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You guys gigging to mixed age groups playing in large population areas


jimiv

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I stumbled on this 21 year old female vocalist who can actually sing and she has the looks. (I will post pics as soon as possible). I also brought in a lead guitar player (late 20s) much younger than our current player. This will definitely spice up the front. She is not ready for prime time yet so this is a start up side project for me and our band. Question is, what mix of classic classic/classic rock/current pop/current rock/top 40 would you have By classic classic, I mean those classic rock songs that are being accepted and requested by the younger crowd ala Sweet Child, DSB, You Shook Me, etc.

 

Not looking for songlists, just how much percentage wise of each type you would put in the setlist She has learned so far:

 

1. Superstition

2. Gravity

3.Sharp Dressed Man

4.Knock On Wood

5. Beat It

6. Celebrity Skin

7. Don't Stop Believing

8. Hit Me With Your Best Shot

9.Hard To Handle

10.Jenny Jenny

11. Let It Roll

12.Sweet Child

13.Rock N Roll

14.Bad Case of Lovin You

15 Jump

 

Here is what she already knows, alot of which I don't think will work for us:

1. Take Me to the River

2. I wish

3. Chuck E

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I stumbled on this 21 year old female vocalist who can actually sing and she has the looks. (I will post pics as soon as possible). I also brought in a lead guitar player (late 20s) much younger than our current player. This will definitely spice up the front. She is not ready for prime time yet so this is a start up side project for me and our band. Question is, what mix of classic classic/classic rock/current pop/current rock/top 40 would you have By classic classic, I mean those classic rock songs that are being accepted and requested by the younger crowd ala Sweet Child, DSB, You Shook Me, etc.

 

Not looking for songlists, just how much percentage wise of each type you would put in the setlist She has learned so far:

 

1. Superstition

2. Gravity

3.Sharp Dressed Man

4.Knock On Wood

5. Beat It

6. Celebrity Skin

7. Don't Stop Believing

8. Hit Me With Your Best Shot

9.Hard To Handle

10.Jenny Jenny

11. Let It Roll

12.Sweet Child

13.Rock N Roll

14.Bad Case of Lovin You

15 Jump

 

Here is what she already knows, alot of which I don't think will work for us:

1. Take Me to the River

2. I wish

3. Chuck E

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I think the biggest thing you want to focus on is where you are going to play and what kind of gigs to get this mixed crowd. Its going to be pretty hard to start right out with festivals and pvt events before you earn a reputation working this kind of crowd. Where ya gonna cut your teeth with this new band? Every bands needs to start somewhere ,, ya got that part figured out yet?

 

 

Yep, for the most part we are trying to stay away from the clubs. If you go to the website you can see where we are playing and where we have played. I am trying to make the current setlist more appealing to the the mixed ages you get at privates. When the girl is ready, I will pop her in at the next appropriate gig and use the older players for the strictly classic rock gigs (which are getting fewer and fewer) Right now, I am focused on the setlist.

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I don't think there's much in the "already know" list that will work--"Take Me To The River" might work with a cool arrangement. Maybe "What's Goin' On". The rest is probably best saved for a cocktail/dinner set.

 

As far as "percentages" go, I think you might be over-thinking it too much. What you have there all looks pretty good, I'd just hit all those areas harder and go with what works. If one type of song is working for you, then I'd do "more that". But you really don't know until you work 'em up and play 'em out.

 

I know you're kinda looking to go down some of the same path I'm doing gigwise, so I don't know how much of this will help or not, but here's a setlist from a recent corporate gig we did that worked well. Maybe you can get some idea of "percentages" from this?

 

SET 1

G I GOT A FEELING

Dm BOOGIE OOGIE OOGIE

Cm THAT'S THE WAY/SHAKE UR BOOTY

F#m BILLIE JEAN

A LET'S GO

D JESSIE

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Yep, for the most part we are trying to stay away from the clubs. If you go to the website you can see where we are playing and where we have played. I am trying to make the current setlist more appealing to the the mixed ages you get at privates. When the girl is ready, I will pop her in at the next appropriate gig and use the older players for the strictly classic rock gigs (which are getting fewer and fewer) Right now, I am focused on the setlist.

