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'Acoustic' and 'live' music

SteveMansfield 13 Apr 09 - 01:49 PM
Leadfingers 13 Apr 09 - 02:44 PM
Leadfingers 13 Apr 09 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 14 Apr 09 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 14 Apr 09 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 14 Apr 09 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 14 Apr 09 - 05:09 AM
Jack Blandiver 14 Apr 09 - 05:13 AM
BobKnight 14 Apr 09 - 05:23 AM
Harmonium Hero 14 Apr 09 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 14 Apr 09 - 08:58 AM
Will Fly 14 Apr 09 - 09:23 AM
Tug the Cox 14 Apr 09 - 09:45 AM
Will Fly 14 Apr 09 - 09:53 AM
Will Fly 14 Apr 09 - 09:54 AM
George Papavgeris 14 Apr 09 - 10:12 AM
Uncle_DaveO 14 Apr 09 - 12:23 PM
dick greenhaus 14 Apr 09 - 01:07 PM
Tug the Cox 14 Apr 09 - 01:11 PM
Ernest 14 Apr 09 - 03:51 PM
Harmonium Hero 14 Apr 09 - 04:37 PM
Tug the Cox 14 Apr 09 - 07:04 PM
Leadfingers 14 Apr 09 - 07:09 PM
Tootler 15 Apr 09 - 06:53 PM
Harmonium Hero 15 Apr 09 - 08:21 PM
Mysha 15 Apr 09 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 16 Apr 09 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,glueman 16 Apr 09 - 04:48 AM
Harmonium Hero 16 Apr 09 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,glueman 16 Apr 09 - 07:27 AM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 07:39 AM
SteveMansfield 16 Apr 09 - 09:05 AM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 10:40 AM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 11:09 AM
Will Fly 16 Apr 09 - 11:22 AM
Harmonium Hero 16 Apr 09 - 02:44 PM
glueman 16 Apr 09 - 02:53 PM
Harmonium Hero 16 Apr 09 - 06:59 PM
Mysha 19 Apr 09 - 08:25 PM
Spleen Cringe 20 Apr 09 - 04:41 AM
Don Firth 20 Apr 09 - 03:12 PM
Tootler 20 Apr 09 - 03:18 PM
Mike Felten 20 Apr 09 - 03:57 PM
Don Firth 20 Apr 09 - 03:58 PM
Don Firth 20 Apr 09 - 04:07 PM
glueman 20 Apr 09 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 20 Apr 09 - 09:20 PM
billhudson 21 Apr 09 - 09:54 AM
Don Firth 21 Apr 09 - 02:48 PM
dick greenhaus 21 Apr 09 - 07:31 PM
doc.tom 21 Apr 09 - 08:17 PM
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Subject: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 01:49 PM

Two bizarre bits of misused musical terminology recently ...

Item 1 - Acoustic. Duffy, the slightly odd 60s throwback popstrel, on the BBC1 Sessions TV programme, played part of her show as what she termed an 'acoustic set' - backed by electric guitar, electric bass, and a full rock drumkit. The segment of the show was a teensy bit less full-on ersatz Motown than the rest of her set, but since when did 'acoustic' become synonymous with 'slightly jazz-chord-ey'?

Item 2, a pub on the A6, advertising 'live music'. The live music in question being the Friday night disco, followed by Saturday night karaoke. 'Live'?

I think I'm coming over all Lynn Truss ...


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 02:44 PM

'Unplugged' is another odd ball phrase bused to describe gigs !
I recall seeing Fairport at Nettlebed advertised as 'acoustic' - all it meant was they didnt have Dave Mattocks on drums , all the instruments being Non Electric , but still Piezo'd and running through P A !


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 02:46 PM

And I suppose the D J was NOT a Zombie , and the Karaoke COULD be described as 'live' !

Had a 'Live' music night in a local pub a while back , a Competent singer , with a microphone and a HUGE P A working to pre-recorded backing tracks !


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 04:16 AM

I always find it odd when pubs advertise 'Live Music', but don't tell you what the live music is. They seem to think that because they are putting on 'Live Music', that in itself is some sort of attraction to pull in the punters. I would want to know who was providing said live music, what genre it was and some idea of what I could expect. Having been to many 'Live Music nites' in pubs, I know that many of them are just plain dreadful and to be avoided like the plague.

Maybe that's why they DON'T advertise the band - it may keep people away!!


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 04:28 AM

All I know is, whatever I or we record, we practice, practice, practice, so we can play live, any and everything we record, live!...and it sounds, like the recording. If we want to play, like a jam, we do that too, but after the other, or in the middle, of what has to have been done PERFECT...as a side note....we, and or I, have an impeccable reputation, both in our precision, and sound.
   The terms, as mentioned, are misleading!!...but if your name is on the bill....NEVER!!!


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 04:31 AM

It could be worse, my local advertises Live Football.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:09 AM

Without wishing to over-generalise, this tells you a lot about the mentality of many pub managers. Small wonder they find it hard to get their collective heads around the (alien) concept of 'a folk club', where strange people actually sing and play real instruments, and other equally strange people actually sit and listen.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:13 AM

I went to see The Acoustic Strawbs playing in a small freezing club in Blackpool last year to an audience of maybe 17; quite the loudest gig I've seen in years - my ageing ears were ringing for days afterwards!


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: BobKnight
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:23 AM

Likewise, TV programmes often say as atrist will be performing their latest release "live" in the studio. Maybe THEY are "live" but they are not performing "live" as they mime to their latest release.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 08:45 AM

(Sounds of Man Mounting Hobby Horse........)
I've said this sort of thing on other threads, but in case nobody was listening....it's another example of the systematic dismantling of the English Language - and, indeed - of language in general. I'm still trying to make sense of the term 'acoustic guitar'. What the bloody hell does that mean? The trouble is, if us pedants don't do enough harrumphing about this stuff, it makes 'THEM'- whoever 'they' are - think they can get away with even worse abuse. As currently used, the terms 'acoustic', 'unplugged' and 'live' mean crap all.
About five years ago, at Sidmouth, the Oyster Band were playing for the Late Night Extra. At some point, an Oyster Band 'Acoustic Set' was billed. In the event, I think it meant that one of them was playing an 'acoustic guitar', or the drummer didn't play the kit, or something. Whatever the difference was, it was still amplified to buggery. At one point, whatsisface (the singer, whose name persistently eludes me - no doubt somebody will fill it in) said "bit loud for 'acoustic' innit?" But then, what does 'acoustic' mean? Well,
I'll tell you what 'acoustic' is: "of or relating to sound, the sense of hearing, or acoustics" (dictionary definition). Acoustics is the science of sound transmition; you can have room acoustics, instrument acoustics, good acoustics, bloody awful acoustics etc. The dictionary goes on to say that it means that the sound (of an 'acoustic guitar' for example, is conveyed naturally, without electronic amplification. I've also been in clubs calling themselves 'unplugged', where EVERYTHING was plugged in. Surely these usages contravene the Trades Descriptions Act?
And as for 'live'.....I think it must mean that the electricity is switched on.
HARRUMPH!
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 08:58 AM

Somebody (I can't remember who) put it rather succinctly at a festival a few years back. Acoustic, or 'unplugged', means the music is played through a brown guitar with a hole in it, and electric is with a red guitar without a hole in it. Otherwise, they are the same and everything is amplified just the same.

Easy when you know the difference!!


