Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 49

Thread: Bad Gigs. What works for you?

  1. #1
    demensia's Avatar
    demensia is offline www.lukemacneil.com
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Milford, Ma
    Age
    31
    Posts
    700
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    214894

    Bad Gigs. What works for you?

    Sign in to disable this ad
    I'm tired of bad gigs. The bar gigs..
    The ones where the people look at you like you're inturrupting them.
    You know.. the ones that pay you ... to play for the people that don't want to listen to you.

    It's an art, obviously to connect with people.
    I'm not so good at it. I do great in listening rooms, when people are comming to hear music.

    When people are comming to get drunk... how do you reach them.

    My performance coach says covers.. Popular covers. Don't mess with them, don't make them your own.. play the song the way the song sounds on the album.

    What kind of covers do you play.

    If winning over these audiences means I have to sing Margaritaville and Lying Eyes and Tom Petty songs all night, then I better find another career.

    What works for you?

    -Luke.
    www.lukemacneil.com
    Audio and Linux Ramblings

  2. #2
    Track Rat's Avatar
    Track Rat is offline Dungeon Studio
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Ballwin, Mo. USA
    Age
    57
    Posts
    12,577
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    17365761
    My current band is the best one I've ever been in. All performances are more like jam sessions in that there's a lot of improvisation, so even for us as the players, it's always new and it jazzes you. And that always seems to come accross to the audience as well. If YOU are having fun, the audience can tell and it's infectuous. It's when you're going through the motions and just regurgitate cover tunes (like learning to order two beers in Spanish, it don't make you bi-lingual) that things get boring all the way around.

  3. #3
    leddy is offline 1K Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,098
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    Rep Power
    14004450
    Congrats for sticking to your principals. I've been gigging about 1-2 nights a week for the last several years and your problem is a common one. The funny thing is, sometimes those bad gigs can last a while. I played a place like that for years.

    If you're not reaching people, you have to decide if you want to change what you do or change the people who listen to you. In the meantime, if someone wants to pay you to not reach people, consider it a challenge and/or a paid rehersal.

    Finding your audience is where you should probably spend your time. Hunt down gigs until you find the type of places where you do best.

    Right now, I have places I play for money (corporate events, weddings, etc.) and places I would play for free because the audiences are great. Balancing those two works for me at this point in my life.

  4. #4
    Treeline's Avatar
    Treeline is offline Three Thousand and Counting
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    3,249
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    20375260
    Try ignoring your coach's advice for a few nights and play that stuff the way you know it was meant to be played. Just see what happens - might be good, bad - either way you'll learn something valuable and you can work with that for the next gig.

    From my perspective, there is nothing less interesting than a live band doing a cover so effectively that you wonder if it's just lipsynch'd. What's the purpose of that?

    I remember some years ago I saw a friend playing in a bar at my home town. He looked good, trim, sober, clean and all that. I was psyched to hear him once more after all these years. Back in the '70s when I was in high school, this guy fronted one of the area's hottest rock'n roll bands and had done so for years - he and the band were local legends. They could do covers really well and had their own material - and used real Leslie cabs - real B3s - light show, the works. So he was kind of a hero to me.

    When I saw him at his solo gig more recently, I couldn't take it and finally had to leave. Here was this guy who could match talent and chops with anyone on any stage in the country - playing his original '50s Les Paul and singing through his SM58 - to his own prerecorded tracks of a full band. I could tell he'd done it all as it was not a karaoke thing. But there was just him and his little box of lights - under some blue light in the corner of this dark bar doing Al Stewart and Air Supply covers on a Saturday night for six people who were watching a football rerun on a corner TV. It was like watching someone who was dying just a little bit at a time over thirty years.

    Man, I wanted to cry right then and there.

    Make the music your own - Put your life and your love and your anger into it. If you lose the bar gig, find another bar. But don't let routine kill the joy of this for you. This may or may not be your life - but I'll wager it's a big piece of your soul.
    Fall seven times; stand up eight

  5. #5
    notCardio is offline I walk the line
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Dragon's ant farm
    Age
    57
    Posts
    3,400
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Rep Power
    9051974

    I think I'll move to Milford

    I could enjoy playing Eagles & Petty, if the audience was into it.

    Sounds like my idea of fun.

    Now if I had to play country-pop, on the other hand...

  6. #6
    dementedchord is offline Psychotic State alumni ch
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    st lou burb
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,715
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    1298051

    $.02

    hate to break it to you but you dont need a new venue... you need a new coach...

  7. #7
    demensia's Avatar
    demensia is offline www.lukemacneil.com
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Milford, Ma
    Age
    31
    Posts
    700
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    214894
    Quote Originally Posted by dementedchord
    hate to break it to you but you dont need a new venue... you need a new coach...
    Fact is, I believe the coach is right. Drunk people want to slobber some words to hotel california... and other songs they know.. I don't take his advice, I don't play the covers, and I don't connect with the bar gig audience...

    The gigs pay, some well, some poorly. I try to think of it as a paid rehersal, sometimes I leave in higher sprits than others, but certainly not satisfied.

