that direction. Playing again . . . Marinero

  9. #8

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    Your set list is includes at least 20 songs that the general public doesn't know, and is probably a bit on the old side, and also has far too many jazz tunes for a general background-music gig. You need more "pop" tunes, even oldies, that are more familiar and will lend themselves more readily to solo guitar. Examples would be Under The Boardwalk, Sway, Save The Last Dance, Margaritaville, Black Magic Woman, Barcelona Nights, Brown-Eyed Girl, etc. These are simple tunes with pop or blues-based structures, strong melodies, and very familiar to most people. I've done thousands of solo gigs, from joints to concerts, and I've found that the best way to do a restaurant or background music gig is to use either a looper or make some prerecorded accompaniment tracks and have them in an iPod or your phone. You can even prepare loops at home that include some percussion done on the guitar body or muted strings, with a nice rhythmic chordal approach. This enables you to solo and stretch without losing the underlying harmonic and rhythmic elements. And don't worry about the inevitable nay-sayers: Bill Frisell does very well with his looper act, and is as creative and enjoyable as can be. I am doing two solo gigs in the nest two days; both will include my own self-produced backing tracks and a looper, and both are rebooking from previous appearances. I have over 100 tunes on my list, everything from jazz and blues to rock oldies and calypso, and I update many of the arrangements from time to time: different keys or feels or time signatures, so that I'm always paying attention.

    As far as volume is concerned, most guitar amps are very directional, and do not fill rooms evenly. For solo work I rely on a Bose Compact, which sends the sound out 180 degrees with an even dispersion and avoids sonic hot spots. Definitely an ally in keeping gigs.

  10. #9

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    "For solo work I rely on a Bose Compact," RonJazz

    Ron,
    For a non-techi, what is a Bose Compact? Good playing . . . Marinero

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    "For solo work I rely on a Bose Compact," RonJazz

    Ron,
    For a non-techi, what is a Bose Compact? Good playing . . . Marinero
    PA system

  12. #11

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    Some owners I know consider the adavantage of solo jazz guitar is that it is ok for soft background music.
    It is not loud, the conventional jazz tone is soft and not disturbing as horns can be.

    For a player such gigs could be a good opportunity for practicing.

  13. #12

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    Bose Compact is a "line array" system consisting of a single base with a power amp, preamp and subwoofer in it, and a small column of 6 small speakers that is removable and can be raised by two lightweight extension columns to be at a height of about 6 feet, allowing the high and mid-range notes to be dispersed throughout the listening area. It weighs very little, has an XLR input and a 1/4" input, as well as mini-plug and RCA inputs for iPods or CD players, and a 1/4" output to go into a house PA for large gigs. It lacks effects and wide-ranging EQ, necessitating an external multi-effects device to get the typical jazz or rock guitar tones, a small Digitech RP 50 is what I use for solo gigs, a large pedal system for group situations. It doesn't feed back, thus can be placed upstage for the entire band to hear. It's an offshoot of the Bose L1 systems, which are larger and more powerful systems used by Pat Metheny and Steve Miller as onstage side-fill monitors. It is also a fine vocal or horn PA, clean and clear, with separate controls for the mic channel. I own no conventional guitar amps since the Bose was introduced 20 years ago.

  14. #13

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    Lovely solo gig and very lively - check 17:26


  15. #14

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    Interesting responses here ! I have another solo gig at another venue coming up tommorow. Hopefully all goes well and it may become a regular thing! Who knows

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazznylon
    Interesting responses here ! I have another solo gig at another venue coming up tommorow. Hopefully all goes well and it may become a regular thing! Who knows
    Good luck! And remember: The only people who want you to suck are other guitar players who didn't get the gig!

  17. #16

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    Here's one of mine, some of it solo guitar, some tunes using a looper. I believe also a guest violinist for a few tunes. My biggest concern with these is variety, and liveliness. It's easy for a solo guitar thing to get boring for the non guitarist or musician viewer. You have to play to your strengths and structure you set list accordingly.

    I wouldn't personally worry too much about what a restaurant owner said, but definitely pay attention to the reactions of both listeners and people that employ you for gigs! Record yourself and listen back, it's easy to spot weaknesses this way. Do YOU enjoy listening to your whole set?