 

 

 

I just went there .. it doesnt look like you guys are playing that much. If you want to become more busy and get those pvt gigs , you are going to have to get this band out there more than what you are now,,, and the odds of doing it starting right out with alot of PVT party gigs are not very high. So you are going to need a plan as well as the set list if you want it to work. You need to get the new and improved band out there to launch the new image. You could just keep doing what you are doing ,, but its going to be a slower path to where you want to be, i would think

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I just went there .. it doesnt look like you guys are playing that much. If you want to become more busy and get those pvt gigs , you are going to have to get this band out there more than what you are now,,, and the odds of doing it starting right out with the PVT party gigs are not very high. So you are going to need a plan as well as the set list if you want ot to work.

 

 

You're right, we have four gigs coming up and if you notice they are privates. I would have more on the books if I was hawking clubs, which I don't really want to do anymore. I'm ok with once or twice a month. Those four gigs coming up will net us close to 10,000.00 at approx. 2500.00 per. We would need to book six to eight club gigs per month over the same period to make that. We're not going to do that anymore. It's just not what we want to do. It's not about how much you play out, it's about your EPK and how you're marketing yourself, but that isn't what this thread is about anyway. Once in a blue moon I would get a request at a club gig to do a wedding or a corporate, but you really have to market your band outside of playing clubs to do that. I think I'm starting to see the fruits of that now and I am hoping by this time next year, I'll be doing the 25-30 per year that we used to do except they won't be clubs.

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I just went there .. it doesnt look like you guys are playing that much. If you want to become more busy and get those pvt gigs , you are going to have to get this band out there more than what you are now,,, and the odds of doing it starting right out with alot of PVT party gigs are not very high. So you are going to need a plan as well as the set list if you want it to work. You need to get the new and improved band out there to launch the new image. You could just keep doing what you are doing ,, but its going to be a slower path to where you want to be, i would think

 

 

I might have agreed with you a year or two ago, but I have to say I've learned this is wrong. Private gigs aren't going to come in any great number from being "out there" unless you're prepared to be "out there" for several years building your rep.

 

OTHO, I took my band from probably right about the same position Jimi is in right now---5 old guys tired of playing clubs and looking to add a female and hit the private gig circuit---to where we are now--28 pvt events, all paying between $2500 and $5000, booked so far this year and it's still only June--in less than a year.

 

In my case it was all about the promo and the marketing. We didn't do a single public gig with the new name and image and booked no gigs on any prior reputation we had. It was all just driving the customers through the door with the promo and then locking down the gigs.

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You're right, we have four gigs coming up and if you notice they are privates. I would have more on the books if I was hawking clubs, which I don't really want to do anymore. I'm ok with once or twice a month. Those four gigs coming up will net us close to 10,000.00 at approx. 2500.00 per. We would need to book six to eight club gigs per month over the same period to make that. We're not going to do that anymore. It's just not what we want to do. It's not about how much you play out, it's about your EPK and how you're marketing yourself, but that isn't what this thread is about anyway. Once in a blue moon I would get a request at a club gig to do a wedding or a corporate, but you really have to market your band outside of playing clubs to do that. I think I'm starting to see the fruits of that now and I am hoping by this time next year, I'll be doing the 25-30 per year that we used to do except they won't be clubs.

 

 

 

I guess i was thinking about the reality that you are re tooling a band by adding a new lead player and a new front person. You guys are a good band , but you are taking on the task of going to whats pretty much a solo singer with bairly there back up vocals to one with a new front person and hopfully some more in your face harmony back ups. I question if i would want to start on my A list clients when you guys are getting your footing with the new format. Like you said , your new songbird isnt ready for prime time yet ,, and you wont get her there completely in rehersal. I think after I got my set list together ,, I would dig up some lower profile B list gigs to break in the new crew and the new songs in front of a crowd. Be sure that place is one that is haunted by the PVT party types so ,, you can be fishing for more gigs while you are getting your A game together. Just a suggestion mind you ,,,, its not uncommon when I was in michigan for the PVT party bands to have a fishin hole venue to mine for more pvt gigs. Over by the lakeshore was typically where they all headed to get that job done. I agree with guido that marketing is very important ,, but you really want to have things ready for prime time before you start with your major clients.

