singer-songwriter tips

Singer-Songwriter Tips – How to Succeed in the Industry (Or rather not)

This is a burning issue that’s been on my mind for quite some time. Performing songwriters, particularly those in Johannesburg, work hard and pour their heart and soul into what they do. Yet I can’t help but pick up a number of glaring similarities in how they go about their business. This has forced me to draw up a few singer-songwriter tips to help you make your big mark on the burgeoning scene. Disclaimer: if you’re an easily offended singer-songwriter, this doesn’t make for pretty reading.

 

Singer-Songwriter Tips #1 – Add “Riptide” to your set – every time!

Rarely a performance goes by at your local Joburg market these days without at least two performers in succession murdering the Vance Joy hit, “Riptide”. To hell with the begrudgers, just sing it! And if a few heads sway to its catchy chorus, tempt fate and sing it again to close out your set. Surely this is a song that, by now, should have been swept away in the current of whiny hipster indie songs.

 

Singer-Songwriter Tips #2 – Sing every Song with the Capo on the 5th/7th Fret

singer-songwriter tipsA capo is an ingenious invention – it can adapt the song to the key you’re comfortable with. However, it should come boxed with the instruction of ‘moderate use’. I’ve lost count of the number of singers that struggle to remove a capo that’s seemingly super-glued to the fifth or seventh fret of their acoustic. One loses the ‘crunch’ in the playing and there’s precious little bottom end left to balance the high vocals. If this is you, take my tip; avoid any potential back problems and invest in a ukelele instead!

 

Singer-Songwriter Tips #3 – Don’t accept a gig for any more than R500!

To hell with that, do it for free! The problem with a pool of singer-songwriter talent in town is that promoters and booking agents know this, and will often book their line-up according to the lowest bidder. Who cares if you spent almost R20k on a top Martin or Taylor acoustic. You’ve been chosen, your name is on a poster and you can share the ‘Facebook Live’ clip to your friends on Monday morning. You’ll also enjoy more exposure than an all-day fishing trip on the Vaal river!

 

Singer-Songwriter Tips #4 – Focus on your Instagram Marketing

It all seems to be about hashtagging your way to fame these days. “Follow me on Instagram” is the definitive marketing platform for up and coming songwriters. Create an engaging audience, trade one follow for another, and filter the shit out of your rooftop gig photos. Why should you even pay for your own website in this day and age? SEO ain’t no method of tuning your guitar strings so leave that to the geeks. There’s only one social media platform to become an insta-hit and everything else is just a waste of your time and data!

 

Singer-Songwriter Tips #5  – Give everyone the same set

DJ Train wreck is never far from the tracks when a singer-songwriter is invited to perform to a completely different demographic. Being presented with your dream audience from a random inquiry is about as common in South Africa, as glittery cupcakes in an orphanage! Be wary of rebels like Nick May, as his extra ammunition of Zulu and Xhosa songs seems to cast spells on his audiences. He’s the guy that always runs out of business cards at a gig! Stick to the same songs – dozens of adoring relatives surely can’t be wrong? If all else fails, revert to singer-songwriters tip #1!

 

David Delaney is an Irish fiddle and flute player, currently based in Johannesburg. Not endowed with much, in terms of songwriting talent, he prefers to rather let his fingers do the talking. You can catch him performing with his band Beukes and Delaney or book him as a solo artist, for a “Riptide-free”, ripping performance. Contact David today for a quote, or a healthy debate on more constructive singer-songwriter tips.

 

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wedding music

Wedding Violinist – Making the Right Choice

Congratulations on your Engagement. Now that your wedding planning is in full swing, you are probably sorting through the myriad of entertainment options to keep everybody in the party mood as you celebrate the most special day of your life. A wedding violinist offers the best opportunity to capture the mood and the romance of this significant moment.

Whether your heart is set on adding classical music and instrumental airs to the occasion, or hiring a fiddle player to get your guests in the party mood as the sun sets, a musician is an integral part to an unforgettable union that brings two families together as you officially celebrate the start of your union of marriage.

 

Finding a Wedding Violinist that hits the right notes with your guests

There are many options on the table when it comes to carefully select a professional musician who will add to your big day. Do bear in mind before you choose your violinist;

  • What is the Age demographic?
  • Would your guests prefer sing-along and folk music, as opposed to classical violin
  • Would a large venue require more than a single wedding violinist – perhaps a group?
  • Are musicians available near your wedding location or would a violinist need to travel?

Versatility is Key when leaving the party in the hands of the musician

There is nothing more romantic than a wedding violinist to lead you into your wedding ceremony as you prepare to exchange your vows with your partner for life. Once the official part of the day has concluded, you will be swept away to capture professional photos on your wedding day. Essentially, you will be handing over the reigns to the musician to keep your guests entertained, and build up the afternoon towards the evening’s festivities. A wedding musician can strike a chord with your closest friends and family. Pay close attention to the repertoire that a musician can perform. Ideally, your wedding musician can perform a variety of repertoire that will be enjoyed by both young and old alike.

The older folk at the wedding are likely to be your families longest and closest friends. Never neglect this faithful group – by considering a fiddle player as opposed to a classical wedding violinist, he or she will boast a vast repertoire, and the uncanny ability to honor that unusual musical request from your Aunt. As a performing wedding violinist, I have been able to switch my repertoire to accommodate requests from artists such as Simon and Garfunkel, Kenny Rogers, Barbra Streisand, and The Water Boys.

 

Can your Wedding Musician also Sing?

One of the earliest debates in the early planning stages of your wedding hinges on whether to book an instrumentalist or a singer for the reception. The truth is, you should not have to choose – there are multi-talented musicians in South Africa who can both perform instruments and sing, thus providing all round top class entertainment on your big day. While my main focus is a wedding violinist, I also sing, perform the Irish Flute and accompany my songs on guitar. Every bride and groom deserves unforgettable wedding music – I endeavor to provide this, in one affordable package.

 

David Delaney – Irish Wedding Musician

Performing for over 7 years throughout South Africa, I pride myself in arranging and playing wedding ceremonies that strike a personal chord with the special couple that I am honored to perform for. Each wedding ceremony and reception is as unique as the couple that brings it together. Not only do I perform as a solo wedding musician, I also offer my musical expertise with my successful band Beukes and Delaney, available either as a duo, or a full band with a bassist and drummer. If you require a local, classical string quartet, I do highly recommend the Vienna String Quartet. While you enjoy some samples of my music, be assured that I offer as standard, personalized requests for your bridal entrance. Feel free to contact me today to request a quote on musical entertainment for your wedding day.

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