Update: So, the gig went really well. It was an auction/dinner at a hotel ballroom. I set up near the bar and played for about 90 minutes. Once everyone arrived, there was probably a couple of hundred people milling around. I always thought that ballads would be so great for solo gigs, but not for this type of gig. Maybe in a quiet coffee shop. When people are mingling with their drinks in hand, it gets pretty loud. Medium and fast swing tunes seemed to work best. Also, I did a lot of comping/improv with 4 notes chords on the top strings(D,G,B,E). Those just seemed to cut through better than the standard grips with roots on the 6th and 5th strings. I love to play jazzy blues, so Blue Monk and Tenor Madness got worked out extensively. Also, modal type jams ala So What and Impressions seem to work well. I’m still learning to play over changes, so the blues and modal tunes are really good for cutting loose on. I really like to give off the vibe that I’m “going for it” everytime I play. People can usually pick up on that kind of energy(not to sound all new-agey). It’s so great when you’re in that groove zone and little mistakes don’t matter. As long as you keep the groove going, it all sounds good. I always end up playing a lot less songs because I like to stretch out a few numbers.
I need to get some more gigs lined up because they’re fun and the pay is nice, too!
I have an upcoming gig in late January to play solo jazz guitar. The only details I have is that it is a private event(silent auction) and I need to play for 90 minutes. This is only my third solo gig to date, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts.
The nice thing about these private events is that you are not the center of attention. As long as you play competently, most people just consider you as background music. This is perfect for someone like me, who has slight stage fright. I still want to play as well as I possibly can, but I’m not feeling the pressure of being on a stage. This also gives you a lot of freedom. It’s not crucial that I make every change when I’m playing a standard. If I get lost, I usually can II-V my way back. Here’s my projected set list:
Child is Born
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Girl From Ipanema
God Bless the Child
How High the Moon
I’ll Remember April
Night In Tunisa
On the Sunny Side of the Street
One Note Samba
Our Love is Here to Stay
Someday My Prince Will Come
Sweet Georgia Brown
Take the A Train
They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Thirty tunes ought to work…I should probably learn some more bossa nova tunes and ballads, though. I’ve got a lot of swing tunes at various tempos. Those are just the tunes I gravitate towards, although the bossa songs really work well on the guitar. I like to start off with Lenny by Stevie Ray Vaughn because I like that I to IV change in the theme. It’s really open sounding and you can see how the room sounds and how your fingers are responding. After that I just try to mix up the tempos and keys. The hardest tunes to pull off are probably Night In Tunisia and Groovin’ High. They just have some tricky fingerings that I need to be warmed up for.
Wish me luck and I’ll let you know how it goes!