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Tweaked my interest.

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by XavierG, Oct 6, 2001.


  1. Hi Steve,

    After having gone through your web site, listening to your music, and recently having a short chat with 'maxvalentino' about Solo Bass Guitar, my interest in this medium has been tweaked. It strikes me that, for a family man who hasn't got the time to worry about the logistics of getting an entire band together for paractice and gigs, this has got to be pretty close to "nirvana".

    I was curious, when you first started out (looping), how receptive were booking agents for different venues (clubs, restaurants, etc.). to your style? Did you have a difficut time 'breaking into the scene' so to speak? I'm just curious, as I've decided to try my hand at looping, and it seems to me that you would be the man to consult.

    Thanks,
    Xavier
     
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi Xavier,

    I've found that in the US there is a huge market for coffee-shop type music - I had no real problems getting gigs, in fact, with more notice I could've filled about four weeks in California...

    If you put together a demo CD, with at least one tune that people know on it, I'm sure that you'll have no trouble getting gigs.

    London is a different matter altogether, and I've hardly done any of those kinds of gigs here - if I promote it myself, I can fill reasonably big venues, but if I wait for other people, I'd never get to play!

    France is another good market for me - lots of small clubs and music-restaurants etc...

    go for it - ignore the fact that no-one else in your area is doing it and be the pioneer - if you can convince two other guys to put a short set together and do a mini-festival, you really got it going on! :oops:)

    do let me know how you get on, and post any MP3 links to your solo stuff here! And any questions you have, lemme know...

    take care

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  3. Thanks for taking the time to reply, Steve. Your input is much appreciated. I have started working on a few tunes for a demo CD (as you suggested) and will see where that takes me. I'll post a tune here when ready.

    I'm actually in Vancouver, Canada, which is not necessarily the best place to unleash a solo bassist. But there just might be a few venues that will go for it. Other than that, it's a stones throw from California (my digs prior to moving up here), so who knows, I might move back!

    Thanks again.
    X
     
  4. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    I dunno, I'd have thought that you could get gigs in Vancouver - lemme know if you get anything booked, I've got friends in and around Vancouver, so I could pass on the details... You never know, I might be there one day myself! :oops:)

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  5. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Xavier...I would also think Vancouver would be an excellent place. I have been considering a move to either Portland Or. up near Seattle. Let me know what the scene is like up there.
    And Steve...haven't heard from you in a while. How are things going in England? Sure was fun time this summer(the Solo Bass Looping Tour). I cannot thank you enough. I just finished my CD (got a new computer system)....let me know when you're back this way....
    MAx
     
  6. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I am very excited and anxious to start my solo career. I don't think there are any solo bassists in my area. I feel, though, I'm quite a while away from actually 'getting out there' yet. I guess you can call me a beginner still. I only have 2 full songs written, and there is so much still to learn, I don't want to get lost out there.

    Steve, is that the idea, to make a demo first? How many songs do you need for a demo or doesn't it matter? Questions...questions.. :D

    I've been feeling very creative lately, and have lots of ideas for new songs, so hopefully more will be written and I am happy at that.

    And Xavier, cool that you have chosen the solo path. Best of luck to you! :)

    Be well
    Stephanie
     
  7. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    There aren't many solo bassists in any area - if you took California as a whole, you could find a handful, in London I'm not aware of any others who are gigging, though I'd love to meet up with them if there were. In the whole UK, there are only two or three that I'm aware of... That's kind of what makes it so fun, getting in on the front end of something like this - Jaco did his thang, and then it seemed to go a bit quiet, just when it should have really taken off... Stick at it Steph - it's really cool that you recognise the expressive potential of the bass so early on in your playing life; that will colour the way you play throughout your musical journey, and hopefully make you a more original player...

    Well, recording yourself is ALWAYS a good idea - you gotta hear what you're doing, and it allows you to get feedback from people without sitting in front of them and playing then saying 'whaddya think??' - that's a fairly uncomfortable situation, cos you don't normally have the time. If someone says 'play me something', always think about how much time is available before offering to perform a whole piece - I still make this mistake, get half way through and realise that it's not really what they wanted... :oops:)

    But as for demos - yeah, you gotta have something to play to people that accurately represents what you do like - it's no use taking in a recording with a band if you play solo - it's only fair to let whoever's doing the booking know what you do before they decide to let you play...

    That's good news - keep working on those ideas, get them recorded early on, so that if you forget them, you've got something to come back to...

    have fun

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  8. Hello Steve,
    I just wanted to take the time and thankyou for being so supportive of your fellow bassists in thier quest to become better players.I have read a lot of writing about music by Professional bass players over the years ,and you by far are one of the more articulate and humble cats i have encountered.
    .
    p e a c e
     
  9. stephanie

    stephanie

    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I agree with you there, Bo. I always look forward to coming here an reading a new post by Steve.

    I truly admire your approach, Steve, and thanks for giving me so much inspiration and helping me with so much. I truly do appreciate it! :)

    Be well
    Stephanie
     
  10. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Bo and Steph,

    I'm really glad that you get something from my ramblings on here - it's kind of fun to be able to host a forum like this, and share some of what I've picked up over the years, especially as because of working for Bassist magazine when it existed, I was able to spend a lot of time with many of the world's legendary bassists and pick up a lot of tips that have helped me, so I can pass them on.

    I do find it bizarre when people think that a degree of fame or success should guarentee them a level of respect, or should absolve them of the responsibility to be polite to the people they meet - I've thus far reached a relatively low level of success, and hope that if it does go further, I don't end up refusing to talk to the 'little people'... :oops:) you hear stories all the time about people being snubbed by big names in all areas of life, but everyone has the right to respect, whatever they've done - if the queen expects me to call her 'your majesty' then she can call me 'your bass-ness'... :oops:)

    I'm really grateful for all the other people who come in here and chat, ask questions, and answer stuff that I'm not so good on - I don't know anywhere near everything about music, and am as likely to be enlightened by reading what goes on in this forum as I am to share knowledge (the recent discussion on Free Improv being a prime example). I also learn about my self by answering questions that I hadn't thought of asking... :oops:)

    Bottom line is we're all learning - I'm given a platform here cos i've got a solo album out that people seem to like and a bit of a profile as a teacher and a journalist, but that doesn't elevate my story above that of someone who's been playing for a few months, or put me lower than someone who's face is on the cover of mags every month - the value of a piece of advice or an answer is in it's wisdom and truth, not in the CV of the person who wrote it (believe me, I've read some really bad advice from some really famous players, and has some great advice from many of my students!)

    ..sorry for the rant... :oops:)

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk