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Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?

Becks 20 Nov 08 - 01:15 PM
Piers Plowman 20 Nov 08 - 01:29 PM
Amos 20 Nov 08 - 01:34 PM
Banjiman 20 Nov 08 - 01:51 PM
Becks 20 Nov 08 - 02:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Nov 08 - 03:08 PM
The Sandman 21 Nov 08 - 07:03 AM
Spleen Cringe 21 Nov 08 - 07:37 AM
Becks 21 Nov 08 - 07:40 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Nov 08 - 07:45 AM
Spleen Cringe 21 Nov 08 - 07:57 AM
Backwoodsman 21 Nov 08 - 08:01 AM
Spleen Cringe 21 Nov 08 - 08:06 AM
Becks 21 Nov 08 - 08:07 AM
Piers Plowman 21 Nov 08 - 08:09 AM
Spleen Cringe 21 Nov 08 - 08:13 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Nov 08 - 11:24 AM
Becks 21 Nov 08 - 11:58 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Nov 08 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 21 Nov 08 - 05:57 PM
Becks 21 Nov 08 - 08:01 PM
greg stephens 22 Nov 08 - 08:18 AM
Mr Red 22 Nov 08 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,hg 22 Nov 08 - 08:32 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 08 - 04:41 PM
Little Hawk 22 Nov 08 - 05:18 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Nov 08 - 07:14 PM
Banjiman 23 Nov 08 - 03:58 PM
Lighter 23 Nov 08 - 04:04 PM
nutty 23 Nov 08 - 04:28 PM
Becks 25 Nov 08 - 06:11 AM
greg stephens 25 Nov 08 - 06:48 AM
Banjiman 25 Nov 08 - 07:07 AM
Hamish 25 Nov 08 - 10:13 AM
Janice in NJ 25 Nov 08 - 11:02 AM
Becks 25 Nov 08 - 11:10 AM
nutty 25 Nov 08 - 11:47 AM
Becks 25 Nov 08 - 11:52 AM
bubblyrat 25 Nov 08 - 01:44 PM
Banjiman 27 Nov 08 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,jOhn 30 Nov 08 - 10:14 PM
Banjiman 01 Dec 08 - 05:17 AM
BusyBee Paul 01 Dec 08 - 09:02 AM
Banjiman 05 Dec 08 - 02:20 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 Dec 08 - 05:47 AM
Marje 06 Dec 08 - 09:52 AM
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Subject: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Becks
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 01:15 PM

I have just started to play fiddle again after 10 years of doing absolutely nothing (finished school got a job and forgot about music for a while). I'm 28 so not young and not old.
I started to play the guitar and sing in folk clubs in May this year (2008) and have received some complimentary comments and encouragement. I play with a band Blind Summat and support the wonderful Wendy Arrowsmith by playing fiddle for her at her gigs. I would like to make a go of it myself as a solo performer and I have no idea where to start!

I have started with a myspace page www.myspace.com/rebekahfindlaymusic and have some rough tracks (recorded live) on there. My material is a mix of self penned and covers by the likes of Richard Thompson, Ray Lamontagne, Kate Rusby plus some unusual choices, I am building on my traditional songs so I will have a wider appeal. I am currently working on a demo cd and an album at the moment. I am lucky enough not to work and am willing to throw everything I have at this.

I would really like to make a go of some sort of music career and don't really know where to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Becks


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 01:29 PM

From: Becks - PM
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 01:15 PM

"I'm 28 so not young and not old."

I'm 45, so you're young. Ah, to be 28 again!

It sounds like you're further along than I am as far as performing is concerned, so I don't have much to contribute except for this: The entertainment business stinks. Art, music and literature are great hobbies, but very difficult ways of making a living. Some do, some are even very successful. The "big money" isn't in folk music, however, but I'm sure you know this already. I wish you every success and hope you are one of the lucky ones.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Amos
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 01:34 PM

Sound slike you are starting off well, Becks. Not being intimate with the UK scene I can't offer tactics. But you should look around the field and see who has been notable doing what you mean to be doing (you dodn't mention whether you sing as well as play). COnsider tthe remarkable career of Laurie Andersen, for example, who has, as a solo instrumentalist, invented new directions in music, as well as new instruments! Goes to show there's no limit once you light those afterburners. Well done so far, and good luck!



A


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Banjiman
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 01:51 PM

Oh yes, she sings as well as plays.....have a listen here Becks' MySpace .

