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Sorry- Couldn't Gig with my Spouse


Potts

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There is no way I could do it. I spent 10 years gigging with my cousin and that was a difficult relationship to maintain. As far as gigging with my wife, that's just too close to home. This is my thing and we both need to do our own things- that's why we've made it 17 years.

 

In the absence of making this a {censored}ty thread, how about we get some advice or tips from those that gig with their significant other?

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My wife is a good singer. Having said that I could not gig with her. Not bragging, but musically I am way ahead of her. She will not take any musical advice or critique from me at all. It's a no-win situation so she sings in the church worship group, I do my thing and never the twain shall cross. It works.

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OK I can contribute to this. I met my wife playing in a band. She sang lead, I did guitar. Band lasted 3 months and went the way most bands do. We've been together since 1988 and happily married since 1992.

 

Almost since the beginning we had a great vocal connection and a great blend. Our ranges are really compatible, and we harmonize well together. It has been one the Duo's strengths. Working together for so long really makes us tuned into what the other does. We often don't even have to look at each other to be together for entrances and such. Without trying to sound all gushy, we seem to breath together most of the time. Musically we've been through some pretty crazy experiences and held it together.

 

The hardest time we had working together was in recording our first CD. The stress of recording, and the "that's not what my voice sounds like" syndrome two inexperienced recordists went through was not easy. In the end we are happy with what we ended up with, and are ready to try it again once we can get a handle on time management issues (can anyone say Harmony Central forums?).

 

After all this time, I can't imagine playing with anyone else (although I do in my classical world).

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When my wife an I have gigged together in the past, she does her songs with my support, I do my songs with her support. Sometimes we would do a cover as a duet.

 

She's a Julliard-trained pianist and violinist, who is also a great singer and finger style guitarist, with lots of gigging experience. So I never had any issues with her musical abilities, nor she with mine.

 

But stylistically, we are different animals. She worships James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell and the like. Me, I come from a rock, pop, progressive, and metal background, with a healthy dose of fusion and swinging jazz. I've written my share of acoustic material, but even then, my stylistic choices are drawn from influences very different than my wife's.

 

Hence songwriting together is a no-no.

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When my wife an I have gigged together in the past, she does her songs with my support, I do my songs with her support. Sometimes we would do a cover as a duet.


She's a Julliard-trained pianist and violinist, who is also a great singer and finger style guitarist, with lots of gigging experience. So I never had any issues with her musical abilities, nor she with mine.


But stylistically, we are different animals. She worships James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell and the like. Me, I come from a rock, pop, progressive, and metal background, with a healthy dose of fusion and swinging jazz. I've written my share of acoustic material, but even then, my stylistic choices are drawn from influences very different than my wife's.


Hence songwriting together is a no-no.

 

 

Yeah, we are pretty much the Joni, James, Simon and Garfunkel groove. I'm a BIG fan of old Jackson Browne too. Our taste is very similar.

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I experimented with having my wife in a musical project starting about 6 years ago. I bought her a bass guitar, because she was interested in playing single-note riffs and loved the low end. Her personality is very cheerful, so she would be a great frontwoman. Unfortunately, although she has the raw materials (loudness for one lol), her voice is not quite there. And her bass playing is very methodical. She is good at following and good at keeping the groove going when everything else is falling apart (a drummer losing the beat, for instance), but it takes her a really long time to get a song down and even longer to retain it.

 

I had her guest with a couple different bands on a few songs, then actually had a band with her in 2009. It didn't work out the way I hoped it would, so I shelved it and moved on with different people. It would be great if she just had 'it', meaning she could hear the things the rest of the guys in the band can and come up with stuff on the fly, but she can't, so it would be frustrating to keep trying to force her to be in a group with me.

 

We are planning on doing some practice "for old time's sake" this weekend. I would love to do an acoustic duo with her (maybe starting her out on vocal harmonies too), but I'm not sure if that will happen. I'm open to the possibility though.

 

Advice and Tips: For us, we treated each other like bandmates in band rehearsal and also onstage. That meant no kissy-kissy in front of the other guys or letting her get away with not doing her homework. Treating each other with respect, but also backing each other up for band decisions. We did develop some Sonny and Cher-like banter onstage, which was a hit with the audience, despite some of our other shortcomings. That's the part I like best about performing with her, our yin and yang contrast. Her cheerful, comedian-like demeanor, with my sarcastic, somewhat dour, but smirking offhandedness.

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LOL.. I've been doping this regular Thursday gig for almost a year. Mrs. Potts finally made it out tonight for her first time there. It was actually cool to see her at a venue that I don't normally see her it. She doesn't come out to gigs much anymore maybe once a month. I don't blame her either- she seen me so many times. I will say that I played a few tunes for her that I thought I could sort of show off on. It's kind of funny that I was trying to impress my wife of 17 years.

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My wife plays a lot of weddings and gets all kinds of calls for oddball music. We're still working out the kinks on this "electronica and live violin" act someone requested, which is a pretty good example of how our gigs work: she has some kind of need and hires me (or someone else, a lot of the time) to play the parts.

 

But we like each other and have a lot of respect for each other so it works out pretty well. I don't mind being the "support" guy (it's something that I do for a lot of acts I've worked with), and she's pretty competent at getting stuff done. Conversely, when I need to be entertaining and loud, I do that just fine, too.

 

On the gigs I book, she's really nice about not stepping on folks when she plays fiddle, and so we get along really well.

 

But the thing that really sets it is that we do some vocal stuff that you really can't do unless you play with a person a whole lot. We do a lot of duets that would ordinarily require a bit of acting to sound authentic, but since we like each other so much they come across as heart-felt as they are, at least as far as I can tell.

 

The only place where we have a bit of an issue is that I don't mind playing schmaltzy/ cheesy 90s covers (we graduated in 96), and she just hates the hell out of Nirvana/Weezer/Modest Mouse etc.

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I guess I'm pretty lucky that my wife has zero musical talent. She can tell when I'm singing off key or playing the wrong chords, but she can't carry a tune in a bucket. She rarely comes to any of my gigs because, after 33 years of marriage, she's heard all of my jokes and seen all of my routines.

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My "fiance" - I have asked in the past to assist with DJ gigs, it doesn't work very well as she drinks a lot and the alcohol slews her judgement, however I will ask her for song ideas and she does come up with some good ones! Better to let her have fun and me do the work I've found, then hire a grunt to help move the heavy stuff.

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I have very bad vision and my wife drives for me almost every gig. After the first year of my solo act I started cajoling her into singing a couple of duets with me, since she had to be there anyway. I knew she was a good singer from hearing her when she thought I wasn't listening. She got such a great response that we've been doing it ever since. She sings about 10 songs on her own and we do about 15 duets.

However, sometimes she doesn't want to sing when I call her up, bitches about the sound of her mic a lot and is hard to get to learn new material. Any musical partnership is kind of like a marriage. When it works, it's beautiful and when it doesn't it's very ugly! I love my wife dearly and we both compromise a lot to make it work. Our anniversary is tomorrow (8/11), and there's no one else on earth I'd want to be in an act with.

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HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I can barely LIVE with mine!!! LOLOLOLOL
;)

 

I hear ya :thu: Somedays....

 

Honestly, while my wife has talent, she's very very shy about it. We've been married 8 years, and she doesn't like playing guitar when she thinks someone can hear her. I think she's quite good but there's zero confidence to carry her along. It would be very tough to get her in a live environment.

 

Hmmmm, my anniversary is coming up in a week and half. Have to thing of a present -- something I'm terrible about. Not that I'm cheap, I just hate the hallmark b.s. cutsie socially imposed "buying things to impress her" moments. Perhaps, I'll buy myself a new audio interface (fussy headphone preamp on my old interface), and record a song for her on it instead :cop:

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I've been in a duo with my wife since the mid 1980s, and wouldn't have it any other way. Playing music is our second favorite thing to do together.

 

When we met we were in different bands, that both happened to break up at the same time. We've been in bigger bands together, and that was nice too, but unfortunately, the local economy won't pay enough for bigger bands anymore.

 

We both like most kinds of music but prefer to listen to Classical (from the romantic period to the present - especially dark and moody Eastern European and Russian symphonies). She is an excellent and very versatile singer, I'm decent and more limited. I am a better musician and write our background tracks, often with a lot of input from her. We each contribute our best and fortunately our strengths are not all in the same places, so we are better together than apart. We pretty much share all the other duties, including schlepping the equipment. We have strong work ethics, we practice hard, work hard, and take this all seriously. Our main objective is pleasing the audience and doing what it takes, within our own limitations, to do just that.

 

The secret is that not only do we have a great relationship on-stage, but a great one off-stage as well. She is definitely my best friend. We make each other smile every single day.

 

While we do have some separate interests, 24/7 isn't enough time to spend together. I make an effort to learn about and appreciate what makes her passionate, and she does the same for me. It's enriched my life and hopefully hers as well.

 

Best friends is the secret to a happy marriage.

 

Often when those artistic differences of opinion arise, we each want the other to have their way, unless one is obviously better and we both agree on it.

 

I don't know what advice to give anyone. We don't have to work to make our relationship work onstage or off. We just enjoy each other.

 

I guess I'm just a lucky guy (I know I'm a lucky guy).

 

Notes

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