Sing Out!

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Campfired, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. bluwoodsman

    bluwoodsman Member

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  2. derekd

    derekd Member

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    Bob, far be it from me to add to your projected fiscal woes for 2018, but as AZ suggests, many retirement facilities have a budget for such performances. As I mentioned earlier, I used such places to gain an appreciative audience when honing my chord melody chops.

    A small keyboard amp could be your huckleberry. They often have two channels, one for your instrument and an XLR for vox. They can be found used all day for $100-$200.

    A couple of gigs would pay it off and then you are in the black from there on. Of course, you will need to keep copious notes for taxation purposes. Doesn't do to upset Uncle Sam. With your entry into the entertainment business, you then create opportunity to deduct some of your rather expensive tastes in gear.

    I'm sure, with the right song selection, the congregation would be edified by your musical contributions from time to time.

    Just a thought on a day of endless possibilities. 2018 waits patiently to help fulfill your dreams and ambitions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
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  3. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    Just curious...

    The Fishman Loudbox Artist will likely do what I might like the amp to do for all 3 guitar, vocals and iPhone. Will look into Craigslist and/or GC online for used in excellent condition. Mebbe not right away, but post-tax return time...
     
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  4. derekd

    derekd Member

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    Consider it an investment in your future as a performing artist.

    Some quick calling will identify the retirement facilities within a reasonable driving distance which pay for musical performances. I'll bet we could talk @sanrico into offering a discount to mock up some flyers.
     
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  5. AZChilicat

    AZChilicat Member

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    Bob, the songs that are likely to appeal to folks in a retirement community, probably would not draw scrutiny and I'm pretty sure you'd not need to be in a union. Sometimes simple concepts are simple. To illustrate, when one hears hoof beats in Connecticut, think "horses" and not "zebras."

    My mindset is not "saving cash" but "increasing net worth." Now, not to get all mathish on you, but an outlay of $400 that would bring in multiples of that in a year, would increase "net worth" and yield more "cash to save." Of course, this would require follow through, initiative, and some work...so yeah, there are draw backs to this plan.
     
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  6. StanG

    StanG Member

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    I have had a $50 beringer keyboard amp that has multiple inputs, including an slr for mic. I have had it for over 10 years, but don't move it.
     
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  7. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    Ha. I have a Behringer keyboard amp I bought from a friend (more to help him than anything else). The effects aren't very good, but the overall sound is OK and had four inputs. But it weighs about three tons, so I haven't moved it out of my basement eons. I don't really have much use for it because when I do play keys (always with my trio) I generally just go straight to the board. If I needed a dedicated monitor, I'd just use my Alto powered speaker because it's really light and just as loud.
     
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  8. StanG

    StanG Member

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    I use mine for a laptop in my practice area. I run a digital recorder and other things through it. It has a decent clean fir guitar if necessary.
     
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  9. Roark

    Roark Member

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    Yep great post. On placement, my wife who used to practice a ton alway tried to get me to open my mouth wider to help me project better.
     
  10. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    This is true. Breathing correctly, position of the tongue, and opening mouth wider helps with better vocal projection. I might ask my nephew who is an accomplished church and theater performance singer, some tricks of the trade. A safe bet nephew could help steer me in the right direction.
     
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  11. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    Bruce,

    Do you work with a mixer/PA, or just a straight powered speaker for keyboards? A friend of mine suggested an EV-PLZ-12P speaker, and modest sized Mackie 802VLZ4, or Mackie Pro8FXv2. The Pro has 7-band EQ sliders and effects; the 802VLZ, more straight-forward knob controls with lower noise floor.

    IIRC, about the same price point. I've test-driven a Mackie Pro12FXv2 and EV-PLZ12P, and would likely use this as an acoustic/vocal/iTunes PA with guitar/guitar effects/Torpedo CAB -> PA for live performances (saves from lugging the extra guitar amp into the gig).

    Do you think this might work? (Always can find slightly used gear online in order to reduce overhead costs)
     
  12. rangerkarlos

    rangerkarlos Member

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    Bob, you may want to focus on strumming and singing simultaneously before jumping into gear acquisition. How about setting aside $10 for gear after every song you’ve mastered and put in the setlist? After 30-40 songs you can reward yourself by investing in your increased net worth. During this time, between practice sessions you can study your gear options and make plans. Remember, you can’t expect results without putting in the work.
     
  13. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    Again, I'd agree with you here, but if I might digress regarding "horses", in our town on the road to Hartford, a tragic barn fire claimed the lives of 24 of a horse farm's beautiful beasts...this comes on the heels of part of our studies regarding horses, and my saying that my nephew was resting his own voice because he had 10 performances in 3 days over the Xmas holiday. Poor kid could hardly talk, forget sing. Sometimes what occurs doesn't seem fair to either man nor beast. "Hoarse-wise", if you get my drift. (Random, yes. Truthful? You betcha)

    Back to the post. If such an endeavor were to occur, it would be necessary to calculate my costs of both new and used gear, what would work most efficiently, and can be stored easily without need for unsafe or awkward lifting into storage.

