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Advice for an ignorant guitarist...


picker

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Hi guys, I spend most of my time over on the bass and guitar forums, but I thought maybe some of y'all might be able to advise me.

 

I have been wanting to start playing out again on a limited basis for a long time now, but I keep running into problems with other people. Either they want to play stuff that topically makes me uncomfortable, or live too far away to make practicing more than once a week affordable, or don't have the time to pull it together, or something else.

 

So, I want to look into working with some sort of mechanized/computerized or prerecorded backup. It seems like it would be the easiest way to solve the problems, and it seems like there are as number of ways to do it.

 

Being your basically ignorant guit-fiddler who can't read music or play drums, and who has no real expertise in programming sequencers/computers, studio recording, or anything that would make this easier, I wonder if some of y'all who do this kind of thing would share with me what works for you, and what you'd recommend that would sound halfway decent that someone with my limited tech skills could work with.

 

My goal is to play very small clubs and/or restaurants (there are a lot of little bar-be-que joints that a full-sized blues band would drive the customers out of around here; it is Kansas City, after all...) I'd be looking for something that would deliver drums and bass backup primarily, although occasional keyboard sounds would be nice too.

 

What do you guys suggest, other than hanging myself for wanting to work with "trax"?

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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So, I want to look into working with some sort of mechanized/computerized or prerecorded backup. It seems like it would be the easiest way to solve the problems, and it seems like there are as number of ways to do it.

 

solve the problem? You cannot substitute live band with machine,

but there are some options. You can try juno-g or sp-555 below.

Anyway I'd prefer see live artist with the band then with the machine.

 

http://futuremusic.com/news/images/roland_sp-555.jpg

 

roland

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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So, we have a guy here, who, in a self demeaning manner - basically ignorant guit-fiddler who can't read music or play drums, asks our help to replace live musicians with the magical touch of a finger.

 

I'm also guessing the use of the phrase y'all is meant to ingratiate him with us. He is, after all, one of us, you see.

 

Is that about right?

 

Picker, if you learn to read music you can maintain a long distance relationship with other musicians. You learn your part on your own, get together either an hour before the job or once a month in the drummer's parents basement, and have a run through.

 

Y'all have a nice Thanksgiving.

 

 

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I heard a blues vocalist/guitarist recently that used recorded tracks. Phenomenal sound. I don't know if she used high quality midi/karaoke tracks and mixed out the guitar or used band recordings. But it was the bomb. Hate to say it, the sounds was pristeen and way more in control than if she had a live band. She put all the money into top quality sound reinfocement and effects and her equiment. Great Texas blues stuff.
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If you're looking to do just good backing tracks without a lot of hassle, you should check Band-in-a-Box 2007 which has RealDrums. The RealDrums sound much better than MIDI drums. If you're trying to do exact reproductions of songs with specific bass lines and drum parts, then BIAB probably isn't the best solution. Then go with the commercial MIDI tracks and couple them with the best MIDI modules or soft synths you can find. I would recommend just getting everything down to a stereo audio track and use an iPod (or similar) rather than bringing a bunch of MIDI gear.

 

Busch.

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Picker, if you learn to read music you can maintain a long distance relationship with other musicians.

 

Dave, if you learn to not be a condescending jerk, you can maintain decent relationships with other people.

 

If you don't know the answer to his question, you could have just said that.

 

Happy Holidays.

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Picker, if you learn to read music you can maintain a long distance relationship with other musicians.

 

Dave, if you learn to not be a condescending jerk, you can maintain decent relationships with other people.

 

If you don't know the answer to his question, you could have just said that.

 

Happy Holidays.

 

Thanks for taking the time not to answer his question and to reply to me. Perhaps you could take the time to help him not to use real live musicians, that's what he wants help with.

 

I keep forgetting that merely stating it would be a good idea to be able to read music is .... con·de·scend·ing Pronunciation Key [kon-duh-sen-ding].

 

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Perhaps you could take the time to help him not to use real live musicians, that's what he wants help with.

 

If you're a live musician, I'd rather work with a machine any day of the week. It's guys like you that make the very idea of musical collaboration unbearable. Next time you complain about people not working with other musicians, take a look in the mirror and you'll start to understand why it's an attractive option.

 

Picker, there are lots of options here. My advice for you, as to not mire yourself in technology you really don't require for your goal, would be to simply play to backing tracks off an MP3 player.

 

Dave, my advice for you is to give up on making these half-hearted attempts to relate to other people. There's no way in hell that you'll ever start morphing into a decent human being at this point in life, so might as well not bother imagining you are one from time to time. I'm sorry you've chosen to be so miserable... no need to inflict it on everyone else, though. Just a thought.

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I usually agree with Dave Horne more often than not, but I'd say the questions was how to produce backing tracks, rather than asking the best way to learn how to read music and collaborate with other musicians.

 

Jeff, Dave Horne IS a very good human being. I know this to be true aside from messages posted on this forum. Maybe you don't like his tone a times, but that doesn't make him an uncaring jerk. He's not. Try to cut him a little slack huh?

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Dave, my advice for you is to give up on making these half-hearted attempts to relate to other people. There's no way in hell that you'll ever start morphing into a decent human being at this point in life, so might as well not bother imagining you are one from time to time. I'm sorry you've chosen to be so miserable... no need to inflict it on everyone else, though. Just a thought.

 

Wow! I'm being psychoanalyzed by an ad exec who plays several times a week in Second Life! Jeff, this isn't a half hearted attempt to relate, I'm not making any attempt. If you use an mp3 file in a virtual world, how many steps removed from reality is that ... actually?