.....and her fiddle playing is also pretty damn fine, you can see (and hear) her here BlindSummat YouTube . I'd ignore the banjo player though!

BTW, she'll kill me for posting these links.

Will someone take the chance and give her a booking...... I've got her supporting the Young'uns at KFFC in March next year?

I was sitting listening to her sing at Burneston folk club last night....I had that 'why do I even bother to try feeling' that you sometimes get when listening to somone who can really SING a song.

She deserves to do well.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Becks
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 02:41 PM

Awww thanks for kind words Paul, I will give you that tenner tomorrow.

Sorry if my post wasn't clear... Yes I sing and play the guitar mainly but also play the fiddle.
I'm under no illusion that you can make a fortune in the Folk scene, I am fortunate enough not to have to work and would just like to be the best that I can be. I'm not after "big money" just enough to keep me in instruments and my petrol thirsty car on the road anything above that is a bonus!

Thanks for comments!


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 03:08 PM

well call me old fashioned but I think you should jump on and off freight trains, live close to the land, see the people of this great country and the sweat on the honest working man's brow, live amongst the people, learn their songs and help them create new ones that mirror their lives of toil and struggle......


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 07:03 AM

Acquire a thick skin.Have a belief in yourself.
realise that you cant please every body.
never try and take on too much work in a month,I once did 21 gigs in a month,the problem then is the performer goes on to automatic pilot.
keep trying to improve ,periodically record yourself and try and listen critically.
publicise yourself.
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 07:37 AM

The best advice I can give you is to drop the Ray Lamontagne song from your set!...

Other than that, best of luck.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Becks
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 07:40 AM

"The best advice I can give you is to drop the Ray Lamontagne song from your set!..."

Can I ask why? Not 'folkie' enough?


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 07:45 AM

Drop in at the Beech, Beech Road, Chorlton, Manchester on the first Wednesday of the month for to be re-invigorated with songs and tunes mostly but not exclusively traditional

L in C

Oh and what weelittledrummer said above


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 07:57 AM

"Can I ask why? Not 'folkie' enough?"

Not at all. Just pure, untrammelled, absolutely unreasonable personal prejudice. Can't stand the fucker...

It made me laugh when I saw the Owl Service's Myspace: words to the effect of "The Owl Service does not accept friends requests from people who have Ray Lamontagne as a friend". Love it!


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 08:01 AM

Why? has he got grey hair and a Martin?


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 08:06 AM

No. Like I said, just personal prejudice. As well as liking stuff, its ok to, erm, not like stuff. I'm only human. I can't like any old shit, man.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Becks
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 08:07 AM

Lets call it personal taste then, I'll try not to hold it against you, lol. ALthough I really dont understand what you have against him.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 08:09 AM

From: Becks - PM
Date: 20 Nov 08 - 01:15 PM

"I would like to make a go of it myself as a solo performer and I have no idea where to start!"

Stop playing with other people. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

I realize you're not after the "big money", sorry if I was unclear. If you just want to cover expenses, that sounds reasonable. And who knows? Maybe you'll get a big break. All the travelling a working musician has to do kind of puts me off.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 08:13 AM

"I really dont understand what you have against him".

Neither do I, really. Something about his stuff just sets my teeth on edge.

Don't worry about my little foibles. Just keep on enjoying doing what you're doing...


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 11:24 AM

Becks,

if you want to hear some excellent music - the kind of thing that Spleen enjoys - you could do worse than drop in at the Beech on Beech Road Chorlton on the first Wednesday of the month.

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Becks
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 11:58 AM

Mr Spleen, do you have a myspace page or a website even? I am intrigued to find out what you do like. I will add whilst I do Ray Lamontagne covers I do them in very much my own style. Plus I am a girl.

Chorlton is a fair trek out for me (not that I am unwilling to travel) I will try and find a few other places in the area to visit on other nights and make a trip of it. Is there a website for the Beech?


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 02:06 PM

Becks,

that's very kind to consider our humble Guest-free Singaround. We are too poor and disorgainsed to have a website. But we are putting our Christmas present money together to create one.

Mr Spleen's Myspace has a surprising and eclectic bunch of music, much of which I feel sure you will enjoy

I will pull together a list of other clubs around here.Do you have a website?

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 05:57 PM

So, Becks let's get this straight - you're young, beautiful, talented and quite possibly rich (you don't need to work)?



You wouldn't consider marrying me, would you?


