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EricV
09-19-2002, 08:06 PM
... that show go ?
Eager to hear a review :)
Eric

Guni
09-20-2002, 09:49 AM
Hey Eric - thx for asking ...

It went great!!! I'm still in a hype :-)

Ok the review: I was hired to play solo guitar for about 2 hours (it turned out to be 1 1/2).

The location was a small dining room for about 30 people ( 2 small lawyer companies had some kind of annual get together). So, a very professional, cocktail, tuxedo type of vibe ..... well, after a few beers those guys relaxed a bit :-)

As this was the first time that I did something like this I was pretty scared (in a positive, challanging way) and thought a lot about what I should play and most importantly how I should play it.

I decided to play a mixture between Jazz Standards, Blues and some own compositions that I thought of fitting such a gig.

I played 3 times 30 minutes. For the last 30 mins or so 20 more people came in as they heard the music. So the room was packed and playing was such a hell lot of fun ...... oh, I wanna do that more often.

The feedback from the audiance was great - people told me that they really enjoyed it and a few asked for business cards, etc etc ... The guy who hired me told me that 'That was the best music he ever had for such an occation' - Happy customer - good gig :-)

Regarding playing: Right after the gig is not a good time for me to evaluate the whole thing. I gotta let that sink in and rethink what was good and what I need to work on. Playing solo, dynamics have a totally different meaning. And I was surprised on how the audiance reacted to some tunes - way differently than I would have expected.

all in all - a fun evening and a great experience....

Guni

EricV
09-20-2002, 10:28 AM
Hey there

Cool. I am glad you enjoyed it and that the show was a success....



It went great!!! I'm still in a hype :-)
Isnīt that a great feel ? I know those shows which just leave you exhausted but happy, the ones that kinda stick to yer memory...


The location was a small dining room for about 30 people ( 2 small lawyer companies had some kind of annual get together). So, a very professional, cocktail, tuxedo type of vibe ..... well, after a few beers those guys relaxed a bit :-)
Yeah, I know that kinda crowd. I remember, a few years ago I was playing a few wedding receptions, just with an acoustic guitar and a sequencer for some backing.
Serious people till the alcohol starts to flow :)
And some shows were a surprise. I once was booked to play with a classic rock-coverband to play at some company-party. Everyone was wearing ties and expensive dresses... well, after like the third set they were in rock nīroll-mode ;)


I decided to play a mixture between Jazz Standards, Blues and some own compositions that I thought of fitting such a gig.
Just solo-guitar, no singing right ?
Wow, thatīs cool... and tough. I always look up to people who can play solo-gigs like that and really make them happen...



I played 3 times 30 minutes. For the last 30 mins or so 20 more people came in as they heard the music. So the room was packed and playing was such a hell lot of fun ...... oh, I wanna do that more often.
Again... ya gotta love that after-show excitement. Even some oddball-"thrown together in an hour"-gigs can give ya that feel when the crowdīs happy. Reminds you of why you started out in the first place.

Talking about the excitement and stuff... James and me recently talked about this. Did you notice how this affected your playing ?
Eric

Guni
09-20-2002, 11:10 AM
Originally posted by EricV
Just solo-guitar, no singing right ?
Wow, thatīs cool... and tough. I always look up to people who can play solo-gigs like that and really make them happen...Yeah, just guitar.... it is damn tough. Me too, I have always admired those guys. .... I'm not a Joe Pass but I tried to give all the chord solos my personal touch and I think this worked quite well. Actually, a singer would be great so maybe I'll have a look into this direction.

Also, I gotta say that I was thinking about Berklee a lot while I put together the repertoire. Without the material I accumulated there I wouldn't have been able to get this set together within 2 months.


Talking about the excitement and stuff... James and me recently talked about this. Did you notice how this affected your playing ?Hell yes!!! But this is something I got used to .... and my reaction to this is to force myself to stay calm.

2 examples I can think of right now that happened yesterday:

1) first 2 tunes felt really uneasy and I had problems with concentrating on what I was playing. My fingers seemed to be glued to the fretboard. But to me this happens in most gigs. It's about getting used to the surrounding and hooking up with the audiance. As I expected that to happen I chose tunes that I really know in my sleep. After the first 2 tunes things relaxed ...

