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Mike M

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Everything posted by Mike M

  1. How about: Funky White Honkies The band has been around 1981.... and I joined them in 1987. The band still gigs....we played last month.
  2. Notes is on to something: ' all the chops and timing in the world won't make him/her a good musician " "Chops" is basically a player's technical facility on any given instrument. Musicianship is the other 90% that makes a musician out of a player. Do you want to make a player turn it down?? Put some sheet music in front of him... A musician would not have to be told to turn it down.
  3. Since you are the one putting together the project, you're the boss thus you set the rules however a creative process being open to ideas/options could also be favorable.... As a "wind player" I have experienced way-too-many guitarists that over play (volume wise)....usually these guitar players are into Rock/Blues (which is not nearly as technical to play as jazz/classical). It's tough the shake the Rock out of a Rock guitarist IMO. Maybe you should be looking for a jazz/classical guitarist with a little more musicianship/finess?
  4. When this site went through a format change I started visiting other forums. As of late, I have been 'swinging through" a few times per week. Mike M.
  5. The talent (or so-called...) pool has been diluted with hobby musicians. If someone can sing the lyrics of a song semi-in-tune (there is pitch correction available to fix this) and strum 4 chords along with tracks, that person is-a-band! "hey (insert club owner name here), I can send you my demo" ((All processed, polished & shiny w/tracks, etc)) The technology available today makes musicianship less important. Thank God I don't do this for a living anymore...
  6. I currently belong to the BMA (Boston Musicians Association) which is part of the AFM. My dues are $150.00 per year. My local-local AFM union is Local 216 and I think that it's dues are $120.00 per year. The only reason that I belong Boston's union is that I am a member of a professional orchestra who's members are represented by the BMA. (Other than that, I'd still be in my local [216] union.
  7. I have "ownership" of my trio as I: pay for advertising, book the gigs, "call" the gig, send out demos, seek reviews/references, compose music..... The other two members of my ensemble just show up and play. They are great musicians, mix well with high-end clients, faithful, and always on time/prepared....and they are wonderful people.. The only reason why i need to take care of everything with the above group is that the other 2 members would rather just play. I do play in a couple of other groups where I do not have to think....I just show up & play... (I enjoy these gigs way more although they pay significantly less.) Balance is the key for me.
  8. "mentally extending into the arts" is true.... My wife watches those singing shows (Voice, etc.) all the time and when the show does interviews with some of the contestants and they say "for me, as an artist....". Hmmmm, in most cases the person being interviewed is just a singer, period; singing someone else's song with a band/or backing track. Adding a few groans, changing a couple of notes, closing the eyes (as if in pain) while singing a longer note - does not make him/her an artist (at least a musical artist). There is another kind of artist that comes to mind.......... wow - I'm on a roll today!!!
  9. As a performer/music teacher (retired public school/currently at the local university) I have seen many delusional views of talent....both by performer(?) and parents/family of which. It seems that many local singers/players are only marginally talented at best. Just because someone can comp a basic 3 (or 4 if your lucky) chord progression on Guitar (in E or A usually) and sing an octave semi-in tune they consider themselves to be artists/musicians....nothing can be further than the truth. When I am not gigging I go out in my area to support the local music scene (coffee shops, etc.) but I am usually disappointed by the talent (or lack there of) of the performers. Most of them are truly "into" what they do and believe that their efforts are music voodoo.... Yes, "you gotta start somewhere" but what I hear is "minimal talent" performances most of the time. Musicians in my area are always commenting that the bar-gig scene doesn't pay nearly as well as it did back in the day (80's)... It's because bars (in my area) are bombarded with so-called single musicians that come loaded with tracks, etc. (technology is inexpensive these days...thus anyone can afford it) and will play for free/cheap... Many of which think that they are truly talented but the truth is: if you remove their friends/family from the audience you will see who is really there to see the "talent". Some people are delusional as they think that they are musicians. (pardon my pre-coffee morning rant)
  10. My son (a drummer) played for several years (throughout high school and early college) with a "Clown Band".....yes, a band that wore clown outfits... When my son was playing with them I asked the founder of the group (who was 84 at the time...6 years ago...) how the band started. He told me that a fellow drummer approached him in 1975 saying that he had an idea to start a clown band... "I told him that he was cuckoo" when he asked me that....but I went along with the idea as he needed a partner. They recruited area public school music teachers (that still played their instruments) and put together a childrens' stage show of about 20 minutes in length (music, juggling, jokes, skits...rather entertaining/fast paced). They performed everywhere; daily, at regional fairs, festivals, (sometimes 5 sets per day at 7 day festivals). They were popular. In about 2000 the band started to play primarily in parades. My son (as a high school kid) was getting $70.00 per one-hour parade when he joined. They were doing about 35 performances a year at that point. It was an excellent job for a high school kid: excellent $ for playing drums... The one surviving leader of the band retired the group 4 years ago...... What started out as a crazy idea worked out... you never know.....