OK - forget I said that! Just try not to accumulate a huge band because everyone does that and it will do nothing for your voice (you'll just be lost behind a 'wall of sound'). And what ever you do, resist any temptation to model yourself on Kate Rusby (pure prejudice on my part). Oh yes, and beg, borrow or steal a set of 'The Voice of the People' and pay particular attention to Lizzie Higgins - the greatest female traditional singer the UK ever produced (and, no, you won't need to develop a Scottish accent!).


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Becks
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 08:01 PM

Rich I am not. I am very lucky that my husband has a very good job which technically means I dont have to work but I have a very expensive to run (fuel thirsty) car to keep on the road and am not willing to part with it so I could do with earning a little and from the odd gig or two would be nice way to earn it. Its more of a personal goal to make a go of music if I manage to make it pay then great! I just want to get out there and play and get gigs.

"that's very kind to consider our humble Guest-free Singaround."
I love going to singarounds with or without guest, they build up my confidence as I now get more nervous at them than I do in front of an proper audience. I love to hear what other people are doing and learning new songs, I am totally new to this and need all the help I can get!

"Do you have a website?"
Not yet unfortunately. My old job was a website designer you would think I would have my act together but I havnt got that far yet. I have a myspace page only at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 08:18 AM

Becks: I appreciate you don't have to work, and only want to earn enough for a bit of petrol etc. But please bear in mind that there are professional musicians out on the road,come rain come shine, with mouths to feed as well as petrol thirsty cars, relying on their club bookings to keep themselves and their children.So do think through the financial implications of your being happy to work for very small fees.
If you are worth paying, you are worth paying a reasonable fee to!


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 08:27 AM

don't desert sessions and singarounds. They are the lifeblood of Folk. They say don't apologise - not for your skills that is. And it is better to be positive so just go for it.
And as Greg says.

I don't so many concerts but the Boat Band are different - and they like to see a few dancers. Thanks Greg.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 08:32 AM

The most important thing you can do for a "music career" is practice. It takes 10,000 hours or more to get proficient on an instrument. If all those mediocre myspace muscians would practice, they might not need Myspace.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 04:41 PM

Becks,

I feel sure you are a pretty compitent musician.

Find a good venue, book The Boat Band, charge a sensible fee, open for them and you will have a night of brilliant exciting music and tomorrow is another day.

L in C


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 05:18 PM

Wow! I just listened to Becks singing "Crooked Jack". Great stuff!


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 07:14 PM

Greg I think you're being unrealistic.

becks should take the unpaid/low paid gigs - or someone else will take them. Supply and demand - that simple. And she has no need to feel guilty about it.

I'm sorry but you have to THINK. Cerebration is called for.

What is folk music? Is it this stuff without an audience apart from some middle class people who can't tell the difference between a musician who has committed his life to it, and the local kumbaya/dorset four hand reel squad?

or is it something to do with FOLK? yes FOLK - people as we used to call them.

the experts have let us down. they talk authoritative crap - you can hear it incessantly on Mudcat.

theres a thread running on mudcat - 50 songs every one SHOULD know. You almost don't have to read it. Some idiot will be on there saying we all should know John barleycorn, and a load of bum off his favourite Topic album.

cerebrate - supply and demand. you are a man of the people - where will there be people who want to ENJOY your talents.

it will make you a happier man.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Banjiman
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 03:58 PM

Becks,

I would suggest that you go out and win The KFA "song of the year" competition final (or The X Folktor as I like to call it) being held at The KFFC Big Birthday Bash this weekend with your song "Duty Bound"...... oh you did! Very tough competition with some great songs both in the final round and the final itself.

Great song and very well sung and played. Harmonies were OK as well!

Greg.....get real, no one offers new acts however good they are huge fees. It just doesn't work like that, you have to build an audience first.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 04:04 PM

You sound great on MySpace. You have a fine voice!

My otherwise worthless opinion: I hate it when singers put a sob or break in their voice to emphasize emotion and sincerity. The words and the music do that.

The vocal tricks can work in pop music because there's more artistic distance between the singer (with his big or electrified band) and the audience, who have to be prodded. With the solo or small-group acoustic music you play on MySpace, you're already sufficiently intimate with the audience: one needn't try extra hard to win them over, especially with a natural voice as good as yours.

