@LBro asked for some more mixer grabs from my last gig, so I thought would post two full songs that I think I have some interesting talking points
Some context; these recordings comes from a very small gig we played a few weeks ago. It was a 50s birthday gig. No stage… we set up directly on the floor in the corner of a medium sized room and played a couple of sets. We had a rudimentary mic’ing of the drum kit, and the rest of the instruments had a line-out to the mixer. I then recorded a multi-track capture of the band from the mixer using Reaper. Mixing is a bit rough, and there is lots of room sound etc etc…
Anyway, the first track I want to share is called “Regndans” (Rain dance). It has Danish lyrics, but a pretty nice groove (I think). A bit latin sounding really, once it gets going. But what could be interesting around these forums is that it has a long improvised guitar solo at the end!
Playing in a covers band I normally have to learn and perform solos that already exists on record and typically is well known to the audience. So I have to make them sound basically the same. But this track does not have a solo on the original, and therefore I can allow myself to experiment and be creative. Every time I play something new.
My approach is this; I do start it pretty much the same every time. I’ve found what I think is a good opening phrase, and by starting there I can get the solo going with confidence… and then allow it to progress from there. One thing that I try to do here is focus a lot on playing up against the chords! This is one of the most important skills I’ve picked up over the last few years, and I’m still far from perfect at doing it! But compared to my earlier years, where I would basically just be playing some random licks from the pentatonic scale, now I feel I can be a lot more melodic and create much more interesting lines - both in terms of which notes I target, as well as the rhythm in the licks. I think this evenings solo went pretty well - BUT you can actually hear how I “search” a bit too much for the notes and rhythm in certain parts of the solo. That’s where I feel there is room for improvements - being able to freely improvise, yet still sound 100% confident and in control! But it’s a learning process, and this is a step in the right direction for me.
Anyway, here is “Regndans”:
The next song I want to share is more well known: Joe Cockers “You Can Leave Your Hat On”.
I think this track demonstrates something else that you very often come across, when playing in a covers bands. Sometimes you have to play a simple song, but try to make it sound great! The guitar parts in this song is pretty basic, and the same riff is played over and over again. This means (IMO) that the real challenge becomes playing it locked tightly into the groove of your band mates, plus playing with dynamics and feel. This evening it ended up sounding like this:
Hope this was interesting to some!