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Ron Fairbairn

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Semiahmoo Park in White Rock

Playing in Public Places

PLAYING IN PUBLIC PLACES

Sometimes I really question why I would stick my lone neck out and lay it on a public stage for people to watch me bleed. I mean it’s not like I do it for the money – that part has been well established. So why then?

Last weekend was our local White Rock Sea Festival and I accepted a gig to play a half hour set on Saturday and Sunday between 3:30 and 4:00pm.  I was “ The Transition Guy” that was to usher out the -families with kids “pirates in the park” -time and then do some chill vibe singer songwriter originals to set up the youth bands portion of the afternoon leading into the evening.

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It’s Complicated

It’s complicated. I believe most artists would rather not be involved with self-promotion and marketing of their work. They want someone else to say good things about them while they carry on with the business of creativity. I’m with them. 

The only problem is that the world is in another state of flux. I mean, it always is to some degree, but this feels way different to me. We now live in a world where a whole new generation of people don’t know what it was like not to have computers and the internet. The music industry has been driven to it’s knees and we (collectively) are still trying to invent a new business model. In a handful of decades we have gone from vinyl to 8track to cassette to cd to mp3, and now it looks streaming will win over the average music listener. There is more music available now than there ever has been. But most of it seems disposable.

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cartoon by Scott Fairbairn

Bass

BASS

When I was 16, I asked a friend of mine if I could play in his band. I was kind of a “folky” with nothing more than my acoustic guitar. His advice was that I should get myself a bass because, as he put it – “there’s a million guitar players out there but there’s never enough bass players”.

I headed down to the Long and McQuade music store on Granville street in Vancouver and came back with a Hofner “Beatle bass”. I couldn’t get enough of it! As basses go, the Hofner is a small bass with a shorter scale, so adapting from guitar was not that difficult. It also had the advantage of being a semi-acoustic instrument and so I developed the habit of playing it acoustically. I basically played it 18/7 (when you’re young, you do that). I believe that the better an instrument sounds unplugged – the better it will sound when it is plugged in. (more…)