Anyone have much experience playing solo instrumental guitar gigs?
Even though I’ve been playing since the Pleistocene, I’ve only performed solo once since I was a teenaged classical guitarist. But I’ll be making the
stumble leap this Wednesday, Sept. 11th, when I perform north of San Francisco at the Sleeping Lady Cafe in Fairfax. I’ll be a guest at Teja Gerken’s monthly fingerstyle guitar showcase, performing alternating tunes with Teja and Mark Goldenberg. (Gig details here.)
Both Teja and Mark are gifted players and composers — check out the evidence here and here. I believe they’ll be playing acoustically, while I’ll be dragging up my whole frickin’ looping/synth rig. Because what could provide better counterpoint to an evening of refined and intelligent fretwork than a goddamned electronic racket?
Oh — that one solo gig? It too was a multiplayer solo guitar night featuring some astonishing players: Will Bernard, Jim Campilongo, and Buckethead. Will, Jim, and Brian were as amazing as you’d expect. Meanwhile I put everyone to sleep by performing the entire Bach A Minor Lute Suite on steel-string acoustic. (I’m sure the audience was duly impressed by my formidable memorization skills as they nodded off.)
I’m not repeating that mistake! This time it’ll be fuzz and feedback, with a double side order of ring modulation!
So got any survival tips for performing solo? Any good jokes for during the inevitable laptop crash and reboot?
If all else fails, I can borrow a trick that the late, lamented Danny Gatton once shared with me in an interview: A lifelong tinker, Gatton built a stompbox designed to blow the power in any club. If he didn’t like how the gig was going, he’d click it on, plunging the venue into darkness and calling it a night. (Or so he claimed.) Hmm — maybe that’ll be the next tonefiend DIY project….