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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Acoustic Gigs are Easier to Get?

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5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

AXE VICTIM
Nov 25th, 2015 03:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm so frustrated with the original rock band thing that I'm seriously thinking of going solo acoustic. I have a lot of acoustic oriented songs and can throw in enough covers.

It would be vocal based songs and some instrumentals (including classic style guitar).

Am I barking up the wrong tree or is this something I should pursue?

LeftRightOut
Contributing Member
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Australia

too many guitars and not enough hands
Nov 25th, 2015 03:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Depends

Are you doing it for money, or just to get out playing?

And, why cant you do both?

littleuch
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Florida

Stale bread and flea circuses
Nov 25th, 2015 03:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'd think the venues become considerably more limited when Margaritaville isn't on the set list.

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Nov 25th, 2015 05:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think it depends a lot on the market your in. Here locally there are dozens of wineries, wine bars, small cafes etc. that hire solo acoustic acts. Everything from one man band stuff to just a guitar doing instros. There are a lot of duos around also.

It typically pays better than bar gigs unless you are a three piece in the better clubs.

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

AXE VICTIM
Nov 26th, 2015 06:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don't care about making any money doing this and it would have to be at least 60% originals for me to want to give this a go.

Vic Vega
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Massachusetts

Deflating Balls Since 1969
Nov 26th, 2015 08:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The fact that you will be playing originals will, most likely, seriously limit the places who will want you to play. If you did all covers, you'd have much more opportunities.

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

AXE VICTIM
Nov 27th, 2015 06:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Okay, thanks, I appreciate the advice. It doesn't sound like the solo acoustic thing would be any easier, just much less gear to drag around.

I could perhaps try to do both, but my attorney day gig takes up a lot of time.

MLC
Contributing Member
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It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Nov 30th, 2015 06:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Originals vs. covers depends very much on what a venue is trying to do and the local clientele.

That said...
"It doesn't sound like the solo acoustic thing would be any easier, just much less gear to drag around."
...is a true statement, in my experience.

Around here, a lot of clubs like to hire solo/duo acts during the week - even the places that typically hire full bands on the weekends.


Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
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Panama City, FL

Same ol **** but my hair's longer
Nov 30th, 2015 09:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Recently, I quit playing with the band I was in and am only doing acoustic duo stuff now. The pay is better and way less gear to haul. Not to mention it's way easier to book!

We do have a new drummer and bass player lined up for after the first of the year, but it's still going to be primarily acoustic material.

Edit:

"I'd think the venues become considerably more limited when Margaritaville isn't on the set list."

Another song that I absolutely refuse to play along with the rest of his catalog.

(This message was last edited by Juice Nichols at 11:30 AM, Nov 30th, 2015)

6L6
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San Francisco, CA

Dec 7th, 2015 04:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"The fact that you will be playing originals will, most likely, seriously limit the places who will want you to play. If you did all covers, you'd have much more opportunities..."

+1

ecwanab

MoJo, Minnesota

Jump in and hang on
Dec 7th, 2015 08:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think you should pursue it. Maybe some of the clubs you play in with your original band would be willing to do a Thursday night or Sunday afternoon acoustic show?
I started doing the solo acoustic thing a few years ago when I was between bands - it pays better, no drama and I get to pick the songs. I had a weekly Thursday night gig for about a year that paid $150/night w/dinner and drinks - now solo about once a month. Good gear funding $. I mostly play mellow classic rock and 70's folk rock though (Margaritaville upon request only;p). I probably wouldn't do it without a looper and harmony pedal though. Go for it!

kart24
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Vacaville CA

Runs with scissors !!
Jan 30th, 2016 11:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here in Nor-Cal if you want to play the Napa Valley "winery circuit" you pretty much have to play unplugged.

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

AXE VICTIM
Feb 8th, 2016 07:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

As a songwriter, I refuse to play "mostly" covers. What's the point? I'm not in this for the money, I just want to get my music heard.

MLC
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It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Feb 8th, 2016 07:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Maybe some of the clubs you play in with your original band would be willing to do a Thursday night or Sunday afternoon acoustic show?"

Those types of gigs have become a lot more popular around here, lately.
One club hosts a weekly Sunday afternoon slot that features local talent and original material is encouraged. The owner is a big music lover and really enjoys promoting local players.

You just need to find the right venue.

Dolemite

What It Was!

cross-dressing for Rodan
Feb 10th, 2016 12:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Material aside, first thing is to find a hole in the wall so you can try the lonesome experience on for size ; )

Any potential neighborhood pubs around?

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

AXE VICTIM
Feb 10th, 2016 12:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm in the middle of a band dilemma right now which may end up in me recording a solo acoustic album.

There are a lot of acoustic-oriented venues around here, but I'm not sure what the policy is on covers vs. originals.

SecondHoneymoon
Contributing Member
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Columbia, SC

Feb 23rd, 2017 11:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Material aside, first thing is to find a hole in the wall so you can try the lonesome experience on for size ; ) "

It's lonely when you're the only one!

Acoustic gigs are far easier to book in my area. IMO you can do originals, just salt them in between a couple of popular covers. And I think it's a mistake to announce you're going to now do an original. I think many people hear that and immediately assume it will be mediocre at best. They've judged you before you've played a note!

Gauge the audience reaction after you play, and if its good THEN tell them you wrote it. I've tried it both ways, and the latter definitely works.

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

Axe Victim
Feb 23rd, 2017 12:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I actually have time to give this a go right now, as I'm basically retired and my band isn't doing much.

However, I don't know more than a few cover songs. I have no idea what style of covers would work the best at the average acoustic oriented venue. I'm NOT playing any Jimmy Buffet! If that's what it takes, I'm not going in this direction period.

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
*****

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Feb 24th, 2017 05:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Loneliest guy in the bar is about what to expect. It can be fun but no matter how you slice it these type of gigs are easier to get. keep your gear simple as you are your own roadie and still have to be heard.
I've done it a bit but I get bored easily! Using a looping pedal lets you solo over your chord progression on the fly. That helps. Using a vocal harmony pedal sparingly adds some dynamics to the whole deal as well.
The gigs are easier to get but it sure isn't like playing with others.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Feb 24th, 2017 07:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've played some gigs where you're nothing more than a glorified jukebox and some where you're the focus of attention. Obviously the latter type are a lot more fun. It's kind of hard to interact with the crowd if they're not paying attention to you.

I used to use a looper and a harmonizer, but I ditched those a few years ago. In this situation, fancy strumming and picking go a lot further than a 24 bar guitar solo over a looper IMO. I don't believe most people expect to hear a single guitar player playing blistering leads anyway.

As far as covers go I don't do any Buffet either, unless someone wants to throw a $20 tip in the jug. ;)

Covers of bands that works well for me:
The Beatles
The Stones
America
Pink Floyd
Steve Earle
The Eagles
Supertramp
Fleetwood Mac
etc....



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