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How many of you gig?

Discussion in 'Bands on the Run' started by jak_E_lee, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. jak_E_lee

    jak_E_lee Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 18, 2017
    Northern Ireland
    Just out of curiosity, how many of you actively gig and what format do you follow ( genre,venues,gear setup etc)?
    I had been in a live rock group for a few years but left to play in a wedding group which lasted a year then fizzled out..basically I was ejected from it and a keyboardist took my spot.
    I did start a group of my own but with members that wouldn't commit,it fizzled out.
    I'm now starting out on just a mainstream bar group,just a 2 piece using backing tracks,a singer and guitarist setup.
    Ideally,I'd like a full live blues band but in N.I, just not a strong enough genre for regular work unfortunately.
    I also think being a 2 piece,things will run more smoothly for us.
    So what are you all doing gig wise?
    Thanks in advance
  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    I had great fun doing the two guitarist/singer and backing thing for a few years, we spent hours making the backing tracks ourselves in the mid 90s. Before that I was with a few rock 'n' roll bands. I ended up with a folk rock band, until I had to quit because I couldn't play anymore about 12 years ago. After giving my hands a complete rest, I started playing again about five years ago, but will never get out gigging again. I miss it sometimes. I say go for whatever you can do, while you can.
  3. jofish

    jofish Strat-O-Master

    Aug 28, 2015
    Hull, UK
    For years I did classic rock gigs in bars and some functions - 4-piece band, 2 guitars, loads of Thin Lizzy. I stopped at the end of last year as I got a bit tired of the same old thing and, quite simply, the majority of pub audiences just don't really care for rock stuff around here :/

    Now I'm playing in a 4-piece rock and roll band (lots of Buddy Holly etc.) and have a few potential projects in the rehearsal stages... The rock and roll goes down well with a surprisingly wide audience, while for the other stuff I'm looking to stick to dance-y tunes.

    I'm like you, ideally I'd love to set up a full live blues band but I know that the audience isn't there and I'd have to travel a fair bit to get a decent number of gigs.

    Ultimately, I'd much rather be playing music that I like a bit less to a crowd of people having a good time than indulge myself and bore everyone to death. Am I a sell-out? :D
  4. liltimmy

    liltimmy Senior Stratmaster

    I actively gig. I had tuesday off, but I rehearsed, so today makes eight nights of playing in a row. Supposed to play tomorrow and a double saturday but there is a hurricane moving into the area and I don't wanna be barred from getting back home because of flooding at the low spot in the road so it's lookin' like a cancel.

    Play all blues, everything from three to six pieces depending on pay and event, but 3 piece for the core group, a game of economics. I prefer 4 or more for a real legit blues band but such is life at times. I play any venue that pays decent that doesn't whine about volume and isn't a rummy country yocal hole that ain't worth the time. Twin and Gibson ES semi hollow for the rig. A mogami cable connects them, I don't have a pedal board. I like a beta 58 microphone when I can get it. Couple cold lonestars and a shot of Jim Beam and that about covers it. Oh yeah plenty of water too.
  5. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

    I was an accompanist / session player for many years before an injury forced a change. Basically a hired hand, though I did play fairly regularly with one fellow locally.

    I describe my genre as 'Upscale Blues, Low Brow Jazz', but in reality I'd play pretty much anything. Even pop.

    Never once did I ever feel like I was "going to work"...didn't matter if it was to be part of a jam night host band or buried in an orchestra pit doing musical theater...

    Had a lot of fun doing it.
  6. jak_E_lee

    jak_E_lee Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 18, 2017
    Northern Ireland
    Good replies guys.
    Yeah jofish, I hear ya.
    Something I noticed between the rock band and the wedding band I was in,the rock band,we could have maybe 6 old Headbanger's on the band..floor filled in minutes. The rock band also became boring for me,just the same old thing all over again. The wedding band,the wide mix of genres made it all new to me and more interesting. My 2 piece project stems from the wedding band and will use much from that set list. When we didn't have a wedding I did a 2 piece/ backing track with the bands singer who is the band owner as I was really just a hired gun with that band and not an actual part of that band.
    Definitely, I get a good buzz if I can fill a dancefloor irrespective of what genre I play and with a 2 piece,we can cash it in better and hopefully keep busy on a regular basis.
  7. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    I was in several garage bands in the 80s that rarely got to play, a cover band recently that rarely got to play and annoyed me. My dream would be to play a set or two of my originals and just blow off the roof of a club once a month.