    Too much reverb on these, but it was a church..

    Vlatos Jazz June 2019 - YouTube

  18. #17

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    Thanks Patloch for the link to Attila Zoller. Very lyrical player, great tone and interesting ideas. I've never heard him before and I'll look further into his music. Playing again . . . Marinero

  19. #18

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    Funny... Patloch put Attila Zoller and I put Andrei Ryabov..

    it remided me about their duo playing where Attila plays a solo intro too byt the way...

    They were close while Andrei was in NY and it was last years of Attila


  20. #19

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    Thanks! Yes, i just play first and then loop it and play over it, no prerecorded tracks. The looper on these videos is the small Boss RC-3, but i also have the RC-300 that i use in theaters or looper based performances. The RC-300 is the king of loopers really, the only one with 3 loops and a lot of effects, but for jazz stuff (and most other things) 2 loops are enough. I think Boss, Tc electronic and Digitech all make 2 loop loopers. I prefer the Boss ones, cause i 've been using mostly them for years and i am familiar with them.

    A looper can do more than let you play as a duet or a trio, it can be used very creatively to play stuff you can't play otherwise, something like instant composing or building up tracks. I feel the more you use on a gig, the more you have to do to justify it being there. Its like learning a new instrument in a way..

    Don't want to over-post on this thread, but using a looper DOES make a difference in what you can cover solo wise, and it can open up both creative playing and gigging opportunities! Couple of examples..



  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    Thanks! Yes, i just play first and then loop it and play over it, no prerecorded tracks. The looper on these videos is the small Boss RC-3, but i also have the RC-300 that i use in theaters or looper based performances. The RC-300 is the king of loopers really, the only one with 3 loops and a lot of effects, but for jazz stuff (and most other things) 2 loops are enough. I think Boss, Tc electronic and Digitech all make 2 loop loopers. I prefer the Boss ones, cause i 've been using mostly them for years and i am familiar with them.

    A looper can do more than let you play as a duet or a trio, it can be used very creatively to play stuff you can't play otherwise, something like instant composing or building up tracks. I feel the more you use on a gig, the more you have to do to justify it being there. Its like learning a new instrument in a way..

    Don't want to over-post on this thread, but using a looper DOES make a difference in what you can cover solo wise, and it can open up both creative playing and gigging opportunities! Couple of examples..



    If I may ask, how do you get the loop to be exact? When I try, using my Boss ME80, I find it difficult to click accurately enough to nail the time. Is there a trick to that?

  22. #21

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    Just did another gig! It went very well (no backing or real book/pro). The manager said he loved my playing but he said the cubans are set in their ways listening pretty much only to cuban music. It remains to be seen if I'll get this gig regulary.

    Tommorow I'll be going to the place again to meet up with the singers and perhaps get the feel of the audience. I'm definitedly no extrovert and it doesn't help much that I have poor Spanglish as well. We'll see what happens lol

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    If I may ask, how do you get the loop to be exact? When I try, using my Boss ME80, I find it difficult to click accurately enough to nail the time. Is there a trick to that?
    I think it’s just a question of practice until you get the feel for when to do it.

    My boss looper has a quantise option that fixes a ‘sloppy’ loop but you must have the click/metronome on (and audible) to use it. So it’s not something you’d want to use when creating loops ‘live’.

  24. #23

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    I tried to do things woth looper (I used small TC Ditto) and also freeze... but I still could not manage conventional stuff...
    The things what Alter does are very cool and the way he does it is just fantastic!

    it was fun for me to explore but still I felt awkward ... I liked more to do with looper things like 'layer' - sort of plyohony but I could not work out how to use it for self-comping... I mean I understand how but I do not like it... maybe later I will come back to it

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    Here's one of mine, some of it solo guitar, some tunes using a looper. I believe also a guest violinist for a few tunes. My biggest concern with these is variety, and liveliness. It's easy for a solo guitar thing to get boring for the non guitarist or musician viewer. You have to play to your strengths and structure you set list accordingly.