    I play covers, but I chose obscure covers.. the ones that nobody knows. My entire set is pretty depressing as well.. I don't generally play anything uplifting.

    What are some of the songs that you guys play that the drunk bar audience dig?
    www.lukemacneil.com
    Audio and Linux Ramblings

  8. #8
    travelin travis is offline Been Here, Posted That
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    5,679
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    441886
    Quote Originally Posted by demensia
    Fact is, I believe the coach is right. Drunk people want to slobber some words to hotel california... and other songs they know.. I don't take his advice, I don't play the covers, and I don't connect with the bar gig audience...

    The gigs pay, some well, some poorly. I try to think of it as a paid rehersal, sometimes I leave in higher sprits than others, but certainly not satisfied.

    I play covers, but I chose obscure covers.. the ones that nobody knows. My entire set is pretty depressing as well.. I don't generally play anything uplifting.

    What are some of the songs that you guys play that the drunk bar audience dig?
    Bars definately are'nt the place to be playing obscure covers or depressing music in general, as much as people like us may like that type of stuff. Try to put yourself in the average bar hoppers shoes. They go out to a bar to loosen up and have fun. Familiar songs tend to make most people comfortable and the majority of bar goers want to hear something fun and upbeat.

    As far as what songs you should play, that involves smoozing with the crowd and experimenting. You have to try to keep your finger on the pulse of the room. Some nights, all upbeat rockin songs might work. Other nights you'll get the dreaded blank stare. In general, I'd say that playing mostly upbeat songs in a bar crowd is the way to go. You should have a range of stuff to play though. You have to have a handful of slow songs to mix in there some where and some dance tunes are always good too. In a typical night (four hour gig), we will play upbeat rockers for the first set, some upbeat dance tunes for the second set, a mix of slower dance songs and ballad stuff for the thrird, and close with some mild rockin stuff for the fourth. Also, people love it when you're able to play requests. You have to make sure the requests are going with the general mood of the crowd though.

    The guys that I play in a cover band with try to get me to play stuff that I don't like some times, which is mainstream radio stuff. I generally listen to alot of indie rock, folk rock, and alt country stuff. The guys in my band have never heard of most of the stuff I listen to. The truth is though, most of that stuff does'nt go over real well in a typical bar. Now I hear the guys throwing up terms like "nickelback" or "poison" quite a bit and I usually respond with a loud, abnoxious puking sound and plenty o' eye rolls. We have some common ground though and that would be classic rock. It goes over well at every bar that we've played at. We compromise within by playing classic rock and that way, no one is playing anything that they absolutely don't like.

    We generally play the hooks of songs pretty close to the originals and improvise the looser parts. If a guitar solo or rythm riff has a certain phrase that really pushes the song, then I'll be sure and play that phrase. It's expected and the crowd responds to it. On the other hand, if I'm feelin' froggy one night, I'll improvise like mad and hope for the best. Some times it works equally well. The important thing is to have intros, changes, and endings down tight. Our crowds seem to respond accordingly to tight or sloppy playing.

    The best advice I can give you is to make the crowd feel connected with the band. Get them involved with the music in any way you can by playing appropriate material for the mood, taking requests, and talking to the crowd. Our rythm guitarist does an hourly "attitude check" over the mic to get everyones blood flowing a bit. I thought it was corny at first but it seems to work pretty well.

    Playing in a cover band is'nt exactly my ideal playing situation but I'm learning alot from it, i'm making some extra money, i get free beer, and i have my pick of drunk chicks (kidding).......well some times it's fun.
    Last edited by travelin travis; 09-09-2006 at 06:32.

  9. #9
    Duditz is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    19
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    I dont think the obscure stuff goes over very well either. When my band is playing a bar we do stuff from Beatles, Stones, Zepplin, Alice in Chains, Nine Inch Nails, Bowie, Metallica, Soundgarden, all kinds of stuff. We throw in some current radio drivel too. We also do about 25% original stuff.

    The most important thing to get an audience into what your doing is to be into it yourselves. Choose songs you really like but ones you can also perform really well. Confidence is the key. The key to confidence is practice and preparation.

    I also like to have 2 or 3 beers before we get going to loosen up. It helps me to be fearless lol. When I feel confident and fearless I tend to commit fully to the performance and the audience responds to that commitment rather than to a particular song.

  10. #10
    travelin travis is offline Been Here, Posted That
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    5,679
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    441886
    just wanted to add to what duditz said. being loose definately helps me out too but keep your enthusiasm on a leash. our other guitarist gets a little too loose some times and makes us all look like assholes.

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Deep mixing: when you could not mix bad even if you wanted to
    By CyanJaguar in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 05-21-2002, 21:21
  2. "Data DR" scratch repair device works!!
    By ap in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-02-2002, 18:50
  3. Copyright Mumbo Jumbo
    By Cooperman in forum Marketing Your Music / Publicity
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 07-19-2000, 16:07

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Special 93% Offer

Got beats? Samples? Mixing and mastering services? Get a head start with this 93% OFF special offer!