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 09:23 AM

I think that playing acoustically and playing amplified are subtlely different - even if you're playing the same piece. I'll illustrate. Here's a clip of a tune played with amplification (pickup on the guitar), solo, and fingerstyle:

All Of Me (solo, amplified, fingerstyle)

And here's the same piece played as a plectrum guitar duet - purely acoustic:

All Of me (duet, acoustic, plectrum)

Putting aside the solo/duet, fingerstyle/plectrum aspects, there's a very different feel and way of playing which is dictated by whether you're relying on amplification to project - or whether you're relying on your fingers to project.

Sorry to be self-referential here - just seemed an appropriate contrast.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 09:45 AM

HH, ( above) an acoustic guitar is a guitar with its own sound box ( body) which can be played without any further acoustic devices ( amplifiers, loudspeakers etc). The problem is that acoustic guitars can and are played with amplification to boost the sound, and unless you enquire carefully you'll never know what a venue has in mind when it advertises 'acoustic'. I am involved in some 'acoustic open mic'sessions, where instruments that are capable of bring played acoustically are plugged in, and a folk night that is 'totally acoustic', e.g no electrics. people still turn up at both expecting to plug in keyboards etc!


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 09:53 AM

The terms can be confusing at times, but they shouldn't be if used properly. Every "open mic" I've been to in a pub comes with PA and mic - and you would surely expect that from the term "open mic".

The "acoustic" sessions I go to are just that - no amplification whatsoever, and everyone who goes to them appears to know that.

Sounds like it's some pub landlords who are mis-using the words. Mind you, I've yet to suss out what some mean exactly by "unplugged" on certain T specials...


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 09:54 AM

"T specials", of course, should be "TV specials"...


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 10:12 AM

Diverging slightly:

A pub in our town has a big billboard advertising in capital letters:

"LIVE ON PLASMA"
(meaning of course "plasma screen")

I enquired, but transfusions were not available...


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 12:23 PM

I once had the pleasure of singing a 25 minute set at an "Open Mikeless" at a local coffee shop. Usually their open-stage evenings are "Open Mikes", with microphone and pickup plugin amp provided--and expected. This was nice, for a change. I wish there were more of them.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 01:07 PM

Has anyone attended the Philadelphia Folk Festival, where you can watch the performers on two much-larger-than-life projection TV screens while listening to their amplified music?


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 01:11 PM

Open mike-less! Love it.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Ernest
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 03:51 PM

@ Hootenanny:

If you see the "Live Football" again, go there with spiked sports shoes, bring a football and ask the landlord what serves as a goal in the pub...if he doesn`t like it, suggest a bit of "Live Boxing" instead!

;0)
Ernest


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 04:37 PM

Tug: That's a definition of a guitar - has been for at least four hundred years before the invention of electronic amplification. I just can't see how adding the word 'acoustic' defines it as anything different, or clarifies it in any way. We knew what a guitar was - no need to add anything. If you put a pickup on it, then you have to qualify it by calling it an electric guitar. That doesn't mean you then have to re-define what was understood perfectly well before by adding an irrelevant term to it. What really brasses me off is when the pre-existing thing is then regarded as some kind of odd variant. On a previous thread, somebody actually referred to the electric guitar as "a regular guitar". The older I get, the more I'm convinced that it's a mistake to teach humans to talk; they just start talking shite.
(Sorry Tug - didn't mean you!)
Disgruntled of St Helens.
PS - Ernest: I'm looking for a pub with Dead Football.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 07:04 PM

Oi , Harmy H, we don't disagree! You asked 'what is an acoustic guitar? Sorry I didn't know you were being rhetorical/ironic. Sadly too many now think that a solid body 'electric' IS regular. I don't think a plugged in acoustic actually IS an electric, but I share with you the despair that the differences are not apreciated.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 07:09 PM

I suppose the best we could hope for would be a TOTALLY unplugged Electric Band , then all we would hear would be the Bloody drummer !!


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 06:53 PM

I just can't see how adding the word 'acoustic' defines it as anything different, or clarifies it in any way. We knew what a guitar was - no need to add anything.

