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  1. #1

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    So, I have a few venues that agreed to have me come perform (we haven’t decided on a date yet). I have played for years with other coffee shop bands but I’ve never done anything solo jazz before. My plan is to have a loop pedal (boss rc-3?) comping in the back with some melody over it, the venues are both some decently high-end restaurants and a few wineries. I have some old all-state recordings that I used as proof that I can actually play. I have one issue though, I don’t have enough songs, and I’m not in to jazz enough to just pull stuff out of my ass for an hour extra, so here’s what I have so far, if anyone has extras they may want to add that could go for at least 4 minutes, please let me know.

    Autumn Leaves
    Confirmation
    Don’t blame me
    Dearly Beloved
    Days and Nights Waiting
    Always
    My favorite things
    3 of the all state etudes, two ballads and one swing
    Spring can Rally Hang You Up Most
    But Not For Me
    Black Orpheus

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  3. #2

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    Are you setting up your loops contemporaneously? If so some tunes with a shorter form might be nice. Sunny, Summertime. How about Stevie Wonder tune or two? Isn't she lovely works well as a loop. Beatles?

  4. #3

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    I'd go for melodies your audience would recognize. On that list Autumn Leaves, My Favorite Things, and maybe Black Orpheus fit that criteria.

    Confirmation is a lot of work for a tune that probably won't be appreciated by most (but my hats off to you for being able to play this on guitar). Beatles tunes is a great suggestion, Here There and Everywhere comes to mind as one that I have heard covered by jazz players.

    Fly Me To The Moon is an example of a tune that many non-jazz listeners would recognize.

    I think most everyone would love something like this



    Last edited by fep; 11-23-2021 at 03:41 PM.

  5. #4

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    Call it solo guitar rather than solo jazz, you'll have a larger audience and a larger repertoire to choose from. I play lots of solo gigs, with and without looper, but never call them jazz gigs, which leaves me free to play all kinds of nice tunes, and even vamps I create to improvise over, like the Spanish Am-G-F-E7 progression. Also, the suggestion from alltunes is on the money: pre-record some short, easy, familiar tunes' changes and play the melody then as many choruses as you like. Gershwin, Porter, Jobim, Beatles, lots of familiar tunes there. Vary your tempi and keys when planning your set. Always and My Favorite Things are waltzes, always nice to have a couple of those, and not too many ballads.

  6. #5

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    My two cents: Seek variety

    Swing, bossa, blues, ballad, 3/4
    Different eras
    Different keys
    Different tempos (tempi?)
    Intros, interludes, modulations . . . everything to add spice

    For example, "All Blues" checks the 3/4, blues and different-key boxes (not many standards are regularly played in G)

    And FWIW I cannot picture performing the All-State Etudes in public.
    But you may feel differently of course.

    Above all, have fun !!

  7. #6
    I like the idea of @alltunes to think about recognisable contemp tunes. I could imagine exploring Bill Withers who typically has short and easy loopable forms that you can solo over may be worth a go. Just the two of us or Lovely Day could work.

    I’d also support Sam Sherry in seeking variety and add Paul Desmond’s Take Five for another rythm spice or Girl from Ipaema to blend in some bossa nova.

    anyhow, best of all and good luck with your shows!

  8. #7
    Never would have thought to name it different. I see what you mean though about locking myself in to jazz.

  9. #8

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    We have a member who has been doing these gigs for decades, and posted some incredibly useful stuff on YouTube. Check him out. Unfortunately I can’t remember his name but I‘m sure someone will help out. He has all your questions covered.


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  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JashuoGT
    Never would have thought to name it different. I see what you mean though about locking myself in to jazz.
    Man, don't worry too much about being "locked in", especially if it's a background music thing.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by JashuoGT
    So, I have a few venues that agreed to have me come perform (we haven’t decided on a date yet). I have played for years with other coffee shop bands but I’ve never done anything solo jazz before. My plan is to have a loop pedal (boss rc-3?) comping in the back with some melody over it, the venues are both some decently high-end restaurants and a few wineries. I have some old all-state recordings that I used as proof that I can actually play. I have one issue though, I don’t have enough songs, and I’m not in to jazz enough to just pull stuff out of my ass for an hour extra, so here’s what I have so far, if anyone has extras they may want to add that could go for at least 4 minutes, please let me know.

    Autumn Leaves
    Confirmation
    Don’t blame me
    Dearly Beloved
    Days and Nights Waiting
    Always
    My favorite things
    3 of the all state etudes, two ballads and one swing
    Spring can Rally Hang You Up Most
    But Not For Me
    Black Orpheus

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllAboutMusic
    I like the idea of @alltunes to think about recognisable contemp tunes. I could imagine exploring Bill Withers who typically has short and easy loopable forms that you can solo over may be worth a go. Just the two of us or Lovely Day could work.

    I’d also support Sam Sherry in seeking variety and add Paul Desmond’s Take Five for another rythm spice or Girl from Ipaema to blend in some bossa nova.

    anyhow, best of all and good luck with your shows!

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by docsteve
    We have a member who has been doing these gigs for decades, and posted some incredibly useful stuff on YouTube. Check him out. Unfortunately I can’t remember his name but I‘m sure someone will help out. He has all your questions covered.


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    I think this is who you're talking about


  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen
    I think this is who you're talking about

    He is. Thank you!


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  15. #14
    Get out there and play. It’s the best way to get it together. Do what you can and work on what you can’t. You’ll know what people like by their responses. However, jazz is jazz and mixing it with other genres is OK, but it won’t improve your jazz playing as much. You may have to make a choice somewhere along the line.