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  • How many styles have you tried solo?

    And how have they worked?

    I do a LOT of alternative. Me and guitar. Many songs mostly forgotten from the 90's, many newer and known by people who listen to the right station in the area. Not by design, these songs just work for my voice, and I can belt them out. As the night goes on, I transition away from that and toward just fun drinking/dancing songs. So far, it works. I've got a very light solo calendar and friends who come see me.

    My worry is the sustainability if I ramp things up keeping this selfish approach to song selection. The self-doubting part says strangers in older or younger demographics than my mid-twenties sweet spot won't want to hear this stuff, or me belting it for three hours, and the other part says it will work if I own it and do it well. So I would like to know
    Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

    http://www.silentlapse.com

  • #2

    'don't mess with success'. 


    You may have carved yourself a nice niche in your market doing exactly what you are doing, so why over-think it? If you find your bookings falling off or audience apathy, then it would be time for a reality check.


     


    I am all over the map stylistically as a solo, but I always have been in most of my bands as well.  I don't like being pigeon-holed. I will admit though that my music selections pretty much stop around the 1980's, because I find so few enduring songs being written after that....and so much amazing material prior.

    "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminent period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'
    "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

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    • #3
      good thread I'd like to see you succeed because I'd like to believe people want to hear good music that's not the typical stuff. That "EIGHTSTRING" guy (whatever his nic is) seems to have carved out a similar place (but he's waaaay all over the map and gets away with it).... it's really the exception and not the rule. So it's possible but not likely. Virtually every night I go from : Neon Moon (Brooks and Dunn / country) to Pour Some Sugar on Me (Def Leppard / 80s hair metal) to Miserlou (Dick Dale / 60s surf instrumental) to Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen / 70s classic rock) to a couple of smooth jazz instrumentals and get away with it (somehow). People love the variety, but these are also songs that a gazillion people know and love.... and virtually all of the stuff I'm doing IS the typical crap people play. When you say "ramp it up" do you mean more alt songs in the setllist or do you mean play more gigs? Can your song selection support new people (that aren't your friends) coming to your shows?
      SELLING
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      $50 Korg EXP2 expression pedal
      $80 Ernie Ball VP Jr volume pedal
      $60 Electro Harmonix Octave Multiplexer
      $600 Rivera TBR1 2 channel preamp stereo power amp
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      • #4

        I guess if I can't remember "RICH TEXT" then I have to stop posting here, because that looks aweful

         

        good thread
        I'd like to see you succeed because I'd like to believe people want to hear good music that's not the typical stuff.
        That "EIGHTSTRING" guy (whatever his nic is) seems to have carved out a similar place (but he's waaaay all over the map and gets away with it).... it's really the exception and not the rule. So it's possible but not likely.

        Virtually every night I go from :
        Neon Moon (Brooks and Dunn / country)
        to
        Pour Some Sugar on Me (Def Leppard / 80s hair metal)
        to
        Miserlou (Dick Dale / 60s surf instrumental)
        to
        Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen / 70s classic rock)
        to
        a couple of smooth jazz instrumentals

        and get away with it (somehow). People love the variety, but these are also songs that a gazillion people know and love.... and virtually all of the stuff I'm doing IS the typical crap people play.

        When you say "ramp it up" do you mean more alt songs in the setllist
        or do you mean play more gigs? Can your song selection support new people (that aren't your friends) coming to your shows?

        SELLING
        $40 Washburn Lyon wah
        $50 Korg EXP2 expression pedal
        $80 Ernie Ball VP Jr volume pedal
        $60 Electro Harmonix Octave Multiplexer
        $600 Rivera TBR1 2 channel preamp stereo power amp
        $150 Roland GP100 preamp/multi effects/ speaker emulator
        $140 Carvin DCM 150-150 watt stereo power amp

        www.jpaulmusic.com
        www.facebook.com/jpaulmusic

        Comment


        • #5
          I mean playing more gigs. As of now, it's a light calendar, and my friends come out, like me and the tunes. But playing multiple times a month that would dry up quick, and I need to be able to work the other way- like the tunes first and then me. My hope is that this much of that material can work.
          Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

          http://www.silentlapse.com

          Comment


          • #6
            And most of this stuff isn't obscure by any means. It's Gin Blossoms, BNL, Better than Ezra, Counting Crows, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, just old singles. The newer stuff is mostly on the radio (we have a very popular alt station in Lansing).
            Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

            http://www.silentlapse.com

            Comment


            • J.Paul
              J.Paul commented
              Editing a comment

              SLScott86 wrote:
              And most of this stuff isn't obscure by any means. It's Gin Blossoms, BNL, Better than Ezra, Counting Crows, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, just old singles. The newer stuff is mostly on the radio (we have a very popular alt station in Lansing).

              I think you're golden I think you should go full bore all the way and make it your thing.

              All that stuff was supposed to come back anyway (tribute band wise) and, though it's been a little slow in manifesting, it's still coming. It will easily extend beyong "your friends" .90s people that married and spawned have kids and are basically out of the game (unless they are in bands), BUT 90s people that married and spawned are also divorcing so the market is slowly getting half of them back. Your peeps wanna hear their songs.


            • Potts
              Potts commented
              Editing a comment

              SLScott86 wrote:
              And most of this stuff isn't obscure by any means. It's Gin Blossoms, BNL, Better than Ezra, Counting Crows, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, just old singles. The newer stuff is mostly on the radio (we have a very popular alt station in Lansing).

               

              Thats me....125 or so of the ones you mentioned and another 150 Beatles, Stones, Who, Segar, Van Morrison, Jimmy Buffett, CCR, ect. Obviously I've been doing solo gigs for awhile and the setlist is a little bigger. I've found something cool about the 20-30 year olds-- just when I think I have to entertain them with "younger" music, I get requests for their "parents music" and get the same or better reaction.

              You should add a dozen older tunes for the fun of it and see if you get the same reaction as i get in my part of the country. I have a feeling that you will. Good luck! 


          • #7
            Whoa. I Love The 80s came out in 2002 in the US. I really can't comprehend that the nineties are past there now. You might be onto something.

            I'm not aiming to be a 90s act, but it's reassuring to think that others may be as drawn to those songs as I am.
            Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

            http://www.silentlapse.com

            Comment


            • #8

              Oldies, Classic Rock, Country, Blues, Jazz, Reggae, Surf, Acoustic Folk. The only problem I've had is getting a Jazz gig and someone shows up requesting Country because that's what they've seen me play somewhere else.

               

              Being versatile has enabled me to get more work, but it kind of works against building up a following. I've got friends in my age group that like '60s music, but when they come to see me where '40s music is wanted it gets confusing.

              BD

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              • guitaristSD
                guitaristSD commented
                Editing a comment

                I play everything solo. From rock to rap to country to blues to 80's to 90's to today.... I do this because not only am I a fan of many different genres, but also I can be sure that I can play to any crowd.

                That's the thing about playing solo... its like a conversation. Your music is words to them, and you have to sense what they want to talk about. Take visual cues... do they get excited when you played "Oasis - Wonderwall?" If so, play more 90's. It will help your tip jar too.

                I also literally print out a nice looking songlist and put them around the bar. Then people see the music I play and become interested. It also helps define what they want to hear.

                Obviously, my technique doesn't work in a jazz or country bar, but if you are playing covers, play what they want to hear! Pretty simple, huh?


            • #9
              I got several compliments on my set list this weekend. From a guy in probably is mid fifties: "I knew almost every song, but they weren't the ones I usually hear."

              But nothing went over better than "Build Me Up, Buttercup."
              Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

              http://www.silentlapse.com

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