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Post new topic Putting on a Steel Guitar Show/Jam
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Author Topic:  Putting on a Steel Guitar Show/Jam
Justin Emmert

Martinsville, VA
Post  Posted 20 Dec 2019 9:23 am    
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I'm toying with the idea of putting on a steel guitar show/jam. Already have a decent venue in mind. What does it take? What are the usual formats?
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Jim Pitman

Waterbury Ctr. VT 05677 USA
Post  Posted 22 Dec 2019 9:33 am    
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Hmmm....no replies. I'll take a stab at it.

On a small scale which is where you should start, this is how it usually goes:

Hire a very skilled house band that can read charts minimally.
Provide a very good sound system, and consider good lighting, stage setup, and video/audio taping.
Invite a couple/three well known steel players that you pay and provide room and board if necessary. This usually legitimizes your show and helps to draw steel guitar fans in.
Invite a mess of lesser know steel players who don't ask for money and want to be heard and are quite good.
Each player gets 1/2 hour to 45 min or longer if there aren't very many applicants.
Players bring charts of their tunes listing tempo as well as chord progressions.'
Typically there is no practice time.
Invite steel guitar product vendors.
Consider hiring a well know player to provide a group lesson with paying attendees in a separate room.
Charge an attendance fee.
Optionally serve food and alcohol.
Be prepared to lose money. Only the biggest shows make any if at all.
I think easy access to your favorite players via You Tube has impacted the attendance of steel guitar shows.
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Stuart Legg

Post  Posted 23 Dec 2019 9:43 am    
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I don't have to be financial wizard to figure out this would be the worst of all investments in time and money!

I'd spend my time on my playing, unless a person has deep pockets and a pension for abuse.
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Bob Carlucci

Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2019 4:48 pm    
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I would start very small... 6 or 8, maybe 10 guys from within an hour or two at someone's home with a good size basement or garage where a bunch of guys can set up..
someone from the assembled players always on rhythm guitar and bass, and a maybe one of the guys that can sing doing stuff everyone knows,, Take time talking, showing gear, setups, copedents, TRADING LICKS getting to know one another better, and just do a little jamming. Perhaps order a few pizzas afterwards, and enjoy the banter and companionship of like minded players.
if all goes well, and it should, plan to meet again in a few months.. Perhaps in time if it grows a bit, a small venue can be located, a few more musicians and real singers can be added, and from there see where it goes.. start small is what I would do.. A get together of steel playing friends to start out is fine, and see if it grows.. bob
I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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John Lacey

Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 24 Dec 2019 8:44 am    
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Back in the 70’s and 80’s, I put on several steel shows in St. Albert Alberta and held them at the local legion. I had an invited band of friends, 1/2 dozen Steelers a few local singers . We were supported by a local music store but no real bucks were paid as a fee to anyone so I guess it was sort of an elaborate jam. Having very little overhead left us with enough profit for several buckets of chicken. It was all fun and a good sense of friendship amongst the pickers in Edmonton and area. We later did a much bigger one involving Buddy Emmons as the headliner but because of my inability to wear many different hats it wasn’t near the fun event the other previous one was. The secret is to start small and develop your promotional skills along the way cause the bigger it gets, the more chance of financial and logistical risks there are.
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