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Posts posted by tim_7string

  1. As for harp players....a lot of them drive me crazy. There are some good ones out there' date=' but the ones who insist on playing non-stop all night long drive me crazy. I usually give up playing organ with somebody like that on stage and just tinkle the ivories.[/quote']


    I was in a similar situation years ago. I was guesting with a friend's band and for some reason, they had a harmonica player in the group for that gig. They were usually a bluesy trio (vocal/guitar, bass guitar, drums). I was hired to play keyboards (piano/organ) and some occasional 2nd guitar and harmony vocals. The harmonica player had no sense of when to "shut up." He would play at the beginning of the song, during verses, choruses, GUITAR SOLOS (yes, at the same time), and outros. It was a friggin' nightmare. And the gig was four nights in a row. The harmonica player apparently played with some famous people, but I found that hard to believe due to his lack of dynamics and understanding of space (i.e. silence), though it might explain why he wasn't still on tour with them.

  2. The tribute bands that used to come through this way a few years ago were getting around $1200-1500 a night. The club would charge $10-12 a head at the door. No Quarter (Led Zep Tribute) was an excellent group out of Seattle, WA. I talked with the bassist/keyboardist and he said he was also in Rush tribute band, but that the Led Zeppelin tribute was far more lucrative (no surprise there). I saw several different tribute acts (Arch Allies - Journey/Styx/REO Speedwagon tribute, GN'R and Dust N' Bones - Guns N' Roses tributes, Beatlemania and Rain - The Beatles tribute bands) and I know the pay rate can differ. Rain played the Fargodome and charged $25/ticket. I saw them there and it wasn't full, but they probably still made out pretty well.


    Starting out, I'm thinking guido's figures are about right ($600-800), but you could probably move up to higher money as long as you had great word of mouth and a killer promo video.

  3. We are, from left to right (audience view): Lead Guitar/Vocals, Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar (me), Bass Guitar/Vocals and (in back) Drums. No keyboards in this group, but I did switch off on guitar and keyboards a couple of years ago. I was set up in the middle and I didn't like the lack of space (or hiding the drummer) due to the location of my keyboard stand.


    When I was primarily a keyboardist many years ago, I set up several different ways. Usually up front off to the side on either Stage Left or Stage Right. I have played on the floor, played on a small area above a doorway (large enough to accommodate my keyboard stand) and set up ala Ray Manzarek (facing the drummer on Stage Right. I set up wherever I needed to so we all had some space to move.


    I would have a discussion with the keyboardist and explain your concerns about movement/static as the reason why you would prefer to place him in the back next to the drums. A band is greater than the sum of the parts and everyone needs to fit in for whatever reason. Let him know you are just looking to improve the band and if people can't move up there when they *should* be moving, it's going to look awkward.

  4. Songwriting as I understand it has been defined as lyrics, melodies and chord structure. If you can present it somehow using an acoustic guitar/vocal or piano/vocal, it's a song. If the drummer wrote the chord structure for each song, wrote the lyrics (but you refined them, adding your own lyrical input), then added vocal melodies to tie it all together, I would say you would get 50/50 credit. Of course, everyone in the band should agree with the terms before starting or it could cause problems down the road.

  5. I understand your apprehension about asking for SSN info from ex-bandmates, especially following a not-so-friendly parting of ways. I had a couple of ugly situations like that in recent years. I didn't bother to ask my former female bassist/vocalist for her info after I let her go two years ago. I did get the info from a guy who was in the band in 2011 (but was fired in Feb 2012).

    I use a service that SpaceNorman recommended last year called OnlineFileTaxes. It's pretty easy to set up and use. They also send the 1099-MISCs via email to the musicians. If they don't accept it immediately or if they don't have an email, they simply mail it to them instead. It only costs $3.50 for each bandmember/fill-in. If you only have to send 1099s to three guys (like I did), you pay $10.50 and you're done. Easy!

  6. DEVO is one of my favorite bands of all time. When I was a youngster in the early '80s, it was almost a game to try to find their albums in North Dakota. Some stores would carry Freedom Of Choice, while others had the more obscure Duty Now For The Future. Whenever I could find an album I didn't have, I'd nab it.

    Their 2010 album Something For Everybody is actually a pretty darn good album, coming out 20 years after Smoothnoodlemaps was released.

    I am saddened to hear this news. First their drummer Alan Myers last year, now Bob Casale. Getting old sucks...
































  7. StratGuy22 wrote:

    I often tune right after the set, before I walk off the stage for a break. Then it's done, and I'm ready to go.