    I wouldn't personally worry too much about what a restaurant owner said, but definitely pay attention to the reactions of both listeners and people that employ you for gigs! Record yourself and listen back, it's easy to spot weaknesses this way. Do YOU enjoy listening to your whole set?

    Too much reverb on these, but it was a church..

    Vlatos Jazz June 2019 - YouTube
    I seem to have listened all the vids form that gig. Fantastic.

    Thank you

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    If I may ask, how do you get the loop to be exact? When I try, using my Boss ME80, I find it difficult to click accurately enough to nail the time. Is there a trick to that?
    Not familiar with the looper in the Boss ME80, but on most looper pedals you only have to be exact the first time, all additional loops follow that length. If you can tap your foot you can do the looping. Also not all switches are the same, for my foot the Boss ones were more exact than the DIgitech ones for example. I also exaggerate when tapping the switch, hit it hard so i 'm sure it will work. Needs a bit of practice. I think it is more difficult to be able to play a whole chorus by yourself without speeding up or slowing down. That needs time to build if someone hasn't worked a lot with a metronome.

  27. #26

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    Your experience reminds me of a gig in Manhattan where I was specifically hired to play solo JAZZ GUITAR
    for a very expensive affair for some wealthy art dealers at some huge venue.
    I thought that this was gonna be a great gig, playing jazz for Manhattan's elite, and being paid extremely well for it.
    I set up and started playing Ellington, Monk, etc..., and then the woman in charge runs up to me and says,
    "I wanted you to play JAZZ GUITAR!"
    I told her I was playing jazz guitar.
    She said, "No! JAZZ GUITAR! Like Mame, Hello Dolly, something lively!!!!

    I realized she meant corny show music = JAZZ GUITAR.
    I went into my standard medley of Mame Cabaret NY NY Hello Dolly etc... and she didn't bug me again.

    Maybe that's what your 'client' wanted...

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    Not familiar with the looper in the Boss ME80, but on most looper pedals you only have to be exact the first time, all additional loops follow that length. If you can tap your foot you can do the looping. Also not all switches are the same, for my foot the Boss ones were more exact than the DIgitech ones for example. I also exaggerate when tapping the switch, hit it hard so i 'm sure it will work. Needs a bit of practice. I think it is more difficult to be able to play a whole chorus by yourself without speeding up or slowing down. That needs time to build if someone hasn't worked a lot with a metronome.
    Thanks. What I've wondered about (and haven't been able to do) is to take a solo in a small group (say quintet) and loop the first chorus so I can solo against what I played. It's hard to nail the after-first-chorus click and then the band has to stay with that loop.

  29. #28

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    Instead of looper, hire a human. Folks will do anything to get a gig. Will you mop the restroom when yer done playin??....sure$$$

  30. #29

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    If I may ask, how do you get the loop to be exact? When I try, using my Boss ME80, I find it difficult to click accurately enough to nail the time. Is there a trick to that?
    I had small TC Electronics ditto.

    I had no problem with the loop being exact almost immidiately... I am not sure if it is connected with looper construction or me...
    Ditto has button control - not pedal like Boss -

    It is very practical and reliable if all you need is just straightforward looping (it has no quantitiy of loops or time limitations if I remember correctly).

  31. #30

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    I have a friend who has done occasional solo gigs. His "rule" is that it never works if you don't play at least some music that the audience recognizes and it doesn't matter how well you play the stuff that they don't recognize.

    dave

  32. #31

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    All IMO:

    If one were playing at a "jazz" event (club, festival, whatever), then the audience is likely there to listen to "jazz" (whatever style), with some "blues" thrown in for good measure. You can play a jazzy version of a pop tune, and they'll probably get it, and they'll smile and nod their heads, and people will generally be happy (assuming you're halfway decent!).

    At any other event (bar, coffeehouse, farmer's market, corporate gig, restaurant, fund raiser, etc. etc.), people are not there primarily to listen to you, but to be present at the event, and (in general) they will not be a "knowledgeable jazz audience." On top of that, I'm convinced most normals (i.e., non-musicians) have a hard time recognizing instrumental melodies of vocal tunes! You can play this week's Billboard Top 10 (instrumental, "jazz" versions), and someone will then ask, "Hey, do you know any Jonas Brothers tunes?" and your response will be, "Uh, we just played three of their tunes!" "Oh," the person will say, "I didn't hear that." Because of that, I'm further convinced you don't "need" to have a bunch of jazzy pop tunes in your repertoire or song list (since no one will recognize them!) -- unless you like the tunes and want to play them, of course! People are talking/eating/whatever, and not intently listening to jazz-infused melodies, so you can't win, unfortunately, if the owner or booking agent says, "Play something we know!"

