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#503721 - 09/04/21 03:00 PM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13367
Loc: NW Florida
I think that I’m happy concentrating on restaurant gigs these days. They tend to be mostly non-dancing venues, and I think that it’s primarily dance venues that force you to be trying to play current dance stuff (whether line dance stuff or modern R&B/hiphop tunes etc.) that you can’t really stand or are vocally poorly suited to.

Restaurant crowds are mostly listeners, which tends to open up your options and genre choices. Hard to keep a dance floor packed going straight from a Bob Marley tune to an old Elvis song, but perfectly acceptable for a seated audience!

I love playing dance stuff when I’m in a full band, don’t get me wrong. But that’s a different kind of energy and focus. I think I’m going to stick to restaurants and quiet beachside bars as a solo. We’re a better fit…
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#503726 - 09/05/21 05:57 AM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
organgrinder Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/16
Posts: 312
Loc: ft. lauderdale, florida
my first clue in picking a new song is are people asking for it. Then I think thats what i'm here for, to make my croud happy. Win win.
MEL
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KORG PA1000, KORG PA900, 2 BOSE S1 PROS, 2 BOSE L1 COMPACTS, YAMAHA STAGEPAS 500, ROLAND VP7

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#503727 - 09/05/21 08:37 AM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 5295
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
"Restaurant crowds are mostly listeners, which tends to open up your options and genre choices. Hard to keep a dance floor packed going straight from a Bob Marley tune to an old Elvis song, but perfectly acceptable for a seated audience!"

This is 95% of my playing, and am happier about my normal playlists. I can see from the above responses, that a whole different mindset is necessary with a passive audience and dances.

I would like thoughts on mixing in vocals with instrumentals at dinners at a suitable, non invasive volume and/or tempo.
To provide ambience for a dinner party, involves taking more of a back seat, and allow for conversation, but lyrics can be so important.
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pa4X 76 ,SX900, Audya 76,Yamaha S970 , vArranger, Hammond SK1, Ketron SD40, Centerpoint Space Station, Bose compact

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#503728 - 09/05/21 09:15 AM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13367
Loc: NW Florida
On the Redneck Riviera, picking your repertoire tends to be a mostly subtractive process. The goal isn’t to please as many as possible, it’s to piss off the fewest!

Finding a balance between patrons who’d be happy with 100% bro country and patrons who’d be happy with 0% bro country is a delicate balancing act… 😂

But with younger patrons, if you don’t want to do much stuff THEY love (which will annoy the older patrons!), try playing a ton of stuff their parents love. They grew up listening to it, it probably brings back happy memories. The stuff their grandparents listened to is a harder sell. They probably didn’t have that on around the house as kids.

That’s why I’ve largely ignored the 40’s and 50’s other than a bit of Elvis and the odd standard. I can pull them out if I get an elderly couple requesting an old favorite, but they don’t get regular rotation. Yacht Rock seems a pretty safe bet, these days, and is awesome to play and sing…

Speaking of which, unfortunately, it’s still singing that is the primary focus. Particularly with electronic keyboards, where you don’t get the visuals that playing guitar gives the audience, it’s important to give the crowd something to look at as well as listen to. Which is a shame, particularly with my voice! It’s a shame the audience focuses more on my weakest skill, but I guess that’s always the case! Nat King Cole was an amazing pianist, but everyone just wanted to hear him sing… I just wish I sang that good!
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#503729 - 09/05/21 09:27 AM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4805
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Bernie,
I played at a high-end dinner country club for five years. It was nice, but very little interplay. (Not rewarding)
Bernie, my opinion: No vocals at dinner job, they are doing the talking, and you are background music.

I have seen many older musicians trying to play contempory music, bad idea. I did the LeRoy Browns and Y M C A; the songs I was not capable of doing well I did not do. 80% of the line dances and contempory songs I played the original recordings. Never had a complaint.

At the senior jobs I used a younger man to do what I could not. His voice was fair, but he had the feel. His guitar playing was sad. After a while I ask the singer not to come back, I wanted to do a solo. I played three jobs and realized that my love for playing this type of job was gone; I have not played a job since. I was 85 years old at the time.

My love now; playing what I want, (smile) setting up a new keyboard and playlists, I use head phones for the middle of the night.
With my age, (90 this month, and all that is happening in the world, I have a job – and that is to have peace and contentment.
Take care my friend, John C.

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#503730 - 09/05/21 09:36 AM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13367
Loc: NW Florida
As to volume, I’m not a big believer in the Bose type line array systems, that tend to give a really even volume back to front of the venue. To get into the music, to not feel like I’m making Muzak in an elevator or shopping mall, I need a decent volume by me, but want it to drop off as fast as possible. So regular speakers right behind me (I use a pair of K10’s with deep mode on so no sub needed) gives me a semblance of a real band volume (without the tinnitus!) and drops off to conversational level within a few feet.

I also try to work with the hostess, making sure she seats older people who have the hardest job hearing conversation over music as far away as possible. Those that care enough about the music (or me!) can always request a closer table.

I could always go stick PA and use in ears, but I don’t like how those tend to mask the audience. You can pick up a lot of clues about how your show is going as long as you can hear them… Are they raising their voices? Have they gone quiet while you do a great ballad? Are they trying to ask a request while you’re playing? Tough to notice if you’ve got the music in your head…

But everything’s about flexibility in the end. Did a stint at an Italian high end restaurant a couple of years ago. Time to polish up the Sinatra and Dino and more instrumentals. Fun!

Beachside restaurant deck this evening. Back to the Yacht Rock, reggae and beach country. I love my job!
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#503732 - 09/05/21 12:51 PM Re: Is Musicianship Dying? [Re: Bernie9]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 5295
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
I have sung ,for years, at parties, nursing homes, and dances, but quiet dinners were more elevator type until dinner was over, then it would often start to liven up. If I had a rock n roll request, game on. I will have to keep using my own judgement about when and what to sing. John's idea about not singing in a high end dinner, may have merit. I, on the other hand, am a little rough around the edges, with 70's country my favorite. In between both ideas lie the answer for me.
" READ THE AUDIENCE" like Gary and others say.

For what it's worth: https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-forums/singing-during-dinner/0e817c1857d2f39c.html
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pa4X 76 ,SX900, Audya 76,Yamaha S970 , vArranger, Hammond SK1, Ketron SD40, Centerpoint Space Station, Bose compact

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