I'm new to this solo thing and terrible at remembering lyrics. I can play songs I learned 30 yrs ago but cant remember the words to a song I did last night. When I started this project, I went the route of the giant 3 ring binder on a music stand. Arranged in order of pre-determined set lists corresponding with my backing tracks. I recently downloaded mini lyric or: http://www.crintsoft.com/ It seems to work really well. I'm still tweaking it and haven't used it on a gig yet but, it'll be one less stand I'll have to set up and one less giant book I'll have to lug around. Gonna work with it the rest of the week and try it out on Friday night. As for the moral dilema "to use scrolling lyrics or not" ? I say, why not. Sometimes I sub for a guy that does a jazz cocktail hour thing and the whole band uses charts. I see nothing wrong with that. "The shadow of your smile" " Moon over Vermont"...I don't know these tunes by heart but I can read a chord chart and I don't feel like any less of a musician because I have to. You do what you have to do to get the job done to the best of your ability. Period.
I'm just preparing a solo show for uk clubs an pubs. It's been 25 years since I played covers in clubs, but I don't remember the audience comming to "listen", (I thought it was drink, bingo, dance) and there always were requests!
I'm using an iPad attached to my mic stand to cue my backing tracks and I thought that I might as well utilise an iPad app for PROMPT purposes (there are a few more things to remember when one is playing an instrument). So, lets get this clear; it's ok for me to use backing tracks, but if the audience discovers I'm using a lyric prompter then I'll be crucified? You know Chris, I don't ever remember members of working mens clubs audiences invading a stage, does this happen a lot to you?
you know Johnny, if you sound good and do the right songs, I don't think anyone cares if you use a prompter in the pub/club audience in the UK.
Of course it needs to be a prompt and you can't stand all night looking at your iPad LOL
@ johnny wildheart
Problem is not word prompting. its starin at a screen instead of entertaining an audience .
I think acts should be walking out and about onto the dancefloor , interacting with the audience and entertaining , not stood like a boring wet lettuce starin at an ipad.
Having a guitar is no excuse either with the amount of wireless options out there.
But i suppose you get yer borin acts and yer livley acts eh ? horses for courses . i know what i would rather see from an audience perspective....
Chrispeters, imo you're confusing a 'prompt' with an 'obsession'. I have never seen a performer staring at a screen when they had one there.
I've used a tablet for years. If you google my name, you can read unsolicited feedback regarding whether or not my audiences view me as "boring wet lettuce".
By the way, I'm not taking this personally; I simply understand the proper way to use an aid to performing. I have done (and still do) gigs without any aids at all. But I do believe your viewpoint comes off as restricted and limited.
I have seen guitar players stare at the guitar neck a whole song. Singers that keep they're eyes closed, people more concerned with smoking a cigarette while playing. When does the madness end?
Roy has made a good point here.
I grew up with a Mother reminding me that the things we see in others and think are faults, often get overlooked in ourselves. And of course there is the old saying, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."
In our business, sometimes a not so good performer will become a standout, but usually like so many other aspects of life, the cream will come to the top.
I know what my preferences are, but If I went through life judging, and only accepting those who meet my standards, this ole world might be a very narrow minded, boring place to be.
I do think it's healthy to look at others and decide sometimes that what you see is not what you want to be. My time in the bars, dealing with drunks, is a major factor in my decision not to drink all the time or to excess at any time. I have favorite performers, singers, that have influenced my style, but I am still me. And me, is about all I can handle when it comes to doing what I think is right, and sometimes I fail at that
Artistic expression is perhaps the most personal of all feelings. I know that I have seen and heard many things "artistic" that didn't make sense to me. On the other hand there have been guys like Johnny Carson who touched millions night after night, year after year, and of all those very successful individuals still trying today to be like him, none are.
I think most of us here are niche performers. I know that I am for sure. The venues that suit my product are becoming more scarce every day. Not because of my talent, but because of my effort, desire, willingness to be what I need to be to work in today's market. The markets change, and are different from town to town, region to region and, country to country.
I think we each have to decide what we want to be, where we expect our talent to take us, what the market wants right now and what we need to do to take/make our place in the market.
If it's working for you, then it's good.
Well now, to emphasize your point, here's a Bose Compact at work in New York City:
Artistic expression is perhaps the most personal of all feelings. I know that I have seen and heard many things "artistic" that didn't make sense to me.
quoteThis message has been edited. Last edited by: captbanjo,
The two compacts sounded great. Their reproduction of infantile "songs from the crib" was outstanding. "And"......No prompter either!!!! How did she do it?
Yoko's song reminds me of "When Harry Met Sally".
Back on the subject thread, she didn't use a computer for the lyrics.
Oh so true.
Who is doing this? How many people have to tell you that they are not doing this before you accept it? "wow... ! i am flabbergasted .."
I said something, you heard something different; are you my ex-wife?
One man's "lively" is another man's extremely annoying, "horses for courses. i know what i would rather see from an audience perspective...."
yes i HAVE seen acts do this .
and YES i do think it is part of our clubs downfall as well as these same acts charging te club obsene amounts of money, i know of a karaoke style act charging a club over a thousand pounds for a new years eve , no wonder clubs in uk are shutting left right and centre , it annoys me lol !