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If he's booked some good gigs with the band "as is" then he might already be on the way there.

 

One of the reasons we made the change we did was we had been fishing around in the pvt party/wedding circuit for a couple of years. Booking 6-10 such gigs a year at about $1500 per. So we knew we could cut the gigs, we just knew that with a female upfront and a new name/look/promo etc we'd be a $3000 band with 3 times the work.

 

So if JimiVs band is already dipping their toes in that water then he likely knows whether they're ready for prime time or not. Getting the girl up to speed? Sounds like he's doing it as a "side project" for now. If she's really green I'd definately take your advice and get some club gigs under her belt, although I might shy AWAY from potential clients if she isn't ready yet. One bad gig can undo all the work of 20 good ones.

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Yes I'll be making that transition very carefully for sure.

 

 

Some good news on the corp gig front:

 

We played a gig last week that was run by some gal who handles corporate events out of Santa Barbara. She was going on about how the last couple of years have been slow due to the economy but it looks like more companies will be doing more parties this year and next. Especially among the BIG boys. She was telling us that Goldman Sachs will be having their first big company party since the financial meltdown but that they are keeping it on the down-low---even going so far as to book it all under a different name--because they don't want word to get out that they're blowing a bunch of money on a party.

 

Unfortunately, we can't get that gig. Apparently they've already hired Beyonce....

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Some good news on the corp gig front:



Unfortunately, we can't get that gig. Apparently they've already hired Beyonce....

 

 

 

Hahahaha....Hmmmmmm wonder if that's considered an A level band.

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I'm impressed by the songs New Girl already knows- IMO she has pretty mature tastes for a 21-year old. IMO alot of them would work just fine for a classy, jazzy/R&B band, corporate or not. Push her too far into the party {censored} and the OP might lose her to another group that is a better fit for her. IMO.

 

EDITED: But of course, if she wants the gig, and big bucks that go with it, her job is to adapt to the OP's band, not vice versa. Just saying she might not be a good fit.

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I'm impressed by the songs New Girl already knows- IMO she has pretty mature tastes for a 21-year old. IMO alot of them would work just fine for a classy, jazzy/R&B band, corporate or not. Push her too far into the party {censored} and the OP might lose her to another group that is a better fit for her. IMO.


EDITED: But of course, if she wants the gig, and big bucks that go with it, her job is to adapt to the OP's band, not vice versa. Just saying she might not be a good fit.

 

 

Yeah, I'm wondering about her set list (which are songs I've actually heard of.) Given all the discussion we have here about the marketability of "tired old songs", how did she manage to learn those?

 

If you haven't had a listening session with her to go through all the songs you're considering, I would do that ASAP.

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I'm impressed by the songs New Girl already knows- IMO she has pretty mature tastes for a 21-year old. IMO alot of them would work just fine for a classy, jazzy/R&B band, corporate or not. Push her too far into the party {censored} and the OP might lose her to another group that is a better fit for her. IMO.


EDITED: But of course, if she wants the gig, and big bucks that go with it, her job is to adapt to the OP's band, not vice versa. Just saying she might not be a good fit.

 

 

Impossible to know if she, or anyone, is a good fit or not without knowing them, of course. One has to assume she already knows what she's getting into by hooking up with these older guys and presumably part of the appeal to her is to work with an experienced band who can get some good gigs rather than slogging it out in the nightclubs. Not all young girls would want that---many would probably prefer to slog it out with guys their own age---but she might be one with motivations that are in sync with what the band is doing.

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I'm impressed by the songs New Girl already knows- IMO she has pretty mature tastes for a 21-year old.

 

 

Yeah I was looking at that list and most are too old for them to even be her parent's music... you gotta wonder how kids get turned on to that old stuff since radio is practically dead?

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Yeah, I'm wondering about her set list (which are songs I've actually heard of.) Given all the discussion we have here about the marketability of "tired old songs", how did she manage to learn those?

 

 

Who knows? Maybe she learned them from her dad who is a musician. Or she did some low-paying lounge gig doing that stuff. Maybe she just personally likes old songs. But I'll pretty much guarentee she didn't learn them by playing in a band doing what Jimiv is hoping to do with his.

