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#446370 - 12/20/17 01:20 PM [Off-Topic] How should I approach a musician?
Registered: 03/24/15
Posts: 34
Lucm Offline
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I am a complete newbie in that aspect (and many others), so please be patient. Yes, I am clueless, so I am asking for guidance.

I've finally begun to write some music and I intend to record a few tracks a bit later this year. I've got a lot going on and done many experiments, and concluded that my biggest hurdle will be guitars. I can do everything else with plugins. Feel free to disagree, but I am happy with all the results except for guitars. They sound really bad with plugins. Some plugins are supposed to sound good, but they're hard to learn, even more so because I can't play a guitar at all. I won't have time to learn that. I am going to need a real, human guitar player.

I don't know any and they're hard to come by where I live. I will have to find one online who will listen to base tracks and record their part on their own and send it to me for mixing.

Now, question #1:
How/where do I find them?

It's a twofold question: where do I find guitar players that will be available for something like this (I understand I will have to pay), and how do I find players whose style is a match to what I have in mind?

and question #2:
What if I don't like the result?

I can write the part, using crappy guitar plugins or even another instrument and tell the guitarist to use it as a guide.

Or maybe I should let them have more freedom to create their part as they see fit. I would definitely be willing to try that experiment, I am sure that many will not just play well but also write better parts than myself.

But what if I don't like it? How do I handle that? I certainly don't want to offend anyone. I don't know if recording the part somehow and telling them to play the same on a guitar is even acceptable. I don't know anything about how that is supposed to work.

Ideas, please? TIA

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#446379 - 12/20/17 01:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
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Hi. I can't help with guitar, but I'm a 50+ year pro horn player. I send my band BIAB songs as composer demos, and a lead sheet that I write, and ask that they reproduce the basic sound when we record in the studio or play a concert. This gives them an idea of the song but doesn't force them to play any particular part exactly. These are world-class players and they are not offended at all.

For my recordings, I hire other musicians as independent contractors. They understand that I may change their tracks by mixing, editing, or even leaving them out. This is just part of the business.

When people hire me to play on their recordings, I ask for an MP3 of the song and work out an arrangement and rough parts in advance. Then at the studio, I record this. They often ask me to play something different, and I record that, too - whatever they suggest. But I've noticed that the part I prepared is always the one they use on their recordings.


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#446409 - 12/20/17 04:24 PM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 11596
Loc: Hamlin NY
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Hi Lucm,

I am a guitarist who has collaborated with many other musicians, some here, and many outside of the PGMusic world.

To find a guitarist to help you just post a message on any forums that you are on. I'm sure you will get a hit or two and many will work for nothing more than the recognition that they played the part.

If you have a part that you want a guitarist to play post that with the request. If it is not possible to play what you have on a guitar they will let you know, of course that applies to specific chord voicings and harmonies.

When I work with others I let them know up front that it is their song, not mine, and they have the final say. I have no problem with them saying this isn't what they want. When collaborating one can not have an ego problem. I done stuff that others have loved and I have done stuff that others have hated. If you have thin skin then don't collaborate.

Good luck and I hope this helps.
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#446411 - 12/20/17 04:55 PM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: MarioD]
Registered: 05/30/00
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Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
rharv Offline
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Originally Posted By: MarioD

When I work with others I let them know up front that it is their song, not mine, and they have the final say. I have no problem with them saying this isn't what they want. When collaborating one can not have an ego problem. I done stuff that others have loved and I have done stuff that others have hated. If you have thin skin then don't collaborate.



I've worked with Mario and other guitar players online (here and other forums/sources).
I agree with him; look for a volunteer first. This will hone your skills at collaboration and (maybe) negotiation. Plus you may find a piece of gold along the way.

Some experiments/experiences may not end as expected, but you do get to learn from every one.

/I've personally used things that Mario contributed and discarded others, and it has never been a problem. Not all musicians have an ego. <grin>
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#446415 - 12/20/17 05:11 PM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4419
eddie1261 Online   content
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Things to consider:

Guitar players are people first. They just know how to play the guitar. Approach them as you would approach a mechanic or a plumber. "Hi. I need some work done and I wonder if you would be interested in it?"