    We do it that way too. It seems like the crowd is more antsy if we're up there tuning before we begin the set, even if we're technically a few minutes away from our break ending. They don't know we're still on break. All they see is that the band isn't ready yet and they want to hear some songs. Since we now have two guitarists, we share a rack tuner so we're tuned to the same pitch. If we use our individual tuners, we always sound a little off from each other. We just plug into it for a minute or two after the set ends and that saves some time. Otherwise, the break would probably be closer to 25-30 minutes...

  8. New Trail wrote:

    I don't think I've ever quit a band unless it was to join another band.  I'm in a situation now that I play with several bands, so even if I quit one of them, I would still be in a band.  If I'm unhappy with one band, how will I know when I should quit?  I know this is really vague but any thoughts would be helpful.

    As a guy who has quite a history of quitting bands, I feel I can offer expert advice on the subject (haha)!

    If you aren't feeling fulfilled in the group, whether it's not being appreciated for what you bring to the band (your musical abilities, vocal abilities, marketing abilities, etc.), feeling personality clashes between certain members or you're just burned out on the whole thing, it might be time to decide to quit the group.

    The main factor that tells me to move on from being in someone else's band is when I don't feel appreciated for what I do (and can do) in the group. If it's taken for granted or I'm told things like "we can play without you" or "we can find anyone to do your job," then it's definitely time to move on.

    As a bandleader, I don't like to make people feel that way. I know what it's like to be on both sides. But sometimes, a band is just an ill fit. If one guy loves modern rock, but everyone else just wants to play 70s classic rock songs because they've been doing them for the past 30+ years (no need to actually work on anything), that's going to be a problem. The reverse is true as well.

    It's a gut feeling. Sounds like you know it's time to let one of your bands go.

  9. Congrats on the upcoming new addition to your family! :)

    I like the Rockabilly idea. If it's something you really love and are passionate about it, I'd go for it if I were you. Sure, it's hard to let something go when it's been successful, but if it's starting to become a grind, then it's time to let it die.

    We're going through a similar situation (minus the baby). I had a fairly successful band going for 2.5 years. We were averaging about 4 nights a month and the money was helpful. However, I was just getting tired of playing a lot of songs I just didn't give a rat's ass about. We were becoming (in your words) a "me too" band. No reason to hire us over any other band that played the same kind of songs.

    In fact, it got to the point that I decided enough was enough and it was time to explore the idea of a hard rock/metal band instead of the classic rock/country group. My original intention was to have it as a side project, but now it became the primary band. I added a guy that filled in with us before on bass guitar, switched the original bassist to lead guitar (which he has more passion and talent for), and changed up our songlist, nixing the country and adding newer songs.

    I'm having a ball! I love the music we are playing, I love playing for audiences that get into the songs and everyone in the band is having a lot more fun as well, since we all love heavier music. We have some scheduling conflicts, so we're not playing as often as the previous band, but I actually enjoy what I'm doing a whole lot more now. So, good luck with the new project.

  10. I applaud you and your band for playing a lot of outside songs. I'm guessing that you guys (and gal) sing and play them really well? I've always felt that you can sell almost any song as long as you have the talent to bring to it.

    That's pretty much the key. It's also why a lot of bands do the 'low hanging fruit'/lowest common denominator songs. Because it's easy to pick songs everybody knows. Even if a band sucks really bad, a crowd will usually scream and dance anyway, because they recognize the song and love it. It's maddening to think about and it's easy to go on auto-pilot when you know the song will work no matter how you play it.

    Like others do in this forum, I wish all bands would try to give their best onstage instead of going through the motions. Even if a band isn't as good as another band, if they at least give a crap about what they are doing, showing some passion, that's all I need when I see one. I'd rather see a band with limited skills butchering a classic song but with passion than a band with excellent, technical skills playing that same song to a tee, but they look bored, tired, worn out and could care less. Believe me, an audience will respond to your demeanor.

    It's an interesting list and I hope it works for you guys. I know of the band The James Gang, but I don't know any of those four songs you have in a medley. I don't think you need to latch onto the Mustang Sally/Brown Eyed Girl/Sweet Home Alabama train if you don't want to. Carving out your own thing is what makes people want to see YOU as opposed to another band. But you have to do the songs well and be able to get your crowd excited in the process.

  11. My Dunlop CryBaby wah pedal. It's the original style, where you have to unscrew four screws from the 'feet' to get to the battery compartment. I got it used in 1994 by trading a non-functional Alesis MIDIVERB II for it at a music store. I'm hesitant to upgrade to a newer model with the easier-to-change battery compartment, because I have a feeling it won't sound as good. It still works and still sounds great!

