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  #16  
Old 06-18-2019, 09:46 AM
6L6 6L6 is offline
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A friend of mine plays solo instrumental music (only) and stays as busy as he wants to be in the San Francisco Bay Area. Plays restaurants, weddings, etc.

But if you want to have sure fire success with every song, learn to play and sing Neil Young and Buddy Holly tunes.

Last edited by 6L6; 06-18-2019 at 05:53 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:00 AM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
But modern "fingerstyle" type stuff, I'm not so sure. Definitely no market around my neck of the woods.
Despite my love for a lot of the more progressive playing I would agree it’s not a good idea to start tapping and beating the guitar in any venue except the one where people pay to see you as an artist. Jazz definitely can seal the deal for a lot of places!
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:27 AM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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Hi jklotz,

Here is the website of a fellow in my area who makes his full time living doing what you are describing.

http://www.glennroth.com/

He is also a recording artist, and a protegee of Stephen Bennett. Some of his compositions, recordings and occasional formal concerts include some "modern fingerstyle" type stuff--but at his "bread and butter gigs" I've attended it has been Beatles, other recognizable pop tunes, and standards. It doesn't hurt that he has unbelievable chops and a very laid back approach....

Good luck!
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  #19  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:35 AM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Originally Posted by reeve21 View Post
Hi jklotz,

Here is the website of a fellow in my area who makes his full time living doing what you are describing.

http://www.glennroth.com/

He is also a recording artist, and a protegee of Stephen Bennett. Some of his compositions, recordings and occasional formal concerts include some "modern fingerstyle" type stuff--but at his "bread and butter gigs" I've attended it has been Beatles, other recognizable pop tunes, and standards. It doesn't hurt that he has unbelievable chops and a very laid back approach....

Good luck!
Glenn is the man!!
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  #20  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:57 AM
jklotz jklotz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reeve21 View Post
Hi jklotz,

Here is the website of a fellow in my area who makes his full time living doing what you are describing.

http://www.glennroth.com/

He is also a recording artist, and a protegee of Stephen Bennett. Some of his compositions, recordings and occasional formal concerts include some "modern fingerstyle" type stuff--but at his "bread and butter gigs" I've attended it has been Beatles, other recognizable pop tunes, and standards. It doesn't hurt that he has unbelievable chops and a very laid back approach....

Good luck!
Very cool! I just bought his tab/sheet music for "Dream On". That'll be a fun one to learn!
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  #21  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:59 AM
jklotz jklotz is offline
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Originally Posted by Dustinfurlow View Post
Despite my love for a lot of the more progressive playing I would agree it’s not a good idea to start tapping and beating the guitar in any venue except the one where people pay to see you as an artist. Jazz definitely can seal the deal for a lot of places!
I hear you. I'm not much of a tapping/beat the guitar kind of guy anyway. It has it's place, for sure, and it can certainly add something, but I don't have anything in my repertoire that it would fit with anyway.
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  #22  
Old 06-18-2019, 11:06 AM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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Originally Posted by jklotz View Post
Very cool! I just bought his tab/sheet music for "Dream On". That'll be a fun one to learn!
Brilliant. You might get some good song ideas from his CD "Got it Covered" which includes that tune and a lot of others that folks will recognize:

1. Bus Stop (The Hollies)
2. The Letter (Box Tops)
3. All You Need Is Love (The Beatles)
4. Carolina In My Mind (James Taylor)
5. No Matter What (Badfinger)
6. I Can See Clearly Now (Johnny Nash)
7. Live & Let Die (Wings)
8. Dream On (Aerosmith)
9. Time In A Bottle (Jim Croce)
10. Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
11. Kiss From A Rose (Seal)
12. 316 (Eddie Van Halen)
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  #23  
Old 06-18-2019, 11:07 AM
capefisherman capefisherman is offline
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I've been doing a solo finger style gig for about 10 years now after playing in a wide variety of groups playing just about all styles of music. I've been so very fortunate to land a steady gig at a local cafe, every Sunday morning for eight years. I love it!!! Gotten to know all the locals and because here on Cape Cod we are a tourist based economy and this place has a well-deserved excellent reputation it is always full. I've also connected with many local musicians through my thing there and many of them sit in with me from time to time, which is great. But I know the reality is that I'm very, very lucky to have it - home by early afternoon, very little equipment to lug, zero pressure or dealing with a-hole drunks in bars.