Ah. But it does, and for the reason Tug gave above. If you refer to a guitar, many people immediately think of an electric guitar, so you have to add a qualifying adjective to make it clear to others that you are not referring to an electric guitar, but to the original type.

You may not like it but language changes to reflect changing circumstances and your railing against it is going to have as much effect as a certain 10th century monarch had on the incoming tide.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 08:21 PM

I daresay, but I'll still rail against it. Somebody has to. Just because people are lazy about language doesn't mean we must shrug our shoulders and let it pass without comment. That way, we end up with nobody understanding what's being said, and language ceases to function. We're already in that position much of the time; hence threads asking questions like the above.(It isn't just me, you see...)
And while you're explaining things, try explaining the use of the term 'unplugged' (as applied to instruments that weren't plugged in in the first place). You'll need to be quick; the tide is around our knees.

Canute.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Mysha
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 10:38 PM

Hi Hero,

So, what are we to call the class that include the guitars and the electric guitars?

As in: "Everyone in our family plays a xyzzy: three of us a guitar and my brother an electric guitar."


                                                                                                                                                          Mysha


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:12 AM

Will Fly, I just went to your two links, (earlier in this thread.."All of Me'....and all I can say was OUTSTANDING!...besides, that, you're playing a Larrivee, which I LOVE! Thank you!..for posting your links!!


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:48 AM

Definitions come and go, they aren't fixed. My ideal would be an acoustic band in a room small enough not to need amplification. Once electrickery is brought in via a singer's mic, the players want their instruments louder until mutually assured quality destruction occurs.

Since the sixties the electric guitar has become the performance norm with other instruments defined round that standard (and why I recommended the Telecaster as the definitive English folk instrument despite its origins in far away lands) - hence 'unplugged'. I dislike the term because it gives rock bands the opportunity to make hypocritical gestures that suggest they'd have played non-electric instruments for £15 a night all along if it weren't for the maaan insisting they fill stadiums every night.

As someone suggested, avoiding Lynn Truss's finger wagging school maam within all of us is difficult but necessary.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 07:10 AM

Mysha: How about "we all play the guitar. His is electric" (pointing a disdainful finger...)
Actually, I've nothing against electric guitars - always wanted a Tele (shock horror revelation), but I'd use it for things other than what I usually play. Always fancied playing folk rock (even bigger SHR). But I hate using amplification for the music I normally play, and will avoid it where possible - although I have had a mike shoved in my face mid-song by a club organiser who seemed to think it was necessary (it wasn't) which must have sounded very strange, since she didn't do the same for the harmonium. Rock (including all its hybrids) has always been an amplified genre. Folk hasn't. So there seems to me to be no need for words like 'unplugged', which sre often used in a completely meaningless way, which was what sfmans was talking about at the beginning of the thread.
Hypothetical incident: I went shopping, and entered a shop with a sign saying 'Joe Bloggs Grocer'. It was a bike shop.
True incident: I went to a club callng itself '----- Unplugged. Everything was plugged in.
Another true incident: I went to a club calling itself '------ Folk and Blues'. Nobody played any blues, and of 15 or more floor singers, only about three played anything you might call folk. Somebody came up to me afterwards and said "wasn't a bad night was it?". I commented on there not being any blues, to which he replied "no - there's no folk some nights either".
Some posters here are telling us we should accept all this, as it's the way things are going; in fact glueman tells us it's necessary to avoid 'Lynn Truss's finger-wagging school maam in all of us'. If it's in all of us, then why should we keep quiet? That means we are being pushed where we don't want to go, by some ignorant minority. I could go on at some length ("as usual", I hear someone say) citing examples, but to be brief; I don't understand a lot of what I read or hear these days. This has nothing to do with age, or mental ineptitude, and I am not alone - not by a very long way. It seems as though we are heading toward a precipice in a car with no steering, no brakes, and no reverse gear (how often do you hear codswallop such as "you can't turn back the clock"?). And somebody needs to try and switch the bloody motor off in the vain hope that the caaa
                                                          aa
                                                             a
                                                         
                                                                a

                                                                a



                                                             KERRUNCH!

