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Wow I might have a gig!!!

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So I've been mostly a hobbyist musician for the last decade or so.  I noodle around play a few songs to amuse myself and try to expand my musical directions, sharing what I've learned along the way.



I Might have a paying Gig!


The city (of Wixom) aside from it's concerts in the park is going to close down a small section of downtown for a street fair of sorts. I've been invited to play by the planners.  I don't have a set list as it's been forever since I've actually sat down and performed for others.  It will be "one man band Mike"  and while I know a few "chord/melody' arrangements for jazz standards I'm rusty.  As well I know a few "fingersyle' arrangements of 60's pop era tunes. (Beatles, etc) 


A long time friend of mine is a member of the Downtown Development Committee. I went to visit him and show off my new variax. Played a few songs to demonstrate it's capabilities (he's a non-musician)  He's heard me play in the distant past (over ten years ago).  Now I wonder if I should consider not doing it because I don't think I have enough time to prepare.

Edited by TapperMike
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You might regret not taking the opportunity.


How long have you got before the gig?

How long are you expected to play?


Why not just select those tunes (however few) you are confident with & stick to those?


If you need more, can you use a backing track or two? Or perhaps noodle over a looper? Is BIAB any use there?



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I agree with Rudi. If anything use it to focus your efforts. Doing one gig has it's benefits, but more importantly it will remind you why you loved doing it before and maybe that taste will encourage you in new and interesting directions. Something like this, unexpected and potentially good fun, can be a very welcome break from the mundane and depressing aspects of daily life. think of it as a rut breaker (even when that rut is one caused by jobs and economics) let's face it, a new guitar fills a very similar space.... It could be a first gig outing for your variax... Also money earned from music should be spent on music ;) just saying lol

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Thanks for your support gentlemen.


It's a street fair, so lots of people passing by on their way to cosmetic jewelry stands, homemade honey, so the performance will be more audio window dressing then anything else.  Which I'm fine with.  I'm sure there will be more acts then just me I just hope it's not a four or five hour gig.  My Buddy said he's still has to work out the details of when, I'll be performing


I could drag out BIAB or other software as backing tracks which would extend my playing time considerably as i've had a fairly vast repertoire in the past.  Here is the hindrance of biab.  It makes the situation harder to memorize / perform without it as you always have the reference of the chord charts before you.  An old laptop in the bright sunlight makes it very hard to see the screen.


I've decided to start with the songs I know best recently then work backwards to one's I haven't played in a few years and then concentrate on possibly learning new ones.  It's all going to be Chord Melody stuff,  I'm not going to sing and I'm not going to bring the ztar or linnstrument along.

Even though I do have quite a number of tunes I've worked out on the z...that gets back into the issue with laptops and sunlight.


What's odd is that just a few days ago I came to the decision I'd do more "tapping style" arrangements.  The way I play tapping is very unique and yet closer to Chapman stick type soloist performance then EVH stuff. as I mix and match both conventional strumming / finger picking with tapping within each given phrase.  Writing arrangements using this method can be time consuming.  After I'm happy with my set list which already includes some of scores / methods I'll try to work a few in.  


So far I have...

Autumn Leaves

Blue Bossa

Body and Soul

Polka Dots and Moonbeams

My Blue Heaven

Here There and Everywhere

They Can't take that Away from Me

Dream A little Dream of Me

Round Midnight.


Note that these are actually very short songs the way I have them arranged.  It's very melancholy stuff for a festival.  But those I kinda have down blind.



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I imagine you have at least 30 minutes there. With spaces in between, 35 minutes. If you are performing for more than 90 minutes, some or all of these could be done again. After all, you will almost certainly have different traffic passing by then.


It sounds unrealistic to extend this solo method to stuff you still have to learn/arrange. I know its time consuming. It takes a high level of concentration to learn and to perform. Also, I am sure you're aware that if you find it a struggle to do newer stuff at home, it will be twice as hard in a performing environment. That's why some simple improvisation over a riff (ie: looper) could be your salvation. By simple I mean modal.

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You have good points.

I've never been much for live guitar loopers.  Sure Mixcraft has a performance setup that is similar to Ableton Live but I've only used it twice so far and I haven't used Ableton in years (latency issues)


I have played hundreds if not thousands of standards in the past.  Usually with the sheet in front of me or BIAB.  I may consider just printing up fake sheets, working from them and if I can't recall them all by Gig time I'd bring them along.   Cheesy I know.  


In the past I'd always get mad at jazz pianists who insisted on playing live using sheet music even though they'd played the same tunes for years.


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