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#159119 - 01/30/07 03:03 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7294
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
I guess the difference, Gary, is what you enjoy...the entertaining of your audience, is what sometimes bores me to death. Depends on the audience. If the material isn't challenging...if the music doesn't stretch my abilities, I want no part of it. I'm aware that this "elitest" attitude
(in some minds) means that I always run the risk of playing myself out of a job. I just have to concentrate on different kinds of jobs. In large part, I play for "me", not "them". Luckily, around here, there are enough of "them" to keep me working as much as I want, with no marketing effort...ever.
In fact, the only time I followed up on a job lead in my life was recently, when I called the developer of a new club to see if I could add Dave Boyd to the bill if I opened his club during grand opening week.

There is no disagreement between you and me because we are looking for different things, and talking about different expectations and outcomes.

I have little interest in playing for a mass audience, which, to me, is the "lowest common denominator" kind of work. I'm not looking down my nose at the music or the people who play it or enjoy...it just isn't anything I'm interested in doing.

I play at the best Italian restaurant here in town....all jazz. I play for a lot of government offices, universities, etc....all
challenging music or I won't do it. And I work at least 4 nights a week in addition to my music score production. I turn down more jobs than I take.

That means that most of my music income comes from film scores and private corporate affairs....lots of horse farms, etc.

Different strokes. I'm not arguing that mine is the right way. It is, however, the way I work and enjoy my involvement in performing live music. I'm glad you enjoy what you do, and I'm sure you're very good at it.

All the best in the future..


Russ

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#159120 - 01/30/07 03:09 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Russ I'd love to hear some of your jazz work if possible sometime....can you email me a few tunes?

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#159121 - 01/30/07 03:21 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
renig Offline
Member

Registered: 02/20/00
Posts: 643
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by travlin'easy:
And, while most of my audiences are folks older than 40 years of age, they tend to be the same individuals that spend the entire evening on the dancefloor and having a ball. It has been my experience that audiences under 40 years of age are the ones that spend most of their time sitting in front of a computer or TV screen, and they're the ones going to bed by 10 p.m.. They have to--they're in debt up to their eyebrows, work two jobs, and many are just one paycheck away from being homeless. The older folks have already been there, done that and learned from their experiences--now they just want to have fun and enjoy life.


Cheers,

Gary



I don't dispute a word you say there, Gary. It's totally logical, and similar circumstances have been my experience in other places I've lived and worked. I sure as heck would like to know what's going on up here in Deadmonton. Being able and willing to "give 'em what they want" and fill a dancefloor has never been a problem for me - except up here you just don't get enough bodies to do that. Thirty years ago I'd have just uprooted and gone somewhere else, but that's not really an option now. So the battle continues - keep on keepin' on, I guess.

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#159122 - 01/30/07 03:26 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
captain Russ Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 7294
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Donny, my recording is all film score music...heavily influenced by jazz, but it is what it is....really not stand alone three minute tunes, but support for story lines and images. I don't have a demo CD (or even a bio or photo, for that matter). I have sent Tony, Nigel and a few others samples, but I have to be careful, because it is all copywritten and the client usually owns the copywrite. I'm working on a rough this week-end and will see if the client will let me let others listen.
Believe it or not, I generally send cassettes, so its not as easy to have a broadcast quality piece out there.I'd lose a client if that happened.

As the writer/producer of the films, the sum is greater than the parts. I would be bored stiff just doing scores, but managing the whole process is rewarding (think $1,000 a finished minute), even if it is done to sell cars, mining equipment, etc.

Really have no interest in recording for recording sake. Not interested in doing a "Russ" album at all. I'm as into film production as music, and this way I get to do both.

I deleted the file on the rough I sent Tony and Nigel...maby one of them can get what I sent them to you, if they kept it. The final product was significantly different (a real B, vibes, real guitar, drums, etc.)than the rough, but would give you a good idea of what "pays the bills" around here.


Russ



[This message has been edited by captain Russ (edited 01-30-2007).]

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#159123 - 01/30/07 03:34 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Thanx Russ.....if you do decide one of these days to record a few tunes send them over.

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#159124 - 01/30/07 03:52 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14211
Loc: NW Florida
It's funny, but most musicians in this thread, when they talk about working with other musicians, have very little good to say about them, sort of as if, of course, the keyboard player is the only competent musician in the band..... How sad!

Only Russ seems to want to talk about playing with musicians that might, gasp!, be even better than we are. THIS is what makes working with others attractive; the possibility of working with players who might, despite the blasphemy of it, be able to teach US a thing or two....

This points to one of two things - either most of the posters here have never had (or recognized it when it occurred) a player of that caliber, or are frightened by the loss of dominance by not being the alpha male of the pack.

Personally, I recommend it.... just as, when you were starting out you learned most of what you now know from playing with your betters, you will continue to learn and grow by seeking out those who are still a step ahead of you. You ARE willing to admit that such players exist, aren't you?

The truth, scary though it might be to admit, is that perhaps THEY are not interested in playing with YOU, and your pre-canned rhythms...... at least as much as you don't want to work with them!

Let's face it, most of us intelligent enough to figure out the complexities of operating a top-of-the-line arranger, book ourselves, stay focused and entertaining year after year and compete with other forms of entertainment could EASILY make at least as much money, and probably a lot more, in a different career. So, in truth, money isn't really the prime motivating reason for our doing what we do.

Playing MUSIC was what got us into the biz, and hopefully, still is. But the lure of solo pay scales can tempt us away from what made us get into this stupid career in the first place, and all I have to say is..... You don't HAVE to give up playing solo, but your soul will be recharged by involving yourself with musicians that still push and challenge you, and to try to do as much as you can with these caliber players.