J. Truss. Undertaker.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 07:27 AM

"If it's in all of us, then why should we keep quiet?"

Because it's not the best of us. It's the comfort of mutual cumudgeonliness, railing against our small window in time not being the only window, the perfect way, imagined idylls before music had a jack plug.
My 11 year old has a little Les Paul and one day he may do his riffs on my banjo for reasons other than to please his father but if his pleasure doesn't differ, does it matter?


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 07:39 AM

GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Will Fly, I just went to your two links, (earlier in this thread.."All of Me'....and all I can say was OUTSTANDING!...besides, that, you're playing a Larrivee, which I LOVE! Thank you!..for posting your links!!

Glad you liked them. The real point of me posting them was to make the point that "acoustic" and "electric" are not only descriptions of two quite different sounds - but that being plugged in or not also affects the way you play and your take on a tune in ways which can be both obvious and subtle. It's not just a question of volume or power. The "bite" and attack of trying to play like Eddie Lang - i.e. as acoustic as recording with just a mic can make it - is very different from allowing some power and amplification to take the strain and using - the instrument differently. You can see that the style and attack on the amplified Larrivée is quite different from that on the acoustic Martin.

So when venues advertise an "acoustic" session, they should mean "no amplification". The acoustic session I run means "no amps". If I go to an "open mic", I expect to see and hear PAs and mics. And "live" music means real people playing real instruments. There's nothing instrinsically "bad" about karaoke or using backing tapes - I don't care for them myself, I have to say - but they should be honestly advertised for what they are.

And, HH, I know at least one "Folk'n Blues" club like the one you're talking about. They have bloody good evenings there - with a PA and mics - but they've been going for many, many years and the folk and blues origins have withered slightly....


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 09:05 AM

"If it's in all of us, then why should we keep quiet?"

Because it's not the best of us. It's the comfort of mutual cumudgeonliness, railing against our small window in time not being the only window, the perfect way, imagined idylls before music had a jack plug.


Of course amplification has its place and its uses; but truly acoustic music, the sound of wood and metal and plastic and bits of animal being transmitted directly to the ears without the intermediate use of any electronics or amplification, is a physically and emotionally different experience. Lose that and yes, actually, it does matter, because we lose a lot.

And anyway we're not - or at least I, at post #1, wasn't - talking about imagined idylls before music had a jack plug, I was talking about a fundamental and increasingly widespread misunderstanding of the concepts of 'live' music and 'acoustic' music. And if we lose the meaning of those concepts, then actually I happen to think that's important too.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:40 AM

Exactly, sfmans. We're not talking nostalgia here - just an accurate representation of what we might be going to listen to or participate in. I'm quite happy to pop into a pub with my acoustic guitars OR my G&L ASAT solid and Gallien-Kreuger 100w amp - it's just good to know beforehand what's appropriate!


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:09 AM

"is a physically and emotionally different experience"

Yes, I agree and 9 times out of 10 I prefer unmediated acoustic instruments and voices but they do demand very intimate settings. Once a voice mic is introduced for audibility and pick ups put on traditional instruments it takes a sympathetic sound engineer to get the best out of them.

