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anyone doing a solo pianoman gig thing?
#2616960 08/05/14 01:29 PM
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Ive been toying with the idea of trying this over the past year. I cant say I've seen anyone doing this around my area, except for the couple of dueling piano joints in the area. Maybe a couple super cheesy guys doing it at restaurants with midi file sounding backing tracks. But I never see really soulful guys doing this, in public venues anyways.

Anyone have good experience or success with this? Theres got to be a reason why you dont see this very much. Why does it seem to be just as cruise ship thing?


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Re: anyone doing a solo pianoman gig thing?
Mogut #2616968 08/05/14 01:49 PM
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I wouldn't call myself "soulful", but not really "cheesy" either (is there anything in between?).... I've been doing a piano bar gig (no backing trax) in a casino restaurant here since 2002.....

Re: anyone doing a solo pianoman gig thing?
area51recording #2616971 08/05/14 02:01 PM
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I've done some one-offs over the years as favors. I don't sing well enough and pretty much don't like singing solo. I'm band guy.

The closest I would ever want to come to doing that on a regular basis would be a duo with a vocalist. We have had a couple of bars that specialized in piano bar entertainment over the years but it seems to be an older clientele. One of the pianos I have played it is an old grand that isn't tuned and it sucks.

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Re: anyone doing a solo pianoman gig thing?
area51recording #2616975 08/05/14 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: area51recording
I wouldn't call myself "soulful", but not really "cheesy" either (is there anything in between?).... I've been doing a piano bar gig (no backing trax) in a casino restaurant here since 2002.....


Geesh, that a really long run.... so whats the secret to success. Do you play the standard favorites, sing along types? are you vocalist as well?


-Greg
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Re: anyone doing a solo pianoman gig thing?
area51recording #2616982 08/05/14 02:15 PM
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Not solo but I have been doing a duo with a bass player as side gig to my regular band. We do some songs with tracks but most are just me on the piano and him on bass. Several songs are me on acoustic guitar and him on bass or guitar. Its all mostly popular songs from the 70's - today Paul Simon, Springsteen, Rob Thomas, John Mayer etc.

Basically if we don't think its too cheesy and its relatively simple to play we play it. As long as I can sing it, the older I get some songs just don't work anymore. Its only a diversion for me, I have been in the same band for 10 years.


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Re: anyone doing a solo pianoman gig thing?
Mogut #2616983 08/05/14 02:16 PM
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I started doing solo piano gigs about 6 years ago. Now it's all I do, because the only gigs I have time for are ones where I can just show up, sit down, play, and then leave. I don't sing.

The problem is that there's so few pianos in and around San Francisco. 3 places I used to play that had pianos, don't anymore. Another place decided that their customers just wanted to watch sports, so the piano sits unused.

Based on my experience, it seems like this is becoming a thing of the past. I might as well be putting myself out there as a horse-and-buggy driver. There's probably more of those than there are pianos.

But the scene is different elsewhere. From what I can gather, NYC still has lots of piano venues.


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Re: anyone doing a solo pianoman gig thing?
Adan #2616988 08/05/14 02:27 PM
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yeah i guess its the same burning question... who is the audience and where do you play for them.

Solo piano guy might not do so well at... say, the coverband places I would be used to playing


-Greg
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Re: anyone doing a solo pianoman gig thing?
Mogut #2616990 08/05/14 02:45 PM
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Here there are several small coffee houses, restaurants and 2 comedy clubs that also hire solo or duo's. Most have a small stage or a (tuned) piano in the corner.

Richmond VA is not far from me and has an area close to VCU that has quite a few small shops that hire solo players. Mostly acoustic guitar, but a small piano and portable PA will do just as easy. Its the main reason I still keep my SV1-73, its very space efficient.


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Re: anyone doing a solo pianoman gig thing?
Mogut #2616998 08/05/14 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mogut
Originally Posted By: area51recording
I wouldn't call myself "soulful", but not really "cheesy" either (is there anything in between?).... I've been doing a piano bar gig (no backing trax) in a casino restaurant here since 2002.....


Geesh, that a really long run.... so whats the secret to success. Do you play the standard favorites, sing along types? are you vocalist as well?


Yeah, I do vocals too. The playlist is literally all over the map, everything from Cole Porter and Gershwin to Skynard and Steppenwolf, just depends on who's in front of me. The only real "hole" I have in my stuff is I don't do a ton of material that's current- I don't get a lot of requests for stuff newer than say, the 90's and I'm guilty of not listening to the radio enough. If I started getting a ton of requests for more current fare I guess I'd have to adjust that. The thing I like best about the gig is the juxtapositions of songs you get from all the random requests. I had a night a while back where I got a request for Monk. I played 'Round Midnight. The next song requested was Freebird. There's not a lot of gigs around where you play those 2 back to back!


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