    I have too many examples of this from too many gigs, with the latest being: playing with an 8-piece horn band, led by a local, high school music teacher who did excellent arrangements of -- you guessed it! -- modern pop tunes! [I didn't know most of the tunes, but my kids did.] After a show -- not a jazz event -- the booking person came up and said, "Hey, you guys were great, thanks! Maybe next time you can play some other songs that people like .." The band leader was crushed (he works with kids, and knows what they listen to, and that's what we played!).

    So, either: (1) make it 100%, crystal clear with the agent what you are going to play, so there are no questions/disgruntled comments (even though someone will still be displeased); (2) don't play non-jazz events (if you are playing jazz); or (3) learn to sing and play guitar, and/or get a singer, and everyone will be happy! [Tip: if you want regular gigs, option #3 may be the best.]

  33. #32

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    I've learned quite a lot from this thread and for me it's very timely. Thanks to all the posters.

    We do need a thread on using loopers on gigs. As well as including something like a BeatBuddy and using a midi clock.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    I've learned quite a lot from this thread and for me it's very timely. Thanks to all the posters.

    We do need a thread on using loopers on gigs. As well as including something like a BeatBuddy and using a midi clock.
    There was one a while back.

    Looper Gigs

  35. #34

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    Jake Reichbart is a member of this forum and master of solo guitar in today's world, with a steady solo gig in Ann Arbor, MI for nearly 30 years. The thing that really separates him from the pack is his ability to play across styles, mixing a Joe Pass style solo tune with "lively" contemporary pop the next tune, and not falling into the "all rubato, all the time" trap that plagues solo guitarists. He's got hundreds of Youtube videos and lessons. Check him out:
    Jake Reichbart - Jazz guitarist, Guitar lessons, Fingerstyle guitar arrangements

  36. #35

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    Thanks "Unknown guitar player" above for the plug! :-) Indeed, I have dedicated my life to solo guitar and have made (and continue) to make a living off it. Anyone wishing to sample the breadth/depth and scope of my work is welcome to visit my YouTube channel here Jake Reichbart
    - YouTube
    (or just google me...) and if anyone was interested in the many teaching materials I have, whether through Hal Leonard, Mike's Masterclasses, Trufire or, best of all, the materials I publish directly, they are welcome to email jake.reichbart@gmail.com Thanks! Jake Reichbart
    Here is a sample...

  37. #36

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    Yet, some folks think you would sound better using a looper....

  38. #37

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    I think you are the only one on this thread that suggested that..

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Yet, some folks think you would sound better using a looper....
    everyone knows 'true bypass' makes you sound better!

  40. #39

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    nobody is forced to use a looper. nobody is forced to succeed as a soloist. however, if one chooses to use a looper to succeed as a soloist, and the result is success, then there is no reason to allow the naysayers to interfere with one's success. a looper can pay for itself in one gig, and then be free for as long as it lasts. As a pro for 5 decades who has played thousands of gigs with live bands and who still prefers to do just that, the looper pedal allows me to essay much of the same vocabulary I use with a group; this is satisfying and fun, and most gigs are only a couple of hours. the culture of jazz changes, the culture in general changes. if band gigs dry up as they have in the last 15-20 years, the technological developments can keep us fed if we choose to explore them.

  41. #40

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    I've done a LOT of solo playing---gigging, busking, you name it.

    I've tamped way down on the jazz and especially taking choruses. I just view it in a blue collar way now: I'm in the people-pleasing business. So I've taken to playing many tunes by rote---the exact same way every time. It's non-creative, and a fraction of what I'm capable as a solo player, but I'm there to uplift people a little and get paid, not concertize. I don't view this as playing down or compromising, as my taste is not far from the non-musician's. I've never claimed to be that 'hip'---not in those situations. In a jazz club it's different, of course---but I still want to reach people in that more liberal setting. Oh, I'll take chances, and I'm doing it so long (since 1980, and possibly earlier) I can turn it on and off. I mean I LIKE Stevie Wonder, Beatles, Carole King, etc. as much as the older ASB writers---no BS. And I guess I admit I've become somewhat of a tightass in my dotage, and mercenary, too. Shoot me.

