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Thread: so what/where do you guys play?

  1. #1
    Senior Member cminor9's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    so what/where do you guys play?

    I was posting on a thread talking about whether a tweed deluxe would be loud enough, wondering what kind of place one would find himself in need of some 50 watt monster...and it dawned on me that for all the talk we do here about building guitar amps and pickups there is little talk about what and where we play. Yeah, I know a lot of guys here don't play. But it still seemed like a fun thing to ask.

    I mostly play not plugged into anything...either doing ear training or playing over recorded chord changes. When I actually plug in it's with a full band playing classic rock, R&B, and pop or with a jazz trio doing mostly standards. We have played plenty of dancehalls/rented rooms, some outdoor gigs (been hired to play large picnics, graduations, etc), and even did about a year-long stint playing jazz in a grocery store that was trying to go upscale. My motto: If you're paying, I'm playing. If I could play anything I wanted, it would be jazzy blues in a smoky club. Except that doesn't quite jive with the workin stiff/family guy thing. But I could throw down on some jazzy blues.

    So what kind of music do you play? What kinds of places do you play?

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  2. #2
    Noodle of Reality Steve Conner's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    Oh, it's a long and boring story

    When I was a teenager, I wanted to be in a metal band and my dream was to get a gig at Glasgow's Barrowland Ballroom. Not having the money for a Mesa Dual Rectifier was what got me into amp building.

    Around the turn of the century, I sold my collection of metal albums and guitars with prongs, and started listening to jazz, drum'n'bass, and playing bass guitar instead. That was when I started getting gigs: there's no shortage of guitarists.

    I ended up in a local band that played bland pop music with a touch of folk. We agreed to sell out from the start and be as middle-of-the-road as possible. We were quite popular and gigged a lot, but never got famous. Since I could hardly ever be bothered to lug a bass rig, I ended up playing whatever was there, while the guitarist played one of my homebuilt amps for me. We would swap instruments for a couple of numbers, so I could get a shot.

    We often played on bills with 3 or 4 other bands, and I would encourage them to try my amps too. It was always interesting to stand in the audience listening to them, and get feedback from other people. Once my old Toaster amp got into a face-off with a Plexi half-stack, and got a little mauled.

    I played guitar in a couple of heavier side projects, but those never really worked out.

    Around that time I also built my own project studio and started dabbling in electronic music and production. This was great fun, and I learnt a lot, but it was never really successful. Of course when writing resumes, I claim to have collaborated with Eric Persing on the Omnisphere softsynth, and opened for The Orb, both of which are technically kind of true.

    The best of my work (that I have the rights to release: I don't own the band stuff) is available for free here. scopeblog Steve’s Music MP3 only, we are working on the FLAC version.

    I left the band due to "creative differences". The late night gigs and free beer weren't exactly helping with my day job, either.

    I'm currently looking for a gig as a guitarist.

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  3. #3
    Supporting Member txstrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Conner View Post
    I left the band due to "creative differences".
    I can hear myself speaking here...
    Quote Originally Posted by cminor9 View Post
    If I could play anything I wanted, it would be jazzy blues in a smoky club.
    Yep, me too.
    I never had gigs on a regular basis. Almost always in bands which played just for fun having some minor gigs here and there. Except one time when I played in a local R&B band and we were opening for the Temptations in a town hall nearby. But that was just about it.
    I generally like blues, jazzy blues or blues rock the most and tried to fill this gap in all of my bands which, more or less, worked out fine.
    When I left my former band due to (repeatedly) what Steve politely calls "creative differences" I asked myself if I want to experience this again in another band.
    The answer was no and that's why I started my current blues/rock trio.
    We play stuff like SRV, Hendrix, ZZ Top, Robben Ford and the like in clubs, birthday parties, local events and small fairs.
    Since we all have our day jobs and don't have to rely on the music we can play the smallest locations and barely being payed. As long as we get the beer for free...


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  4. #4
    Senior Member hasserl's Avatar
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    I play in a couple of different bands, one is a classic rock band where I've played with the bass player for a couple of decades; another is a blues band made up of a group of friends I met doing blues jams. We all agreed that it would be cool to do something more formal than just jam, so we put a loosely held together band of rotating members. When a gig comes up it depends on the size of the venue and who's available as to who is going to make up "the band" for that gig. Two constants are myself and the bass player, but we've a couple of other guitar players, one of whom can double as a drummer, and a couple of blues harp players that sit in with us as well.

    Then I'm the organizer of a blues jam group (over 500 members in So Cal) that holds blues jams twice a month, I host one of the jams; I collect and hold any monies collected and pay any expenses for the group.

    Besides guitar I always try to play some bass at each of the jams, and have also picked up some side gigs playing bass, which I thoroughly enjoy doing.

    Most venues I play at can be played just fine with a small 2 x 6V6 or EL84 single 12" combo amp, though I hate being underpowered when the volume wars start. I prefer to come armed with a larger amp than I need and tame it back with attenuation or master volume or a combination. For outside gigs I like to take the bigger amps, like the Super Reverb. I also have a nice old Fender Jazz bass and use a Peavey Max 115 single 15" combo bass amp, which at 60 watts is a little underpowered for most bass players, but works just fine for me. Most bass players tend to be too loud anyway IMO.

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  5. #5
    Lifetime Member kg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Conner View Post
    we are working on the FLAC version.

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