 

I agree with your advice to the original poster, you don't need no live musicians, just an mp3 file.

 

My life is going just fine, Jeff, but thanks for .... caring just the same.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I'm sorry you've chosen to be so miserable... no need to inflict it on everyone else, though. Just a thought.

 

Agreed, that's true most of the time. When people are happy they usually don't put others down...

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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Picker, among other things, have you also considered some "minus one" recordings?

 

Well, I never used them, so I wouldn't be able to suggest something specific, but I know they have been made for several genres and you can find books with tablatures for the guitar with the minus one recording cd....just an idea.

:)

Guess the Amp

.... now it's finished...

Here it is!

 

 

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I'm sorry you've chosen to be so miserable... no need to inflict it on everyone else, though. Just a thought.

 

Agreed, that's true most of the time. When people are happy they usually don't put others down...

 

Guys, the larger picture here - you're going out of your way to help someone not to use live musicians. Do you ever think where this path will ultimately lead.

 

Doesn't this offend your sensibilities even in the slightest?

 

 

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Would I rather hear one really good musician using automated back up or 5 egos?

 

I know this is a popular union issue and I sympathize.

 

The bars are nothing like they were and it isn't because of urban dance. It's a legacy of bad sound reinforcement and egotistical musicians.

 

This is such an old argument. Synths were going to put hornplayers out of work, etc. Jazz Big Bands would be replaced by 'electrified' instruments capable of filling a hall, etc.

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Even though I appreciate hearing good live music... we are not going to help live music merely by despising automation and the people who use it.

 

Entertainment is going to change based on people needs. The biggest threat to live entertainment .. is the alternative ... staying at home. Is this live music?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvqSaQ1yijs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMl0YIeMj78&feature=related

 

Is it a threat to live music?

 

Jerry

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Automation is just a tool. Its value depends on whose hands it's in.

 

A couple decades ago Broadway started going to recorded music instead of live musicians. We're not going to stop it and it's too late to resist. So it's better to bring technology under one's control than be a total victim of it.

 

So back to Picker, hope you find the tool that helps you achieve your goals. I'm originally from 'the South' - there's nothing wrong with an occasional "y'all".

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Guys, the larger picture here - you're going out of your way to help someone not to use live musicians. Do you ever think where this path will ultimately lead.

 

I don't think it leads anywhere, final judgment is on the audience side anyway. Will you buy automated music? will you go for a concert with automated music? of course that most people won't, so what's the problem?

 

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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Guys, the larger picture here - you're going out of your way to help someone not to use live musicians. Do you ever think where this path will ultimately lead.

 

Doesn't this offend your sensibilities even in the slightest?

 

DH, I understand your sentiment. But, we are already "there" in terms of how music is recorded and reproduced "live" in many cases.

 

Musicians are not being put out of work by technology any moreso than the other forms of entertainment with which they are competing.

 

But, I will say, when people have either tired of pre-recorded music and/or have a had a positive live music experience, they will come back around to it.

 

I think it is more important for musicians who do believe in live music to do their part in keeping it alive. Not easy all things considered but it can be done. Just a matter of finding a niche in the market.

 

Unfortunately, this is not the 20s through 70s where live music reigned supreme in part because there was only radio, no TV or 13 TV channels, no VHS players, DATs, DVDs, sequencers, karaoke, video games, etc. :)

 

Picker, there are several pieces that you can pick up (no pun intended), new or used that would facilitate in putting tracks together. If I were just starting out, I'd cop a keyboard workstation with sampling capabilities. :cool:

 

 

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Weird thread..

 

Picker asked a simple question and got jack for it. Strange. Can't we offer up better than this?

 

DH--"Second Life" is global platform that many musicians are starting to use as a venue for their talent. If you suck in Real Life then you suck in Second Life.

 

Don't knock this platform until you have tried it, and don't diss Jeff (or any other musician for that matter) for using it. Makes you sound like a Luddite.

 

 

 

 

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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No reason to feel righteous over a restaurant gig no matter how you get the job done. You're a paid monkey. And don't forget to put on that CD before you help yourself to the cheese.

 

No offense intended.

"........! Try to make It..REAL! compared to what? ! ! ! " - BOPBEEPER
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Picker expressed wanting to play with other musicians first, but cannot, so is looking for alternatives. He's then criticized for wanting to "replace live musicians". Bizarre. Then, just to add insult to injury, he's taken to task for using "y'all". Wow. I'd hate to see what kind of reaction DH would give him if Picker weren't playing a live instrument himself. Sheeesh. Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

 

Anyway, to answer the question, the easiest way is probably to get a portable CD player or an iPod with backing tracks to back you up at gigs until you can find others to play with. And welcome to the forum!

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Hey Picker!

 

Wow, this is always the most argumentative forum!

 

I know you'd prefer to work with real musicians.

I sympathise but have to agree with Dave Quillin that I've never seen a musician using extensive backing tracks sound better than that same musician without them.

 

Have you considered the looping option? I have seen a number of solo guitarists and singer guitarists (as well as solo singers and bassists) recently using loopers live to build up multiple layers of their own playing which they then play over, interact with and edit live. I've found that much more musical to listen to than backing tracks.

 

I guess backing tracks are more typical at restaurant type venues but the thrill of 'how does he do that?' can be positive with any crowd. I saw one guy at a recent central Londoncommunity festival playing an acoustic guitar and singing and using loopers live that entranced the whole crowd.

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