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Raise your hand if you are in an acoustic duo!


vanlatte

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How many here are doing the acoustic duo thing? Can be one guitar and two singers, two guitars one singer, guitar and bass, whatever.

 

I am interested to see what kind of arrangements you guys have, the flow of your setlists, etc. My duo is going to tackle it's first gig soon and am curious about what is going on elsewhere. Around here most duos are doing the David Mathews/John Mayer/Jazon Maraz type thing and we are pretty far from that, more folky oldschool + a little peppy but nothing too crazy.

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I am. Setlists don't exist, we just do whatever, off the top of our heads. Material ranges from 50's to current stuff.

 

I would be all over that if I was the weak link in our chain...so we sort of need some structure. :D

 

My biggest concerns are dead air, and everybody needs to be at the top of their game to avoid that. Do you have any "never fail" songs?

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I am in one, too. We usually wing it but we have lots of stuff ready to go. We change everything for the particular crowd and we decide what is coming next before we finish the previous song. We will only have the first few songs ready to go and many are medley type things that flow from one to the other.. A few years ago we would basically create the entire set off of what we started with. We rehearsed 15 to 20 songs that just flowed and we just played through what we considered one long song. There was a variety including ballads and rockers all run together with no dead air at all. We would program the breaks and have our banter "rehearsed" while one or the other takes a sip of beer so there was no dead quiet stage for more then a half second. Never more then 5 to 10 seconds without music being played.

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:wave:

Were doing mostly 60s pop covers intersersed with some 60s-70s folk. Rascals, Beatles, Animals, Creedence etc. We just work out the arragement so that it works with 2 acoustics. He sings the high stuff, I sing the gravelly stuff. We both take solos. Right now we have about 10-15 tunes down, enough for one set. So far we've only done a couple of open mics. Hope to get a Fri or Sat night gig at a local pub soon as we can put together a couple more sets.

 

We are working towards a set of stuff where I can play the banjo or dobro.

Also a set of material where I play upright, prob got 5-6 of those now.

Throwing in some 70s stuff here, Eagles, the Band, some Dylan too. We prob got 5-6 pretty much nailed w/ bass, and 2-3 with banjo or dobro. It throws pretty much all the singing to my partenr when we do this. Some stuff I can sing & play bass, some I cant. Banjo & Dobro, I cant do both at the same time.

 

Its been slow, but were in no hurry, in it just for fun, going at our own pace. We can only practice one night a week at best.

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I would be all over that if I was the weak link in our chain...so we sort of need some structure.
:D

My biggest concerns are dead air, and everybody needs to be at the top of their game to avoid that. Do you have any "never fail" songs?

 

Pretty much anything by the Beatles. Usually one or the other has a great idea that can't wait to get out, so first one to play a chord wins.

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:wave:

 

Mostly classic country and Americana with your occasional classic rock song thrown in. We do a lot of John Prine, too. Two guitars, two singers. I harmonize on his stuff, but he only sings lead. We don't use a setlist, either. Once in awhile there is a dead-air time problem, usually if my partner is tired or something. We usually alternate lead vocals, so when he's in the middle of singing a song I'm figuring out what we're going to play next. He has a setlist of about 400 songs he can pull from, and I have about 30 that will work with our duo. :lol: We usually play at least one song I've never done before.

 

My partner will actually play a duet with a number of different people. He has a guy that sings maybe 5 songs and harmonizes that plays bass, 3 different guys who play lead guitar mainly and sing a handful of songs, and he even did a duo with a mando player this week.

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:wave:

Mostly classic country and Americana with your occasional classic rock song thrown in. We do a lot of John Prine, too. Two guitars, two singers. I harmonize on his stuff, but he only sings lead. We don't use a setlist, either. Once in awhile there is a dead-air time problem, usually if my partner is tired or something. We usually alternate lead vocals, so when he's in the middle of singing a song I'm figuring out what we're going to play next. He has a setlist of about 400 songs he can pull from, and I have about 30 that will work with our duo.
:lol:
We usually play at least one song I've never done before.

 

I have seen/heard your group(s) and we are going for a similar thing music wise, sort of bluegrass meets folk meets acoustic rock.

 

Hmmm....maybe I am just over thinking this because chances are we are going to end up shuffling the set list all over the place anyway :)

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Guitar and URB, both singing lead and harmony. We do classic country, mostly, with some Tin Pan Alley stuff and rock songs that work as country tunes. We have a setlist, and go from song to song with very little dead air. I also play ukulele, harmonica, and kazoo, and I'm thinking of bringing in the Telecaster for a set.

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folky oldschool + a little peppy but nothing too crazy.

 

 

Two guitars/vocals

 

Here's a sample setlist... throw in some Janis, CSNY, etc...

 

Sweet Child

Your Love

Dead Flowers

Joey

Beast of Burden

Redneck Woman

The Rose

Boots

Save Tonight

Here for the Party

Boys of Summer

99 Red Balloons

Just Like Heaven

Pretty In Pink

Don't Stop

Your Love

Jenny

Son of a Preacher Man

Blister

What I Like About You

Brown Eyed Girl

Beast of Burden

I'm the Only One

Zombie

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I wish we could do more Beatles, right now we only have Rain because everything else is just too hard to sing for us. Couple of non-tenors here.
:D

 

We have changed the keys of a few of our songs over the years. Every once in a while we go back to the original key just to humble ourselves and to prove how old we are. Beatles can work in any key...:thu:

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As a duo (The Bentwood Rockers), we play acoustic music from the 20's and 30's and continually switch instruments, always trying new combinations. We find a key that suits our voices, one that we can play in. We wing gigs where we are background music and prepare set lists for when the audience will really be listening. That is when we do some patter. What we put in the set lists depends upon several things, most importantly the audience expected. Other factors are key, instrumental combinations, how well a piece has been accepted in the past, how tired we are of it, how excited we are by something else, the mood it projects, time signature, tempo - we make sure at least some of these things are changing from piece to piece.

