Need advice from musicians…
November 27, 2019 at 9:22 AM #79575
Ok…hey guys. I’ve still got cooking to do, etc., but I’m getting over my youtube agony…thinking, Ok, maybe youtube and I are finished. Maybe not, but maybe…and it’s been my only music outlet for several years now. So…I’m planning life after youtube. Maybe it’s been something observable by others or maybe not…I don’t know…but I’ve sorta been agonizing even WITH youtube at my fingertips…because music by myself is bothesome to me. I’m sure you’ve seen my accounts of why I’m totally dissatisfied with opportunities around here, either to jam, or like when I was in a band for a couple of years. So..here’s my thing.
I’m gettin myself through this possibility of youtube no longer being something I can do…rethinking…it’s not what I really want anyway. I really want people to play with and wouldn’t mind some casual gigs…not paying…I’m not money driven at all…I’ mean, I AM very frugal, because we’ve never made much income, but I’m just not monetarily driven…I’d PAY to play some little casual gig…I’m thinking farmer’s markets or something…nursing homes, something just casual…not Carnegie Hall…lol. At this point I’ve been a recluse so long now I’m not even comfortable in a crowd or especially on a stage…I’m a hermit and so my nerves could only handle something casual, very, very casual. So…I want something casual, which, when I used to get gigs, many years ago, was mainly all I ever got.
So…also, whenever I got gigs, it was because I KNEW people who were doing this or that…organizing a street festival, a big singing, picnics or soemthing…I KNEW people in the church we attended, so I played both in church and for potlucks, weddings, etc. Even the few gigs I got up here I got because I somehow made friends with the archivist and he was very active with musical stuff in his presentations, etc…so, once again, I KNEW somebody.
We quit church entirely up here, because the churches are impersonal and huge…I got cussed out more than once in church parking lots for parking in somebody’s spot, and screamed at for sitting in somebody’s pew…etc., I mean…you’re just swallowed up. The church we came from had under 50 memebers and usually only about 35 at a time who showed up on Sunday…lol. I can’t deal with the crowds and all. But I did try to go to church for several years when we first moved up here and told them I’d be available to do music…and they all about laughed in my face at that idea. I even made audition tapes (remember tapes?) and sent them and they refused me. I made audition tapes for a nursing home or two or three and they also refused me to come and play for free.
So…I’m now thinking farmer’s markets and such. Ok…I don’t know anybody…I’m a spec in a crowded, irritated urban sprawl…a nervous spec of hermit and social fringe. I don’t know anybody at all. So…for all you guys that get to play someplace…how do you get gigs?
Do I show up with an instrument? Nope I don’t think so…the musicians that show up to farmer’s markets and stuff seem very stand-offish to me…I’ve tried to chat with some of them and they seem … I don’t know, defensive of their playing positions they’ve acquired or something. Not friendly. Not seemingly friendly to me. If someone seems irritated by my presence I quickly back off and figure I’m bothering them…I don’t wanna be a nuisance, nipping at somebody’s heels. So I go if I feel I should. I mean I’m polite, but I don’t wanna feel like a pest to someone who seems irritated by me…lol…ain’t a good feeling.
So…please, please, please…what’s the big secret? How do you get some places to play…I’m talking free…I’d even pay them to let me play. What’s the code here that I can’t seem to break?November 27, 2019 at 9:23 AM #79576
And I gotta say…if I just play one instrument and/or sing…it’s not gonna be that great…kinda empty. So…I won’t even ask how to divide myself up and play a bunch of stuff at once…just how to limp through one at a time.November 27, 2019 at 11:01 AM #79584Gunnar SalyerParticipant
Well, I don’t really know, but if there’s any parks or such in the area you could just take an instrument and go just pick and sing and you could make a friend that way. My playing has been completely shaped by playing by myself, it made me start bluegrass, crosspicking, fingerpicking, banjo, and harmonica in a neck rack. I’ve learned to sound decent by myself more or less.
You could always move to north Carolina….. just sayingNovember 27, 2019 at 11:25 AM #79585
LOl…no, impossible to move at this point.
Yes, there is a good thing about playing in an isolated setting, having only yourself to find inspiration from and sorta get the chance to hone in on your own style, etc. I agree with that.