    A local guitarist friend of mine who is also a seasoned performer might offer some tips as to what might work best for my needs, and could be useful for projecting into a respectable sized room with adequate headroom/volume coverage.

    Also, I'm not sure of my confidence in trying to book or attend such venues. My current schedule is tight enough without adding the live gigs, and even at this time, I don't have a lot of time for guitar practice nor live performance.

    I think the gist of this thread was to encourage others to use their own vocal abilities in order to sing joyfully whenever the mood suits them...whether that be at home, in the shower, when preparing meals, to entertain and encourage your family or friends, or as a live performer. Not for me to make money from this.

    I'd prefer to hear the experiences of folks who do this kind of activity for a semi-pro living, where it began as a hobby, and became something that bore fruit. Diving into unknown waters might not be the safest idea for me, AZ. I think I'd like to collect additional data before considering a gear purchase.
     
  14. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    Hey Bob. If we're talking about shows, I just send my keyboard signal directly to the mixer and get keys put in the monitor. I only play keys with my acoustic trio and I'm not contending with drums/bass for bandwidth, so this works pretty well. It's been a while since I played keys with a full band, but I'd use a powered speaker as a monitor and send a line out to the mixer.

    If you're looking to just play guitar and/or keys and sing, I think any of the current generation of acoustic amps would do fine. I have a Roland AC-60 that I use for most of my solo acoustic gigs. Guitar in one channel and mic in the other. If I needed to add keys for some songs, I'd either use a small mixer or a simple A/B switch. I usually play a couple of solo shows a month and this setup works really well. For most rooms I add a powered speaker (because the AC-60 is fine for very small rooms, but for bigger rooms it's nice to have more).
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
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  15. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    Again, you are spot on. And that may be the problem...finding time to put in the practice. (That being said, setting aside $10 per mastered song is not a bad idea. Would like to hear other's comments who have put in the practice hours...how much time is involved, what worked for them, what didn't work, etc.
     
  16. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    This is good info. Will be asking other local friends who have done projects like yours to chime in with what gear they use for gigs.
     
  17. Campfired

    Campfired Member

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    Bruce,

    More directly, would a ¼" line-out from guitar effects/Torpedo CAB to a mixer/PA work adequately for providing a strong guitar volume that could accompany my iPhone's playlists?
     
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  18. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    Yes. For a basic solo acoustic show, I run my guitar through a Zoom A3 and a Boss RC-1 looper, and then to the acoustic amp. I run an XLR from my mic to the other channel in the amp. If I expect someone might show up to play with me (it happens), I run a small mixer between guitars/mics and the AC-60. I've run electric guitars through the AC-60 and as long as you have some kind of preamp it does surprisingly well. In fact, for my trio shows I have a Hybrid (stereo) guitar and I run the acoustic signal through the guitar channel and my electric through the Mic/Line In channel with either a Boss GT-100 or my stompboard (which has a Tech 21 Blonde preamp) and it sounds groovy.

    There are a lot of ways to skin this cat. It would be just as easy to get a small four channel mixer and a powered speaker. I kind of like the sound of the AC-60, which is why I've stuck with it.
     
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  19. soulman969

    soulman969 Member

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    The vocals are what the audience identifies with so those must be strong, accurate in pitch, and sell the story of the song. So that's what I focus on mentally.

    In order to do that my playing needs to be subordinated to a more subconscious level. So I develop my instrumental parts around that and commit them to that sort of recessed part of my memory that can just play them by rote or as 84superchamp posted.

    And yeah, some of it takes a lot of practice but after 50 years of doing it I've had a lot of practice. But then some new challenge comes along and it's like starting all over again doing the exact same thing. There's no better substitute for it I've ever found.
     
  20. rangerkarlos

    rangerkarlos Member

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    Bob here’s a tip you should know. It’s serious and it’s the truth.

    After getting the material down stone cold, you have to do the process all over again once you are plugged in and in front of people. There’s a chance half of what you know will simply go out the window. Mistakes will be made. Trainwrecks are guaranteed. Audiences never react as you imagine they might. Sometimes they just stare even though you know you’ve given them a flawless heartfelt rendition. You need to smile and move on.

    That’s why you need to woodshed way more than you think is necessary.

    When I dusted off my solo act a few years ago I thought I had it dialed in. After a couple gigs I ditched about 50% of the material I had. It just didn’t work once I was out of my basement and in front of people. Back to the drawing board. Luckily I have years of live performance under my belt so I was able to adjust on the fly and not bumble around like a fool.

    It really takes a lot of time, trainwrecks, triumphs, blood sweat tears and grins to become a seasoned calloused performer.
     

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