2) In the second set I completely passed out in one tune - I'm sure ya know what I'm talking about - I call it the 'black hole'. It was a chord solo I once wrote for 'Stella by Starlight'. Man, I was somewhere in the middle and I had no clue how this song continues. The tune is in Bb so I somehow made my way to a Bb Blues as a life saver - actually it worked well so maybe I should keep this:-) ... the audiance didn't seem to realize what was happening and I tried to make a serious artistic face to underline this 'modulation' :-)

Guni

Danster
09-20-2002, 05:07 PM
In the second set I completely passed out in one tune - I'm sure ya know what I'm talking about - I call it the 'black hole'. It was a chord solo I once wrote for 'Stella by Starlight'. Man, I was somewhere in the middle and I had no clue how this song continues. The tune is in Bb so I somehow made my way to a Bb Blues as a life saver - actually it worked well so maybe I should keep this:-) ... the audiance didn't seem to realize what was happening and I tried to make a serious artistic face to underline this 'modulation' :-)

Hey Guni. I enjoy reading about these experiences, as I expect one day (in the not too near future) to be performing also. It's reassuring to know that someone of your stature gets butterflies still. It's also interesting about the passing out thing. I do that sometimes in songs I have played a hundred times. Lack of concentration? I dunno. I expect that it would be even more likely to happen when one is in front of an audience. Glad you made it through. Kinda like breaking a string I guess. You still gotta find a way to make it to the end of the song eh?

It is interesting the way different performers handle bad situations. I went to see Amy Grant ages ago (so don't hold it against me :D ), before she got pretty big. She was doing a song, and just did a big screw up. I liked the way she handled it. She didn't get embarrassed, but what she did was rather drastic. She totally stopped, and said something like, "Can we start this over again?" They did, and I thought that worked just fine. On the other hand, I went to a show a couple of weeks ago, and saw Shawn Pittman (awesome Blues guitar slinger from Austin). He was having a problem with a mic stand during the first couple of songs. He dealt with that by getting angry at the people who set it up (I think they were local, and not his roadies), gesturing angrily between songs for the hired help to fix it. I was thinking, "Sheesh man, get over it."

Incidentally, I've heard the term before, but what is a chord solo?

Cheers,
Dan

EricV
09-20-2002, 05:44 PM
Hey Dan,

The "passing out" thing can happen to you even if you have played a song a million times. You just kinda lost for a sec, you forget where in the song you are, what comes next, stuff like that. Had that happen to me just recently.
I dunno, I guess some kind of a stress reaction. Can happen in the middle of the performance. Maybe itīs because you zone out a bit too much, or because your focus wanders off...
And itīs the best to deal with it in a cool way instead of getting mad. It just messes up your concentration even more.

Itīs kinda the same with making mistakes, playing wrong notes etc. I used to get mad at myself when I messed up, really angry. And that affect my stage presence and playing, too.
I later learned how to chill, and nowadays, when I i.e. play with my band and make a mistake, I take it as a rather funny thing. I look over at the guys like "Dudes, did ya hear THAT ? Did I mess that up or what ?". And usually they think itīs funny too.
Itīs just something that happens sometimes, and back when I used to get mad, I experienced that "downward spiral", where Iīd make a mistake, get mad, try to play even better and mess up even more...
Eric

Guni
09-20-2002, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by Danster
It's reassuring to know that someone of your stature gets butterflies still.Yeah, it's part of the game and I would really miss it if someday I wouldn't have butterflies (I'd probably stop playing .... )


It is interesting the way different performers handle bad situations.Nobody is save from such incidents. How they are handled is a matter of attitude. In my point of view Amy Grant did the right thing. There's no better way of winning the audience then showing that you are human ;). Also, handling such problems with a lot of humor works best.

One thing I think is important when playing live is how the musicians react between each other. Say, the bass player makes a horrible mistake (it's always the bass ... :D ). Most of the time ya can see 3 or 4 angry faces staring at the bass player. This is really bad. Chances are high that the audience didn't realise the mistake. So keep going - be professional when you ever come across such a thing. To me this is something that needs to be rehearsed as well and needs to be talked about when playing with a band.

And as your Amy Grant example shows there is no damage done in say restarting a tune. We had that last week - I'm playing in a cover band and one tune we really started out way too slow. Dunno how this happened but we stopped, had some laughs with the audience and started from the beginning letting the audience count us in.


Incidentally, I've heard the term before, but what is a chord solo?You could call it 'solo guitar' so just guitar playing chords, melody, bass line.....

Ya might wanna check out this thread:
http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=198

Laterz,

Guni