I lived way out in the woods and had plenty of time playing all by myself, but still had a lot of friends and social life with others too. Once, where we lived in the woods, some retired folks from Chicago came to live next door. They did so much work by hiring bulldozers and such and we were amazed to see anything done so fast…I mean we did everything by hand, as I know you and your family do, Gunnar…but these guys were cutting a driveway, digging a well, hooking up electricity, laying down the plumbing, etc. All in about 2 weeks. But they were really nice and we got to know them really well. They had run an apartment complex in Chicago and the guy was also in a Bluegrass band in Chicago…so we had a lot to talk about there…I didn’t play BG and wasn’t even sure what it was exactly…but he listened to me a lot on our hand-hewn pine log porch and he called my stuff BG. He let me play his expensive Gibson guitar, etc., made a few recordings of me with some little machine outfit he had…some cassette recorder that was also a small sound system people could use, etc. WEll anyway, they didn’t last long…they couldn’t stand the heat and humidty, the fact that on our old dirt roads their cadillacs would get their front ends damaged from the rutted out places and get dirty, and then once they’d clean them up, having to be careful not to run their well dry doing that, then the county would come through and oil the roads to keep the dust down and they’d get that old, black oil all over their cadillacs and you can’t clean that stuff off…I mean, we had an old dog-gear truck with a wood bed and we never cleaned it or worried about it…no sense in even thinking about it…it was kinda both humorous and sad to see them go crazy about keeping their cadillacs clean. They couldn’t deal with our particular brand of bugs…seed ticks and scorpions and such…copperheads (they didn’t bother us because we left the black snakes…black snakes kill copperheads, but these guys had them crawling up the well and going between the walls, etc.)…anyhow, they left after a few months.
What was I getting at? Ok…sorry, I lost the whole point of bringing all that up, I’m afraid.
But I started out saying there is some good stuff to get by playing alone, but to me, ultimately, music seems to want to be shared, somehow…either play with others or play for others…as I said somewhere before sometime on this forum…to me, music is an art that uses time as it canvas, notes as its paint…and they can only be appreciated and helpful in the moment…you can’t share it outside of the moment, because it just dissolves into the atmosphere, so to speak. Of course the electronic age has allowed us to capture the moment and repeat it over and over, but still…that is electronic music…not the same as sharing with each other…it’s better than nothing, but if youtube takes that away…I’m thinking I would be happier anyway if I could find real people who might take an interest…either in playing along or just, well, gosh not even listening…I’m not asking people to listen, but just to hear it while they shop for tomatoes…lol…anything. Just capture whatever art I might be able to create before the time that sustains it dissolves away.
That’s it. That’s what I wanna do…just…no idea how you do it if you’re a stranger in a strange land.November 27, 2019 at 2:17 PM #79600Gunnar SalyerParticipant
Well, you definitely need other people. If you can find a ukulele player, that’d be great, ukulele players tend to know few chords and mostly pop songs, but I’ve found them to generally be very open to trying new things and fun to jam with. Even just getting them to play Dm and C and just improvising over it is fun. The times I’ve played with others have been so much fun. So I guess your options are
1. Move to somewhere musical
2. Find a ukulele player
3. Slowly go insane from being isolated and musical.
I realize that doesn’t sound very promising…. I wish I could visit you, I’d love to sit and jam foreverNovember 27, 2019 at 2:23 PM #79601
Well, thanks Gunnar! It’s great we all know each other on here…and terrible we’re all so far apart.
I’ll just try to avoid option number 3…lol. I hope the same for yourself and everybody else here.November 27, 2019 at 3:50 PM #79620
When I use to play rock and played guitar/sing in a band we’d just go to places and ask to be put in their lineup on weekends.
But I don’t want to play in a band anymore. But what I do wanna do is play fiddle just hanging out with people. I’m in the same spot as you, Cricket. It’s that it isn’t possible here and there’s not much with that at all going on around here at all.
I ask around all the time and can’t even find another fiddle player. I can’t be the only fiddle player in this town, am I? And the only other acoustic guitar player is…me. I’d like to find a banjo player to play fiddle tunes with. But, nope none that I can find.