This is important for us to know. Do YOU play? You said you don't play guitar. Do you play keyboards or anything? Do you have a music background. That would be helpful in the long haul as far as basing your decisions.

As far as knowing who to ask, when you contact them just ask for clips. You are a boss interviewing applicants.

If you don't like their track, tell them gently, something like "Hey, that's good for a first pass. Do you have any other ideas, possibly something in a completely different vein?" And this is where your music knowledge would come into play. "Maybe you can start on a higher octave and work back down from there", or "Maybe you could cut the timing of the phrases in half". Keep in mind, it's your song. It may be as simple as "Can you give me something like "(and here you hum or doo doo doo doo what your mind's ear hears)?" Or "Can you base that solo a little more on what the melody line is?" Whatever you do, whatever you say, speak with a smile. Always give positive suggestions and energy or the guy will tell you to buzz off. You can also use those generated parts you say you don't particularly like as a baseline. Send him the tracks and tell him to use this as a starting point and "send me some ideas". Ask for 5.

I work with Rog in England quite a bit. He gives me his thoughts, I listen with an open mind, and unless it is totally out of left field (and it rarely is) we tweak and work with it. He once completely retooled one of my songs and it turned out to be as good a pop tune as it was a country tune. Fortunately we both understand who owns the song and who gets the final say. I think we compliment each other pretty well. When he had a lot of vocal students they did a lot of singing and reworked 4 of my songs completely. His kids got experience, I got another set of ears on what I wrote, and I grew as a writer from it.

The key is mutual respect. Everybody works from a different level and a different knowledge base. A guy with a Masters Degree is going to know more about the core and roots of the music, where someone with less exposure plays it by ear. Both ways work, it's the difference between someone with knowledge of cars who knows enough to change oil and a guy who builds engines. Just don't become intimidated or settle for something you don't want. This is your recipe. Use the brand of sugar you want.
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#446453 - 12/20/17 09:24 PM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 03/26/04
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Loc: Way too close to Palm Springs,...
Tobias Offline
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I have a few questions for you since I'm a guitar player who has worked with mostly local musicians for many years.
1. Do your songs "need" guitars?
2. Where in the world could you possibly live where guitarists are hard to come by?
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#446486 - 12/21/17 05:06 AM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 12/05/11
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Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Well you can always “approach” the award winning renown BiaB RealTrack players. Find a guitar RT to your liking, generate multiple tracks (if needed) and cut/paste them to your liking. And they are assuredly not “crappy plug-ins.” The user forum is packed with great examples. There fine guitar players on the forum who frequently use RT’s.

Best to you and happy holidays.
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#446497 - 12/21/17 06:54 AM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Tobias]
Registered: 03/24/15
Posts: 34
Lucm Offline
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Posts: 34
Originally Posted By: Tobias
1. Do your songs "need" guitars?

Ah, yes, they do. It's rock'n'roll. cool Nothing harsh or heavy, but it kind of rocks and would be toothless without a guitar.


Originally Posted By: Tobias
2. Where in the world could you possibly live where guitarists are hard to come by?

For one thing, I just moved to a relatively small city where I know exactly zero people. It's going to be a while until I scout the area and get to know the music scene.

For another thing, I'm quite far from America and there are regional issues. Everyhing that is popular around here is tragically different from my taste. God bless the Internet.

-x-

Loving the answers so far. Looks like it's a lot less formal and easier than I thought. I was afraid there might be some kind of tricky etiquette around musicians besides the usual in the daily interaction with people. I just don't want any Keith Richards to throw knives at me. grin

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#446508 - 12/21/17 07:57 AM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 1914
Loc: Ontario, Canada
BlueAttitude Offline
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As Bud said you shouldn't have any problem finding a BIAB guitar realtrack that will fill your needs, there are many rock guitar realtracks to choose from.
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#446519 - 12/21/17 08:52 AM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4419
eddie1261 Online   content
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Lucm, visit the User Showcase forum and find my song Things That Go Together. Give it a listen. All during the verses and chorus, the rhythm guitars you hear are Real Band tracks. There is some human guitar in there, but that guitar on that song is 90% Real Band, as is the bass. I played the guitar part on the intro, Rog added the fills, sang the harmonies, and spiced up the drums with his drum samples. But the guitars, which are your main concern here, were Real Band tracks.