 

Roland, "The Bard Rocks"

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As a duo (The Bentwood Rockers), we play acoustic music from the 20's and 30's and continually switch instruments, always trying new combinations. We find a key that suits our voices, one that we can play in. We wing gigs where we are background music and prepare set lists for when the audience will really be listening. That is when we do some patter. What we put in the set lists depends upon several things, most importantly the audience expected. Other factors are key, instrumental combinations, how well a piece has been accepted in the past, how tired we are of it, how excited we are by something else, the mood it projects, time signature, tempo - we make sure at least some of these things are changing from piece to piece.


Roland, "The Bard Rocks"

 

 

20s and 30s? That sounds interesting...you have a web link? Would love to hear some new and different stuff.

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Two guitars/vocals


Here's a sample setlist... throw in some Janis, CSNY, etc...


Sweet Child

Your Love

Dead Flowers

Joey

Beast of Burden

Redneck Woman

The Rose

Boots

Save Tonight

Here for the Party

Boys of Summer

99 Red Balloons

Just Like Heaven

Pretty In Pink

Don't Stop

Your Love

Jenny

Son of a Preacher Man

Blister

What I Like About You

Brown Eyed Girl

Beast of Burden

I'm the Only One

Zombie

 

 

 

There are times when I can really see the benefit of having a female vocalist, our setlist could easily double in size and variety. As of right now my only option would be to become a three piece or find a new project.

 

The latter is more likely, to be honest.

 

And "Joey" is a fantastic, under rated song. :thu:

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There are times when I can really see the benefit of having a female vocalist, our setlist could easily double in size and variety. As of right now my only option would be to become a three piece or find a new project.


The latter is more likely, to be honest.


And "Joey" is a fantastic, under rated song
.
:thu:

 

on the strength of your comment I looked this song up and its great - have to practice and get it in the set:)

 

We play with me on accoustic (yamaha apx500) and most vocals and my mate on lead (parker firefly) backed with an alesis sr16. mainly rock, irish and scots.

 

I hear you knocking

Squeezebox

I used ta love her

Galway Girl

Dead flowers

You cant always get what you want

Suspicious minds

Darling

The Rock (Frankie Miller)

Dirty old town

Ride on

Good riddance

basket case

teenage kicks

 

and of course

 

500 miles and Loch Lomond (we are in Scotland);)

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Julie and I mostly play as a duo now - much more affordable and sells at least as many CDs as the full band did. :idk:

 

We do mostly original tunes, add in about 5-6 covers during a two hour show off the top of my head including:

 

Hit Me Baby - acoustic version of Britney's hit

Empty Glass - country standard

Romeo & Juliet - Dire Straits (we do the Monte Mongomery version, sorta)

Spooky - Bizarre funk / 12 string tuned in 5ths version

 

Terry D.

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FWIW - We're working up some new tunes for this Thursday's acoustic gig:

 

King of Anything - Sara Bareilles

Halfway Gone - Lifehouse

Purple Rain - Prince

Memory - Sugarcult

Best I Ever Had - Vertical Horizon

Fix You - Cold Play (I admit its a guilty pleasure)

Redemption Song - Bob Marley

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:wave:

Mostly classic country and Americana with your occasional classic rock song thrown in. We do a lot of John Prine, too. Two guitars, two singers.... We don't use a setlist, either. Once in awhile there is a dead-air time problem, usually if my partner is tired or something. We usually alternate lead vocals, so when he's in the middle of singing a song I'm figuring out what we're going to play next.

 

 

Pretty much said what I was going to say right here!

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Semi-acoustic Americana duo here: She plays acoustic and I play acoustic, semi-hollow-body and baritone guitars. We're thinking of adding a guy who can play guitar, banjo and mandolin, freeing me to play Dobro-style slide or bass.

 

Each of us sings lead and harmony.

 

Here's our last setlist, though for shorter gigs we usually just a pick a couple of openers and wing it from there.

 

A Love the Magician, Dave Carter

A Bang the Drum Slowly, Emmylou Harris

D Keep Your Distance, Richard Thompson

D Leaving La. in the Broad Daylight, Rodney Crowell

B Across the Great Divide, Kate Wolf

B Crossing the Bar, Rani Arbo/Tennyson

B Orphan Girl, Gillian Welch

C Dear Mary, Linda Thompson

C Miss Ohio, G. Welch

D I

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Julie and I mostly play as a duo now - much more affordable and sells at least as many CDs as the full band did.
:idk:

We do mostly original tunes, add in about 5-6 covers during a two hour show off the top of my head including:


Hit Me Baby - acoustic version of Britney's hit

Empty Glass - country standard

Romeo & Juliet - Dire Straits (we do the Monte Mongomery version, sorta)

Spooky - Bizarre funk / 12 string tuned in 5ths version


Terry D.

 

Wow, there is a gal around here that does a solo act and she also does the Briteny song; I was amazed at how good it sounded. Whoda thunk a tune like that could translate well to acoustic?

 

:D

 

Actually I LOVE it when somebody does something clever like that, take a song that has a lot of instrumentation and pare it down to just guitar and voice. Sometimes its very effective, and I am always on the lookout for songs I can butcher that way.

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I will say that much like my full band, we're weird. We don't sit when we play. We stand up and dance.

 

 

Nothin wrong with that! I would rather see an energetic duo than a couple bored looking people sitting on stools. Which seems to be more of the norm....

 

That is something we need to work on. I draw the line at sitting down but neither of us are very active (yet). Its odd for me because in a full band I was all over the place and it takes some getting used to.

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