It’s like desert of music around here. I’m like the high plains drifter of music in these parts lol
Oddly when I was young it wasn’t like that at all. There were music festivals, jam sessions, get togethers and so on, but it’s all but vanished.
November 27, 2019 at 3:50 PM #79621Nancy BitterParticipant
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by JBounds.
I have had great luck with doing a local search online for “open mic” nights. Usually they will post when & where & what the genre is gonna be. Then I will go & listen to see if they play for fun or are really serious. But don’t be discouraged cause they may look serious but are really nice folks. Go talk to them on a break. Ask if it is open to anyone. That’s when they usually say: “anyone can play. what do you play?” And when they find out fiddle….well they are always accepting cause not too many play fiddle. Take hubby, or a friend and just scout them out. I am now doing like 3-4 a week at different places. Only for fun….I play at one restaurant that they keep a “tip” hat out. Usuallly the guy running the show keeps it. Never been offered any $$$ But oh I learn soooo much.November 27, 2019 at 4:44 PM #79627
Oh gosh, John…you sound like me. I’m so sorry that it’s like that for you too. Yeah…like you I once had so much playing in my life I never thought it would be any different. If I find the key to connecting with local musicians or musical opportunity…I’ll sure share what I learn!
Nancy, sounds like good advice. Thanks!November 27, 2019 at 6:17 PM #79630John (BGD)Keymaster
You know what they say, John, “Missouri loves company.” 🙂
I bet there are more fiddlers just like you and not far away! How to find them is the hard part though.November 27, 2019 at 8:10 PM #79634
So I’ll put an ad in the paper…”Calling on Kentucky fiddlers who are in Missouri”…lol…ok…bad joke but I have to entertain myself.November 27, 2019 at 8:39 PM #79635November 27, 2019 at 10:10 PM #79639
Oh yeah, John, you do need them if they can be found! Well, then, I could go for fiddlers who are miserable, but clean, like in “Washing–ton”…sorry, I’m getting worse, ain’t I?November 30, 2019 at 7:56 AM #79736jimnewParticipant
I just joined this website. This my first post to this forum. Where do
you live? I keep seeing Missouri and Ky in the posts to you. I’m about
an hour south of St Louis.
Jim N.November 30, 2019 at 9:06 AM #79739
Maybe you might be closer to JBounds…I’m in Kentucky…the northern part of the state. There is a lot of Bluegrass here, but I really just like Old Time and I’m not finding anything…there are some yuppie rich kinda people who do what they call “contradance,” but it’s just too yuppie and I’m not rich enough for them to feel comfortable associating with my kind, I’m thinking…I mean…it just doesn’t work. They’re nice, but I think they aren’t used to associated with folks who don’t live in palaces and have big important jobs, etc., they would never come down here where we live…just meth heads live around here…lol. But anyway, sorry my take on it all is just kinda depressing, but it’s how life is here, as far as I can see.
Hey, though, maybe other Missourians on here are close enough! And, welcome to the site and to our little happy fiddling forum! Glad you have joined us here…the more, the merrier!November 30, 2019 at 10:28 AM #79742
I live not far from Arkansas. In a little town called Poplar Bluff.November 30, 2019 at 10:31 AM #79743
That name sounds so familiar…maybe there’s a Poplar Bluff in other places…I love the name…it sounds like a beautiful spot.November 30, 2019 at 10:56 AM #79745
Have you ever heard the fiddle tune Poplar Bluff? Ed Haley tune. It may have been about this town. But I’ve also heard there is a road called that somewhere in Kentucky which I think is where Ed was from.
Anyway, my town has kind of a neat history. It’s called Poplar Bluff because of the poplar trees on the bluff that overlooked the river.
Also I don’t live too far from Paducha, KY. Like 2 hours.
November 30, 2019 at 3:29 PM #79750KennyParticipant
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by JBounds.
JBounds I used to know of a band from Poplar Bluffs “The Bob Lewis Family Band” . Rodley Lewis was one of the best fiddlers around the midwest. He later switched to the banjo and his brother Lil Bob took over the fiddle playing. If they are still in the area they might be a source for you.November 30, 2019 at 4:41 PM #79752Nancy BitterParticipant
I am in WV……..near BlueRidge mountain
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