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Who knows? Maybe she learned them from her dad who is a musician. Or she did some low-paying lounge gig doing that stuff. Maybe she just personally likes old songs. But I'll pretty much guarentee she didn't learn them by playing in a band doing what Jimiv is hoping to do with his.

 

 

I "guarantee" at least half of those songs WOULD work on high end gigs in the right set list order and - as you keep telling us - with the right presentation. I'm including a strong rhythm section as part of my concept of "presentation."

 

This is an endless argument, it seems. We talk about regional differences in bars and dance clubs, but I'll bet there are measurable differences in your circuit too. A large talent agency here in DC that books your kind of gigs exclusively - mostly large groups with multiple singers and often with horns - uses this song for the default web page background music . . . .

 

Vehicle - Ides of March.

 

No kidding.

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I "guarantee" at least half of those songs WOULD work on high end gigs in the right set list order and - as you keep telling us - with the right presentation. I'm including a strong rhythm section as part of my concept of "presentation."

 

 

Like I told JimiV upfront, those are songs that would work in a cocktail/dinner set environment--and there are some good corporate bands who pretty much ONLY do those sorts of gigs. But those are mostly all background music/light dancing sorts of gigs. Put most of those in any set where dancing is the requirement, and they will fail and you risk killing the entire set.

 

My band gets hired for gigs where people want to dance. Often they want background music during dinner/cocktails and we'll do a set for them if they want that; often they only want to just play recorded music. I know that JimiV is looking to do a similar deal with his band, which is why I shot down those songs choices. Had he been talking about being a DIFFERENT sort of band, I might have suggested they were perfect.

 

But yes--there ARE bands that work playing high-end gigs doing that sort of material...like you said it's all in the presentation. Just not the kind of gigs I personally prefer to do. YMMV, of course.

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We did a dinner set for a gig last week. This was the songlist:

 

DON'T KNOW WHY

OOH BABY BABY

FLY ME TO THE MOON

THANK YOU

TIME AFTER TIME

COME AWAY WITH ME

LANDSLIDE

THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT

MARRY ME

I'M YOURS/LAZY SONG

TAKE MY BREATH AWAY

 

"Marry Me" and "Take My Breath Away" aren't obvious and usual choices for that set, but we were requested to play those for a wedding tomorrow night, so we used this as an opportunity to rehearse them.

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I take it subscribe to the minimum 124 bpm theory of dance tempos. It's an interesting concept, but I've seen a lot of folks dance to a slower groove . . . . assuming the band can groove. Anything slower than 124 does not put it in the same category as a dinner set ballad or slow swing in my book.

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I take it subscribe to the minimum 124 bpm theory of dance tempos. It's an interesting concept, but I've seen a lot of folks dance to a slower groove . . . . assuming the band can groove. Anything slower than 124 does not put it in the same category as a dinner set ballad or slow swing in my book.

 

 

Agreed, but it's more about song familiarity and reaching the intended client. If you're doing a corporate gig where the crowd is largely 30-50 years old and they want an evening of dancing after their dinner or awards or whatever-the-purpose of their event is, then "Love Shack" and "Gonna Make You Sweat" are going to pack the floor. "Give Me One Reason" and "Ain't No Sunshine"...not so much.

 

But for a different sort of gig, those songs would be great.

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Yeah, I'm wondering about her set list (which are songs I've actually heard of.) Given all the discussion we have here about the marketability of "tired old songs", how did she manage to learn those?


If you haven't had a listening session with her to go through all the songs you're considering, I would do that ASAP.

 

 

 

We went through enough of them to know that she isn't a poser and knows them well. There was no point in going through all of them because we are not going to be doing most of that stuff. I did pull eight or so of those to go with a dinner set that we will need to have at the ready. What I liked about her was not only her crooner voice, but that she can sing the other stuff as well....Beat It, Hit me with ur Best Shot, Rock n Roll, Sharp Dressed Man, Journey, etc. And it helps that the other guitar player sings about 2 per set.

 

I do want to thank David, again, for the setlist ideas, which we adjusted and hope to have polished by fall which is this (Obviously, the top 40 will probably change somewhat depending on popularity over the summer:

 

 

SET 1

I GOT A FEELING

BEAT IT

PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC (WHITE BOY)

BILLIE JEAN

BRICKHOUSE

JESSIE

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