Played at a family reunion July 7th


haghj500
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haghj500
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Joined: 10/23/11
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07/08/2014 3:01 am
Last year my wife talked me into bringing my acoustic guitar to a family-friend-neighbor gathering and I ended up playing by the fire for a while. I was asked to bring it to last Saturday get together again so I did. The sun started to set and a fire was built, the radio was turned off and I was called forth.

The bulk of the crowd was 50 to 65 years old and with a high amount of them being return family/friends/neighbors. Some songs were played all the way through others only until no one remembered the words; I would just play one more verse and chorus and stop.

Some of the songs I played:
Bring it on Home
Heart of Gold
House of the Rising Sun
Danny’s Song
Proud Mary
China Grove
Sweet Home Alabama
Free Bird
Turn the Page
Summer Breeze
Blue Letter

When I first learned: Bring it on Home, Heart of Gold, Proud Mary and Sweet Home Alabama I did not enjoy playing them and really still don’t.
I would not have learned them if the rest of the members of the band didn’t decide we were going to play them. But they are still brought out of the old bag of tricks because a lot of people at that age know those songs and enjoy singing along. That’s what it’s about right? A guitar player by the fire playing his guitar and the crowd singing along.

Open your mind to what you are willing to learn to play. If a song is played a lot on the radio, learn it even if you do not like it. Apparently there are enough other people who do, to get that much air time. You may be glad you know it someday.

Now I have to wait to see if my guitar is invited back next year. I know “I” will I’m family.
# 1
maggior
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maggior
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07/08/2014 1:44 pm
Wow, very cool!!! I see you have China Grove in there - great song which I'm working on at the moment.

Some cool sing along songs there! The only campfire singalong I did was VERY long ago...I played Yellow Submarine which was a lot of fun. Even I can sing that song :-).

Yes, as a guitar player it isn't so much about what you want to play, but what people want to hear...and sometimes about what other people want to play.

When I try to make this point to people, I tell them about when I played with our church choir. As somebody that idolized Eddie Van Halen back in the 80's, church music wasn't very high on my agenda to learn. As it turned out, it was challenging, a lot of fun, and I learned a lot.

Unless it's music you absolutely detest, music is music!

I'm sure your guitar will be invited back!
# 2
john of MT
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john of MT
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07/08/2014 4:18 pm
Musicians of all instruments and genres generally have to compromise between 'their' music and what they want to play and what the audience wants to hear. Remember when Ricky Nelson related his lesson about that?

Lacking compromise, the choices start to get kinda harsh...one can play the music that one likes or play the music the audience likes...or find a new audience. Or "drive a truck." ;)

I play [U]very[/U] little to an audience. But when I did/do I remember that old adage, "Know you audience."
"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 3
Kasperow
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Kasperow
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07/08/2014 4:22 pm
Sounds like you had fun! I've had the pleasure of playing for the family quite a few times myself, and if it wasn't for those opportunities, I probably wouldn't have lasted more than 6 months... But I did, and I haven't regret it :) Too bad my own (and my "audience's") expectations have grown much bigger. Simply strumming a few chords and faking songs this way doesn't cut it anymore... Still, playing for the family really makes it worth every second. I'm sure your family and friends will invite your guitar again next time :)
"Commit yourself to what you love, and things will happen."
- Mika Vandborg, Electric Guitars, "Follow Your Heart"
---
Gear:
Chateau PS-10 Cherry Power-Strat
Epiphone G-400 LTD 1966 Faded Worn Cherry
Epiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony (w/ Oil City Pickups Scrapyard Dog PLUS pickups)
Epiphone ES-345 Cherry
Fender 2014 Standard Stratocaster Sunburst
Martin DX1K Acoustic
Fender Mustang II Amplifier
Jet City Amplification JCA22H Tube-head and JCA12S+ cabinet
Pedals...
# 4
custombabe
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custombabe
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07/08/2014 6:42 pm
I ride a motorbike and regularly go to bike rallies where i know quite a few people. Usually at some point in the night the instruments come out and we spend a few hours playing. The only thing that stops us is sore fingers.
# 5
haghj500
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haghj500
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Joined: 10/23/11
Posts: 453
07/09/2014 3:37 am
Maggior,

China Grove was the first rock song I ever learned it was followed by Listen to the Music. I thought it was cool when I read you were learning/know both songs, just proves good music will never die.

I have a friend who owns some property in the hills where most people live on 5 to 20 acre lots, so we break out the electrics at least once or twice a year turn up the amps and play what we like.

john of MT,

My problem with this audience is I know 80% will be the same people next year and they will want the same songs again. But as long as they are getting into the song I do to. So in end it all works out.


Kasperow,

I thought about you for a couple times and playing for your family. It’s a good feeling.

CustomBabe,

I finally stop while playing Rambling Man; my fingers just wouldn’t hold a chord anymore.
# 6

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