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Improvised vs Rehearsed Solos

Pete Effamy

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A grown-up musician ... that's an interesting concept. :D

I'm still at the stage where I believe you're never too old for sex and drugs and rock n' roll. And Farley's Rusks. Especially Farley's Rusks.
As someone once said "I'm all for sex and drugs...... you can keep yer Rock n Roll".
 

Halfers

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Just easier to sell. An Evening of Elton John with Reggie Black will be virtually guaranteed a decent take-up. It's the same with all the touring shows now like Buddy or whatever. Easy to sell. Easy to stage.

Yes, very much so. And from a venue perspective, it makes sense. In between that, you have the 'themed' bands. Ska Tribute, era Tributes etc. Easier to market, easier to sell.

Funnily enough I had a message from my Brother in Law this afternoon. He has a ticket going to a Bob Marley tribute act gig this evening. If I wasn't already engaged in Dad Taxi duties, I'd be there..(rock 'n roll)!
 

Pete Effamy

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Yes, very much so. And from a venue perspective, it makes sense. In between that, you have the 'themed' bands. Ska Tribute, era Tributes etc. Easier to market, easier to sell.

Funnily enough I had a message from my Brother in Law this afternoon. He has a ticket going to a Bob Marley tribute act gig this evening. If I wasn't already engaged in Dad Taxi duties, I'd be there..(rock 'n roll)!
Yeah. My mates Eagles tribute are great. And I'd love to see a good Led Zeppelin tribute.
 

randulo

Living the dream
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Or as an A&R guy in Paris once told me, "It's great that you don't sound like anyone. But it's also unfortunate that you don't sound like anyone."

I totally get tribute bands, I just have no interest in ever seeing them. A few years ago, 80% of young guitarists are Jimi Hendrix tribute bands.
 

Pete Effamy

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Or as an A&R guy in Paris once told me, "It's great that you don't sound like anyone. But it's also unfortunate that you don't sound like anyone."

I totally get tribute bands, I just have no interest in ever seeing them. A few years ago, 80% of young guitarists are Jimi Hendrix tribute bands.
Yeah, but good if you've no chance of ever seeing the original and you love their music.
 

randulo

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Perhaps not in France. In the UK, however, don't be so sure. After all, there's even a The Fall tribute over here. :D
No there are tribute bands coming through here, I just saw a poster for one. There is no band I'd want to see again. In jazz or blues or funk, the legacy is carried on by others. I'm interested in musical shows, I just want see someone playing music. There are a few.
 

Jazzaferri

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Saw a Beatles tribute band at a convention a decade or so ago. They even had the voices and accents down and did costume and hairpiece changes as they went through the years. Interesting, and very well done but if I want to hear the Beatles I put on a record. Every solo was note for note btw

Fwiw . Wouldn’t have paid to go.
 

Halfers

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Actually, that might be it for me. It grates with me for some songs when the vocals don't match the original, maybe that's the same for me with some solos.

I understand that, but as a singer (which has been my main role in bands over the years, way before I picked up a horn) I also understand that physiologically it's damn hard to fit in with the vocal abilities of numerous different individuals when singing covers. Those little inflexions that come easy for one singer, just aren't there for others (certainly not in my case) ;)
 

thomsax

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The last band I played with had some "Stones songs" on the songlist. "Brown Sugar, Live With Me, Waiting For A Friend, Sweet Viginia, Symphaty For thew Devil´, Jumpin' Jack, Flash,. Miss You, Ain't Too Proud To Beg, Route 66 .... ". The guitarist and singer thought it was better if we just had 3 Stones songs on the list , otherwise we would be a Stones tribute band.. Tribute band is something good in UK but that is not the case in Sweden. I missed (not MIss You,!!!!! ) the Stones songs.
 

David Dorning

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Well, apart from Nick's suggestion that Brits prefer to spend most of their time looking backwards while wearing what may be described as spectacles with a slight rose tint ;), live music in the UK has been in freefall since the 90s. Audiences have continually plummeted as the cost of getting to the venue, the cost of entry and the cost of drinks once inside have continually risen.

So often you can't get home the venue as public transport often doesn't exist by the time the gig finishes - assuming there's any public transport at all to get you there in the first place. Even in London the tube is closed by midnight. Yep, the main transport system in the country's capital city closes down at the same time most other countries nightlife is just getting started. If you want a drink you better have a friend who'll drive you home or deep pockets for the taxi ride. Back in 2009 I missed the last tube home - 23:30! It cost me £80 for a taxi.

Then you have decades of what can only really be called propaganda regarding the worthlessness of art; how something's importance is measured purely in outright profit. This creates a society that stops caring about such things as music, that stops protecting or investing in such things as grass roots music and music venues. Again, the exact opposite of my experience in other European countries. And if someone from one of our European neighbours is thinking 'what's he on about, it's really bad here', I assure you that it's a whole different level of bad here.

In the 90s, cover bands were already becoming the only sort of band most venues were prepared to book. In my hometown of Manchester is was possible for an original band to play at a different venue every night of the week at the end of the 80s. In the 70s you could play a different venue every night for a month. By the middle of the 90s at least half of the venues I used to play at were gone, By the 2000s most had disappeared. All that was really left were pubs, where if you didn't play covers, you didn't play. Even if you did play, you were lucky if each musician got £10.

Then someone somewhere came up with the idea of having a tribute band rather than a band that just plays generic covers. Whether they intentionally realised it or not, they had come up with a way to attract an audience that could actually afford to buy a ticket - appeal to the nostalgia of middle class, middle aged people who have a disposable income. Play venues where you're unlikely to encounter drunken violence - another thing that put off so many people from venturing into cities - that are easily accessible by car, to see high quality musicians play your favourite music, usually watched from the comfort of a well-padded theatre chair.

In this country, if you're over 30 and still want to play popular music to an audience, there are only really two options (assuming you're not a working session musician) - play covers in a pub band or play covers in a tribute band. Rightly or wrongly most people assume the musicians in a pub band will be of a certain proficiency level that is not sufficient to play in a tribute band. Also, as has already been said, it's still possible to make money in a tribute band, and that attracts a lot of musicians, which means people putting together tribute bands have more potential players to choose from and that usually (but not always - boy, do I have some stories on that subject ;) ) results in music played to a high quality.

It turns out Brits do still love well played music - unfortunately the only genre that seems to be able to sustain itself is the tribute scene.

Dave that sounded like an improvisation on the theme of the UK. I reckon you nailed it.
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
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2,596
Dave that sounded like an improvisation on the theme of the UK. I reckon you nailed it.
I'll always remember taking my own band to a jazz festival in Belgium in the early 90's. I couldn't get over the culture. Pubs open till 2am, people drinking but not behaving like idiots. As a musician, I was treated as though I was David Sanborn. Amazing. Same with the pop tours I've done since.
 

bucksmusic

New Member
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23
A very interesting thread. I'm a relative beginner on Sax (alto) but an experienced keyboard player. I doubt I've ever played the same solo twice. I'm sure I've played very similar solos over many blues sequences, and my Jazz skills are limited so I undoubtedly repeat some phrases. Here's a couple of answers a question earlier, about how different are the solos of the Jazz greats on different nights. I heard Dave Brubeck say (and I'm paraphrasing him) "how much is improvised when you've played the same chord sequence a 1000 times". But there again I've got many recordings of Jazz greats playing the same tunes on different albums and the solos are completely different.
 
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