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#503706 - 09/03/21 09:57 AM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 5295
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
Hi John and Mel
There is no question that the bulk of my songs will be from 30's to 70's, incl all standards ,R&R, country, and a smattering of occasional Broadway. I will keep a secondary folder of fast dance music from the 50's to the 80's in SMF format, in case I get caught by surprise.

If they don't like that, I am in the wrong venue.
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#503707 - 09/03/21 10:32 AM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Diki]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15179
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Originally Posted By Diki
I only have one person that attends every single show I do. Me! So, keeping my biggest fan happy is job #1… 😂

Play what YOU love, let the chips fall where they may. And if you HAVE to play at least some contemporary music, find some YOU like. It’s out there. If you look…


That sure sounds like a quick way to end your musical career, Diki. First and foremost, YOU'RE not paying the bill - the person that hired you is picking up the tab for the entertainment. I managed to make a very good living in this industry by providing what the client wanted to hear - NOT WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR! There are a lot of folks in that audience that wish to be entertained - that's why you were hired in the first place. The very last thing I would do is to play progressive jazz to a country or Jimmy Buffet audience - kinda like playing blues at a Saint Patrick's Day party - you won't be getting any return engagements!

Nealy all of my jobs came from the same 50 clients every month throughout the entire year. And, I was at the point where I was the first musician/entertainer they called for special events, which often payed the premium bucks.

Lets be realistic. You are essentially an employee of the person that hired you to entertain them, musically. If you cannot do this, you will not be in business very long. Over the more than 30 plus years I spent on stage, I managed to make enough to support my wife and 2 children, set up 3 retirement plans, purchase a 33 Morgan Out Island sailing yacht and take a six month vacation sailing to the Florida Keys, where I performed 3 nights a week while living aboard the boat.

Bernie, the main reason I was successful was because I performed the music my audiences wanted to hear. I keep things upbeat, interacted with my audiences and got to know many of them personally. This is what makes you successful in the musical entertainment business. Great musicians are a dime a dozen. Great musician/entertainers are a rare breed, but most are very successful, both financially and musically.

Good luck,

Gary cool


Edited by travlin'easy (09/03/21 10:36 AM)
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#503708 - 09/03/21 01:56 PM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 5295
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
Gary
That is all fine and dandy, and, your success can't be denied. By your own admission, you consider yourself more of an entertainer/vocalist than a musician. For many years I have known what you aptly mentioned. You take exception to the idea of playing what you like instead of what the employer wants. I guess I haven't been around long enough to find a venue that explicitly has a certain playlist. I have yet to have anyone tell me what to play, so I play a mix that would seem to fit the job. One can tell pretty well what doesn't fly and what does. It becomes much easier for repeat gigs, of coarse. It would seem to me that you have the ability to hone in quickly. I have admired you and your accomplishments in many areas for over twenty years, but that is you, not me.
Fortunately, I never had to sell my soul to the devil, and have enjoyed my years playing, tremendously. If money was my primary goal. I probably would not be as glib.

As for myself, let thine own self be true. I am a very nice guy, but not an "in your face" entertainer. I made my money elsewhere, and could enjoy bringing MY music to others at my choosing. That, certainly, doesn't sound like you Gary, because I don't have the incessant drive that you, Capt Russ, et al. have.

I shall maintain my role as a big fish in a small pond for as long as I can, and may God bless all of us in whatever road we take.


Edited by Bernie9 (09/03/21 01:57 PM)
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#503709 - 09/03/21 02:32 PM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15179
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Bernie, I sincerely hope it all works out for you. I believe that one of the things that was always very beneficial to me was my ability to read an audience. And, I think you have that ability as well. I was pretty much always to look out into the crowd and determine how best to entertain them. And, as you stated, providing the audience with a wide variety of music and songs really goes a long way.

Keep us posted as to how the job went when you have time.

