Question for Solo acts and or Duos.........

Discussion in 'Sequencing Hardware' started by bigbaddonwong, Sep 6, 2002.

  1. bigbaddonwong

    bigbaddonwong New Member

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    I've been playing music almost all of my life.....I've since started a duo with my younger brother about a year or so ago..(we used a drum machine and played everything live power trio style)...The audience reaction was quite good....(better than I had imagined any ways)...I've found that we've gotten more bookings as a duo than we did when we were in a larger band setting...(we still hook up with our former comrades from time to time for the odd booking, however we're still primarily a duo)...I'm curious if this is the case with any other solo act's or duo's.....Do the clubs in your area seem to hire solo acts or duo's more so than 3 and 4 piece bands?...(I can't recall a club hiring a full piece band in some time)...I've also noticed that Karaokie seems to be quite popular in my area as well.....(perhaps it maybe a future route to take)......
  2. The Keeper

    The Keeper The Keeper

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    1 Club budgets are getting tighter and tighter
    2 Why pay big money when the clubs want people to play the pokies, not listen to live music.
    3 less hassle with a soloist or duo, quick setup time, do the job, get out.

    I play rsl's, bowls clubs, and pubs. agents handle most of the rsl's and bowls, and whichever agent can deliver entertainment at the lowest price gets the gigs. I am forever hearing from punters about all the bad entertainment, but they get what the club pays for. I've been solo for about 10 years, I get good money cause I play what the crowd want, the clubs know me and know they can rely on me. I keep the crowd happy and they want me back. Next time I'm there, I usually get'thank god you're back, we've been getting s**t in here. That's not because I'm better, but because I talk to the crowd, play the songs they ask me to learn, take very short breaks, etc. Becuse the crowd is happy, the club is happy, they get me back.
    And guess what- I get paid the same as everyone else. If I kick up a stink, or ask for a pay rise, I lose the club, because the club can get as many artists as they like from the agent who don't want a pay rise.
    sounds like I'm bitching, but hey, it's the way it goes. Still, I wouldn't be in a band again, solo and duo is a good living, as long as you toe the line
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2002
  3. bigbaddonwong

    bigbaddonwong New Member

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    I agree.......

    I agree with you 100 percent....The clubs in my area seem to be barely scraping by (as compared to the old days).....Fewer people are going to the clubs so the clubs aren't making as much money as they'd like.....This in fact is the reason their not paying out as much to the bigger bands.....I don't think I'll hook up with a full band again because I prefer the 2 man band my brother and I have......With bigger bands you have more egos and headaches to deal with.....With our 2 man band we just have each other to deal with.....(and if you ever met my brother thats a chore in itself...ha ha ha).....
  4. voice of god

    voice of god Prodigal Pyjamas Pervert Staff Member Super Mod

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    definately less hassle in a duo or solo, for everyone.
  5. lostdave

    lostdave 'EVIL' Mod

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    I have done everyhting from an 8 piece down to Solo..
    currently working in duo.....

    :: BEGIN RANT HERE ::
    My experience has shown it's not just the venues that are to blame ...it's also in part due to the agents...
    I know here in Brisvegas, 90% of the venues are controlled by 3 agencies...they are forever trying to get a bigger piece of the venue pie...the way they do this as Merlin said...was gett in there as cheap as possible....usually at the detrement of the punters and the entertainers. It is tru...you get what you pay for....pay peanuts...get monkeys. If you do a good job and management and the punters like you...they will get you back.

    The biggest problem I have had in this biz was taking a residence for six months up in the whitsunday's.... when I got back i had to start from scratch....oh and the agency's were "punishing" me for taking a direct gig. There is alot of politics involved in this business...and that's what it is.... a business. If you look at it in any other way....agents and venues will walk all over you and you will wind up hating doing what you used to love...

    I once put My foot down with the agents about gig money. On the odd night off that I have... i like to go to venues that I normally play to see what other people do in that room...see what works...what doesn't etc. Found one duo in particular that was CRAP. Rang the agency on the following monday and found out they we're getting the same money as we were so I put my foot down and said I wasn't going to work for less than $X ...and guess what..."punished".... didn't get any bookings from the agency for a month.....BUT I made my point and stuck to my guns...eventually our regular venues decided that maybe we were worth the extra $$$ and they met our price.... I still stand by that and i believe that we are worth more than what we are paid but we are well paid by duo standards so I can't complain too much.