  11. I have been contracting / booking my trio since '95 and when one of our original members decided in '98 that she (outstanding musician but a total DIVA) wanted out, I hopped all over it and we've never looked back. We are still friendly (facebook, etc) but I'll call a dozen other people before I call her to sub..... I'd find an excuse not to go. If you're my age (60's), telling your buddies: "I really want to go but "insert name here" (aka: my wife) planned a "candle light dinner for us" that night.... Your buddies will understand.....
  12. I currently belong to the AFM (American Federation of Musicians) and have been a member since I was 16 (I'm 60 this year....). For me, the AFM has been a wonderful opportunity for my playing career. Through my AFM connections I have had the opportunity to perform with Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Temptations, Barnum & Bailey Circus,plus others when their tours have come through our city. All of that being said, my resume is pretty stacked (for a local guy) thus it helps me when I sell my group for events. Another reason for joining the AFM is that, as a member, I am able to use an AFM contract to book work. Yes, every band/musician that books work has a contract (maybe even penned by a local attorney) but the AFM contract is more-pro, thus in using it I have a more "polished look". In my band booking (general business gigs; club dates/weddings, etc) days I did not have any issues collecting pay for work performed, however, I did have associates in the business that encountered problems. A case comes to mind where a friend's band played a club and, due to a big festival in town on the same date, the club had a slow night..... At the end of the night the club manager gave the group partial payment with the excuse "we had a slow night". Fortunately for band, the club manager had signed the band's union contract. A couple of days later, the local union president called the club manager and suggested that he complete payment or that he would personally call the truck driver's union (that delivers the beer/alcohol to the club) and stop delivery. In the end, the band got their full amount. Besides the contracts, an AFM member will have access to band "Liability" insurance at a group rate. Let's see: five bands classic rock bands are looking for work at a particular venue, one band (in particular) carries their own liability insurance.... Which band do you think looks 'more pro" to the club manager....? At $125.00 per year the AFM is totally worth it IMO.
  13. Wow....... I just looked at the date of the original thread.... 6/2013 ...'probably have upgraded by now!! lol
  14. It seems that you have already figured things out. I, for one, used a powered mixer (Crate PCM8-DP) for years (in the 90's) as my band's mixer. As my need for more power/coverage increased, I bought a Rane AC22 crossover and a QSC power amplifier to run a two-way system (hi/mids and subs). For routing I went from the "post EQ out" to the crossover, then to the power amp and used the internal power amps (of the Crate) for monitors. Totally flexible system however it was mono...which is fine. I have always tried to bring what I need to a gig rather than bringing a canon to a fist fight (a pun..). I did not check the specs on your amp's crossover but you may want to try to use it as an external crossover is a a good visual way of doing it but having "another thing" in the signal chain adds another possible point of failure....just my opinion. BTW: Although my rig has grown over the years, my trusty Crate powered mixer always makes a trip to the gig - just in case..
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