In practice some amplified instruments lend themselves better to folk than others. I don't find an electric bass too intrusive among acoustics but a drum kit or lead guitar very quickly makes it folk-rock.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 11:22 AM

9 times out of 10 I prefer unmediated acoustic instruments and voices but they do demand very intimate settings

They do indeed. Mind you, running an acoustic session in an open public bar certainly toughens up the old vocal chords, beefs up the string gauge and adds a few mm. to the plectrum thickness... When you've done that a few times, you're fit for anything. A bit like busking, but under cover.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 02:44 PM

Glueman: What 'imagined idylls' are these? And what, exactly, is your point? I said I had no objection to the electric guitar; I grew up with rock & roll. It's probably why I'm here now. But rock music, in all its manifestations, is a product of the age of electronic amplification, which only goes back a couple of decades before R&R. Before that, music didn't have a jack plug - nothing imaginary about that. My music stil doesn't - nothing imaginary about that either. Whether you consider it idyllic is up to you; it doesn't have any bearing here. My gripe in my previous posts (go back and check) is about what this thread is about - the baffling mis-use of certain terms. In my case, it's part of a wider complaint about the breakdown of communication. A good deal of the time, people don't know what others are talking about, because of the way the language is being used. This goes beyond any normal linguistic evolution. Some of it is due to ignorance; a lot of it is due to an arrogant , smart-arsed attitude. Either way, the end result is that the language fails to function.
By the way, my 24-yeor-old son has a D'Angelico New Yorker and can play jazz. He doesn't do it to please his father. And no, it doesn't matter. But he doesn't go around calling it 'acoustic music'.

Curmudgeon.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 02:53 PM

HH, I prefer to avoid answering 'what exactly do you mean by that' posts because they usually come with a backlog of strong opinions looking for a way out. I added my two penno'th to the thread, if you disagree with the sentiments expressed a long round of word tennis is unlikely to make things clearer.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:59 PM

Glueman: I asked a perfectly reasonable question because I don't know what you meant.
Time I left.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Mysha
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 08:25 PM

Hi Hero,

No, that won't work, as by your definition we do not all play the guitar. My brother plays an electric guitar and an electric guitar does not have its own sound box, and thus is excluded from the class of the guitars. What then are guitars and electric guitars together?

To me, it really would make more sense to include electric guitars into the class of guitars.

                                                                  Mysha


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 04:41 AM

Why are we talking about acoustic and live music on a website about show tunes and talent competitions?


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 03:12 PM

Let's face it. The English language is going to hell in a handbasket.

The word "acoustic" is now applied to solid-bodied electric guitars that can only make a minuscule sound all by itself (acoustically) and needs to be plugged into a wall socket with amplifier and speaker attached to be heard more than a few feet away.

"Classic guitar" used to mean a flat-topped acoustic guitar with a wide neck and nylon strings. Now, if you google "classic guitar," you'll come up with things like "the classic Fender Stratocaster."

And let's not get into the meaning of "folk" or "traditional." Blood has been splattered over several threads while discussing those words!

When does the next star ship leave for Alpha Centauri?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Tootler
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 03:18 PM

Don,

On this side of the pond, the guitars you describe have always been known as classical guitars, Thus there is a distinction between classic and classical.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Mike Felten
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 03:57 PM

I can get petrified trying to describe what I do. I can stand up on a box and play a set or I can run a mic and the guitar into a DI box and the PA. It is always an adventure.
I just say that I hang sheet rock - you can paint or paper it to you descriptive taste


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 03:58 PM

I am aware that making that distinction narrows the google search. However, I am looking at my bookshelf just a few feet away, and I don't see one single classic(al) guitar technique manual (Aaron Shearer's set, Frederick Noad's, Carcassi, Aquado, the complete Fernando Sor studies, manuals by Ricardo Iznaola, Eduardo Fernandez, and several others) that has "Classical" on the cover. They all say "Classic."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 04:07 PM

Apparently modifications to language usage are being made, however. Amazon lists a fair number of recently published guitar manuals under "Classical."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: glueman
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 04:29 PM

Classic is one of those words that is continually misused in a range of contexts to suit the preferences of the individual. Take film, people speak of classics by which they usually mean a movie they like which may or may not be old. If the word has any meaning it tends to refer to one made under the studio system which had a highly developed set of on-screen and off-screen characteristics - a formulaic 'classicism'. The classical patheon gets lumbered with our preferences.
I use a dreadnought western acoustic that gives you fingers like ET. No idea whether it's classic but it was made in China.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 09:20 PM

Once you use a mic...all bets are off. Personally I prefer using whatever works for the music...not the approach, as if it is 'purist' enough or not.
Your point, though, Will is well taken!


