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Anybody doing it on their own?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by David A. Davis, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. David A. Davis

    David A. Davis Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Summerville, SC
    There are so many threads about bands, I was wondering about some of the how to's on doing it solo. You know like, bass players playing solo, looping and such. How are you getting gigs, and where are you gigging. Anything related to doing it on your own.
  2. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    I did it for a bit, no looping, just creative use of chords and droning notes. As for gigs? A few open mics before I realized the market just wasn't there. At least not here.
  3. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    No law against a bass player learning to play chords on a guitar.

    I enjoy that, myself, and although I don’t play out with it, I might someday.
  4. I think you'd find it tough going with just a bass, no matter how good a singer you are. I play in a duo, with a girl who plays both keyboards and bass (I play guitar). She's also a fantastic singer and very easy on the eye as well. We've been together for over 4 years and are never short of gigs.

    One thing's for sure: you certainly make more money with a good solo act or a duo. A guitarist and bass is fine, so long as both of you can sing (gotta have those harmonies).
  5. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Sounds like a good idea, however you would get 6 gigs a year tops in Milwaukee.

  6. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I play bass and/or guitar in a working band and also maintain a couple of duo projects, as well as playing solo acoustic guitar and singing. To be honest, there is little to no demand for a solo bass player, even among us bass players. Hitch your wagon to a good singer/songwriter. I got lucky, and one of my duo projects is with an extremely talented and regionally popular songwriter. Together we get as many gigs as we care to play. Concerts, house concerts, private affairs and such.
  7. bassfran


    Mar 1, 2012
    Endorsing artist: Lakland basses
    I've done a few one-off solo bass shows for fun. It's not something I would make any real $ at as there doesn't seem to be much of a market for it.
  8. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I only know of a few guys around here that have tried it. Honestly, I am a bass player, and I wouldn't pay to see some guy playing solo bass.
  9. Marginal Tom

    Marginal Tom

    Apr 28, 2010
    O'Fallon, IL
    Sadly, the only good way to make a living as a solo bass player is through your day job.
  10. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    And the overtime for Friday and Saturday nights ... ;)
  11. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    My singer/guitarist is also a solo bassist and he does pretty well with it. The catch with him is he doesn't fall into the pitfalls of most solo bassists, he makes compelling instrumental music and it just so happens he uses a bass to make it. There isn't really a market for solo bassists. Solo musicians who play bass could have a chance.
  12. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Thank You.
  13. lol and +1(2)
  14. David A. Davis

    David A. Davis Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Summerville, SC
    I'm not talking about packing a club. I'm talking coffee shop type gigs. And no, I'm not talking about trying to make a living doing it. Looping, whatever to make it interesting. I for one can appreciate solo bass when done tastefully.
  15. David A. Davis

    David A. Davis Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Summerville, SC
    Thank you!
  16. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I used to quite a bit, and probably will again soon. Not solo, but with just a drummer and myself. I played guitar and guitar synth a bit of the time, maybe as much as 30% some nights. My voice couldn't handle a whole night, so we often split bills with one other band who were great at hustling gigs for weirdos.

    My drummer and I also worked as a rhythm section for a few jazz and blues acts to keep getting a regular paycheck a possibility. We still do a house band open mike gig once a month and have everyone else clear the stage for a set if the crowd seems receptive.

    I came through the jam band route and also have worked casually at being a legit jazz player for around 35 years -- both situations that allowed for lots of soloing experience. I don't actually solo all that much in the duo format though, or use loopers for layering. I do use heavily processed vocals and a rackfull of bass and guitar processors though. I feel that a stereo rig is a big help in selling this sort of music. Heck, I also have enough gear for a whole band on stage just for myself...;)

    I gained a certain amount of acceptance mostly by persistence. I can draw 75 to 100 or so people pretty easily in a few local joints, not counting random patrons who are going to be there anyway. So I make as much or more than the rather lean band share that passes for pay out here these days (and also work three times as hard).

    If you have something interesting to say musically I feel that it will come out in the wash eventually. Best of luck, and have fun!

    PS: you might also check out Michael Manring's and Steve Lawson's forum in the TB Pro section.
  17. David A. Davis

    David A. Davis Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Summerville, SC
    Thanks for the constructive reply. It's funny you mentioned the stereo thing, I started a thread about a few days ago. I'll check out Micheal and Steve's forum, thanks.
  18. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    I kinda like this guy (and gal)... solo bass, (but its tuned like a piccollo) They have some kinda groovin' tunes.
  19. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I posted a pic of one of my stereo rigs in that thread.

    I've had the pleasure of seeing both Steve and Michael playing in solo contexts. I drove 5+ hours to hear Michael a few months ago, and to attend one of his clinics the next day. Highly recommended if the chance presents itself.
  20. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    Zander Zon who also posts here on TB has some brilliant originals and cover arrangements on solo bass. My bandmate who I mentioned is worth checking out for his unique use of a bow on the YouTube as well. His name is Darin Schaffer. I do some solo bass work as well but it is very niche oriented in that it is very ambient based. I have only played live a few times and that was always for free for my enjoyment. If I ever get time and motivation to really play out solo more I will. My band, family, and work keep me too busy.