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Senior Citizen's Gig Update

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rparker
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I've talked about this twice now and got lots of good input, advice and song suggestions. I should know during the week exactly when, but my first ever gig will be in March. It doesn't count as a gig perhaps as I am doing this strictly as a volunteer. My wages, if you will, will come in the form of getting some experience. It was my proposal, if you will. My nursing director friend has been asking the Battle Axe (my wife) about it occassionally. This will get her points and her daughter who works in the adult day care section some points too. Most of all, I understand the Seniors love these little activities and events. Win-win-win-win and double win as far as I'm concerned. I've done stuff for seniors before as a kid and loved it. Shovel a driveway or mow a lawn, get invited inside for a cup of cocoa or a soda, a couple cookies and an hour or two of stories of the "way back in ought-7" variety. You can't buy that. I digress.

The song list is no where set in stone, but it will include a few 50's rockers like *You Never Can Tell", "Little Runaway" and "Promised Land", some Country like "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of fire" and "Sing Me Back Home". One Louis Armstrong song that all the elderly folks like down there, I'm told, called "What a Wonderful World". Even my simplified version of that one is tricky, but does the job. Maybe "Mack the Knife" as well. Mr Bojangles if I can get just a bit cleaner on the chord progression. Sing alongs like "Down in the Valley" and "Oh Sussanna". I might even do one fun kids song. The one by Louis Parma called "I Wanna Be Like You".

I'm told that it might be a couple of 30-45 minutes sessions or so. Different sections. Lots easier to move me around than the patients of differing capabilities of the different care areas there. Her husband will be playing sound man for me and my single PA amp system.

It's about six weeks out, so I don't feel too nervous yet. Still more excitement than nerves. I hope it continues.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

 
Posted : 30/01/2011 5:12 pm
almann1979
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Thats great news!

will it be you playing to drum tracks, or a purely acoustic affair?

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)

 
Posted : 30/01/2011 5:58 pm
rparker
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will it be you playing to drum tracks, or a purely acoustic affair?
Keeping it simple. All single guitar arrangement stuff. My Breedlove acoustic and probably my Gretsch as a backup. A slight chance of a uke appearance.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

 
Posted : 30/01/2011 6:06 pm
almann1979
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Uke? i bought on for my daughter but got hooked on it myself a while back. unfortunately i have forgotten all the chord shapes i leanred by now :oops:

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)

 
Posted : 30/01/2011 6:20 pm
hammer1
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Awesome Roy. Good luck with your gig. That's exciting.

My parents were in an assisted living place for a while and I always liked to see them when they had live music there. From what I've seen, Johnny Cash songs *always* work; expect some of the nice old ladies getting up and dancing for those ones. :-). Also your other song ideas will go over great from what I have observed.

I did notice some of the crowd liked to jump in and sing the songs. Just be prepared for a possible microphone coup de' etat. :-) Go with the flow and you'll be fine.

 
Posted : 31/01/2011 1:22 am
TRGuitar
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Break a leg Roy! (I thought about knock em dead but in the context of the venue .............) :mrgreen:

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --

 
Posted : 31/01/2011 4:58 am
rparker
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Yeah, I had one song on my "Maybe" list and took it off after thinking about the folks there. "Knocking on Heaven's Door" got removed.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

 
Posted : 31/01/2011 10:01 am
notes_norton
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While we don't do many assisted care homes, we do play a lot of condominiums and here in Florida, that means mostly retired people. Of course, every area of the country is different, but you can look at the song list at http://www.s-cats.com and see if it gives you any ideas.

Always remember, you are playing memories for an older group.

Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

 
Posted : 31/01/2011 1:41 pm
rparker
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Thank's Notes. I'm gonna go look at your song list after this post.
Always remember, you are playing memories for an older group.
A quick, related story.

My last visit to Sympony Hall in Boston in the late 90's was on a 40's style swing night. They removed some of the seating at the rear floor for a dance group. Sitting next to me was someone who would have probably been just about old enough for WWII. It was something to see him disappear into memory with a little smile on his face while listening and watching. I might have even seen a tear a time or two.

Anyhow, that's been in the back of my mind as I select the songs.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

 
Posted : 31/01/2011 2:46 pm
cnev
 cnev
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Good luck I don't think Knockign on Heaven's Door is a bad choice because of their situation, I think most older people have come to grips with passing, but it's probably not appropriate because it's not relevant to them.

Most if not all, won't even know the song, not they have to know each song but I'd go with Notes on the memories thing.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

 
Posted : 31/01/2011 2:51 pm
Nuno
 Nuno
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Great news, Roy!

 
Posted : 31/01/2011 3:49 pm
rparker
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A question or two concerning the order of songs. By way of summary to date, here's what I've been advised.

A:) Approx. 10 song sets.
B:) 2-3 different groups, so the 10 songs can be the same.
C:) don't be afraid to rock out for a song (and by that she means Elvis type of rocking. "Promised Land" was greeted with enthusiasm when I mentioned it as an example.
D:) Only a few sing-a-longs. It's tiring for them to do several back to back.
E:) Country goes well
F:) Other than that, mix it up a bit.

