Posts Tagged ‘Playing live music’

Open mic gigs and being to loud…

Just finished talking with a tavern owner and supporter of live and live open mics… as a matter of fact if it wasn’t for this venue owner, musicians of this particular local town would need to drive another hour to reach another open mic scene.

Bottom line and a wake up call for us musicians and an insight that marketers have known for many decades… “You do not know what patrons want, until you ask them what they want, and then support them with what the want!”

Meaning… Don’t think that the venue patrons are attending just to hear your amps cranked, pointing at their ears loud enough to make their conversations turn into a shouting match.

This owner opened up to me ‘big time’! She goes…
“Look, I’m happy to open my establishment up to open mic musicians (and of course pay the house band for its backline) for sure, but, when I see over 50% of my potential buyers of food and drink turn immediately around and leave because they can’t hear themselves think, let alone try to talk over the jammers that are trying to prove how bitch-en they are on stage then, unless they come up with a way to turn it down’ or maybe turn their amps toward themselves and ‘not forward’ and stop thinking they are the center of attention, well maybe it’s time to just shut er’ down!”

side bar: Musicians don’t buy enough drinks or food on their own to pay for the doors to be open.

So the question gets turned on its ear… ?- Maybe some new reasoning needs to be created, busting down the old paradigm. Maybe the new is… ‘listen to the patrons’ and stop trying to be the main attraction and become background to their ‘wants’ (and play as your own gig)!… Unless of course, you ‘are’ the center of attention as a big touring act and they’re paying you the big bucks to see you play… and (sorry) that ain’t a cover band btw!

The old saying… “we ain’t done it that way before” needs to be ‘busted’!

It’s a tough one for us prima-donna musicians, thinking we’re the center of attention.

Let’s find some new ways to jam but make the jam to and within ourselves and let the natural bleed of the freqs hit the audience so that they can both, enjoy their conversations during the music and appreciate our delivery.

Jam On!
Ron

Tom Petty Exits Stage…

As a musician you no doubt had a least one Tom Petty album in your library of classic references to straight ahead rock. Unfortunately Tom passed away in Oct of this (2017) year at the very young age of 66. It was a heart attack.

Petty had a way of taking what appeared to be soft folk songs of his own and placing some power behind them to create a unique rock ambience. He just had a way of keeping rock n’ roll alive within its original roots.

He’ll be missed… play a few tribute songs at your next gig… for Tom!

Jam On!
– Ron

As quoted from Rolling Stone (credit – online magz.)…
“In the late 1970s, Petty’s romanticized tales of rebels, outcasts and refugees started climbing the pop charts. When he sang, his voice was filled with a heartfelt drama that perfectly complemented the Heartbreakers’ ragged rock & roll. Songs like “The Waiting,” “You Got Lucky,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Learning to Fly” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which came out in 1976. It failed to make an impact at the time – the album’s lead single “Breakdown” didn’t even chart – but they picked up heat after touring England as support for future E Street Band member Nils Lofgren. They soon became headliners on the tour, with the album topping the U.K. chart. ”

Tom’s Website…
http://www.tompetty.com/

#riptompetty

Extend Your Life Being A Musician

This article is a great example of how being a musician is a wonderful reason for getting up in the morning.

Now we all know that eating right and getting a decent amount of exercise can extend our lives, yet,  being a musician seems to be another contributing factor of life extension. (albeit, that’s if you don’t get hooked on the alchy and drug spin).

Steve Hideg is a good example of not only extending ones life being a musician, he does so living of the very edge of pure poverty. Now, we understand the poverty scene being a musician, yet, here’s a great example of enhancing ones spiritual drive with music. And to do it in such a classy way!

Jam On!
-Ron

Life extension as a musician(credit given: By Steve lopez | Photography by Francine Orr – via Los Angeles Times)

His rent is roughly $1,000 a month, and his Social Security income is about $900 a month.

“It’s a total miracle how he exists,” says one friend.

The secret is disciplined austerity, occasional help from buddies, and a once-weekly job as a jazz drummer — a job that feeds Hideg’s soul.

Hideg studied the moves of drummers Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, got a job in an electronics factory and joined all three of the company bands. He later became a full-time musician and worked with a circus band for a while, but the songbook wasn’t to his liking and the government deemed Western music the enemy of the people…

Learn more about Steve here…
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-lopez-senior-drummer-20170805-htmlstory.html

Small Bands Playing To Loud At Gigs!…

OK, I’m talking mostly about the guitarist… You know, the one that has their amp pointing directly at the audience which blows high freqs right at a group of folks in front of it, going right through the legs of the player.

