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Live Music almost a thing of the Past...

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(@kingpatzer)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

I'll agree with Arjen when he says that the key is doing an organic, real show.

I also agree that the great DJ's are musicians.

Oddly, I think guitarists and DJ's have a lot in common.

They all want to be recognized as musicians, and they all could be musicians if they developed their musicial abilities, but the majority of both aren't all that interested in doing the work it takes to progress beyond the basics.

I think the problem with both live music and DJ's these days is that the bar to entry is so low. If you have a CD player and a mic you can get a job DJ'ing someplace. If you have a squire and a modelling amp you can get a gig as a guitarist.*

20 years ago the ratio of people who could play versus the people looking for gigs was much better than what I see today. And since bad musicians (Guitarist, DJ or other) are worse than no musicians, club owners are moving away from having people play. It's become too much work to find an act that can play and entertain a crowd at anything approaching an acceptable level.

*Not saying there's anything wrong with either squires or modellers, but rather trying to convey the notion of someone who has not invested in their playing skill . . . such people also show up with Gibson 335's and marshal stacks too, but that's much more rare.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@twistedlefty)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4113
 

I'll agree with Arjen when he says that the key is doing an organic, real show.

I also agree that the great DJ's are musicians.

Oddly, I think guitarists and DJ's have a lot in common.

They all want to be recognized as musicians, and they all could be musicians if they developed their musicial abilities, but the majority of both aren't all that interested in doing the work it takes to progress beyond the basics.

I think the problem with both live music and DJ's these days is that the bar to entry is so low. If you have a CD player and a mic you can get a job DJ'ing someplace. If you have a squire and a modelling amp you can get a gig as a guitarist.*

20 years ago the ratio of people who could play versus the people looking for gigs was much better than what I see today. And since bad musicians (Guitarist, DJ or other) are worse than no musicians, club owners are moving away from having people play. It's become too much work to find an act that can play and entertain a crowd at anything approaching an acceptable level.

*Not saying there's anything wrong with either squires or modellers, but rather trying to convey the notion of someone who has not invested in their playing skill . . . such people also show up with Gibson 335's and marshal stacks too, but that's much more rare.

i'll agree that guitarists and DJ's might both want to be recognised as musicians, but i'll never agree that a DJ is a musician. by musician i mean somebody that actually plays a musical instrument. as far as i know cd players and turntables are not accepted as musical instruments.

#4491....


   
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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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i'll agree that guitarists and DJ's want to be recognised as musicians i'll never agree that a DJ is anything resembling a musician. by musician i mean somebody that actually plays a musical instrument. as far as i know cd players and turntables are not accepted as musical instruments.

That would include people that just sing too wouldn't it?
I'll agree with Arjen when he says that the key is doing an organic, real show.

I also agree that the great DJ's are musicians.

Oddly, I think guitarists and DJ's have a lot in common.

They all want to be recognized as musicians, and they all could be musicians if they developed their musicial abilities, but the majority of both aren't all that interested in doing the work it takes to progress beyond the basics.

I think the problem with both live music and DJ's these days is that the bar to entry is so low. If you have a CD player and a mic you can get a job DJ'ing someplace. If you have a squire and a modelling amp you can get a gig as a guitarist.*

20 years ago the ratio of people who could play versus the people looking for gigs was much better than what I see today. And since bad musicians (Guitarist, DJ or other) are worse than no musicians, club owners are moving away from having people play. It's become too much work to find an act that can play and entertain a crowd at anything approaching an acceptable level.

*Not saying there's anything wrong with either squires or modellers, but rather trying to convey the notion of someone who has not invested in their playing skill . . . such people also show up with Gibson 335's and marshal stacks too, but that's much more rare.

I think acceptable level does have a lot to do with skill but I think just about anyone could probably perform. I even could. No, I'm not bragging. If I went up there planning to shred or play a song with a lot of chords than change fast, it would probably end in disaster. If I chose a really easy song, only a few chords than don't change very often, I could probably get through it.

Chances are I'd pick an easy song regardless of what skill I was at during the time. I get nervous infront of people so I don't need a song with more room for error.


   
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(@kingpatzer)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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as far as i know cd players and turntables are not accepted as musical instruments.

go here and watch the videos. That's all just turntables. No midi at all.