So, I was wondering what type of order one should do to help ensure a desirable ebb & flow. I'll start off with an example set and let you advise & comment. By "let", I mean asking or begging. :)

#1: Country Roads - (She told me they love this song)
#2: Crazy - slow Country classic
#3: This Land Is Your Land - Classic sing-a-long
#4: Clementine - Classic sing-a-long
#5: Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin Standard (think Sinatra or Bennett style)
#6: Ring Of fire - sort of bumpy Johnny Cash country song
#7: Sing Me Back Home - slow, Country Blues
#8: Down In The Valley - slow sing along
#9: Promised land - Fast & Bumpy Elvis song (Written by Chuck Berry? I'll have to look up now)
#10: Cest La Vie (You Never Can Tell) - fast and 'bumpy

the above list would be following this pattern:

#1: A little bit bouncy, but not too much for a first song
#2: Slow & Pretty
#3: sing-a-long
#4: sing-a-long
#5: Old Standard
#6: Upbeat
#7: Slow & Pretty (and depressing...hmmmmm)
#8: Slow Sing Along
#9: Fast & Bouncy
#10: Fast & Bouncy

I would LOVE some thoughts and feedback on this example. think more song type than song, if you can.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

 
Posted : 09/02/2011 5:10 pm
JoeHempel
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I've talked about this twice now and got lots of good input, advice and song suggestions. I should know during the week exactly when, but my first ever gig will be in March. It doesn't count as a gig perhaps as I am doing this strictly as a volunteer. My wages, if you will, will come in the form of getting some experience. It was my proposal, if you will. My nursing director friend has been asking the Battle Axe (my wife) about it occassionally. This will get her points and her daughter who works in the adult day care section some points too. Most of all, I understand the Seniors love these little activities and events. Win-win-win-win and double win as far as I'm concerned. I've done stuff for seniors before as a kid and loved it. Shovel a driveway or mow a lawn, get invited inside for a cup of cocoa or a soda, a couple cookies and an hour or two of stories of the "way back in ought-7" variety. You can't buy that. I digress.

The song list is no where set in stone, but it will include a few 50's rockers like *You Never Can Tell", "Little Runaway" and "Promised Land", some Country like "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of fire" and "Sing Me Back Home". One Louis Armstrong song that all the elderly folks like down there, I'm told, called "What a Wonderful World". Even my simplified version of that one is tricky, but does the job. Maybe "Mack the Knife" as well. Mr Bojangles if I can get just a bit cleaner on the chord progression. Sing alongs like "Down in the Valley" and "Oh Sussanna". I might even do one fun kids song. The one by Louis Parma called "I Wanna Be Like You".

I'm told that it might be a couple of 30-45 minutes sessions or so. Different sections. Lots easier to move me around than the patients of differing capabilities of the different care areas there. Her husband will be playing sound man for me and my single PA amp system.

It's about six weeks out, so I don't feel too nervous yet. Still more excitement than nerves. I hope it continues.
Awesome man, I hope you knock them dead....well, not literally.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!

 
Posted : 09/02/2011 5:13 pm
boxboy
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#1: Country Roads - (She told me they love this song)
#2: Crazy - slow Country classic
#3: This Land Is Your Land - Classic sing-a-long
#4: Clementine - Classic sing-a-long
#5: Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin Standard (think Sinatra or Bennett style)
#6: Ring Of fire - sort of bumpy Johnny Cash country song
#7: Sing Me Back Home - slow, Country Blues
#8: Down In The Valley - slow sing along
#9: Promised land - Fast & Bumpy Elvis song (Written by Chuck Berry? I'll have to look up now)
#10: Cest La Vie (You Never Can Tell) - fast and 'bumpy

the above list would be following this pattern:

#1: A little bit bouncy, but not too much for a first song
#2: Slow & Pretty
#3: sing-a-long
#4: sing-a-long
#5: Old Standard
#6: Upbeat
#7: Slow & Pretty (and depressing...hmmmmm)
#8: Slow Sing Along
#9: Fast & Bouncy
#10: Fast & Bouncy

I would LOVE some thoughts and feedback on this example. think more song type than song, if you can.

I've never performed live, so big grain of salt, but here goes:
I'd be tempted to open with 2 Mediums. It would give you a chance to gauge the crowd and, on the off chance the opening number didn't go great, going to a slow one for the second could be...not good.
In general, a friend who used to DJ told me his basic rule of thumb was 2 similar tempos in a row...so over the set it could be Fast Fast, Slow Slow or vice versa. But never Fast Slow Fast Slow.
Ever since, I've used that as a yardstick when making mix CDs and tapes and it works remarkably well.
Regardless, I hope it goes great. Must be exciting!
:)

Don

 
Posted : 09/02/2011 5:29 pm
rparker
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Thanks, Don. I'd have never thought of that. Makes sense. 8)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

 
Posted : 09/02/2011 5:50 pm
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