What era where nobody wanted to hear saxophones? I can’t imagine such a thing.
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Ok now you are showing your age. LolDuring the late 60s and very early 70, it was really difficult getting work as a sax player around here.
Since I knew how to play bass, and had one, I got gigs as a bass player who doubled on sax and rhythm guitar. It was about 99% bass playing, which in itself is a lot of fun.
I had a Fender P bass and an Ampeg B-18 amp.
Now we are talking about a jazz-dead area. At the time, a jazz band I used to play with was working one day a week, for $24 per player. It was top 40, psychedelic album oriented rock, or country.
I got gigs playing top40 and psychedelia. I guess I could have gotten work doing country, but at the time that meant I only had to know the root and the fifth of any chord. Country has progressed since then.
You’ve lived a life most musicians can only dream about, however I’m not one of them.I'm definitely showing my age, I'm 75 and a half!
I started gigging professionally full-time in 1964. I was in a road band then, we eventually worked our way up to becoming the opening act for the very first rock concerts (instead of dances) for the stars of the day, The Four Seasons, The Association, The Kingsmen (and others) and then opening for Motown Acts.
We were the first choice to be the first all-white band to record on the Motown family of labels. Unfortunately, Motown only wanted to pay 2 cents per record, and out of our royalties they would deduct inflated recording costs, inflated distribution costs, and inflated promotion costs.
Motown also wanted to own the publishing rights, have a Motown ghostwriter who didn't contribute anything get his/her name on the record to collect half the songwriting royalties. Our management figured we would have to sell a million LPs right off the bat to pay off the debt and become more than one-hit-wonders. They misjudged our bargaining power, stood firm at 2.5 cents per record, Motown dropped us, and hired their second choice, The Sunliners.
Motown also wanted to own the band name, so they could hire or fire anyone they wanted and put 3 or 4 groups on the road in concert at the same time under the same name. So The Sunliners became Rare Earth. That was pretty common back then, when bands had little exposure on TV, so people didn't recognize them as individuals. That all changed when the Beatles hit the scene.
<<< Rewind back to before concerts <<<
Every songwriter of the day didn't have the wisdom to put a sax part in every Top40 record. So while I was in that band the other guys taught me bass, guitar, and keyboards. I learned drums and sax when I was in school, so I already knew how to play those.
Our drummer was a good singer, so I'd play drums on a few songs, the bass player would play guitar, so I'd play bass for a few songs, sometimes rhythm guitar using the guitar players 'other' guitar and so on. We played mostly college towns before the concerts, and it was a lot of fun. I truly like switching instruments.
My first all-night bass playing came when we were hired to back up Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon for a short series of concerts. Our bass player was good, but wasn't good at learning by ear. I was blessed with a good ear, so would often pick out the parts and show them to him. Freddy came to rehearsal, saw me doing that, and said that he wanted me to play the bass, so I played bass all night and the bass player played rhythm guitar.
>>> Fast forward >>>
After the glory days were over, I tried a couple of day jobs while playing as a weekend warrior, but neither one worked out all that well. I hated being a wage slave, I ended up in the complaint department trying to please angry customers, and the weekend warrior musicians were less than the caliber of musicians I was used to playing with, so I went back to music full-time.
I realized that even if I didn't make the 'big time', living a life by doing what I love to do as my vocation was a lot better than making more money and putting in 40 hours per week to some faceless corporation.
So I went back to self-employment, where I get to pick which 16 hours of the day I get to work, and love every minute of it.
All that instrument switching plus the theory and arrangement lessons I took in school came in very handy. In 1990 or 91 I wrote some additional styles for the auto-accompaniment app, Band-in-a-Box. I played all the pop music instruments, so I knew how they interacted with the other instruments, and their place in the arrangements, so I did it for fun. I gave the styles to my friends, and they told me they liked them better than the ones that came out in Band-in-a-Box. (Aren't friends wonderful?)
So in 1992 I took out an ad in Electronics Musician magazine and started selling aftermarket styles discs and later fake discs for BiaB. I've sold them to musicians in 100 different countries, and built a second business. It started as mail-order, and grew to Internet order. I write my own web pages too, except for the shopping cart. I chose a shopping cart with the best safety record in the business, figuring they could protect my customers better than I could.
I'm working on my 30th style e-disc and my 46th fake e-disc, plus selling BiaB products by other musicians at http://www.nortonmusic.com
<<< rewind a bit <<<
In 1985 I started a duo with the woman who is now my wife. She was in a different band when we met in the late 70s. We eventually found ourselves in a 5 piece together and when that band had personnel problems resulting in 3 months out of work in one year we started our duo. http://www.s-cats.com
I make my own backing tracks since I can play multiple instruments, and I save the most fun parts for us to play live on top of the tracks. We selected the +55-year-old market here in Florida, and until COVID hit, we were never out of work. In fact, we had to block out time for vacations in advance our we'd look at the calendar and realize we wouldn't be able to take one. We're working every week again, but only taking outdoor gigs to minimize our odds of catching the plague.
Sorry if this is a bit long-winded.
Anyway, I'm having a wonderful life making music with my wife/lover/best-friend/band-mate/BiaB-aftermarket-biz-partner. I have no intention of retiring, it's too much fun, plus, if I rest, I'll rust.
Awwwwww….. dogs! I LOVE dogs. That’s a fine looking Collie. Green belts are awesome. Back in Ontario we had a huge forest that was environmentally protected ( meaning none of it could be cut down ).
Of course it’s ok to be different. That’s one of the greatest joys.Yes, we've drifted off topic. Yes Keesha, we are different, but one size does not fit all. We can continue via PM if you like. BTW, the view from your home is great.
Back to you, Gandalfe.
For me, and more accompaniment rather than solo, showcase of slap bass styles, I find plucking with my fingers to be better in live situations, and a pick for recording. The fingers give a rounder tone with more bass, but the pick gives a harder attack. In recordings the 'more bass' doesn't come out as well so it's easier to hear the bass when picked.
But of course, there is more than one right way to do anything.