    Circumstances have never been favorable for me to play out.
    Nate D, stratobiker, liltimmy and 2 others like this.
  8. Artunes

    Artunes Strat-Talker

    Mar 16, 2017
    Oshkosh B'Gosh
    I've been lucky enough to have played in only two main bands for the last 35 years. Both bands played a fairly wide variety of music, which is what I like. Both played bars, fairs, weddings, and festivals. Band A from 1982 to 1990, and again from 2000 to 2014. Band B from 1990 to 2000, and again from 2014 until the present. Band A broke up because some of the guys wanted more time off to spend with family. Band B has now been forced to cancel all gigs because of a serious health issue with one of the members. So, I have an audition with a new band next Tuesday. First audition in many years.
  9. Rastus

    Rastus Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 1, 2014

    It's been a few years now since I've been a workin'-musician traveling a self-made circuit, but.... Like most people, you have to play a mixture of what you like, as well as what the paying-public would like to hear. And you learn this over time through repeated visits to venues.

    I wouldn't expect great rewards immediately, but in time, repeat appearances at places allows you to "meet & greet" folks during the breaks, & though you may not be the most financially well-off person on the planet, often these good people that regularly come to see you, will treat you so well, you'll feel like a King !

    Australia is likely no different to many other parts of the world, so I'd say to you to be prepared to travel far to get the work, & where possible, only re-visit the same place once-a-month maximum, so that the crowds always enjoy your return visit, & you'd have enough time through the break to introduce new songs into the set-list. It's important to keep set-lists rotating around as much as you play from place to place, but remember the tunes that people really enjoyed from the last visit. Take note of requests & play them the next time around if they're agreeable tunes to do.

    These suggestions stem from my own experiences traveling around Oz playing in various bands, at various times. A booking agent may be able to source work for you, at the "right" places & price, but they'll need a "Demo" CD of your band to gain an appreciation of your work, so as to find the suitable places. In a short time, opportunities will present themselves, so be prepared to negotiate a financially viable tour, that will need you to start number-crunching your costs from place to place, gig to gig. This negotiation & structuring will allow you to ask for more work if possible whilst on the road. Generally speaking, if you're good, you'll be appreciated, & an unexpected second-night may be offered to you all, before you have to travel to the next show.

    Everything can be so unexpected all the time, that it makes for a great life-style.

    Have fun,

  10. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    I wish I had a band project. North Texas has so many universities and so much college town type nightlife that you could play a LOT and just stay in North Texas.
    liltimmy and mshivy like this.
  11. mshivy

    mshivy Most Honored Senior Member

    Last time I played out was 2003. I got married and had kids a little later in life- I'm 47 now and my youngest is only 7.

    I do miss it but I think it's more just that I miss being young. Who doesn't? I really wouldn't want to lug gear around or deal with immature personalities at this age. And so many clubs are gone.

    I did meet my wife at CBGB's, so I guess that was worth it all. For me. it hasn't been a bed of roses for her-
    Nate D, AncientAx, amstratnut and 9 others like this.
  12. ProSonicLive

    ProSonicLive Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 4, 2016
    I have three different things going on right now, an online project , a blues band and a prog metal band that tends to do a lot of experimenting.
    The blues guys I play with are mostly purists, I don't see it lasting because working with people that closed minded is a pain.
    The Metal band in fun and does a lot of neat stuff but cant seem to get a lot done because we can't seem to get things structured right. It does a lot of experimental stuff with sometimes works really well, but often bombs really hard.

    the best thing so far for me has been online colabs. we reach the audince that wants us as opposed to playing a local bar where some guy will walk up to us every three songs and ask
    us when we are going to play some REAL music "sum skinnurd" where we will explain we are not a cover band and where another guy will pull him to the side to explain what that is.
    stratobiker, mshivy and wildhawk like this.
  13. wildhawk

    wildhawk Most Honored Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2014
    P&W band for years.

    Venues include churches, nursing homes, auditoriums, performing arts centers, fairgrounds, music festivals, everything but the local bars.

    Styles ranges from acoustic hymns to full blown hard rock. Depends on what crowd we're playing to.

