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Thread: Playing Solo..

  1. #26

    Default Re: Playing Solo..

    It clearly can be done. Great examples above. But to me, piano and acoustic guitar are the only instruments that sound complete played solo.

    I once heard Paul Simon play "Sounds of Silence" solo on an electric guitar. Sounded great. But in general, electric guitar without a band is like - uh - mandolin without a band.

  2. #27
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Solo..

    Playing alone / solo can be loads of fun! While many of us on the forum busk from time to time, gigging solo is a whole different ball of wax. Mainly because you can't really stop in the middle and "try that line again".

    When I play coffee shops - I almost always play alone (not enough money to bring on anyone else). I use loop pedal for certain tunes (especially useful with an Octave pedal to play "bass" lines) - but I do a lot without any backing or effects. All depends on the song - probably more accurate, how well I know the song. The better I know it - the more likely I'm going to play it completely solo.

    One of my favorite things to do when playing solo without accompaniment is to make up fiddle tunes. Basically, I come up with a simple riff that can be an A part and another that can be a B part - then just play around with those parts and add chord type voicings where appropriate. While a chunk of these are completely made up, many could be more accurately described as "re-imagining existing fiddle tunes" as I'll take part or all of an existing tune and play around it.

    I usually get the most applause when playing these "made up" (or reimagined) tunes.
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  3. #28
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    Default Re: Playing Solo..

    Andrew Buckner, haven't saw him on here in a bit, but a few years ago he put out a wonderful album-solo mandolin-"Coffee and a good book".

    Here he is on a MM spot:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZriwiLYQrGg

  4. #29
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Solo..


    I always thought Thiele really nailed it with his Dublin performance of "Another New World" by Josh Ritter, the early very spare accompaniment still manages to engage. There can be a temptation to think you have to fill all the space with noise, but it's the spaces that pull you in.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  5. #30
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Solo..

    Quote Originally Posted by mbruno View Post
    Playing alone / solo can be loads of fun! . . . Mainly because you can't really stop in the middle and "try that line again" . . . When I play coffee shops - I almost always play alone (not enough money to bring on anyone else).
    I am with him on this. After my first album came out in the summer of 1994, I put together a small trio to play my initial gigs with. They quickly grew tired of my songs and bailed out after just 4 or 5 gigs. In the 25 years since then, the few people that I have asked to join me have never followed up on their un-excited agreements to 'work something out' - but if the truth be told, I find that I very much enjoy playing as a solo because it leaves me unlimited freedom to make drastic changes to the songs that I plan on playing at any particular gig (depending on audience reactions and/or non-reactions), cuts arguments with bandmates completely out of the picture, and it allows me to completely screw up a song and not throw the other musicians into a panic as I fumble for lyrics and chords; (another great advantage to performing original material is that nobody knows the songs, so they have no idea when you have fallen off the tracks!) Not to mention, I get to keep the entire $1.65 that get dropped into the tip jar at the end of the night . . .

  6. #31
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Solo..

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    But in general, electric guitar without a band is like - uh - mandolin without a band.
    Have you heard much of those old Chet Atkins solo electric guitar pieces?#They sound pretty full to me.





    Joe Pass was great in another style


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  8. #32
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Playing Solo..

    Josh makes it look easy:


    Great sound from the Eastman!
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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