Or take a look at this for a music school that offers a class in turntables.

Or look here for a documentary on a concerto written for turntable.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

OK I'll state my position from the beginning - I love live bands! Rock, soul, reggae, blues, jazz, whatever, it doesn't matter - I love seeing musicians getting up on stage, getting off on the music and enjoying theirselves...that comes across to the audience....

Newton-le-Willows - population about 30.000 and growing - live music scene, well there isn't one...pubs and clubs are more interested in booking a singer who has pre-recorded backing tapes....and can sing in tune and do faithfully renditions of oldies (the pre-recoreded backing tracks help there!) than a band that wants to play their own songs.......

My daughter works in a pub, she asked the landlady, "Why don't you let my dad play a set on a Friday night....." landlady said, "what's in it for me....." I could go in there, play about 15-20 oldies on acoustic, but for the pitiful money they're offering, what's the point? I've taken a guitar in there in an afternoon, got people singing along to a load of "pop" oldies - Manfred Mann, Beatles, Stones, loads of 60's stuff....... I'd love to have a regular paid gig, but then again I'd rather stay at home and work on my own songs for the money they offer.....

If someone wants to go to the pub on a Friday and listen to some woman singing "My Heart Will Go On" and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Sweet Dreams are made of this" well fine - but count me out! I'd rather watch real musicians playing real music than some semi-pro karaoke warbler........

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@twistedlefty)
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That would include people that just sing too wouldn't it?

no , that is why i did not include "mic" in the list.

look, imo this whole argument is pointless,
you can find people that would pay to see a guy/gal doing underarm farts and call it a "concert"
the thread was about the demise of live music. if the general consensus is now that DJ's are "creating" music in the generally accepted definition of the term then so be it. i stand corrected (LMAO)

.

#4491....


   
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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

DJs as musicians? Personally I don't think so and before you waste precious breath, I'm with Twisty. I maybe pigheaded and stubborn but that's my personal opinion.

I might consider them artists in their own right, but not musicians. I don't even know what you would call it as an art form. Master of Musical Manipulation? Contorter of Compact Disc Content? Prestidigitator of the People's Popular Music?

But back to live music and it's demise.

I think the local music scene is still there, just going through a lull of sorts. You can find the music if you look hard enough.

Seems a shame though that you have to look that hard to find it.


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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*self-censored to save the mods some time* ;)


   
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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

oooooh, well I just self censored myself right back at you. 8)


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Haha, self-censoring will eventually lead to world peace, just wait and see. :)

But about the live music, it looks pretty alright over here. We just had EuroSonic2006 with 200+ acts playing in Groningen. Lots of rap/R&B/Hip-hop but also quite a handfull of 'traditional' bands, electronics and whatnot. There is both a blues/jazz and a funk pub (note that groningen is a fairly tiny place) where there is usually live music, we have classical concerts every month or so and finally a fair ammount of performances by the local conservatory. (mostly jazz)

I don't think that the problem is finding a place to play, atleast over here. Having the people who care about your style of music know you'll be playing is the difficult part.


   
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(@kingpatzer)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

The definition of music varies from school to school, but the gist of it is that it is organized sound created intentionally by arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, using some aspect of sound such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre or some combination thereof.

An instrument is a tool used to create music.

I don't know how what turntablists/DJ's do can be called anything other than music and I don't know how you can say that they're tool is not an instrument.

For those who don't view DJ's as musicians and turntables as instruments, how do you define the terms so as to exclude them?

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

I agree, DJs can be musicians. I also think that most aren't.

To start with, what's a definition of a musician? Someone who makes music.

And what's music? Well, the very first paragraph of my theory book says this:

To begin understanding music theory, we first have to define what, exactly, music is... here's our working definition: music is the deliberate organization of sounds within a framework of time.

So if you accept that musicians are people who make music, and you accept my definition of what music is, DJs can qualify.

But when we talk about DJs, there's a huge range. Someone who simply flips the switch on the turntable - like most radio station DJs - isn't a musician. That's because they aren't doing anything with the sounds, other than making sure they come out of the speakers. They don't create anything new, or re-interpret anything old. They're missing the 'deliberate organization' part - a monkey with a pen isn't an author, and initiating a mechanical reproduction without any thought or decision making isn't musicianship.

