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Discussion Starter #1
Uggh! I hate when people ask me that. And they want it for 3 hrs straight...at a cocktail party...and they want a little upbeat stuff as well! What the hell is their idea of "Saxophone Music". Do they think that all the music they hear on a "Kenny G" Cd comes out of his sax alone? Some people just don't think or are just plain stupid!

ACCOMPANIMENT PEOPLE!!! :banghead::banghead:

Chime in if you've been approached with the world's most stupid question.
 

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I did a wedding by myself a couple of weeks ago. I did the prelude, the ceremony, and then a cocktail hour. I'm a more than competent improvisor and can easily play solo and imply the chord changes with my solo line. Is it the optimal situation? No, but I can do it and being the only musician, you get paid more than if you have to split it with other musicians.
 

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I don't get angry about it... I just turn them down.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Agent 27, What size wedding was that? I can see it happening for something small and quaint maybe. Nevertheless, that's impressive. And BOLD!
 

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I usually tell them to imagine themselves listening to a sole singer belting over a mic for 3 hours straight non-stop. They usually get the picture after that.
 

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Agent 27, What size wedding was that? I can see it happening for something small and quaint maybe. Nevertheless, that's impressive. And BOLD!
I estimate about 60-80 guests. When initially approached, I thought they might have just wanted me to play with backing track which I was cool with. I found the thing odd but agreed to do it just by myself with no accompaniment. When I got there, I found out why they kind of wanted it the way they did. I knew that the wedding was going to be at a ranch but I thought the ceremony was going to be in a nice barn. It turned out to be in a pasture under a big tree. No electricity so backing tracks wouldn't have worked for that part and you couldn't have used piano or organ. A solo acoustic musician was actually probably the best option for the ceremony. And the fact that I was able to play cocktail music in addition to the ceremony kind of sealed the deal. But I only did about 40 minutes of that (1 1/2 hours total with the prelude, ceremony, and cocktail hour) and then a DJ took over from there. The bride enjoyed it as did the wedding planners. I may actually be doing another one as the person who booked the gig for me suggested that somebody she'd been in contact with may want to do the same thing know that they (and I) know that I can handle it. Of course, the plus side is that I got paid 50% more for 1 1/2 hours than I typically make playing 4 hours with a full size party/wedding band.
 

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I have. I've taken a few of them too and they weren't as ridiculous as I thought they'd be. I didn't go on flights of fancy, just stuck to outlining changes with simple ideas and I think that's exactly what they wanted. But, I would've far preferred to just have a bass player or something.
 

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it's challenging alright but it can be done. If you can play alone and keep it interesting, keep the time and the chords going you're an accomplished player IMHO.
But I too would prefer a bass and a chord instrument. It's easier and more fun to play together.
 

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I've been asked this a couple of times...

The weirdest one: 3 hours solo soprano sax outside for a engagement party. I offered to go has a trio, she never called back.
Most of the time when I get asked this, the customer hasn't thought it through.
It's strange how some people hear music, they only perceive it in one dimension.

I did once do a strolling solo gig in a food court, two 40 minute sets. I was glad when it was over.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
daigle65;1746853It's strange how some people hear music said:
Usually its casually music listeners who don't have a clue and over zealous event planners.
I committed to one of those strolling solo gigs about 2 years ago. It got cancelled at the last minute because of rain. I was glad! I would have dreaded it.
 

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A lot of people just don't consider or know that a full sound and musical interaction require more than 1 musician. I've done a few of these gigs myself- they are fatiguing cause you never get a break during the other player's solos! If you are strong musically you can do it!! I always try to sell the idea of bringing at least a keyboard player with me!!
 

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My freakin' SISTER, who's listened to me play and come to see my gigs all her adult life, dropped that one on me. Finally got married and asked me to play at her wedding. She wanted me to play flute before & after the ceremony, & during the signing. I asked what kind of accompaniment she wanted, and the silence was deafening, until the single-word question....accompaniment...? Talked her into a piano accompaniment at last, but sheesh, you wonder where some people have been living.
 

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I did that once at a cocktail party in a hip Dallas condo development downtown... and it ended up being one of my favorite gigs ever! I stood in a corner and improvised over tunes quietly for like three hours, with several breaks to eat some really good food. At one point I played Inner Urge for something like 15 minutes. Everyone was super cool and they tipped me an extra hundred bucks because they enjoyed the vibe so much.

In my experience, most people booking background music don't actually know what they want, but if you can do your thing out of the way, quietly and confidently, and set a nice vibe, you can play virtually any material you want and people will love it. In a situation like that-- a "background music" gig-- playing quietly is the key; you can play free jazz or Slonimsky patterns if you do it quietly and with good feel.
 

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HeavyWeather's on the money. I did one of these this week - wandered around the MIT Museum for an hour playing standards (26-2 is a standard, right?) before the dinner set (quartet). People love the "wandering minstrel" vibe. It's really not so bad.
 

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....- wandered around the MIT Museum for an hour playing standards ... People love the "wandering minstrel" vibe. It's really not so bad.
I guess in a museum it can be hip, but at my food court gig people would bury their noses in their books, laptops etc...and avoid eye contact when I passed by.
 

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Must be a Canadian thing, eh? I've played a lot of weddings but I have no idea what that is..

When the bride/groom & witnesses sign the legal/religious documents, just before whoever's officiating does the 'man & wife' spiel... the (most) boring part of the ceremony, that cries out for a musical interlude. Pretty sure this is done elsewhere as well...

It isn't really hard to figure out that they are just plain cheap if they think you can play solo.
No, not cheap, just clueless - she honestly hadn't even considered where all that nice sound in behind the solo instrument comes from. Makes me wonder if we're actually related...
 
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