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: billhudson
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 09:54 AM

My two cents...
With bars its a funny thing...all they care about is how much they can sell. If the night is good they call you back. I had a gig a few weeks ago and its funny how I got the gig. I told the manager I could sell drinks...he did not listen to my CD or my press pack. I got the gig, funny as hell.
By the way I cannot go 500 feet within a Karaoke.
Still Pickin'
B.H.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 02:48 PM

No matter how you slice it, the human voice is "acoustic." And so is a guitar or banjo or harp or any other instrument that doesn't need a power cord and wires coming out of it that you have to plug in in order to make it heard. A Fender Stratocaster is not an acoustic instrument.

But in a large auditorium or theater, or in a chronically noisy venue such as a bar, a singer with an acoustic guitar might need a PA system in order to be heard. I would still consider that "acoustic music."

Segovia was adamant about never using any kind of amplification. The theaters in which I heard him play were moderate in size, and I never had a problem hearing him (an expensive, very well made guitar such as a Houser or concert Ramirez helps). And Segovia would glower balefully at anyone who happened to cough, or would stop playing altogether if someone were having a coughing fit or rattling his program. In fact, the Moore Theater in which he often performed when in Seattle put a table in the middle of the lobby loaded down with cough drops and throat lozenges, and invited people to fill their pockets and purses—free—just in case. The audience often reeked of Hall's Mentholyptus.

But when I first heard Christopher Parkening, he played in the Seattle Center Opera House (capacity 3,100), and although the acoustics there are outstanding, it was still deemed advisable that he make use of the sound system, which he did. Two microphones were set a couple of feet apart and about three feet in front of where he sat. The sound system was such that it gave the sound of his guitar a little boost, making it clearly audible throughout the opera house, but the sound was not noticeably "elecronic." No complimentaty cough drops necessary.

I have a big voice when I want to unleash it, and the guitars (generally classic) I've used are good quality, but I have performed in places where amplification was needed (Center House at the Seattle Center, for example, or a gymnasium at Grays Harbor College). Moderate sized theaters such as the Seattle Center Playhouse (800 seats), house concerts, most coffeehouses, and the church (capacity 200) where Bob Nelson and I sang our "reunion concert" a year and a half ago require no amplification.

The advantage of amplification in a large venue is that one can sing without having to "belt" everything, allowing you to bring out emotional nuances of a song the would get lost otherwise.

How about listening to a singer and/or acoustic guitar on the radio? Or on a CD, with all the attendant electronics necessary to make it audible? Still "acoustic" I would think.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 07:31 PM

Dyer-Bennett used to play Town Hall in NY--a sizeable auditorium--with no amplification for either his guitar or his voice. On t'ther hand, he had a huge advantage--he knew what he was doing.


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Subject: RE: 'Acoustic' and 'live' music
From: doc.tom
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 08:17 PM

Interesting thread! BB & I help run Shammick Acoustic (Shammick is the nickname of the village, so let's not get sidetracked). All performers are in the room and live - we refuse to let dead people perform. The events are acoustic - i.e. in our definition we only book acts using acoustic intruments(or none) - those that produce an audible sound without amplification. Do we use amplicfication? Yes we do. When the local planners gave permission for the funtion room, they insisted on so much acoustic dampening, for the sake of the neighbours, that the room is totally DEAD. So we set up mics, mix them down, and run the result through the house speakers. The result is that, providing you've got the right person on the desk, the entire audience hear a balances natural acoustic sound evenly spread throughout the room. However, if the room weren't DEAD, we wouldn't use the P.A.

So we're 'live', we're 'acoustic' and we use P.A. -ermmm!


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