All the best,

Gary cool
_________________________
PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

K+E=W (Knowledge Plus Experience = Wisdom.)

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#503711 - 09/03/21 03:48 PM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: travlin'easy]
Bill Lewis Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 2345
Loc: Bluffton/Hilton Head SC USA
So true Gary, so true. Sometimes, hard to swallow ,but as an entertainer you are an employee. And you can, or should have fun playing what the people want. There's worse jobs out there
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#503712 - 09/03/21 06:41 PM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: organgrinder]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4805
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Mel, I’m just an old guy that hates to lose what he loved. I was when there was no TV, I traveled in trolly cars, and a lot more.
That said, I love my iPad, and my Sx900, and my wife; so, I am not doing to bad. (smile)
John C.

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#503714 - 09/04/21 12:01 AM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13367
Loc: NW Florida
Sorry Gary, but if a venue wants to hire me, I ask them what they want. And if they want a bunch of crap I can’t stand, I turn down the gig. Simple as that.

And most venues hire me because they ALREADY know what I do, or someone recommends me to them. And he knows what I do.

Push comes to shove and nowhere likes what I do, there’s always stocking shelves..! Pays about as good as playing LOL 😆

But I’m pretty comfortable in most genres, and can find a decent amount of contemporary stuff that isn’t awful to flesh out my older repertoire, and even that is mostly a bit of 60’s (Beatles, Stones, Kinks, stuff like that) a ton of 70’s, and 80’s. Given the age of most customers of decent restaurants etc, that’s pretty much what they grew up with. 30’s-50’s is starting to die out (literally!) and it’s tough to find an audience that will toe tap to Sinatra after you just played some John Mayer or Ben Harper…

My area is not very highbrow! But while they might not be that enthused about Broadway musicals or bebop, they’re pretty happy going from 80’s synth pop to hardcore reggae to zydeco to yacht rock. And that’s plenty enough variety to keep ME happy!
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#503715 - 09/04/21 06:00 AM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6347
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
While it's true that Jazz gigs are few and far between, at least they're consistent. You can play any tune from any era in a jazz format and it'll please most jazz audiences. If that's your bag and there's work available, you don't have to worry about keeping up with the latest musical trends. PLUS, since jazz gigs require you to actually play, there isn't much competition for the available gigs. PLUS, you won't end up equipment-poor as you will be immune from 'GAS' attacks. Most 'jazzers' are still playing the same instrument they played 20-30 years ago smile. I'm saying this mostly 'tongue-in-cheek'; I realize that this is an 'arranger' forum smile (even if it IS true).

Happy Labor day to those of you still 'laboring' (or about to give birth).

chas
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"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#503716 - 09/04/21 07:33 AM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: bruno123]
organgrinder Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/16
Posts: 312
Loc: ft. lauderdale, florida
I agree 100%. I love playing for people more than anything and there are songs I love more than others, but usually the ones I don 't like are the ones that I am weakest at so I work on them until I am comfortable with them and most of the time BAM I have a new sone I don't mind at all and I am actually having fun playing it. Not always but most of the time.
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#503719 - 09/04/21 02:16 PM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: organgrinder]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 5295
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
On what basis do you choose a new song, and what made you doubt it at first? Is it because of the complexity, but you knew it was a winner?
Why do you think you weren't really that fond of the tune, but decided to tackle it anyway. It must have some redeeming quality.

My problem is too many choices, and it had better be darn good to invest the time if you didn't like it that much. In thinking back, I can think of a couple like that. One is "Tico Tico", which is difficult for me to play at the right tempo; but. a show stopper for sure. The other is "Achey Breakey Heart", that I heard so much, I would be almost ill when I heard it.

This is where I forced myself to sing and play it. because of the popularity and line dance meter. We all are different in our likes and dislikes, but I don't want to miss the boat because of frivolous whim. I should say to myself; too bad you don't like it, because plenty of others seem to( but I don't).
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