    :: END RANT ::

    but i actually preffer working in a big band environment... i LOVE the big sound for a live horns section and a bass player that doesn't play the same thing every night (at least the midi bass player doesn't make mistakes and the drummer stays in time).

    I would love to put an 8 piece back together again...even if it was only 1 gig a month... You just can't beat the sound


    Dave
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2002
  6. Ronny

    Ronny Midi Mad Super Mod! Staff Member Super Mod

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    Duo.

    The thing that I've found is space is the ultimate thing. I play a venue as a dou as well as occasionally a 5 piece. When the 5 piece are playing the singer gets the neck rubbed off him by the drummers crash cymbal.

    The other massive advantage is practising. My duo partner brings his acoustic to my pad and I plug in the Yahama and off we go. The 5 piece hasn't practised in 6 months, (shame) but my dou can get it together once a week and put 5 news songs in every week.


    Another thing is my playing has definatley improved with the dou. In the 5 piece I can hide anonomously in the background most of thw time and play the odd solo but with the duo we're side by side and up front so I feel very much exposed and that makes me concentrate.

    But all in all I prefer the big band, people will never really get off with a duo the way they do with a big band.
    :thumbsup:
  7. The Keeper

    The Keeper The Keeper

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    lostdave, you said it in a nutshell(a big one) the agents have us over a barrel, and are getting a lot more commission then they are letting on. some agents commission is equal to about half what the soloist is getting. I have this on very good authority.
    ronnykelly makes a good point too. Solo brings out the best in you, noone to hide behind. I was in a heavy band before my solo. The rhythm guitarist couldn't play guitar, but he owned the drumkit, the drummer was his best friend. One night we were playing 'kickstart my heart' at a gig, and i gave the lead guitarist the nod. he stopped playing. the rhythm guitarist immediately turned round and started playing with his amp. when he turned back round, I gave the lead player the nod, and he stopped again. same deal, rhythm player turned to his amp. after the set, the rhythm player went to the lead player and said ' don't you ever stop playing in the middle of a song and make me look bad" this is the god's honest truth. and yes, i sacked the rhythm player, who took his drum kit, goodbye drummer, but on we went.
  8. lostdave

    lostdave 'EVIL' Mod

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    LMAO.......

    :: Begin RANT 2 ::
    there is a duo in brisbane...who shall remain nameless at this point to save them embaressment....
    I turned up at one of the gigs....when I walked in they were doing alien antfarm - smooth criminal...Had a listen and thought...."he's nailed that pretty well".
    they then did Train - drops of Juipiter...so he puts the guitar down and plays keys..that went well..
    the they did Santana - Smooth. He pressed play on MD...the drum intro started...then the guitar kicked in......then he picked up his guitar and pretended to play the intro..The GUY was Miming Guitar....
    what's with that??????

    and that was just one example of many that I saw during the set.

    AND THESE PEOPLE GET BOOKED!!!!!!

    makes you wonder why you bother doing all the hard work and rehersall, when I could just turn up...put on a karaoke CD and pretend to play.

    Rang the agency about this guy ....their response was "yeah we thought he was too...but he is popular"....FRAUD!!!!!!

    :: end rant 2 ::


    Dave
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2002
  9. voice of god

    voice of god Prodigal Pyjamas Pervert Staff Member Super Mod

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    miming guitar! I cannot beleive that, right now I am laughing my ass off as I am typing. That is one of the funniest things I have heard. What is he thinking when he's doing it? Man that would be funny to see, 'specially if he really gets into it with facial expressions an' all. You may be able to fool the musically uneducated in the crowd with such shinanikins, but how could you look another musician in the eye.
  10. lostdave

    lostdave 'EVIL' Mod

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    Next time u R in brisbane....PM me and I will tell you who they are and you can check it out for yourself......I couldn't believe it either....
    Apparntley he mimes keys as well........
    and yes he does all the facial expresions and everything......
    he is fairly obscured..he has a double tiered Keyboard rack infront of him so he can probably get away with it to a degree with the regular punters but He wouldn't have known me from a bar of soap.

