Is the Vibe different on stage when you play an acoustic set?


Joseph
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Joined: 07/11/00
Posts: 581
Ive havent played with a band in over a year, that is until this past weekend where I played an acoustic set with a few friends of mine, (nothing too serious) except the arrangments were measnt to be play meticulously in classical form. Something I really have much of a problem with, since I basically larned how to play guitar inside out with classical configurations, which has definitely added just enough extra fluidity to my style over the past several years.

But I forgot how different it is up on stage when playing an acoustic guitar as opposed to electric guitar (and when you don't have a back up guitarists.) When you're doing an electric show theres more room for error. If I make a small mistake, I don't think you can really hear it because of the reverberation in a rather large building, especially if the crowd is screaming and yelling and whatnot. But at the acoustic shows, its more peaceful where, its much more of an intimate thing and if you screw up, it comes out pretty obvious. I think its safe to say I did a good job, with some of my finest playing, as for mistakes, well the show wasn't perfect, but it was good. Heh, I'm never really nervous on stage, but when you have the audience staring into your eyes, it can be a rather eerie feeling dont cha think?

-Joseph, :).
www.ragmagazine.com
"Swoop and soar like the blues angels."
# 1
Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 07/05/00
Posts: 2,907
Atleast they were interested...
I've played lots of open mics where it was an acoustic sort of affair. It definately is a different vibe, you have to rely a lot more on the song I think. Or rather, you have to work much harder at playing something that grabs people's attention with either the chord progression (if you're solo) or the interaction between the instruments/vocals. It's about being interesting without effects.
What makes it really work though is a good croud (like any event). Nothing sucks quite so much as an audience that would rather here a top 40 cd on suffle.
Raskolnikov
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# 2


Joined: 02/04/23
Posts: 0
i think there is quite a distinctly different vibe in acoustic sets. For one, you can't hide behind distortion and screaming fans and the backup of your other band members, any mistake is going to show. I think you hit it right on when you said it's much more intimate, which it definatly is.
# 3
AtomicMassUnit
Registered User
Joined: 06/09/00
Posts: 107
I really like the way that acoustically your songs get to breathe more, and it's more about the melody than playing catchy riffs, and if your songs stand up on their own so bare, that's a great thing. Plus, vocals sound so good when there's no sonic mud thrown by overeager guitarists and bassists. One of the funnest things about playing acoustic (my band has been doing acoustic radio gigs) is getting to hear the vocals so clearly. When there's just two guitars and two voices, or a guitar, a bass, and two voices, it's so rich. Not eerie at all for me.

Atomic
# 4
Bardsley
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Joined: 02/04/01
Posts: 731
I love a good rock band with the distortion turned up, and I love the sound of a voice ripping through the noise to create something beautiful. However, there is something special about an acoustic gig. The intimacy is amazing, I think it has to do with the fact that you hear the guitarist's fingers scraping the strings, the occaisional fumble, and everyone is just silent.....

"Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year, it's just not that widely reported".
# 5
Joseph
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Joined: 07/11/00
Posts: 581
I grew up listening to The Beatles, so I've always appreciated a good song with a good melody. But I'll admit, when were young we wan't to go to a concert and jump around and get our energy level going, but sometimes theres nothing better than listening to a good acoustic band up close (perhaps with someone special.) And as a musician, no matter what style of music, I usually focus primarily on a guitarists hands, and from an outsiders perspective its very interesting. But Ide like to think that there are alot of people who really appreciate the simplistic sounds of an acoustic show, (no matter what style) especially if you're a musician. Theres always something that you can take with you, certain key elements that are worthwatching out for.

But still, although Ive managed to develop a great deal of confidence when it comes to my playing, you just can't escape the fact that theres always someone watching your fingers, and those little mistakes you make are very noticable to them, (which can be nerve racking.) But call it force of habit, I tend to close my eyes half the time, or just focus on the singers lips or something, because when my playing is anything but natural or if I'm staring a hole right through my fretboard its hard to concentrate.

-Joseph, :).
www.ragmagazine.com
"Swoop and soar like the blues angels."
# 6
Fender1165
Senior Member
Joined: 08/14/00
Posts: 138
I play acoustic sets and I always love the way it turns out. Its just good to chill to... However, I'm trying to find a way to make it a paying job. I'm 15 and play alone.

hmm.... suggestions?

-evan
http://listen.to/EvanDyson
-ejd

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# 7
Joseph
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Joined: 07/11/00
Posts: 581
At such a young age, you should try and get out there, and meet as many people as possible, and be sure to find the right people who are willing to listen to your ideas. For a paying job, you just have to be willing to take whatever gigs are available, don't set your standards too high., A lot of us have dreams, and with our acoustic guitar, its rather simple an it may not seem very exciting to others, but with never ending creativity, And a whirl wind of enthusiasm, you'd be surprised how far one person could get with just his acoustic guitar in hand. Its all a matter of patience, and whether or not you're good in dealing with rejection, because things don't always have a way in working out for the best. What matters is whether or not you're into to music for more than just impressing others and making a whole lot of money, your intentions should be based primarily on impressing yourself, and taking your music to its highest level, (by trusting your gut instincts.)

Its safe to say that its never easy to start a one man acoustic show, but hey look at The Dave Mathews band, these guys are killer, the singers personal songs are lyrically sophisticated and musically adept. What I find so impressive, is that he was able to appeal to such a large audience being that he experiments with jazz, pop, rock, and even traditional elements. This guy found the riught people to collaborate with, who are open minded, and are on the same mind track as himself.

-Joseph
www.ragmagazine.com
"Swoop and soar like the blues angels."
# 8