If they will play with you.........
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#159125 - 01/30/07 04:38 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 14376
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
I have to chime in ... first of all, I enjoy playing solo because I am one of the nicest guys I know, and I LOVE being in my company ... BUT, I absolutely LOVED it when I was working with the band in NY ... we started out as 'strangers' who became the BEST of friends over 26 years years together ... talent wise, individually we were not the best, but as a unit we could 'move' and entertain a room with the best of them in the area at the time ... I REALLY miss playing with those guys ... BUT I am not sure we would still be working in today's environment...
Band work HAS changed a LOT over the years ... I think due to the DJ phenomena, today's bands HAVE to sound like the record ... That means you have to have the right mix of female and male voices to do a wide variety of tunes ... so now, especially in the tri-state NY area, the 'wedding' bands that are working are excellent musicians and singers, there are often 8 to 12 of them in a group, and they get BIG money ...
Here is a sample of a group that played for 2 of the weddings in our family during the past 4 years ...
http://www.trtouch.com/samples.php

Take the time to watch the video, especially the 2 female vocalists ...

t.
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t. cool

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#159126 - 01/30/07 05:12 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Diki-

I can only speak for myself, but I disagree with much of your last post.

When I formed my band, it was several years after I had been making my living working strictly as a solo performer. I did so eagerly, wanting to work with other musicians and entertain others as well. The guys I wound up with are all very solid players...for the 3-4 hours we're together a night, they do a great job. Everyone listens, reacts, and has the chops to keep things fresh and interesting.

There have been lots of good times, without question. However, I feed my family of five, cover a fairly large mortgage, college savings, etc...As much as this is about art, its also about business.

Fact of the matter is that while everybody likes playing in a band, the behind the scenes stuff, at least in my band, all rested on my shoulders. At times, I made decisions that I felt were in the best interest of the band for the long term. Sometimes the other band members didn't agree with me, which is fine. I've had musicans say "you can't make us a five piece-you can't cut my money" ("I'm not going to learn any new songs to sing, because I don't get paid enough", etc...)

I fired the guy that made those statements for basically just not being a very nice guy.

A club owner sat me down a few years ago. He explained he'd overheard 2 of my guys talking at the bar about how they were going to demand more money from me, because I worked so much and could afford it. He went on to say that if any of my side men didn't show up, well...people might care a little, but if I didn't show up, well, there wouldn't be a show...

In general, I guess I feel that the guys take what I do for granted. Week after week after week of refusing to rehearse (unless paid), apatheticness toward learning new songs, a lack of effort in helping break the PA down after a gig, etc...All that stuff adds up in frustrations. I make less money any time I work with the band compared to my solo/duo gigs. Combine all those frustrations along with the changing market conditions that I detailed in the original post for this thread, brings me to the place where I am today.

So, everyone goes into these things with the best intentions. But things happen, things change. There's been a LOT of good music, a LOT of very happy dancers and audiences. I appreciate very much the efforts the guys have made. However, at the end of the day, after I've tried to consider everything, its time to wrap it up after this year.

For me, its a 24/7 thing. To continue to be around guys who turn it on once or twice a week, who also often seem to forget who's driving the bus, well...like I said, its time to call it a day.

If they can find another leader who'll send them as much work as I have, then great...if not, well, that's ok, too, I guess...I know I'll be gigging more times in a week than they will in a month.

I'm not trying to make them sound like jerks, because they aren't, not at all. For me, I never feel like anyone's letting me down though when I'm playing solo...I want to learn new tunes, I want to stretch musically and try some things that might be out of my "safe zone", but the guys in the band won't put the work in to make that kind of stuff come together. Plus, with the market conditions, they aren't very motivated to put extra work in anyway. So, I'm all about creating high quality music...its just not like I'm too afraid I'm not good enough or whatever...

------------------
Bill in Dayton

[This message has been edited by Bill in Dayton (edited 01-30-2007).]

[This message has been edited by Bill in Dayton (edited 01-30-2007).]
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

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#159127 - 01/30/07 05:48 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10606
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Many creative people like to work alone.

Advice to the contrary is quite useless to people who have become comfortable, confident and secure enough with their abilities to play solo.

Obviously they prefer this method.

There are people who cannot grasp this concept....


Ian



------------------
Remember to leave good news alone.
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

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#159128 - 01/30/07 06:22 PM Re: Moving away from band work...
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14211
Loc: NW Florida
Quote:
Originally posted by ianmcnll:
Many creative people like to work alone.

Advice to the contrary is quite useless to people who have become comfortable, confident and secure enough with their abilities to play solo.

Obviously they prefer this method.

There are people who cannot grasp this concept....



Let me ask you a question..... IF your bandmates (or partner) did an equal share of the work, IF they had the chops and talent to sing and play at least as well as you, IF they produced as many bookings as you do, IF they owned as much PA as you do, IF you made as much money (or at least close to) with them than without, would you still prefer to play alone?

If so, no problem..... enjoy what you prefer. But in some town there are a few full bands, and many duos, that are doing as many gigs a week as you are. It CAN be done. It IS being done.

So, although the soloists may have become comfortable, confident and secure enough with their abilities to play solo, it doesn't mean that group opportunities don't exist, and to take advantage of them FROM TIME TO TIME can help restore that sense of dialog that is true music-making.

Advice to the contrary of your opinion is only useless to people that refuse to consider alternatives....
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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