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Branding yourself for classical guitar and suggested repertoire

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by oniman7, Mar 28, 2013.


  1. In addition to my teaching I've decided to try reaching out to play some shows on classical guitar to increase my revenue fund a little bit. I'll be looking more towards restaurants and that sort of thing rather than concerts or even weddings until I'm more comfortable. I've been paying classical for about 3 years but didn't realize how much I enjoyed it until the past 6 months or so.

    As such I'd like to know how you guys would go about branding yourself, finding venues to play at, etc. How much is reasonable to charge?

    Also, what are some good songs? Right now the songs I have ready to gig are these:

    Moorish Dance by Aaron Shearer
    Country Dance by Carulli (90%)
    Minuet in G Major by Bach
    Etude in E Minor by Dionisio Aguado
    Etude No. 7 by Carcassi
    Bach Cello Suite/Prelude in G Major

    I'm working on: Menuett in A Minor by Johann Philipp Krieger
    Andantino by Mauro Giuliani
    Menuett in D Major by Robert de Visee
    Spanish Romance (Romanza)
    Greensleeves
    Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach
    Bouree in E Minor by Bach
    I've also tried Classical Gas but that one's pretty tough for me right now.

    As you can see, largely relaxed music, a lot of Bach, and not necessarily all of the most profound technical pieces... just what I believe to be good music. I'd probably be providing more background music than riveting solo performances and that seems to reflect in my music choices.

    I'm looking for solo guitar pieces, classical/solo pieces that are recognizable and transfer fairly easily to the guitar (like maybe Fur Elise), and popular music that's recognizable without being intrusive. It might be good pop songs, famous movie themes/title tracks, etc.

    Your help is appreciated!
     
  2. Following along from fur Elise:

    Cavatina :bag:

    That Williams guy's catalog of cheese will see you right.
     
  3. Mitchinboxer

    Mitchinboxer

    Jan 25, 2012
    I heard a classical guitarist do the Godfather theme once, it was amazing.
     
  4. soitainly

    soitainly

    Aug 21, 2012
    I am mostly a classical guitarist that has started dabbling in bass. Unless you are very good/entertaining and have lots of contacts, getting gigs as a classical guitarist is a hard sell. Basically I almost never get paying gigs. I am an ok player and get audience response at all the free and charity gigs I play, but making that leap to getting a regular paying gig is a pipe dream for me. There are many top notch classical players in the Dallas area as well, and none of them are making a living playing either.

    As far as repertoire, the pieces you are working on seem to be decent at pleasing a crowd. Jesu, Greensleeves, Romance ect. are pieces lots of people know and are light enough so that a general audience can get into it, but The Carcassi, Carulli, Aguado stuff doesn't really go over as well, it's just not that interesting. I would suggest mixing in arrangements of pop tunes along with the greatest hits of classical if you are going to try and play restaurants. The really technical competition type pieces are too esoteric for the average music crowd so keep it light.

    I wish you the best of luck, classical guitar is a real joy to play, but you will get many more paying gigs as a bass player. That's kind of what made me think of taking up bass, the chance to actually play real gigs.
     
  5. Hey soitainly,

    Thank you for your unique insight. I have a city that has a small downtown area with many bars and restaurants (https://www.google.com/search?q=dow...w&biw=1600&bih=809&sei=WxhVUdOOFoa08QTgk4HwBA)

    They hire lots of smooth jazz trios and things of that nature for lunch music and such. Given this, do you still think it would be hard to get paying gigs? I would just want to show up, play some "elegant background music" and make maybe $50-$100 for 2 hours. I guess I won't know until I try either way
     
  6. How about adding Pachelbel's Canon and trying to book wedding gigs?
     
  7. I was planning to do both of those at some point but I don't know that I have the "pedigree" or even experience yet for a wedding gig. Definitely in my future if I take to it though
     
  8. From a casual listener's perspective I would rate classical "pop" guitar equally valid as throw together fake book jazz lunch trios, have at it. Charge well.
     
  9. bearfoot

    bearfoot

    Jan 27, 2005
    schenectady, ny
    I think image matters, perhaps moreso for solo acts. You need to have a look, even if its just a fodera, or sunglasses, or whatever. Not white shirt/black pants (unless its required) - be that gypsy esque classical guitar guy -
     
  10. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Flamenco stuff is super sweet, as is anything written by Aaron Copland.

    Ottmar Liebert does some very cool tunes. I'd try and cover as much of that kind of stuff as possible.
     
  11. seang15

    seang15

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    I know we're bassists, but I believe you are referring to a "fedora." :what:
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Ottmar Liebert plays everything in the style of Anvil Chorus.
     
  13. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I love that guy!
     

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