This long standing point continues to be an issue to this very day, especially with smaller hall/bar set ups. A simple matter of slanting an amp back to an angle that suits the ears of the guitarist would benefit everyone.., especially the audience (you know, the guy or girl with their ears bleeding hearing that amp straight on!).
 
At larger gigs (if not using forward throw reflectors) I’ve noticed that a good FOH mix guy will actually have the guitarist use his/her amp as their own ‘monitor’ pointing directly at them on stage away from the audience, otherwise using the amp mic for the FOH mix. Total forward hz/gain control this way, without isolated pockets of death freqs!
Jam On!
– Ron
(via: JoeBennett.net)
“So the amp gets louder. The singer (who, from the audience’s PoV, is always the most important person) immediately has a problem, because the guitar sound is now drowning out the vocal on stage (the electric guitar sits in approximately the same frequency range as the human voice, and its harsh upper midrange can obscure the harmonics of vowels that support singers’ diction and pitching)…”

Read More Here…

Bringing Back Analog in Music…

Is the rise of the digital machine really a cause for celebration?… This music artist in me believes not… especially when it comes to musical instruments

Give me my analog tube amplifiers and my screaming ‘steel’ stringed guitar opposed to digital devices, for any live stage or studio experience.

This article covers the existence and the rise of the (digital) machine as it’s associated with the musician. It’s something to consider to say the least…

Jam On!
Ron-

analog-vs-digital-music
Source (By: Gary Cooper / via:www.musicinstrumentnews.co.uk)

“I’m no Luddite and I doubt many of MIN’s readers are, either, but equally, I am not yet ready to surrender control of either my car or my sound system to robots which seem to have more in common with 1960s Japanese horror movies than Robbie from Forbidden Planet…”

… Read more about this article here:
http://www.musicinstrumentnews.co.uk/2016/11/21/really-sure-rise-machines/

Ringo Starr Against Digital, For Supporting Opening Acts…

In this article, Ringo Starr brings up some interesting facts. His first fact is really relative to his up-bringing in the ‘pre-digital’ music world. I can see his point to some degree, yet, this is the latest age we are living in and one must adjust.

Ringo’s second point was covered in one of our earlier blog post… It deals with the issue of ‘Pay to Play’. Now, you may already know that many venues these days, especially in highly competitive locals’, require bands to actually pay to gig live. Now, Ringo brings home to roost his take and complaint on how opening acts are treated these days… you might find it an interesting read…

Jam On!
-Ron

Ringo-Starr-photo

Photo credit: www.mirror.co.uk / via:http://societyofrock.com

When asked about the conditions that new bands face when opening for certain artists such as Ringo Starr himself. “I go crazy, because if you want to open for a well-known band you have to pay; management makes you pay. Who is giving back? I did a Ringo tour once and had a local band at every gig open for us just to give them exposure. Nobody is helping anybody.”

Read more about Ringo Star’s disposition here:

http://societyofrock.com/ringo-starr-expresses-outrage-in-regards-to-the-bands-that-open-for-him/

Making Your Own Music Video…

Music videos have been around for a few decades now… However, attempts to make your entertainment vids fast and easy continue to earn its stride.

Musical.ly is the first real social network that has reached an audience, young as small humans to the oldest of wisdom-hood.

Potentially, musical.ly will allow the younger and older generations to generate content in ways that they can’t produce as easily on their own. It is democratizing content creation by providing the resources (i.e., filters, control over video speed, access to professional audio) to make fun and entertaining content.

I may not be the best at layin’-down super guitar chops, yet, even I can create something fun without understanding a lot of post-production-editing skills.

You may find this ‘app’ worth looking into if you are considering a quick video about your musician self or with your band.

Jam On!
-Ron

Click the image to visit the http://musical.ly site and grab the App…

musically_video_app

Small Faces and Humble Pie front-man, Steve Marriott lives on…

Near the end of January each year marks the birth date of the front-man that was in two legendary rock bands, Small Faces and Humble Pie. It’s Steve Marriott’s birthday… time to share some information about his outstanding contribution to rock n’ roll.