Party DJs, or wedding DJs, can be a step above that. They may be paying attention to the tempos and keys of various recordings, and making smooth segues between them. That takes some aural skills, and at least a passing understanding of what makes tunes 'work'. That qualifies under the broadest definition, because they're making creative decisions and organizing the sounds. The only limiting factor is the number of decisions - making 12 or 15 choices an hour isn't very taxing.

At a higher level, DJs are using samples, scratch techniques, etc. to create entirely new sonic experiences. That makes them not just musicians, but composers as well.

Their instrument might not be one we find familiar, but is that where do you draw the line? Is a synthesizer an instrument when it has keys, but not when all the manipulation is done in advance through software? Is a cello an instrument, but not a musical saw? How about when the orchestra plays Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue... is the percussionist assigned to the car horn a musician in that piece? Or the one playing the typewriter in George Anthiel's "Ballet Mechanique"?

Maybe you'd rather make the criteria one of proficiency... arguing that Bob Dylan isn't a musician on harmonica, but Toots Thielman or a Junior Wells is?

'Cause if that's the case, most guitar players aren't musicians either :)

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@kingpatzer)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Cause if that's the case, most guitar players aren't musicians either

That's actually where I went earlier, and I think it relates to the issue of why live music is dying.

There are lots and lots and lots of non-musicians out there who are trying to get gigs.

Now, I'm not talking about someone like OWA who knows their limits and performs within them but just happens to be at a lower level of proficiency than someone like Joe Pass. If that was the case there'd only be a few hundred musicians in the world.

I do think that people who play very simple music well are still musicians. Some of them are better at what they do than I'll ever be at what I do. Simple music can be performed greatly. OWA is right about that -- it's about the performance. It's about caring enough to do a good job.

I'm talking about folks who really are simply incompetent performers.

The bar and club owners keep dropping the live acts in part because of cost issues -- though most would love to get a good act that could actually draw in more people -- but primarily because they've had one too many bad acts come through.

Bands that trash the equipment.
Bands that bad-mouth the establishment they're playing in
Bands that bad mouth the town their in
Bands that insult the customers
Bands that clearly haven't practiced this year . ..

A bar owner only has to suffer through a few of those before they realize that a bad act costs them money and that the ratio of bad acts to good acts is so low that it isn't worth the risk of having an act at all.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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 geoo
(@geoo)
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I am with Twisty and Nick.. BUT.. the original meaning of DJ has been twisted around in my honest opinion. I REALLY doubt that Wes was speaking of the same type of DJ that you are referring to Arjen. I think, and I have been wrong once before in my life, that Wes was speaking of the "Put a record in, play it, put another in, play it."

I could see modern day DJs as musicians, even though I really havent seen one. But I still prefer live band... and i still believe that Wes' DJs and Arjens DJs are two different breeds.

Geoo

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Yes Geoo, that is exactly what I am talking about. I have gone to clubs many times with a DJ. While I do not consider them musicians in any way whatsoever, I would say there is skill involved. Some DJs are much better than others. A good DJ knows how to work a crowd up and get them dancing, a poor DJ will put people to sleep.

I actually do a lot of DJ work at every gig. Between sets I play CDs. And I am very careful about the music I select. It is hard to describe but you must "feel" the crowd. Sometimes you can tell that it is best to put on some softer music, easy listening pop or acoustic music. Sometimes you need to play loud or heavy music. There is always a mood to a club that you have to be in touch with.

You also have to be aware of the type of crowd you are playing music for. In some places you play Classic Rock. In others Modern Rock. In some, dance music. In others, maybe Country.

So there is a skill to selecting good music to produce the right mood.

But DJs aren't musicians. I have been playing guitar for over 30 years and still am not a great musician. I can put on a CD in ten seconds. And so could my 7 year old daughter.

I could hire you as a DJ and give you a list of proven songs to play for the night. You could follow the list and have a successful night. You do not need skill whatsoever. You can't do that with a musical instrument.

And singing is very much a musical instrument. Sing into a tuner and see if your are hitting the notes on pitch. It takes much practice to be a good singer. There is much technique involved.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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