Please bring back the days of organist and drummer and get some life back in these clubs!Using actual sheet music,
instead of pub karaoke singers thinkin they can pull it off in the clubs and charge a fortune for the privilidge !
I know we cant get away from backing tracks these days although SOME clubs still do it properley with musicians on stage,but SOME acts << >>
Edit: Forum-Admin removed a colloquialism that could be offensive to some readers in different parts of the world -- please see our Terms of Service link at the bottom of every page.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Forum-Admin,
I used to play in a duo of Organ and drums for many years. Loved it! I also used to play in Six piece Chicago/BST type group. Loved that also! But, this business has changed and I had to change with it. The computer and backing tracks has allowed me to do a duo along with my keyboard and I sound like the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Someone asked me once....."where is the band"? I said......I got sixteen midgets behind the curtain. Listen, people don't really care how or what you do or "use" to entertain them. They just want to be entertained. It is "us" the musician that are self judging our fellow entertainers and that I believe is wrong. I have often said when I see or hear a musician having a tough time on stage....."Hey he's workin and doing his best'!
That's my story and I'm stickin to it!
"Music is neither new or old.....it just "is"
Can I get an AMEN?!
You have put into words what I would have liked to express; that using modern technology wisely can ENHANCE a performance, not detract from it.
Checking ego at door here. I'm a decent musician. I play a few different instruments fairly well. But by recording my own guitar (or using a pre-recorded track) for...say, Wish You Were Here, I can now play the lead over the recording and please not myself but (drum roll please) the AUDIENCE!
You are right on the money AJ.
The computer and backing tracks has allowed me to do a duo along with my keyboard and I sound like the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Someone asked me once....."where is the band"? I said......I got sixteen midgets behind the curtain. Listen, people don't really care how or what you do or "use" to entertain them. They just want to be entertained. It is "us" the musician that are self judging our fellow entertainers and that I believe is wrong. I have often said when I see or hear a musician having a tough time on stage....."Hey he's workin and doing his best'!
That's my story and I'm stickin to it!
"Music is neither new or old.....it just "is"
I have a friend who has been programing music, I remember him working with a computer screen on his keyboard, since the 80's. He and a drummer/singer still work together and do a fantastic job. They make it sound real I think partly because with live drums and left hand bass, you can mess with the rhythm a bit between the down beats, unlike a drum machine's mechanical sound.
The one thing I have trouble getting past when it comes to tracks, is knowing that in most cases a musician will do the same song next week exactly like he did it this week.
The comparison has come up here a time or two about musicians in an orchestra using sheet music, but, the same piece of music might be interpreted completely different by different conductors.
Last time I saw the Eagles in concert, my seat was just to the side and 30 feet behind the mix/control booth. I could read the computer screens with binoculars. Toward the end of the show I realized that every move on stage was choreographed with the lighting computer. As the last song played and the crowd roared for one more encore "THE END" rolled up on the screen, stage lights went down and house lights came up. It was disappointing to know that no matter how exuberant the crowd might be the Eagles were tied to the digital click of a computer.
I remember in the late 80's a young black man worked for me with a painting crew. He was a good painter and a good crew member. One day he came to me saying he was gonna quit to pursue a career in rap music. I had spent the previous 15 years or so working as a full time musician and my response to him was, "rap ain't going to last you better stick around here so you can put food on the table." I don't know how his career went but I sure was wrong about rap. That's enough to make me think that to this day, I have a disconnect with what's happening musically "now".
I still prefer my music live. Pulled from memory, sung from the heart.
I really don't think I qualify as a musician, or an entertainer. I'm just a guy that beats on a guitar and sings songs that speak to me.
Can't argue with you about one man, one guitar; it's worked for ages. I did a short gig last night with just vocal and guitar and I loved it and it went over well.
But one thing, even when I do use a backing track, it doesn't have to (and usually isn't) the same. An example might be when I do the M. Tucker song Can't You See. I change the lyrics and the lead guitar playing, which I mostly improvise anyway.
Here's an analogy; sometimes I drive a truck and sometimes I drive an off-road vehicle. When I'm using backing tracks I have to follow the rules of the road and stay within the lines. There are restrictions but you reach your destination fairly safely. When I'm playing guitar and singing solo or banjo with a bluegrass band, it's off-road time and that's a lot of fun, even though sometimes I get myself into a thicket I have to work out of.
This thread is quite amazing. Some are writing books about the topic, some are cussing out others for what they do, shaking their heads in disgust and just getting stressed.
It's just not that big of an issue. Most of us here have been at it for a while. If it works for you and you're getting "Gig's", then God Bless You, that's great. Keep doing what works for you, no need to defend it. Life is way too short. Some of us are fortunate to have reached a point, where this is still fun and enjoy being a part of the game. At least for myself, that's all that counts.
We got "folkies" and "rockers"
And lot's of "plain" talkers
And those who just want the job done
Me? Just thankful I'm playin'
(Only just sayin')
Any tune any time For any one.
LI Model II
Oldghm, captbanjo, J.D. Puente
We now have a new discussion Using Tracks
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