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I just need to whine a bit.


snoggin

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Man this music thing can be discouraging.. In the space of two months i've gone from being in two bands to none. Both were doing a mix of originals and covers.

 

I live in Marin County in Northern Ca just north of San Francisco.. I hear about the music scenes in other areas and think WTF!! It is nothing like that around here.. Very few clubs , Cover bands dont do well really and the whole thing is you have to bring your own crowd as people dont frequent the clubs that are here otherwise.. .. Its not just me , I have checked out the live music many places when I'mnot playing and lots of them are DEAD.

 

The economy is taking a toll on finding musicians.. I had a pretty good little trio going .. The guys that did the recording on myspace with me and the bass player job melted and he had to relocate.. The drummer in that band just gave up.. He is struggling really bad financially and just didnt have the energy any more.

 

My other Band with the female vocalist, shhe just got tired of playing to {censored}ty rooms .. She is actually trying to get a cruise ship gig. More power to her on that .. at least it pays.

 

I am still impassioned about the whole thing .. I LOVE to play, rehearse whatever but mostly I want to play for some other peeps.. i am having a really hard time trying to find another band.. I think I have a lot to offer but it doesnt seem to matter.. I play guitar , I sing better than most, have a good ear for harmony, I have a great rehearsal space.

 

I dont think I suck but sometimes i start to wonder.. I guess I just need to keep plugging away and hopefully something will stick.. I really want to pusrue original music as the cover scene around here just seems to be nowhere anyway.. I am doing some rehearsing with a cover band thats reforming but losing my enthusiasm as I am finding the vocals wont be where i think they need to be.. STill these folks apparently used to have good gigs in a prior incarnation and played for some largerish crowds.. Thats really what i want ,, I am not in it for the money really..

 

I have some guys I could bring in to make a cd so thinking i may try and focus on that for awhile and put togetther a product i can try an d push..

 

I've only been doing this for three years.. I wuit playing for 25 years when I was 22 because of issues arond sex drugs and rock and roll.. But i picked it back up three years ago and the passion reignited big time.. REally I just want to have a really good band and make some music i can be proud of.. But it just seems to be really hard right now..

 

www.myspace.com/thescarletpimpernels

 

www.myspace.com/moonchildmarin

 

 

Anyway, i guess i just wanted to vent.. I cruise Craigslist daily but it seems to be a wasteland right now.. .. i guess i will just keep plugging away and see what happens.. Mmyabe the right people will appear.

 

What could i do better?? any ideas??

 

Snoggin

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Keep writing and recording. Maybe develop a few sets of solo material. Having to depend on other people can lead to a lot of inactivity. You are in an area of with lot of guys who have been at it a long time. Coming back to it only three years ago, you are at a huge disadvantage considering the scant number of decent gigs available. The other thing to consider is the type of music your playing, the market for it in this area, or the lack thereof. Classic rock really doesn't have much of a market here at the moment IMO. Even guy's who made hit records back in the 70's 80's don't have that much going on here right now.

 

Did you know some young bands playing mostly reggae drew 70,000 people to golden gate park yesterday? Latin bands are gigging. There's a ton of flamenco gigs in the bay area at the moment compared to years past. So, my point is there are some things going on. You can try to make people go to the mountain, or you can go to the people.

 

Larksbur might as well be the city or the east bay as far as geography. I've always lived in the city or south of there, but did plenty of gigs in Marin, so you might have to travel a bit to maximize your opportunities. There might be a classic rock band/scene in Concord/Alameda/Hayward for example. I've always enjoyed the diversity of music here, and used that to gig in a lot of different types of bands. Not all of them played exactly what I wanted to do, but they were gigging. Gigging leads to more gigging.

 

Find a singer -songwriter that needs a guitarist to play a few leads on acoustic, hook up with a Latin rock band, go out to Concord and jam with some country rock dudes. If you sit around trolling CL waiting to find four people who want to do exactly what you want you could be waiting a long time. There's an incredible diversity of opportunity here-take advantage of it and you'll expand your musical horizons and maybe find a passion for a completely different kind of music. Above all, keep practicing and honing your skills. There's a lot of great electric guitar players around here. What makes you different? Tweak your sound, your gear. You may get an incredible opportunity at any time.