    Dave

    :: I think we should move this to chit chat as well.... ::

    I don't have the power
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2002
  11. willi001

    willi001 New Member

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    Yeah this should probably be in chit chat, but it is about sequencing in a way....
    I play in a 4 piece band and have done duo's also.I have stayed away from agencies because of the hold they have on you, money wise and playing wise... We book everything ourselves, we don't play as often as we could, but when we do play it is on our terms!!!
  12. Will Power

    Will Power Member

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    I work as a one man band in the Republic of Ireland. I have also worked as a Karaoke compere, But here in Ireland there is more work for Live bands than solo acts. (Im not complaining) But if I want to do a country music gig, I have to hire a band, even tho my country midifiles are second to none.

    Best of luck.
    Will Power
  13. Nyxan

    Nyxan It wont hurt for long Staff Member Moderator

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    Hey Guys, Read everything above and agree with it all. The difference down here is NO Agents. I get all the bands jobs and as you said Dave we set a price and stick to it. Sure you lose for the first couple of months but the venues soon realise why they had you in the first place and rebook. Most venue operators aren't stupid, they know a good band when they see one.:borg:
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2002
  14. Stilcrazy

    Stilcrazy Just a Regular Midi Guy

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    Like Will said ... this is probably chat but ... what I am hearing here is not only is music the international language ... but so is the music business ... there in West Canada there are fewer and fewer live rooms and yes I have seen the Karaoke bands mimic playing ... the lesson here is .. .Keep on working ... keep on playing ... and keep on smiling
  15. jrobertson

    jrobertson board member

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    midi bands

    sorry to see this is worldwide scotland and england are the same as everywhere else, guys hiding behind keyboards kidding on they can play or waiting to a song finishes then turn up the volume then plink plonk twang #### kid on there tuning then off with the volume for the next song .
    solo's and duo's get most of the work ,clubs pay less now than 21 years ago considering they paid 5 or 6 piece bands,as i have been told come yourself or bring an orchestra "i don't care,thats how much we pay".
    clubs are dying away 5and 6 piece bands have split up ,even the drummers are buying an old keyboard and trying to earn a crust.

    here endith the sermon. "good to get it off your chest ".
  16. jon-paul

    jon-paul New Member

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    Solos and Duos

    Hi Yes this is definatley the case I have been a solo act for about 4 years and have never stoped working (2 weekends off in 4 years) I used to work with a five piece band but the problem is that the clubs are not prepared to pay the money any more and so you find that only a few place still book bands. This is because the breweries have increase the prices of beer so much that clubs can no longer support the cost of a band unless they charge on the door and because the beer is so expensive people are not prepared to pay the door costs.

    If you are an entertainer why not check out my New Website at www.artistedirect.com because we are a new interactive advertising site for entertainers. the idea is that venues will book you directly from the site so you dont have to pay an agent commision. the site has only been up for 4 weeks and has already attracted attention from local TV stations in the north east we have such acts as Brother Hood of man etc check it out.

    You can contact me by pressing the contact button on the home page or by subbmitting the join form which is also located on the homepage.
  17. Denise

    Denise New Member

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    Trio

    Hi... I work in a trio and have done full time for the past 7 years. The only reason why we get trio work is because of sequenced backings...no drummer. Venues hate the fact they can't control the volume of a drummer, but a sequencer you can turn down. Our set up is 2 girl vocals (me and my sister) and One male vocal/guitarist. We use both midi and mp3 files - run it all from laptop using winamp.
    There is always more work for duos due to venue budgets, but once you have a name, we find they prefer trios :)
  18. Denise

    Denise New Member

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    Would love to know the name of the miming duo in Brisbane - I work in Bris/Gold Coast as a trio. We get accused of miming every now and then, which must be a compliment, because it's all live. It never ceases to amaze me how many crap acts are out there getting paid. I guess they under-cut the price of us decent acts and the venues don't care about the punters, all that matters is the bottom line. I am thankful these days we don't have much to do with the Brisbane circuit, money is in no way getting better and you can't compete with the cheap crap out there. Whitsundays and private functions for me thanks :) Mind you it took a lot of years working in those crappy gigs to get to do decent work and be selective with where we play. Those weren't the days ! Good for a laugh now though.
  19. lostdave

    lostdave 'EVIL' Mod

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    they were singing.....just not playing.......
  20. jrobertson

    jrobertson board member

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    duos

    I dont mind people just singing as their voice is their instrument.
    but! hiding behind a keyboard or guitar kidding on their playing!.
    they deserve a slap . deception and fraud springs to mind.
    I thought they were crimes.

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