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Gigs for a solo guitar player doing covers with a drum machine?!?


Thunderbroom

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I've got a friend/acquaintance that's a really, really good guitar player. He's had bad luck putting bands together over the years. He ends up being the only responsible member of the band. He's decided to go solo doing covers with a drum machine. He's wondering what kind of gig opportunities are out there.

 

In the Chicago area, I don't know of venue hiring a solo guitarist playing covers. I suggested to him that if he wrote his own songs, he could play a ton of places in Chicago. I suppose if he sticks to covers, he could play as background music at a restaurant. Here's some of the stuff he does:

 

everlong - foo fighters

monsoon - jack johnson

the fear - lilly allen

strawberry fields - beatles

plush - stp

scientist - coldplay

man who sold the world - nirvana

trouble - coldplay

across the universe - beatles

drops of jupiter - train

wicked game - chris issac

wish you were here - floyd

wonderwall - oasis

no such thing - john mayer

brain damage - floyd

give a little bit - supertramp

black - pearl jam

I am the walrus - beatles

interstate love song - stp

jealous of the moon - nickel creek

no rain - blind melon

clocks - coldplay

message in a bottle - police

god put a smile - coldplay

in your eyes - peter gabriel

overkill - colin hay

Any suggestions for this guy?!?

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Instead of a drum machine go with prerecorded drum tracks of a real person drummer. This adds a lot more soul and feel to it believe it or not.

 

I have seen a few "acts" of guitarist + bassist and a drum machine at a bar or two. He should get on the open mic circuit without drums and see if any bar owners get along well with him - then he can ask.

 

He might try some private parties - maybe even at colleged/frats. Not sure.

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If any of you Chicago folks know of bassists/drummers that would like to do Rush/Satriani type stuff, this guy can play it. I'd love to see the guy get a band together with folks that aren't flakes.

 

 

Only thing is, very few people want to hear it.

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Only thing is, very few people want to hear it.

 

I've been trying to tell him this off/on for years.

:freak:

 

I have to give his last band props though. My rock band opened for them. While they did a little of that stuff and some Tool to boot, they did a medley of "Gangsta, Gangsta" by NWA and some Hendrix song. It was AWESOME!

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Is a drum machine really needed?


Usually a solo guitar is along the quiet, background vein anyway; why throw in canned and monotonous clatter?

 

 

was my initial thought as well.

 

solo acoustic acts and duos are pretty popular in my area most likely because the bars are more willing to pay a few hundo as opposed to 500+ for a full band.

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Obviously, this guy's quite talented.

However, every time I've seen this situation, it's come off as cheesy. FWIW, I'd suggest he grab someone to accompany him on hand percussion. So I guess I'm with Vanlatte.

OTOH, if he was doing original material, and was thinking out of the box, I know he could make that work...and make it work with *style*.

If he completely recreated the covers, this time REALLY thinking out of the box, he might be able to make it work. >>Basically he needs to sound as though he's not trying to make up for not having a band.

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I've got a couple of friends who do this. Solo acoustic guitar, backed with either a drum machine or some sequenced stuff.

 

Both these guys ALWAYS have lots of work, and they get paid WAY better than any of the whole bunch of "band people" I know. No band drama hassles, super easy load in/out, big tips, etc. Avoids the whole rehearsal space & sheduling problem. Really, it's a choice way to go about the whole making-a-living-playing-music thing.

 

One guy has a regular gig playing in the entrance to a restaurant. The place is on Main Street and that sidewalk gets a ton of foot traffic from tourists. So his set up is part playing in the restaurant, and part street busking. Most any weekend night he has at least as big a crowd (and often bigger) watching/singing/dancing as any of the bars in town featuring full bands. And a LOT of those folks give him tips (ala busking). As well, at 10pm he's done and his loadout takes maybe five minutes an he's done.

 

It's a sweet gig. If I could sing worth a damn, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

 

His material is all the standards of folk to blues to classic rock that everybody can sing along to. The Euro tourists LOVE it.

 

 

I've been trying to get them both to do "Psycho Killer" the way David Byrne did it in the opening sequence of "Stop Making Sense", but neither has done it yet. That would be way cool in my book.

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I've been trying to get them both to do "Psycho Killer" the way David Byrne did it in the opening sequence of "Stop Making Sense", but neither has done it yet. That would be way cool in my book.

 

That would blow up the mothafuckin' SPOT! :cool::rawk::thu:

 

"I'd like to play a tape for you..."

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one of the coolest things i've seen was a guy that used a looper, and would play a beat on his guitar's body, and just loop that. Then he'd play over it. Most people that didn't know what he was doing were amazed.

 

 

See, thats pretty slick. And if it's well done it can be amazing...think Keller Williams.

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I've been trying to tell him this off/on for years.

:freak:

I have to give his last band props though. My rock band opened for them. While they did a little of that stuff and some Tool to boot, they did a medley of "Gangsta, Gangsta" by NWA and some Hendrix song. It was AWESOME!

 

It's a shame on one hand, I know a few myself that can pull off this sort of thing with ease and make it sound good. But the reality is there is just really no demand for it...the only people that appreciate it are other musicians, and even then it's a select number.

 

I am a recovering guitar noodler myself, I used to think the same way. So I understand it completely and even feel a little sorry for those that put in the effort to make something like that work. In fact every so often I have to turn down offers like this, and the people doing the offering just don't get it...they are in the same camp as friends of mine who are so far out of the music scene that they think putting together a band to do "All the cool stuff that nobody else does" is worth my time. It's just not...there is a reason that nobody else is doing the cool stuff. :p

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See, thats pretty slick. And if it's well done it can be amazing...think Keller Williams.

 

 

i can take keller williams like i can take primus... after about 10 minutes ive had enough. just my opinion tho. keller and les are super talented but it gets old quick.

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i can take keller williams like i can take primus... after about 10 minutes ive had enough. just my opinion tho. keller and les are super talented but it gets old quick.

 

 

Actually I agree...the first time I heard "Freaker by the Speaker" I was blown away. Ten minutes later it all sort of ran together and I was bored.

 

There has to be happy medium somewhere...

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