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Bob Dey

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About Bob Dey

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  • Location
    Southwest Michigan
  1. Thanks Daddy but I sold the Samick. I'm looking for another mid priced acoustic/electric now even though I don't play acoustic very often. I have an Alvarez that I bought around 1995 that's not bad. Checking out Martin, Taylor, etc currently.
  2. I recently acquired a Zoom G3n and it has a pretty darn good acoustic patch/model. Of course it doesn't sound like a real acoustic guitar so it depends on what's most important to you. Since all gigs are one nighters now days I do what I can to keep my setup to a minimum. I also don't like bringing two guitars to most gigs because there's usually not much room - plus there's that fear of an expensive guitar falling off the stand. I ended up with a Samick thinline acoustic a couple of years ago on a trade. It seemed OK but it turned out to sound terrible plugged in. Had no low end and EQing didn't help. Not saying all Samicks suck but the one I had wasn't something I would use on a gig.
  3. As some of you know I've been doing retirement homes for about 5 years now. A couple of years ago I had this woman get very upset, crying and talking loudly. Apparently a few of the songs I played brought back memories of her deceased husband. After that incident, I had a fear of that happening again. I haven't noticed anything like that happening since, but one compliment I get quite often is: "I knew every song you played". I guess they usually get musicians that play obscure songs? Anyway, certain songs bring back certain memories for folks of all ages. Those memories can evoke emotions sometimes.
  4. My duo has a few gigs this week if you make it to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Yes, we need an audience!
  5. Since the OP is talking about composition, that really doesn't include lyric writing. I usually come up with chord progressions and melodies with an instrument. Lyrics can be added later or it may turn out to be an instrumental. Songwriters like Billy Joel start with a tune first, then come up with a title. The lyrics written next will be like a thesis of the title. That's the approach I usually take.
  6. I've been building up the retirement home gigs for about 3 years and it's been a good source of income. As Shaster implied, they hardly ever have entertainment at my level. And I play songs that they know. As for my "real gig" with my duo, FB didn't pan out for our gig on Friday. Quite a few folks clicked on "interested" but only two showed up. Good thing some guests at the hotel did show up. It was pretty much the first nice Spring day and I'd guess many folks decided to stoke up the grill and barbecue instead of going out.
  7. There's a couple of more open mic night venues in my town too. They get 10-12 people that come in and do a few songs for free. Some are musicians in my age group (baby boomer) that played in bands back in the day. And I've even seen where one guy played open mic night that has been gigging for decades. This rubs me the wrong way but there's nothing I can do other than not patronizing those venues. Even before those places opened there were several places in town that brought in free musicians with a tip jar. That leaves quite a few venues that I won't pursue for gigs. We've got two hotel lounge gigs that pay a normal amount. But for hotels, live music is kind of another amenity for hotel guests and making a profit every night isn't always necessary.
  8. Shaster's right. It's not enough to be a good musician with a good act. If they don't like you as a person you won't be as successful as you could be. And a friendly fan might feel slighted if the entertainer doesn't talk to them during breaks. I'm not extroverted, but I've managed to build up a following on facebook. Sometimes a personal invite to a gig will get them out rather than a general announcement. But then again, you have to pretty much have a PR type personality - which I don't!
  9. This year is beginning to look pretty good for our duo. Just had a gig this last Friday and turnout wasn't good because we didn't do much to advertise on facebook. We have two more gigs lined up in April and one in May so I'll have to do more to get the word out. In contrast, the band I play with did a gig last month for the door ($10 cover) and advertised an awful lot on facebook. They ended up bringing in $600 for the night. The ads were done in a graphic arts sort of way rather than just text.
  10. Not making a lot since I'm doing mostly retirement homes but I keep pretty busy. At 65 with an acute back problem, I'm doing OK. If I was in Florida I would target Moose type clubs and upscale retirement homes.
  11. My current duo partner found me. I like working with her for the most part. She gets more gigs than I do while I'm the one working on sequences/background tracks. As far as material, we're not completely on the same page, but that's always the case when working with another. You could be like Ted Nugent and have your way or the highway, but it doesn't seem to work that way with regular non-famous musicians.
  12. It's hard to tell it like it is with someone that's so nice. Does anyone have band meetings anymore? Maybe he also has things to get off his chest. Either get some communication going or make another plan. If he just doesn't have the ability to improve, take Steve's and Note's advice.
  13. I never even did Knockin' on Heaven's door! I have the words to it in case someone requests it, but I'd rather do Brown eyed girl and Folsum Prison another hundred times each. Yes, these songs have helped me make a lot of bucks throughout the years so I'll keep playing them when needed. Pleasing the people has always been my MO although one can also do less commercial music until they're discovered by a touring band. I have a talented acquaintance that pulled that off last year.
  14. An example of what you've been playing and how you play it would help if really want good answers. I had an agent that kept telling me the same thing and I never asked him what he meant. But when I finally saw a video of him doing his solo act I got a better idea of what he meant. By that time he wasn't booking me anymore anyway! I also used to get flack from patrons (and owners) when I played too many slow songs. A couple of more upbeat songs that have worked for me: Crazy little thing called love, Leroy Brown. Songs with a strong rhythm are what I think of for something upbeat.
  15. My ipad is my backup! Laptop is my primary tool. Just let me say, it's better to leave your ipad at home than to leave it at the gig! Good job of winging it. You're a pro!
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