    Acoustic duet, power trio, full stage with keys, violin, mandolin, banjo... multiple singers, it's never the same.

    Gear.... stuff you would see in bluegrass to metal.

    While many would ignore this genre of music it's certainly been a blessing from a gig standpoint.

    With live music venues declining over the years we get invites constantly to play.

    Not being fixed on a four member band allows flexability to meet different venue requirements.

    Finally because the genre we play can vary from two people acoustic to ten people rock n roll style it makes for better musicians. Each has to learn to adapt covering so many styles.

    We had two gigs this past Wednesday night and are fortunate enough to have the people to cover both. One a acoustic duo playing a memorial service for group of forty and a four piece at a park for a group of one hundred and fifty. Had my Strat and Blackstar going full tilt.

    Started off a classic rock guy almost forty years ago. Never know where the music road will take you.


    My favorite posts on ST are from ones that are going to gigs or jams for the first time.

    Making music with and for other people is a high everyone should expierience.

    Nate D, stratobiker, Willie D and 3 others like this.
  14. moullineaux

    moullineaux Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 11, 2009
    Started playing in bands when I was 14. Played all through high school and in fact almost failed because of the band I was in played around the southeast from Thursday-Sunday. Made good money but things fell apart( drugs and personality issues) from other members. Went to college and then started playing again. Did a duo for about 4 years and started recording and producing a bit. Most recently played with a three piece doing originals and covers but it fell apart. Now I gig occasionally but mostly write and record my own stuff. Don't have the time or desire to gig full time anymore to many other things interest me. I work with a really talented bass player on projects here and there but not steadily.
  15. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.
    Doing the same gig for 18 years. Some of us played together in the 80's. We do mostly weddings, private parties and festivals. A club gig now and then. Happy to have work at this stage of the game. Happy to make people happy for a little while. Happy to be in a band that don't suck...
    Stark, stratobiker, jofish and 7 others like this.
  16. conehead

    conehead Strat-Talker

    Apr 12, 2017
    way out there
    Not as often as I did in my 20s and 30s but still a steady 2 or 3 gigs a month.
    One of my bands recently played a 15th anniversary gig.
    jofish, wildhawk, Rastus and 3 others like this.
  17. jak_E_lee

    jak_E_lee Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 18, 2017
    Northern Ireland
    Great replies fella,s.
    Having played the duo with Mr wedding band man...that guy is out Friday and Saturday night every weekend and sometimes Sundays too and I know his circuit so with my 2 piece,I'll be knocking a few doors for gigs.
    We are just gonna ( me and singer) run a BT that has no guitar or vocal through a 800 watt pa,a few disco lights,I have my vetta 2 and both strats and off we go.
    No big venues here,all small bars in Ireland so no great power required.
    Stuff we will be playing, johnny cash,rolling stones,Elvis,dire straits along with the current songs from the Irish show band guys like Derek Ryan and Ritchie Remo,, there songs always go down well.
    The main thing is,I'm not letting my personal favourite songs in the set and thinking with my head on this one and give the punters what they want
  18. circles

    circles Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sounds like a plan. Post a video!

    I have been in three bands that have made it to the (short-lived!) gigging stage, all broke apart due to people moving on, not being fulfilled, going to jail, etc. Non professional bands are very hard to keep going when the work-a-day world comes first.

    In the current work-in-progress, we are sticking with three of us until a set or more of tunes are well structured. I agree when you suggest the two person thing will run smoother, easier to get in sync with, etc. You can always add someone as you go.
    liltimmy and mshivy like this.
  19. 2-Finger

    2-Finger Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 16, 2016
    Brussels, Belgium
    Well, I'm 46 and my youngest is only 7. Thank you for making me feel slightly better :D
    mshivy likes this.
  20. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Strat-O-Master

    Mar 5, 2014
    BC, Canada
    Played in few bands in my teens and twenties. Hardly picked up a guitar for years and years. Six years ago the bug bit me again. I don't have the time or the discipline to play in a band but I really enjoy playing live. I go to five or six live bar jams a month. I really enjoy playing a song I don't know live. I mostly just play rhythm so as long as I can watch someone playing who knows the song I can usually figure it out after a few bars. I do get tired of playing Mustang Sally but sometimes not all the players are comfortable playing songs they don't know so I don't complain.