Author: Riley Wilson

THE SOLO GIGGER: How’d Ya Do?

By Riley Wilson This month, let’s discuss specific gigs. In particular- your last gig. How’d ya do? I realize this is lousy English, but bear with me. Did you sound and play amazing? Did you connect with your audience? Did you get any tips or hand out lots of business cards? These are important questions to ask yourself. An easy way to gauge how you’re doing is to record the show, either audio or video. Here’s another question: How long has it been since you recorded your show and listened back with critical ears? If you haven’t done this...

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The Solo Gigger – The Paperwork

I am in the process of finalizing my tax returns. I need a break so it feels right to write about it. The old joke “the job’s not done- until the paperwork is finished”- is sadly appropriate here. Without getting into the ramifications of a simpler tax code during an election year, paperwork is a necessary evil in 2016. Leaving a paper trail is critical when working as an independent contractor. The first thing I suggest is recording your daily activities. I had two guitar students show up at the same time for a guitar lesson in the late-80’s...

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Sequencing Options Part 2

Back in  the dark ages when one had to actually book time in a studio to make a real recording, there was a “joke” that said, “you aren’t a real engineer until you’ve erased at least one mastered recording.” In 1991, I was sequencing a completed drum part with an Alesis HR-16 drum machine. “Love, Look What You’ve Done To Me” by Boz Scaggs was almost complete, with all the Jeff Porcaro drum fills, when I accidentally hit the “erase” button. It still hurts as I write this. I related the story to my friend Hubert Deans a few...

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Sequencing Options – The Solo Gigger

A while back, I did a column on learning new material. This month, let’s tackle sequencing a new song. This can be as simple as programming a drum rhythm to creating a full blown, multi part sequenced performance. Each of you will determine, by trial, error and comfort level, how much “help” you need to perform in a solo or duo setting. Some musicians are quite comfortable playing solo guitar or piano with nothing else added. I did this myself in the late 90’s at a steakhouse in Frisco, TX. It was hard work but I grew as an entertainer. For performers who get tired...

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Rap – The Solo Gigger

I am not a fan of rap. However, we should discuss what happens onstage when you aren’t playing. Onstage patter, rap, talking to the audience, or any other name you wish to call it- it’s important. I took this photo from a recent gig in downtown Ft Worth. I’m sure all of you recognize the vantage point- behind the mike. Us performers get one and the crowd doesn’t. However, it’s vital you learn what to say and when and how to say it. Otherwise, you may not be coming back. I started doing gigs with my Dad in 1970...

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