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Street playing

lv92lv92 New
edited October 19 in Repertoire Posts: 31

Hi there, hope this is the right section.

I have an idea i'd like to accomplish, to make a gypsy jazz trio (2 guitars and a bass) and starting playing in the streets of Rome where i live.

What repertoire would be a nice one, at least 1-2 hours, considering i'm not super fast yet? Ready to hear all your piece suggestions 😊

P.S: and what do you think about this idea? Any experience?

«1

Comments

  • Posts: 44

    I’ve never played in Rome but I’ve been primarily a street performer for years in many parts of the world. So here’s some of what I’ve learned.

    -volume is important and the streets are unforgiving when it comes to acoustics. Either use a small acoustic amp or really make sure your acoustic volume is adequate. I use a resonator guitar for that reason and it’s plenty loud enough.

    -forget the ballads, play medium swing or up tempo tunes, if you can get them to dance, you’ll always be better off.

    -generally the most popular tunes are popular for a reason. Tunes like All of Me, After You’ve Gone, I Found a New Baby etc. they’re catchy and up tempo. You can basically run through the Django fakebook and pick the up tempo tunes and be pretty confident they’ll all be good for the streets

    -present well, dress decent and have a nice sign and tip case if you can, convince them on very first glance you’re professionals

    -learn the local laws on street performance, especially if your amplifying.

    -bring water

    -keep optimistic even if the first few times don’t go great, street performance is an entirely different world and skill set than stage shows. It takes time to learn what works and if you get frustrated or in a slump, people will notice.

    vanmalmsteenrudolfo.christBucoBonesBill Da Costa Williamslv92
  • Posts: 2,947

    Above is a discussion about the most common songs people play in jams. In it you'll find a few more links with similar topics.

    Consider slowing down a lot of these songs, especially if you want to get people to move to it while listening. Some of them can sound very hectic to a casual listener. For example it's common to hear people play Swing 42 at 200bpm at a jam but it sounds just fine at 150bpm as well. Few times I played for dancers we never went above 180 and that was a touch too fast. Mostly 160-170bpm. Felt great.

    Bonesrudolfo.christlv92vanmalmsteen
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • lv92lv92 New
    Posts: 31

    Thank you, all the comments are gold to me. I expect more coming

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,501

    I’ve done the street musician thing in Paris and Toronto... back in the day, my clarinet partner and I were in the first group of musicians to be licensed to play at certain stops on Toronto‘s TTC subway..

    For us, the tune that was the best payer was “Ain’t Misbehavin’”... no idea why, we tried a lot of different ones because in the subway you would get a whole new clientele every time a new train arrived!

    And don’t forget to take some business cards with you, because strangely enough, you will get some good paying gigs... well, maybe once COVID-19 is finally over...

    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 501

    So Much good advice here.

    I'll add one more - have a few tunes everyone will recognize - whatever that may be (bella ciao, godfather theme, pop songs from whomever you think is popular) . . . that can be a real bonus.

    Buco
  • edited October 22 Posts: 2,947

    Yes, that above! I always wanted to do 24000 baci in this style, such awesome tune.


    bbwood_98
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,501

    I'll add one more - have a few tunes everyone will recognize - whatever that may be (bella ciao, godfather theme, pop songs from whomever you think is popular) . . . that can be a real bonus.

    “Volare” is a particular favourite of mine, great changes...

    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."
  • ChristopheCaringtonChristopheCarington San Francisco, CA USANew Stringphonic FV Brazilian
    Posts: 70

    I'd say the #1 oooooh, I know / like / love that song! is Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder. Weddings, jazz clubs, jams, bar gigs, busking... everyone recognizes and likes the song. I was actually learning the tune while living in Paris, happened to have my window open and some of my neighbors in the courtyard started singing the song while I was practicing.

    Plus it's an absolute playground sonically... and you can steal some Jimmy Rosenberg & Bireli licks to show off.

    rudolfo.christBill Da Costa Williams
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 501

    @ChristopheCarington I'm a stevie fan. Good idea- we also play For once in my life, and have played on occasion sir duke. and indeed great tune - the Jacky Terrasson version from smile is phenomenal.

    so, yeah having a tune or two like that in a set don't hurt when busking, or playing bars . . . lol.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 350

    Love all those Stevie tunes. Isn't She Lovely. Sir Duke. Stochelo did a good thing by throwing that cool "Sir Duke" riff onto the front of "I Wish" on the Ready N Able disc.


    BucoBill Da Costa Williams
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