Solo Band – Is Working With Technology the Way to Go?

Are man and machine able to work in perfect harmony?

An ever increasing number of solo artists are turning towards technology, rather than fellow human beings, to help them round out their sound and make live shows come more alive. There are benefits to both so you need to give it some serious thought before you make your mind up.

Firstly, if you are not technically minded, it may be best to stick to the more traditional element. The advances in technology are making it simpler to make music on laptops or machines but bear in mind that you need to set it up at every practice and gig. Quirky effects that can be triggered by a flick of a switch or a button to set off loops can be the perfect accompaniment to any performance. Whether it is to add an element of percussion to the show or to assist with backing vocals, pre-recorded music can add greatly to a solo artists show. Technology is moving on at a great pace but bear in mind people still want to see an element of live performance at a gig, otherwise they would be as well staying at home listening to cds.

In addition to the new ways of using technology, machines are rarely late for gigs, they don’t want to make an album dedicated to pavement jazz artists and they never leave you short of money for gas, beer and rehearsal sessions. Machines don’t talk back and if you have a focused idea for your music, having other people involved can dilute the original ideas. If you feel as though you can’t work with others to make the music you want, it is still possible to live out your musical dreams.

It may sound like being a solo artist is the best way forward but what if something was to go wrong, could you continue without it or would you know how to fix it? Playing music by yourself and a few machines may seem simpler but if it all goes wrong, you have to think about the impression it gives of you to fans. Having no one else to blame for errors on stage can make it seem a lonely place and this is why many people will still have other band members on stage with them. Keeping some colleagues on stage helps to share the blame and, of course, the fun times too.

Pamela Doyle is a Kick Butt Performer’s Personal Development Coach.

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Coach Pamela assists groups and individuals with developing priorities, balancing band life with day jobs, relationships within and outside of the band and the passion of the art. When you are surrounded by “yes people” it is important to have an impartial facilitator to give it to you straight, to kick your butt when it needs to be. You have agents and managers to handle the band as an entity. You need a coach to guide the most important part of the band, its members, to a life of balance.