My suggestion is that you spend some time with BIAB/RB and explore. You will truly find anything you need. My CD was 75-80% Real Band tracks.
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I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will pretty much be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.

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#446525 - 12/21/17 09:28 AM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: BlueAttitude]
Registered: 04/07/13
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Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Originally Posted By: BlueAttitude
As Bud said you shouldn't have any problem finding a BIAB guitar realtrack that will fill your needs, there are many rock guitar realtracks to choose from.


That's my thought as well. There are many benefits to looking at RT's first.

You save time, and the time you save can be spent in BIAB RT's creating your specific track.

Scheduling is not an issue, nor is setup. To record a live guitarist, time is spent setting up equipment, tuning, tweaking, warming up, reviewing and learning your song, developing and trying out ideas to how to play your song and even just getting comfortable.

Not every guitarist you find will be a good or even adequate session player. Even in such hotbeds as LA, NY and Nashville, there are loads of really good guitarists that get steady work in road bands, gig every night, but they are not on any studios short list of session musicians. It's just not a skill everyone has or wants.

BIAB/RB generated RealTrack guitars can be as easy as 1-2-3 or you can work for weeks or more on a single track. Most assuredly, you will likely find something as suitable from RealTracks as you will getting a guitarist off the street.
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#446553 - 12/21/17 11:39 AM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2519
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Online   content
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Out of curiosity, did you try using RealTrack guitars? If so, were there any particular issues you found with them?

If you need a more custom rhythm, you can use modifiers with the chord symbols:

  • C.. Strum, then mute the chord
  • C... Strum and hold the chord
  • ^C Anticipate the beat by an 8th note
  • ^^C Anticipate the beat by a 16th note

Since it sounds like you're using an external DAW, you can build the guitar track by itself in BiaB, and then export it to the DAW.


Edited by dcuny (12/21/17 01:18 PM)
Edit Reason: "Anticipate" is more descriptive than "push."
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#446556 - 12/21/17 11:45 AM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: dcuny]
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eddie1261 Online   content
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Originally Posted By: dcuny


  • ^C Push the beat by an 8th note
  • ^^C Push beat by 8th note



Aren't those 2 the same thing? The second one is just missing a "the" and an "an".

This has always confused me because my brain says I want to PULL the music back an 8th note. I have to start thinking "anticipate". Just another example of things I don't use much in RB. I still don't know how you guys make RB sing harmonies. I still can't figure out to accurately program half note triplets... I have had this thing for like 7-8 years and still I have just scratched the surface on the tools inside this software.

Those triplets though.... grin
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#446559 - 12/21/17 11:51 AM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
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eddie1261 Online   content
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Still interested in knowing what your music background is. People with some theory background tend to use phrases that are inherent to that knowledge, like telling someone "A major chord is 1-3-5."

To which the student asks "What's a 3? What's a 5? For that matter what's a 1?" If the student doesn't know a keyboard and where the half steps and whole steps are about, the next question is usually "When do I use the black keys?" Or in this specific example "What do you mean C?"

When you say you are a newbie, a newbie to music overall or a newbie to this software? To ask someone to sit down at the chord chart page and "Enter your chord progression here" would be met with a blank stare if they know zero about music and chords. A good number of people write lyrics beautifully but have no musical knowledge to take those lyrics and apply them to a melody to turn them into a song.

So please share with us a little about your background. We are pretty friendly overall and very willing to help but we have to know what "language" to speak in.


Edited by eddie1261 (12/21/17 11:53 AM)
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#446560 - 12/21/17 11:52 AM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
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That was a typo. The ^^ is to push by a 16th note.
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#446562 - 12/21/17 11:55 AM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: jford]
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Originally Posted By: jford
That was a typo. The ^^ is to push by a 16th note.