    When I played keyboards live as recently as 2011, it would be my Ensoniq ESQ-1. Built in 1986, I bought it used in February 1990 from a guy who had it in his smoke-free home studio, so it looked brand new. Even though it rarely left his house, he also had a Roadie ATA case for it, which he included in the purchase, along with the built-in sequencer expanded to a full 10,000 notes (it originally comes with 2,400), two 80 patch cartridges and a (now broken) sustain pedal which you could also use to stop/start a sequence. Apparently, the ESQ-1 came in two versions: the less-expensive plastic casing and a more-durable metal casing. I have the metal casing version and it's saved my butt a couple of times when it accidentally dropped during a show.

    There are better keyboards out there now, but this one is still unique enough to keep using. None of them can display 10 patches at once or seamlessly fade out of one sound while fading into the next patch (by holding down notes from the last patch and selecting another one). Perfect for creating a studio-like atmosphere in a live situation! And I love the feel of the keyboard. Newer keyboards don't seem to have the same type of feel that this one has, which is why I haven't upgraded all these years.

  12. moogerfooger wrote:



    I had some guy walk up while i was playing and just picked up my acoustic and say -- Im just going to sit back here and strum along.  I said -- no you arent. put my guitar down and get off the stage.  he said he was the owners brother. I said i dont care if youre Elvis -- get off the stage.

    you really dont owe them any explanation. its your gig, run it the way you want.  

    Jesus, what gall he had! What entitlement. "The owner's brother." Sheesh!

    I've posted this before, but I'll bring it back up again. I've had people not only put their face against the mic while I was singing (I never asked them up to begin with), I've had someone actually TAKE THE MIC AWAY WHILE I WAS SINGING THE DAMN SONG and tried to sing in it himself! I stopped the song and told him to get off the stage, NOW! He looked shocked and I repeated myself and pointed him off. I was very angry. I couldn't believe how rude people can be.

    At our recent New Year's Day gig, we had a guy simply walk between me and the other guitarist (there was no stage, just some cleared area on the floor) and play air guitar behind us. I kept looking back at him while I was singing and playing with an exaggerated perplexed look on my face, as if to say, "What the #@$! are you doing back there, son?" He was drunk, so I don't think he got it. haha

    Most of the time, the lack of stage seems to encourage people to just walk into the band area and they are suddenly in the band. However, the guy who grabbed my microphone did so even though there was a stage. I guess it doesn't really matter.

    I basically just tell people we don't do that. If they get pissy, I smile and say, "Sorry" and start to play another song. It's part of the reason we try to keep the songs going from one to the other, DJ-style. It gives those particular people less of an opportunity to act out.

  13. I'm with sventvkg on this one. If someone is joining a band, they need to blend in with what YOU guys are doing. Sure, accomodating someone is important, even encouraged, but only to a point. The new guy needs to realize that those songs are already being done by somebody else and he should find his own moments to shine.

    I sometimes have problems with this in bands. I have my own repertoire of songs I can sing well that I built up over years of gigging. When I added my cousin to the group nearly two years ago, there were a few of those same songs that he was used to singing in some previous band situations or wanted to try his version in this group. I decided to let him do a few of them, just to see how they went over, but I kept the ones I definitely wanted to keep singing for my own.

    As far as the arrangement thing, it's already sounding like it's an ill fit to me. If he can't get a feel for country and other stuff in the style you guys are doing, it might not work out in the long run. Maybe some long talks are in order to see if you guys can get on the same page and keep things going.

  14. TIMKEYS wrote:

    BlueStrat wrote:

    Finally faced reality that I'll never do another band and started selling my PA today. Just watched the subs and crossover drive down the road. Hopefully someone else will get more use out of it. I'll be someone's side guy, but my days of running my own band are done. 

    I dont know if i would go that far.. For sure you dont need subs to turn bar gigs for a hundred a man and since there are no places in your local that pay more ,punting the subs isnt a bad idea.  Most festivals have full on  Sound companies that are worth a crap with systems that make mosts bands with subs look like toys. 

    There were times where we just brought one sub with us to a gig. It made more room in the van and the second sub often didn't make much more of a difference in sound for the places we were playing. It looks nicer (matching sides), but the hassle often isn't worth it. I'm probably going to just pack one sub for this weekend's gig and maybe for the one on New Year's Day as well to make more room for my SKB mixer case and my much larger Blackstar combo amp (used to use a Peavey Classic 30 1x12).