 

Finally, everyone wants to play for large crowds. I've played the Greek, the Fillmore, and the Shoreline. But, I've been gigging in the Bay for over thirty years. And I've played two of those places exactly once. I'd love to play those type of gigs all the time. So would everyone else. The stars have to line up just right for stuff like that to happen. I've been in exactly one band that had any real following. And that wasn't enough to draw even a hundred fans to semi weekly gigs. There's too many bands playing here for that unless you really take off. But I've done thousands of paid gigs. If you make that(a huge following) your definition of success, as opposed to simply playing good music with good musicians, your setting yourself up for a letdown.

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Yeah,, I do sound like I'm crying in my beer a bit huh?? Martin C,, I am trying to branch out with a multipronged approach.. i figure I will record my own cd with some hired guns i know.. I am not averse to other genre's than the classic rock kind of thing but it is what I do best.. My own original stuff is defintiely kinda retro but there are some that like it anyway.

 

 

I wouldnt mind playing in a country type outfit at all and there is lots of crossover with the blues rock kind of thing.. I think I need to try and play to my strengths such as they are as far a guitar goes.. I havent played that long really and dont have monster chops but i dig in and can get some mojo going in what i am capable of.

 

That and maybe a party type band..

 

When I say i want to play for crowds I am willing to work up the ladder lol.. 200 would be a big gig for me.. I dont have unrealistic expectations.. i just want to have fun and keep improving.

 

Its just being back to square one in a way thats discouraging. I dont have the advantage of years of being around and knowing who's who in the Bay area or have a long list of contacts for players.. I'll keep working the different angles and be ready to jump if something good comes up ,, ya know..

 

But this business isnt for the meek thats for sure.

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It's tough in your market (probably any market really...)unless you're really willing to work it. I know that these guys are more or less based in the North Bay, but they are doing club gigs in Vacaville, Sac, even up here in Tahoe. And getting a lot of great casuals. But they put a LOT of effort into promotion and production:

 

http://www.popfictionlive.com

 

Not that I think you have be to a Top40/Party band to make good money doing covers. In a market as big as the Bay Area, there's room for a lot of different stuff. But you really have to put a lot of effort into it these days. Just playing good music isn't enough anymore.

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I checked Pop Fictions website out.. They have a lot going on in the party band arena.. I'm pretty sure i Dont want to do that. My heart is really in doing some original stuff at this point but I am pretty sure there isnt too much market for it.. I dont mind rocking out some covers though to be able to do both.. I think Classic rock in its basic bar band format is more or less burnt out around here .. You can play it but people dont really care..

 

So I'm going to try working at what I DO BEST and see if maybe i can do some covers my way as well as original tunes.. Try and use and manage facebook and online ways of building some kind of fan base.. It sounds really hard but like a lot of gigs in this day and age its do something different or die.. For better or worse I dont really want to play the modern radio hits like poker face etc... Although I DO LIKE Lady GAGA some.. She definitely puts on a show.. I think her tunes have good hooks and melody too.. Just not my style..

 

I may have to flail around for a bit to see what s possible

 

 

It's tough in your market (probably any market really...)unless you're really willing to work it. I know that these guys are more or less based in the North Bay, but they are doing club gigs in Vacaville, Sac, even up here in Tahoe. And getting a lot of great casuals. But they put a LOT of effort into promotion and production:




Not that I think you have be to a Top40/Party band to make good money doing covers. In a market as big as the Bay Area, there's room for a lot of different stuff. But you really have to put a lot of effort into it these days. Just playing good music isn't enough anymore.

 

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I checked Pop Fictions website out.. They have a lot going on in the party band arena.. I'm pretty sure i Dont want to do that.

 

 

I hear ya. And I wouldn't recommend doing it because they are already doing it so well. My point was to show how WELL they do it and how well they market themselves and consequently how much they are working. I think a country or classic rock or soul/R&B band could find similar success in the same market if they did it as well as those guys do.

 

But it takes a lot of work. Just their website alone leaves me fairly awestruck with the amount of time and effort that probably goes into it.

 

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do. The key is to find your niche in the market and then exploit the hell of it! Go for it!

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