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About leftyjay

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    solo musician

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  1. just got informed that my version of Sultans just passed the 4 million views mark on youtube. never ever thought that any of my videos would do more than 1000-2000 views, but for some reason, this video took off. it is extremely popular outside the USA. Brazil is the main fan base. the comments say I'm known as lefty Bill Gates LOL of all videos, it took a 6 minute video that i learned 2 weeks prior to the video. i made my own backing track, learned the guitar parts (close enough), and learned all the words. Decided to put a camera in front of me and force myself to play it as good as pos
  2. dont know what you mean by breaking the bank, but i use 3 Canon XA10 semi-pro camcorders. they have XLR inputs and an internal 64gb memory with 2 extra slots for more memory. They are now 7-8 years old, but i love using these cameras live. New they were 1599. but they can be had for 500-600 on ebay. they also have a wireless remote and great zoom. the newer models are the xa20 and xa40 and are really overkill for just recording a gig. one thing i'll say about going cheap with a camcorder or dslr, the 1/8" audio inputs have terrible preamps. hiss and distortion even in the best situations.
  3. main problem is, there is no way to contact them other than an email. i haven't been able to contact a person on their phone number. there are no call backs, so you cant leave a message. there is no place on their website to add to a request for other dates. Use to be, but they cut that out early July. I've even tried to contact representatives around the state that can point me in a direction. then again, i consider myself fortunate that i've got anything.
  4. also, in Florida, they only let you go online to update your status of unemployment. You have to submit for each week that you are still unemployed and that it is because of the covid virus, and that you've been in contact with your employers. They let you update every 2 weeks. A lot of people get messed up because you have to update each week separately (you have to update 2 times). People thought you update once and you're good to go. Nope. Florida lowered the amount from $600 to $300 for PAU per week. For most musicians, that is more than they make for 2 gigs. I was making really good
  5. using a limiter between the player and mixer will smooth out the volume differences between songs. Dont use a compressor, a limiter smooths the peak loudness without squishing the track. then soft songs will be increased and loud songs will be limited. a little goes a long way. I barely have it on and it keeps the songs volume even so i dont have to adjust every song.
  6. with me, I dont play public venues. All my gigs are private venues where people buy tickets ahead of time. They are gated communities. They cant have those dances/concerts. In Florida, public venues that serve food are able to have 50% occupancy. I dont play those kind of venues. If I did play those venues, I would either "have" to go back to playing them, or sit it out without benefits. Fortunately, after struggling to get PUA for 3 months, I was finally able to get it after the local news station offered help to get my info to the DEO. I did not get benefits for those 3 months (apr
  7. the two Elks clubs I play at asked me back, for a discount, and they are indoors. I said no. It wasn't a week after that, I heard they both shut down due to positive covid cases to the officers. Even the commander and his wife got the virus. They called me back and said they will stay closed. I have one real nice Golf & Country Club with a nice dining room and dance area. The golf course is open, but the inside is closed indefinitely. They had carry out, but decided to shut it all down. Good news...After nearly 3 months of fighting with the DEO, I finally got some unemployment be
  8. I'm really not surprised that I got these messages from many of my gigs saying they have decided to not have entertainment through September, and possible indefinitely. They mentioned if I find other gigs, to take them. But, there is nobody playing anywhere around here. Every bar has stepped back on their inside occupancy. So, they shut down music again. Now, I'm sure it may be a better situation in your city. But Florida is a Cluster**ck at this time.
  9. I've done facebook live a few times and posted single videos of songs with a paypal.me account starting the end of May. I've collected a decent amount from my friends that usually come out to my gigs. Since they cant see me in person, this is the next best thing. There was a few that were real generous with their tips because they know the situation I'm in. They understand what musicians are going through. During the facebook live streams, I watch the song requests they post, and play them just as I do when I'm playing out. Acknowledge them and tell them I miss playing for them at the ven
  10. There is definitely a difference in where you live, and who you play for. I moved to SW Florida because the music business was good. Not just the beach/tiki bars, but there are thousands of mobile home parks down here. Every park has a hall. Every one books entertainment weekly for parties. They sell tickets for these parties and book you many months, and even years ahead. On average, there are between 150-300 people at each party. Tickets are usually between $5-10. The hours are great (6-9 or 7-10pm) They pay 500-800 a gig. Plus, they book you any day of the week because they are all retired
  11. with over 11,500 more cases today in Florida, it looks really grim for music to return to inside venues this year, let alone next year. I am fortunate to have a couple years of contracted bookings for my private parties. Eventually, it will be possible to play those inside parties again, but, I'm not planning on this winters bookings to hold up. The contracted parties will soon cancel as things keep going down hill. this is my guess......Florida will be up to 15k cases daily by July 18 or earlier. I hope not, but so far, there has been nothing to slow it down. And with 50% of the peo
  12. I had a buddy that had a motown/funk band here in SW Florida. As soon as the bars reopened in May, they went back to playing. Most of their gigs was in open air/tiki bars. They would post live feeds on facebook of their gigs. I didnt see many posts as of late, so i started searching for their schedule of events. I found out the lead guitarist has died of covid. the drummer is current in ICU with the virus, and the bass player and his wife are both struggling at home with it. They were all unbelievers of the severity of the virus. They said it was nothing more than the flu. i mentioned on
  13. i guess I'll fall back to painting guitars for people in my down time. I can spray a mean metal flake. Plus, I've collected quite a collection of lefty guitars over the years. I can always sell one here and there to for pay home insurance, property taxes, etc. Unemployment never panned out for me, though i'm still trying to get it. i've uploaded everything they wanted, but still they say my income status for 2019-early 2020 is incomplete. i've sent them last years tax form, 1099s, contracts, contacts. Time for plan B. guitar building/refinishing. selling some of my herd
  14. I was really hoping for one by Fall. But, when/if it does finally get ok'd for use, the medical workers will be first, then the essential workers. Maybe the elderly will be next. Then the average person will get the chance for the vaccine. That will be some time next summer.............if they create a usable vaccine by January. I'd be happy with a useful prescription analgesic. I dont want to go to ICU before they give me something that works. Most people wont have any severe issues with the virus. I had a tough time with the flu a couple years back. This virus will kick my ass
  15. I've been receiving email updates regularly from the local private clubs I play at. Here is an email i received from the American Legion I was scheduled to play. Hi Jay, Sorry about all the emails. The Executive Board just met this morning and decided to go ahead and cancel entertainment on July 18, 2020. We have been open for about 3 weeks now and revenue does not justify the expenses for offering entertainment. As of this morning on the news, with the increase of COVID cases reported, the board is inclined to believe the members will not visit the post under any circumstan
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