Just my two cents. Ignore ad lib. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: nutty
Date: 23 Nov 08 - 04:28 PM

I saw and heard Becks at the KFFC weekend and was very impressed with her talents as a singer, musician and songwriter AND she has age on her side.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Becks
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 06:11 AM

I wasn't aware I was doing or using 'vocal tricks', thats just the way I sing and have always sung. I put it down to flaws in my voice. I will try and pay more attention next time! Maybe a singing lesson or two.
Thanks all for advice!


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 06:48 AM

Banjiman suggests I should "get real", because I said that Becks ought to charge a reasonable fee, evben if she doesn't need the money.Well, I quite agree that while you are getting yourself known, obviously you have to do unpaid floor spots, very lowly paid support slots and so on. Of course you do. But when you have got to the point that you are doing actual gigs as the guest at a folk club, charge something reasonable. Look round the room. Are there fifty people in there who have paid a fiver to come and see you? In that case the club should be paying you a couple of hundred quid. Or perhaps one hundred, if they have a policy of paying solo acts less to build up a reserve for paying groups a fair wage. But you shouldn't be doing it for £25, or £50, even if all you need is the petrol money.
Otherwise we could end up with a scene where professionals can't work, because organisers would be saying "Why should we pay anyone hundreds of pounds, when we can get acts for twenty quid?". This possible source of tension will always exist on the music scene, or any activity where some people do it for a living, and others do it as a hobby. It doesn't effect all fields of human endeavour: the refuse disposal business, sewage operatives and people in call centres do not have the same problem. It coulkd be a problem in the professional theatre, as loads of people would just love to be on stage, paid or not, but the actors' union Equity is well-organised and ensures minimum wages in the theatre. The Musicians Union doesn't have the same clout, and I'm not sure everybody would want it to have. But this is an area where we all have to give the matter some thought.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Banjiman
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 07:07 AM

Hi Greg.....bit off thread this. But.... you talk as is if folk club organisers are trying under pay people. In my experience this is way off the mark, folk club organisers are more likely to be subsidising artists rather than taking money out of a club.

The problem is getting enough people through the door....that is what sets the fee, not any desire to hoard or make money from the artists by FC organisers.

KFFC for example, as a concert only club does not have regular non-guest nights, fees cannot therefore be artificially raised from weekly subs....acts cannot really expect more than comes in on the night that they play.... or do you think organisers should be paying artists fees out of their own pocket?

BTW Greg, my other half's main income also comes from music. So I'm definitely sympathetic......but also realistic.

Meanwhile....back to any tips for a newbie?

Cheers

Paul


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Hamish
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 10:13 AM

As for pricing, see this thread: Stealing gigs from the pro's" where the general consensus seemed to be don;t worry about undercutting. On the other hand there's a tendency for some bookers to think that if you don't charge enough then you can't be much good. I'd advise not quoting a price if you can help it. Ask how much they can afford or what they usually pay. I've often got much more that way than if I'd mentioned a price first. I also say something like "Of course, to play at your prestigious club, I wouldn't let the fee be an obstacle"

But to the main aspect: you're good, you've got the voice and the poise. Just get out there and play as often as you can in front of as many people as you can. Treat every performance as an audition. You never know who might be in the audience. And even if they're not a club or festival booker, they'll still spread the word.

Go for it! Good luck!

~8^)


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 11:02 AM

The situation is diferent here in the USA and Canada, so some of this advice may not apply to the UK, but here it is just the same.

1. Don't limit yourself to the folk scene. Look for gigs in primary and secondary schools, public libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, housing projects, senior citizen centers, even prisions. Many of them have cultural programs which hire musicians of all kinds, and these gigs tend to pay decent money when compared to typical folk clubs.

2. Develop your own style and your own repertiore, and don't worry if it's either too trad or not trad enough. Listen to all kinds of music, Renaissance to reggae, boogie woogie to bluegrass, Calypso to cantorial, and see if there is anything you can incorporate into your own playing and singing. Maybe there won't be, but more likely you will be struck with something -- a phrase, a harmony, a rhythm -- that you can make your own.