  15. I would have worked harder on singing at a younger age.

    I would have learned how to play guitar and bass guitar at the age of 11 or 12 in addition to learning piano. I did take piano lessons at 13, but learning all three instruments a couple of years earlier would have helped.

    I took clarinet lessons as an 11 year old and it was discouraging. The teacher offered either violin or clarinet. I chose poorly. I'm sure I would have been much better at the violin, as I later discovered that I have an affinity for stringed instruments.

    I started writing lyrics and riffs in my teenage years and wrote my first song a few weeks shy of my 18th birthday. I wish I would have taken it more seriously and actually applied myself to writing more and performing those songs with bands, back when I was young and sexy lol (as in, when I was thin and more attractive to a broader audience). I might have gone somewhere with it.

    I wish I had believed enough in myself to take a chance on going to a music mecca at the right time (L.A., NYC, Austin, Seattle, Minneapolis/St. Paul, etc.). I'll never know if I might have gone somewhere because I didn't bother to join the game.

    Although all of my band experiences have helped shape me to where I am today, I do believe I would have made more progress if I had stuck to being the singer/rhythm guitarist/keyboardist that I visualized myself as being back in my teens, instead of playing different instruments and roles in different bands. I'm making up for lost time now by sticking to that role over the past 4.5 years.

    Finally, I would have learned better practice habits, which I could then pass on to my guitar students.

  16. ChillTheBand wrote:

    How many times have you been to a gig where musically a band sound good, but everybody ends up talking and they become background. Is it there choice of songs ? or just how they sound,
    its like there is no personality to what they are doing
    . We recently played at a festival 6-800 people, we are an amateur band that play mostly weekends at pubs clubs etc, we had a great response packed the tent everybody singing dancing etc, but the professional band (do it for a living) after us went down like a lead balloon.
    Could it be me jumping up and down on the stage like a loon enjoying myself
    , I just can't explain it. Do you all have the same sort of experiences, whats the answer ? If it starts happening to us I will stop playing, I love audience response and would hate to do a gig without any.  

    Actually, I think you just answered your own question. The parts I bolded ("no personality" "jumping...like a loon enjoying myself") are the reason they loved you and didn't love the other band.

    Every band that has ever been popular has been popular because of the personality of the band. The Beatles had a fun-loving image, Led Zeppelin had a mysterious, sexual, dangerous image, Van Halen and KISS had a circus-like party atmosphere, etc.

    People are drawn to acts that exude a lot of personality. That's why Rihanna, Katy Perry and others like them are so popular. If they just stood around and sang in schlubby clothes, no matter how beautiful they look, people would probably leave after a while. I have experimented with grabbing the mic in a forceful manner, yelling loudly, dancing around like an idiot, doing some Elvis kicks at one gig and standing nearly stock still at another. The difference was astounding. We actually sounded WAY better at the stock still gig, but nobody cared.

    People want to see something kinetic onstage. They want personality. You brought it, they didn't. You're doing it right! ;)

  17. Austincowbell wrote:

    god help you.....


    I own a PA system. I flat out refuse to bring it to gigs. The absolutely only way to do this without resenting your entire band is to tell them that IF you bring the PA it is to be unloaded and setup before anyone unloads or sets up anything. You can exlude the drummer from this if you want but otherwise you are going to be doing the soundguy's job and wanting to murder your friends. 

    Good to see you again, Austin! :smileyvery-happy:

  18. Timely topic as I just watched it last night. I have the Blu-Ray, which has some extra footage of the song that Corey Taylor from Stone Sour/Slipknot, Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick and Scott Reeder from Kyuss did together, plus some other collaborations.


    My favorite part of the documentary is when Dave and Paul McCartney are talking to each other while working on a song together:


    Dave: Why can't it always be this easy?

    Paul: It is!


    Love that!

  19. StratGuy22 wrote:

    If we played a gig for $500 word would get out and we'd never get our rate again. Plus we bring a lot of production with us, and can't really go with much less, and don't want to.

    Yep, exactly. Right now, my band has been around in the public eye for 2 years, 4 months. The lowest paying gigs are in-town bars, places that bands seem to be fighting over (probably because it's in town). One of them is trying to sell their bar and stopped having bands during the summer for the second summer in a row and the other one has been juggling bands around at the last minute, cancelling their gig in rotation and giving it to another band. Due to these factors and the fact that the pay is minimal anyway, I'm going to start phasing out these places and just stick with "our" price. The bars will either hire us or pass, but this will be the next step in moving up in price for us.

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