Thanks John. You taught ME on that one! My brain will remember that each carat cuts the value of the note in half and that they are exponential. 1/4 x 1/2 = 1/8, 1/8 x 1/2 = 1/16.

You may have actually helped me make 1/2 note triplets! laugh
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I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will pretty much be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.

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#446570 - 12/21/17 12:22 PM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: eddie1261]
Registered: 03/24/15
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Lucm Offline
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Originally Posted By: eddie1261
Still interested in knowing what your music background is.
(...)
So please share with us a little about your background. We are pretty friendly overall and very willing to help but we have to know what "language" to speak in.

I have been crazy about music to a fault since childhood, and I listen to lots of very different things. I have a good ear.

I am kind of a newbie in songwriting. I spent some of the last few years focused on lyrics. I used to find it difficult to write tunes, but I kept trying until something gave, the magic happened and now I write up tunes and arrangements in my head all the time. I used to run after them and now they come after me in all kinds of moments. I've found my own voice.

I am a complete newbie in dealing with musicians or actually making any music. I have recorded a few rough drafts, and though rough as they were, I really liked the shape they were taking. That was very exciting. But I realized I had to study more and acquire more command of the software or I would never get anything done. So I did. Meanwhile, I kept notes of all my ideas by singing or humming into a recorder. I just have to listen to one recording to remember the whole thing instantly, especially because most of those ideas played in my head for days like a radio. I don't even play by ear... yet. I just program the track note by note. But I have a keyboard and I've been trying to learn it. I hope to become reasonably fluent in it in about one year.

I guess it's just a natural evolution step for someone who has spent more time listening to music than a fish has ever spent swimming. smile

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#446580 - 12/21/17 12:49 PM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
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Guitarhacker Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lucm

Now, question #1:
How/where do I find them?


and question #2:
What if I don't like the result?




You can find guitar players on most recording software forum websites. Joining is free.

You have to listen to their music to see if it's a good match. Obviously, you don't want to ask a heavy metal shredder to play on your country song so take the time and listen to what they do first.

Do you have Band in a Box? I ask because, while I play guitar fairly well, if I do say so, I will often simply use BB/RB guitar player tracks. with over 3000 styles, and hundreds of tracks.... You should be able to find something that works without having to go looking for live pickers.

My last song.... on my music page...and also in the Showcase is 100% BB/RT with no live picking from my guitars in it.
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#446588 - 12/21/17 01:22 PM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 09/27/10
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dcuny Online   content
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Thanks John and Eddie for catching the typos. While "push" is the term used in BiaB - which is why I chose it - "anticipate" is the less ambiguous term.

I'm still curious, Lucm, if you've tried using the guitar RealTracks.
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Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#446589 - 12/21/17 01:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: How should I approach a musician? [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 03/24/15
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Lucm Offline
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Originally Posted By: dcuny
I'm still curious, Lucm, if you've tried using the guitar RealTracks.

No, not yet. I'll look into it.

I am on a trip right now, writing from a notebook that doesn't even have sound. I won't have access to my desktop for another couple of weeks.

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-MIDI SuperTracks Set 28: Pop Basses
-Instrumental Studies 7: Brent Mason 12-key CountryPop Guitar Licks

2019 49-PAK Contents:
-40 Bonus RealTracks!
-10 "Low Man" and Re-amped "12-Key" Metal/Thrash Electric Guitar RealTracks
-Artist Performance Set 9: Celtic Flute with Geoff Kelly
-Instrumental Studies 8: Brent Mason 12-key Train-Beat Licks
-Look Ma! More MIDI 2
-MIDI SuperTracks Set 29: More Organ, Piano & Accordion

Video - Band-in-a-Box® 2019 - Everything You Need to Know in Under 6 Minutes!

Get to know the new Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows with our Band-in-a-Box® 2019 - Everything You Need to Know in Under 6 Minutes! video: Click here to watch...

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