3. Know your audience. If you get booked to open for the Wolfe Tones, don't start off with The Sash My Father Wore.

4. Join the musicians union. In North America it's the American Federation of Musicians, but I don't know what it is in the UK. Even if you don't play many gigs covered by union contracts, the union can help you with all sorts of issues, from finding a loaner instrument if yours gets lost or damaged in transit, to dealing with employers who are not paying you what they had agreed.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Becks
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 11:10 AM

Ok, let me rephrase my point.
Yes I would like to make a career of music and whilst I technically don't need to work, I can't sit at home all day playing guitar and singing to my dog. A 9 till 5 job isn't me at all, it would drive me insane within a week. I ran my own IT and and website design business for 5 years so I do know what hard work is (18 hour working days and VAT returns!).
I would like to make a career of it and make money with it but I am under no illusion that I am good enough to make a fortune or enough to pay the mortgage and buy myself a nice wee sports car. I just want to be the best I can be and get work to pay for a good life.

I don't want to be seen to want to take work away from professionals as I would like to be seen as a professional myself one day, Its just where do you start if you are a nobody?

There is a lot of really usefull advice here, thank you all!


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: nutty
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 11:47 AM

Have you thought of doing the folk degree or getting involved with the Ethno- England summer schools or a Folkworks event.

Definitely, as Hamish said - get around and get the exposure at folk clubs and Festivals.

Darlington Arts Centre is local and you might even be able to swing a booking at the Springthing.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Becks
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 11:52 AM

I have thought about doing the folk degree at Newcastle, but I have heard mixed reviews as to whether it will help me or not. I am personally in favour of doing it, its just the cost that is holding me back and the travel, I would definately need to get a part time job then. I will have a look at the other suggestion - thank you!


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 25 Nov 08 - 01:44 PM

Above all,watch out for the weirdos who insist on labelling anyone interested in English folk-music as being some kind of latter-day,neo-Nazi,racist thug.! Believe me, they're out there and they're all BONKERS !!Just look at some of the other threads on this site,and you'll see what I mean ! In the meantime, good luck to you,and I hope things work out for you.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Banjiman
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 02:47 PM

Becks,

I think you'll do just fine:

Have a look & listen to "Duty Bound" here , winner of the The KFA "song of the year 2008". It's pretty fab.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: GUEST,jOhn
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 10:14 PM

She's in hull on 19th december, i might go if i'm not doing nowt.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Banjiman
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 05:17 AM

You can also hear Becks on Terry Ferdinand's Folk Show on Bishop FM along with the rest of Blind Summat! tonight and solo next Monday night.
Terry's show runs 9-11pm UK time every Monday evening.

Bishop FM On-line


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 09:02 AM

Becks,

You are doing fine, offers of gigs will come. I know because I was one of the judges at your heat of the KFA folk song competition.

Keep on keeping on!.

Deirdre
(Who is still singing Duty Bound to herself, even now!).


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Banjiman
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 02:20 PM

Becks,

You have to share (some of) today's recordings with the world!

World have a listen to Rebekah Findlay and Wendy Arrowsmith doing Beck's song "Luskentyre By The Sea" on Beck's MySpace .

They have a new duo...."One Stone" who if there is any justice will do very well (I've heard the rest of the recordings!).

Listen without prejudice folks!

Paul (yes, I admit to bias.....but have a listen and judge for yourself).


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Dec 08 - 05:47 AM

If you signed up for the folk degree. It would have certain advantages. Even if you didn't stick with the course.

1) you would meet other people who are bullish about the idea of making money from folk music
2) from what I've seen - even if it didn't impart the kind of insights that only come from hanging round folk circles a long time - you would meet enough people to understand what were the options
3) you would meet people who (if impressed by your abilities) would advanvce and help your career.
4) it would demonstrate better than many exploits on myspace your seriousness

as you have pointed out there might be disadvantages. bear in mind that few really good folksingers got it together in three years.

Although according to legend Bert Jansch and John Renbourn were both brilliant as soon as they picked up a guitar.


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Subject: RE: Advice for a newbie to the folk scene?
From: Marje
Date: 06 Dec 08 - 09:52 AM

I know this has been discussed in other threads, but I don't see how it can be wrong to undercut established professionals by accepting a low fee, not when plenty of professional-standard musicians will sing or play for nothing in floor-spots and informal gigs.The folk music world is full of keen amateurs doing it just for the love of the music.

Oh and, Guest hg (above)_ - 10,000 hours to learn an instrument? Did you add one or two zeros too many? Let's say you practise 10 hours a week, it's going to take 1000 weeks, which is 19 years. Life is just too short for most of us to be able to wait that long (or to find much more than 10 hours a week, if we also have day-jobs and other commitments). If what you say were the case, it would be almost impossible for a young (say under 35) musician to be good enough perform in public, which is manifestly not the case.

Go for it, Becks!

Marje


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