According to Wiki: Stephen Peter “Steve” Marriott (30 January 1947 – 20 April 1991) was an English musician, songwriter and front-man of two notable rock and roll bands, spanning over two decades. Marriott is remembered for his powerful singing voice which belied his small stature, and for his aggressive approach as a guitarist in mod rock bands Small Faces (1965–1969) and Humble Pie (1969–1975 and 1980–1981). Marriott was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Marriott died on 20 April 1991 when a fire, thought to have been caused by a cigarette, swept through his 16th century home in Arkesden, Essex. He posthumously received an Ivor Novello Award in 1996 for his Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and was listed in Mojo as one of the top 100 greatest singers of all time!

Not only could he sing with such driving piercing force, his guitar playing was very noteworthy!

Heck, you “don’t need no doctor”… (live ’71)

Steve_Mariott_-_Humble_Pie

One of Steve’s most memorable times with Humble Pie (along with the Rockin’ the Fillmore -71 tour) was Woodstock… One can easily see why Marriott is considered one of the best rock front-men on this planet, as the above video provides a flashback for your reference.

Also check out the film release, Humble Pie “The Life & Times Of Steve Marriott” when you get the opportunity.

Jam On!
-Ron

Eagles Glenn Frey died…

As noted in Wiki… Glenn Lewis Frey (/fr/; November 6, 1948 – January 18, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, producer and actor, best known as a founding member of rock band the Eagles. During the 1970s, Frey played guitar with the band, as well as piano and keyboards. Alongside Don Henley, Frey was one of the primary singers of the Eagles; he sang lead vocals on songs such as “Take It Easy“, “Peaceful Easy Feeling“, “Tequila Sunrise“, “Already Gone“, “Lyin’ Eyes“, “New Kid in Town” and “Heartache Tonight“.
RIP, Glenn… Jam On!
-Ron

Glenn-Frey-died

More to learn at the official Eagles website here…
http://www.eaglesonlinecentral.com/

David Bowie’s Influence on Music…

David Bowie died in early 2016… his mark on the music industry is both, influential and controversial. Reviewing his past, one can indeed provide many twists and turns that contributed to our music industry.

via GIPHY

The press release below provides more insights regarding the unfortunate (early aged) departure of David Bowie…

Jam On!
-Ron

David-Bowie-Died

Credit Given via:http://www.bbc.com/news/

“The artist’s hits include Let’s Dance, Changes, Space Oddity, Starman, Modern Love, Heroes, Under Pressure, Rebel Rebel and Life on Mars.

He was also well known for creating his flamboyant alter ego Ziggy Stardust.

The singer (ed. Bowie), who had been living in New York in recent years, released his latest album Blackstar only last (ed. early 2016) Friday, his birthday.

The album has been well received by critics and was intended as a “parting gift” to the world, according to long-time friend and producer Tony Visconti.”

Read the rest of this story about David Bowie’s death here…

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-35278872

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  • Open mic gigs and being to loud… December 6, 2017
    Just finished talking with a tavern owner and supporter of live and live open mics… as a matter of fact if it wasn’t for this venue owner, musicians of this particular local town would need to drive another hour to reach another open mic scene. Bottom line and a wake up call for us musicians […]
  • Notes on a Piano (keyboard)… November 6, 2017
    Now, we all know that the basic 1, 4, 5 note structures (with maybe an additional transition note/chord) can create a complete song… However, when you toss in randomness of notes it might take a little more time to complete the composition. This video shows a keyboard prodigy that just might blow your mind! You’ll […]
  • Tom Petty Exits Stage… October 27, 2017
    As a musician you no doubt had a least one Tom Petty album in your library of classic references to straight ahead rock. Unfortunately Tom passed away in Oct of this (2017) year at the very young age of 66. It was a heart attack. Petty had a way of taking what appeared to be […]
  • Extend Your Life Being A Musician August 8, 2017
    This article is a great example of how being a musician is a wonderful reason for getting up in the morning. Now we all know that eating right and getting a decent amount of exercise can extend our lives, yet,  being a musician seems to be another contributing factor of life extension. (albeit, that’s if […]
  • Kindergartners Learn Blues From Conan O’Brien… June 21, 2017
    Have to admit (subjectively) that this gathering of young minds with Conan O’Brien is progressively fun. An interesting way to introduce kids to music, in this instance… the Blues. In any case, it’s worth a quick watch to get your subjective opinion. Jam On! – Ron (credit via: society of rock .com) “I Can’t Stop […]