Also, to do this type of gig you must check your ego at the door. Your function is background music, although quite often I get compliments from people who do not appear to be listening. It kind of cracks me up when I read threads on this forum with people who get all huffy about indifferent audiences and state that they would never play somewhere where no one listens. Welcome to the real world of the gigging musician, folks! Rejoice in a good reaction and always play your best, even if you're essentially only practicing.

I make a few bucks and few more in tips but that's not why I do it. I've toured nationally with a big deal fiddle player, played in front of audiences numbering in the many thousands, but I get more pure joy from my little cafe gig than anywhere I've ever played.

I also do a fair number of wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours, and gigs at galleries and private parties. So the short answer is yes, you can make a go of it as a solo finger-style player.

Gene
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  #24  
Old 06-18-2019, 11:16 AM
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You'd do much better if you added a vocalist and played Neil Young tunes, but I think this guy is doing alright despite what this forum might say about his playing.
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  #25  
Old 06-18-2019, 01:28 PM
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Not plentiful in my area, but I've landed decent corporate party gigs playing fingerstyle. Slack key, swing tunes, Beatles arrangements, etc.
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  #26  
Old 06-18-2019, 05:06 PM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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For me most bands should be back ground music. I quit going to some rock / pop music shows because it was boring. I like to hang with and talk with people. If I can't at least have the opportunity to converse if I'm in the mood then I'd rather hang in the next room or something. Performers need to bring the listener in with their music. Not over power them with some kind of sonic experience.
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  #27  
Old 06-19-2019, 12:11 AM
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lodi_55 lodi_55 is offline
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I am sure it's different from region to region, but I'm pretty happy that I've found a regular line-up of gigs at wine bars, breweries restaurants and a few weddings and other private events. And I just play guitar, no singing.

Business cards are easy to come by and if you're really interested in pursuing gigs, maybe a simple website with a few songs samples?

Sometimes I will go into a venue that I know has music and just asked if them if I can play. You'd be surprised how many times that's worked.

Oh, and practice, practice, practice of course. It's one thing to get a gig, but to get invited back you need to be good.

Good luck!

Last edited by lodi_55; 06-19-2019 at 12:22 AM.
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  #28  
Old 06-19-2019, 07:30 AM
capefisherman capefisherman is offline
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Originally Posted by lodi_55 View Post
I am sure it's different from region to region, but I'm pretty happy that I've found a regular line-up of gigs at wine bars, breweries restaurants and a few weddings and other private events. And I just play guitar, no singing.

Business cards are easy to come by and if you're really interested in pursuing gigs, maybe a simple website with a few songs samples?

Sometimes I will go into a venue that I know has music and just asked if them if I can play. You'd be surprised how many times that's worked.

Oh, and practice, practice, practice of course. It's one thing to get a gig, but to get invited back you need to be good.

Good luck!
All excellent points! Having a website is all but essential these days. There are plenty of free website builders/sites out there to do it and it doesn't have to be fancy, just professional looking and most of them are pretty easy to use. I use Weebly and upgraded to the "pro" version, which didn't cost much.

Optimization is a different ball of wax entirely but having video and audio links along with plenty of visual impact helps with that somewhat. If you want to spring for Google Adwords that will help a bit too. Google also likes cross linking so if you do reach out an offer cross linking to venues you play, local music stores, community arts groups, etc. you will see added exposure. I abandoned print advertising long ago and now get probably 80% of my business via web searches and the other 20% via referrals.
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  #29  
Old 06-19-2019, 09:17 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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BINGO!!! Glenn Roth is amazing... 95% of his act is solo guitar with the remaining some vocals.


Quote:
Originally Posted by reeve21 View Post
Hi jklotz,

Here is the website of a fellow in my area who makes his full time living doing what you are describing.

http://www.glennroth.com/

He is also a recording artist, and a protegee of Stephen Bennett. Some of his compositions, recordings and occasional formal concerts include some "modern fingerstyle" type stuff--but at his "bread and butter gigs" I've attended it has been Beatles, other recognizable pop tunes, and standards. It doesn't hurt that he has unbelievable chops and a very laid back approach....

Good luck!
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