    The thing is we're not out before the public in a vacuum or bubble. Like I don't play single-string solos anymore on these commercial things b/c the average ear doesn't know enough to follow them. They CAN get into it if you're swinging, I know that.

    I have enough outlets for my more creative side---like an upcoming gig at Fat Cat where I'll be playing mostly my music with 5 pieces including a singer. So the flame is still burning and it's not all jaded retreads. It's weird, though, almost like I've split myself in 2. But you do what the traffic allows, what can and can't go over in certain situations.

    I'm not telling other players to do as I do. I do think versatility and a realistic handle on what will go over in a given situation are good things. Think of them like cans of paint on your shelf: the more cans, the wider your palette...

  42. #41

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    Jake Reikbart or Rich Severson are good examples of keeping it viable.Maybe.I think the advice here is invaluable.I mean the observations of the commenters here.I would think every town has Baseball fans.Rich Severson has a fun take on 'take me out to the ball game'could be a sing-a-long in some cases?Sorry just now saw some of the references to said Masters.
    Last edited by EarlBrother; 01-22-2020 at 08:16 AM.

  43. #42

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    " But you do what the traffic allows, what can and can't go over in certain situations." Joelf

    This, of course, is the only survival tactic for a full-time musician. You have to take the gigs that pay the rent. If we expect an intelligent music listener, we'll be disappointed in almost every case . . . including many Jazz clubs. I believe the trend of Smooth Jazz was an attempt to bring the music closer to the people and in my observation, it was successful. It watered down the music while still allowing some creativity for the performer and acceptance from the audience. It promoted careers like Grover Washington, George Benson, Kenny G, etc. and is still popular today. And, since I come from an R&B background, I've found that many of the old R&B/Soul standards are also very successful in most venues today and reach a wider audience ie; Stand by Me, My Girl, I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Kiss and Say Goodbye, etc. and enjoy playing these tunes and definitely getting into a groove and have even played a couple of these songs at the end of a Classical gig for a pleasant, but well-received shocker.
    I rarely meet people today that listen to Jazz. Perhaps its the area, perhaps the company, but it's my reality. It sometimes feels like we're a cult with members leaving every day. . . even more reason for us to communicate on this Forum to find a happy medium and share feedback from those whose observations are more positive. Good playing . . . Marinero

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    If we expect an intelligent music listener, we'll be disappointed in almost every case . . . including many Jazz clubs. Marinero
    I'm afraid we must part company on that point: I'm continually surprised by how much people know, even when they walk by with a drive-by yet dead-on observation---then keep walking. If I thought people were dumb or beneath me I'd stay home. That's why I play to and not down to them.

    Back in the early '80s, when I was a street player, a woman walked up to me with a sour face: 'Do you want to know you were playing a wrong note in that song?' (It was I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart). I'm sure my rejoinder was snotty and defensive, but when I went home and listened, damned if she wasn't right. I wish I'd thanked her. She probably was a musician, but her take and informed listening was not at all far from many insightful comments about music I've gotten from non-musos through the years...

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    I'm afraid we must part company on that point: I'm continually surprised by how much people know, even when they walk by with a drive-by yet dead-on observation---then keep walking. If I thought people were dumb or beneath me I'd stay home. That's why I play to and not down to them.

    Back in the early '80s, when I was a street player, a woman walked up to me with a sour face: 'Do you want to know you were playing a wrong note in that song?' (It was I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart). I'm sure my rejoinder was snotty and defensive, but when I went home and listened, damned if she wasn't right. I wish I'd thanked her. She probably was a musician, but her take and informed listening was not at all far from many insightful comments about music I've gotten from non-musos through the years...

