Dave's Blog

Music Promotion - Learning the lessons 

So, the Landmark 2019 season has come to an end and it has been a roller coaster of great gigs; good audience numbers; poor audience numbers; an eclectic mix of artists; hold-ups on the M2 and even the odd tech issue. Lime most promoters, you rely on your core supporters, but if this group isn't big enough to sustan a few missing one concert, then it is always going to be a struggle. 

We took what was previously a straight-ahead jazz offer and added free improv, Musical Theatre and Cabaret. Perhaps the variety was too much for some of our audience and we suffered on numbers. I don't regret this, insofar as I don't just want to churn out the same bands playing the same stuff, but it is a commercial risk.

Sadly, we have decided that we won't be promoting at the Landmark in 2020, but I hope someone comes along and takes it on.

Clockwork Vibes are planning to move along the coast to Dover in a new venue. Details of that will be circulated soon. Do sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date

Need to get the album written 

I'm off to Anchor Baby at some point in the future to record the next Dave Robinson Quartet/Quintet or whatever size the band is. I pre-booked some time with Dan about 18 months ago and just haven't had the time to actually write anything. It's not a writer's block or anything dramatic like that, just have been a bit lazy. 

I think I will just book in the days early next year and then that will focus me. It will either be a triumph or I'll release an album of me playing the spoons!

What's the fee? 

I'm a subscriber to the Kent Musicians Notice Board. It is indicative of the lack of live music venues that when a gig is offered, the person posting is inundated with scores of responses. One thing that crops up from time to time is the issue of gigs offered with little or no money. This gets some pros hot and bothered, immediately quoting the 'plumber' reference. 

However, if you are a relatively inexperienced musician and don't make a living from music, should you refuse the opportunity to perform in order to protect those who do need to earn a living?

And if you do, will those professionals negotiate a paid support slot on their gigs to give you both experience and adequate payment?

Not sure I've ever seen that


A few thoughts about time 

For an experienced drummer, time is obvious, or so you would think. 

However, I have worked alongside some drummers who still struggle with timing and I wonder why that happens. I've listened back to some of my own performances and picked up where I've veered as well. Is having perfect time a bit like having perfect pitch - you either have it or you don't?

When I first started to play I would listen to a song on the radio, turning it down for a few seconds whilst keeping time in my head and hoping I'd be in time when I turned it back up again. I think that really helped, but it's easy to get sidetracked and let other thoughts enter your mind. This could be about the music you're playing - or other things from life that tend to prod us through the day.

One exercise I like to do is working with a metronome that drops out - I would recommend time trainer from justinguitar ( think this is available for Android and Apple.) You can programme this to drop beats or whole bars.

When using a metronome I usually have the beats as 2 and 4 if I'm working in 4/4 time, but I did know of a guitarist who set the click at,  beat 3 1/2 

Any other feats of timing out there?