    Thanks for the honest reply, Joel. I wish I had your viewpoint/optimism! Music for many, is curtains on the window. Very few, in my opinion, want to look through the glass. Good playing . . . Marinero

  46. #45

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    Interesting thread. I often wish I was more of a 'real jazz guitar player' and really tip my hat to the people who put in the work to learn and gig 3 hours of solo instrumental guitar music. "Someday..." I tell myself

    That said, I make a hell of a good side-income by just improvising jazz/funk with a looper...I am up to close to a dozen places that keep me in the rotation -places that do not book instrumental music (breweries, cafes, some cool restaurants...no dives somehow). I do a number of covers, but, really, most of my night is just cooking up decent vamps/grooves/loops and then soloing over it with a few different tones (organ sim, clean, distortion, etc.). I will also create extra layers on top --call and respond with myself via the looper, extra harmony, etc. -and then cut it back to the original loop, keeps the jam fresh and allows you to almost be an improvising guitar DJ (lol)

    I am not a player that proper "jazz guitarists" are going to go nuts over how deep my lines are or my encyclopedic knowledge of tunes...not even close. Some nights I really play well, some nights are just okay. I have learned, though, how to exist in a happy medium. If people are tapping their toes /and/ can still hear each other talk, you are winning the game, imo. This has been the biggest asset I have for return bookings as a soloist.

    I guess if I had two cents to really throw into this conversation, I would say that you have to determine what you do or don't wanna do on your gig...but, I recommend a looper to at least eat up some time. ...you might lose a couple brownie points on jazz guitar forums (lol), but it's a great tool.

    Cheers!

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Thanks for the honest reply, Joel. I wish I had your viewpoint/optimism! Music for many, is curtains on the window. Very few, in my opinion, want to look through the glass. Good playing . . . Marinero
    Charlie Parker said: 'Find one person in the audience and play to him'. If I reach one person I'm not window dressing.

    And b/c people don't react in a directly demonstrative way doesn't mean they're not listening.

    And I feel like you, or worse, many days. I may be in a crap mood, or my nerves are acting up to begin with---andI have to go out and play for the money, including the street. Yeah, I still do that, to not raid my savings account. People may ignore me all day, and drool into the hated digital toys---which has cut down my earnings substantially. I feel on those days like 'why bother?' Or 'how come so-and-so is more successful, though I'm just as good, and I'm still doing this s&*t for pennies w/o anyone even listening?' Or I'm on auto-pilot, playing by rote w/no feeling, just for the little bread. It's depressing those days, but later I realize I may have made someone's day better who never told me.

    Then tomorrow I'm ready to do it again, and hope it'll be better. I'm a guitar player. What else am I gonna do?

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by EarlBrother
    Jake Reikbart or Rich Severson are good examples of keeping it viable.Maybe.I think the advice here is invaluable.I mean the observations of the commenters here.I would think every town has Baseball fans.Rich Severson has a fun take on 'take me out to the ball game'could be a sing-a-long in some cases?Sorry just now saw some of the references to said Masters.
    Just had to, haha... :-)

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by basscadet
    Interesting thread. I often wish I was more of a 'real jazz guitar player' and really tip my hat to the people who put in the work to learn and gig 3 hours of solo instrumental guitar music. "Someday..." I tell myself

    That said, I make a hell of a good side-income by just improvising jazz/funk with a looper...I am up to close to a dozen places that keep me in the rotation -places that do not book instrumental music (breweries, cafes, some cool restaurants...no dives somehow). I do a number of covers, but, really, most of my night is just cooking up decent vamps/grooves/loops and then soloing over it with a few different tones (organ sim, clean, distortion, etc.). I will also create extra layers on top --call and respond with myself via the looper, extra harmony, etc. -and then cut it back to the original loop, keeps the jam fresh and allows you to almost be an improvising guitar DJ (lol)
    Cheers!
    I'd love to hear some of your stuff...any place I can check out some of it? You can PM is you don't want to post here.

    Loopers are fun..... so is the Freeze pedal....now what about imitating a bass guitar with an EH Micro Pog
    Thanks

  50. #49

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    You do that tune sorry nice what a fun tune.Thank you Jake i enjoy your gig at The Earl.The epitome of hard work long hours and the joy of music.Were are kind of related in name only.Earl